The buzz: One of our favourite rooftop bars finally re-opens its doors after a nine-week makeover. When the impending heat wave strikes expected in Singapore these couple of months, you’ll definitely be in need of a cool watering hole and the brand new rooftop bar Loof is definitely it.
The décor: Gone are the transparent tented roof, the circular seating and the sunken booth. Potted fronds, old school rattan chairs and a feature wall with a 1960's style scalloped roof slate design set the backyard vibe as hipsters and night owls come together for a block party-cum-mama shop party.
Loof's modern mama shop
The stall – a permanent fixture at the bar – sells everything from five stones and erasers to tapioca chips and kitschy souvenir notebooks, just like your neighrbourhood mama shop.
"The new direction we were creating for Loof calls for something with a local twist as well as an element that is casual and laidback in the context of where Loof is located. Our local 'mama shop' immediately came to mind and I pushed for it to be included at the bar," says Mriz Sidah, creative director of The Lo & Behold Group.
"At the same time we also thought this mama shop would serve as a souvenir stop for tourists/expats, and still be appreciated by our local customers," he adds.
The new look is designed by Marc Webb and Naoko Takenouchi of Takenouchi Webb who also designed Lo & Behold’s other outlets: The White Rabbit, Tanjong Beach Club and OverEasy.
The scalloped slate pattern continues throughout the bar from the tiles in the restrooms to another feature wall behind the DJ booth, which has been moved from the hidden deck area and behind the bar.
Says Wee Teng Wen, Lo & Behold's co-founder and managing partner, “We’ve created a relaxed, playful bar that pays tribute to the Singapore we love.”
“Although I love the new look, I kind of miss the previous décor because of its communal vibe. The circular seating was good for casual conversations and I know a few instances where strangers became friends at the end of the night. Then again, I'm sure people will grow to like the new designs” he adds.
Cocktails (from left) Ho Chi Mint, Penang Padi and Bandung Bloom
The drinks: The views from the roof of this pretense-free bar aren't much to shout about, Raffles Hotel on one side and Carlton Hotel on the other; or you can gaze at the Marina Bay skyline -- but your fellow drinkers are friendly and the drinks affordable and properly mixed. Highlights from the new cocktail menu are the ‘Asian Sensations’ cocktails made with hints of local flavours such as the refreshing vodka, cucumber and mint Ho Chi Mint ($17) or the Penang Padi ($17) which (predictably) has a fiery kick on the finish. Or you can quaff Loof’s other signature cocktails, the sinful Gummiberry ($17) or the invigorating Loof Life ($17). Happy hours go from 5 to 8pm, Mondays to Fridays, where housepour spirits, beers and wines are priced according to the hour.
Bar bites Wings Lah, Ramly Burger and Babi-que Slider
The grub: The local flavour also extends to the food menu. Local familiar snacks have been given a twist such as the Ahi Kueh Pie Tee ($16) or freshly-fried mantous in chili crab dip ($16). Other favourites include Loof’s take on the Ramly Burger ($18) or the Wings Lah ($18) served with lip-smacking sambal and ikan bilis, providing an interesting twist to an otherwise ubiquitous pub staple.
The music: DJs KFC (Wed & Sat) and Donn (Fri) spin a mean mix of nu-disco, funk, soul and house, while Uncle Johnny starts a new night in June -- LOOFAPALOOZA (every Thu) – dishing out indie and alternative rock staples.