This month's newest tipples include exciting new wine bars and a Tiki-revival popup.
While wine bars abound in Singapore, it's rare to find something as focused as Gaston. They specialise in all things Burgundian, from the wine to the food. Currently, they've got close to 350 labels from all over the region, many of which come from the many different microclimates within Burgundy. Couple that with an extensive by-the-glass programme and a weekly wine flight showcases, and there's no reason not to extensively explore Bordeaux's cooler cousin. Even the food here will trasport you to the heart of wine country. The kitchen is helmed by is Head Chef Julius Soo Thoo, who has been through the pass of places like L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Expect rustic Burgundian classics like boeuf bourguignon and truite a l’aligote, a trout dish with a white wine reduction made from aligote, an indigenous white grape from the appellation.
25 Keong Saik Road. Tel: 6909-8120
Located within Orchard Hotel, Intermezzo bar draws inspiration from Orchard Road's history as the site of many plantations growing cash crops like nutmeg and gambier. Conceptualised with local bar consultancy Proof & Co, the bar offers 12 signature cocktails built around said cash crops. Some of the more compelling drinks include the Coconut, an Old Fashion-style drink made with coconut fat washed Plantation Original Dark Rum and Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac that conjures images of Hainanese coconut candy. For something a little more refreshing, there's the Cacao, a sours-style tipple of Fords Gin, amaro, fresh lemon juice and chocolate bitters. Bar snacks are also strongly influenced by local favourites, like crispy chicken drumlets with an extremely moreish mala dip, and grilled stingray fins with a black pepper-mayo sauce. Look out for the resident live band, who will be playing renditions of contemporary hits every night from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 7pm onwards.
Orchard Hotel Singapore, 442 Orchard Road. Tel: 6739-8888
Located within Japanese restaurant Hashida, this wine-focused popup is run by an Asian winemaker and distributor. While there's no set programme, the very curated wines tend to slant towards the whole minimal intervention, biodynamic and natural suite. Love learning about, and exploring the world of vino? There'll be tasting flights by the glass most weeks that showcase either specific producers or regions, where you can expect everything from aged burgundies to left-field winemakers. The bar is still in its nascent stages, so expect plenty of changes — takeovers, events, and a rotating wine list are on the cards. The bar is only open Fridays to Sundays, and seats are extremely limited, so call ahead.
25 Mohamed Sultan Road. Tel: 9164-8250
Pop-up bar Junior's latest incarnation is the Tiki-themed Pacifica, a showcase of exotic spirits and fresh tropical fruits. This isn't the kitsch-ridden, saccharine tipple tiki of the 90's though, Pacifica draws inspiration from the original tiki wave in the 1930's, where classics like the zombie were invented. Pacifica's version includes 3 different rums, citrus, falernum, and a spice mix dubbed Don’s Mix #2. They've also done a spin on the classic mai tai with the Hua'ai Tai, a complex, almost boggling concoction of homemade miso, corn orgeat, carrot, cumin, and lemon with a base spirit of Brazilian cachaca. If the Americanised exoticism hasn't hit you hard enough yet, there's also a range of American-Chinese bites, like homemade crab rangoon, to chow down on.
43 Tanjong Pagar Road. Tel: 8121-1462
The latest spot from Coterie Concepts, Chi Kinjo positions itself a "highball and sushi bar" serving up fun renditions of seafood-on-rice and refreshing, boozy highballs. Expect creations inspired by Americanised sushi like the Salmon Cheesy Roll, which comes with crispy salmon skin and nori cheese. Other highlights include the crouching tiger roll, which features three different prawns cooked different ways; and hearty big plates like smoked wagyu steak with black garlic onion cream and sunchoke chips. There are also 10 flavours of highballs on the menu, from the classic whisky highball to spins like shiso-watermelon (made with shiso sake), and a palomo concocted with Don Julio Bianco tequila, grapefruit, and tonic.