Feel like a slave to the wage? The CBD’s growing selection of clubs and bars give corporate types the perfect opportunity to let off steam within minutes of clocking out. We round up the buzziest new kids on the block.
This new haunt by the team behind The Vault takes nightlife literally underground. Occupying a 6,000 sq ft basement of a former bank (again), Kyo channels zen chic with modern Japanese illustrations hanging on sleek wood-paneled and stone walls. Like its sister club its music offerings lean heavily on a well-curated stable of local DJs such as tech house veteran Godwin P and funk and soul-meister Tom Shellsuit – think Velvet in the old days. Each night of the week dips into a different pocket of genres, feel-good, spacy house on Fridays to more forward-thinking electronic beats on Saturdays. If you’re bent on boozing, Wednesday and Thursdays are your best bet with Kyo’s one-for-one deals on happy hour jugs from 9pm-12am.
Kyo | Keck Seng Tower, 133 Cecil Street | Tel: 62256001 | www.clubkyo.com | Opening hours: Wed-Fri 6pm-3am; Sat 8pm-3am
Mad Men Attic Bar
Warning: You will get lost trying to get to Mad Men Attic Bar, but once you're there you won't be leaving anytime soon. From the same guys behind The Merry Men (our vote for Robertson Quay's most unpretentious drinking spot), their new outlet on North Canal Road is a rooftop space spread across three shophouses with an unblocked view of The Fullerton Hotel and Singapore Flyer – not too shabby for a bunch of ACS boys. We could go into the copper and metal interiors done by Architology but really you should be focusing on the bar's live music acts (Alicia Pan, Wayne Sandz and Wayne Gideon are regular performers), reasonably priced booze – Monkey 47 G&Ts ($14), full range of Japanese Nikka Whisky and palate cleansing sochu sour shots ($22 for a pair, $60 for 6) – and finger-licking bar bites: our favourites were the marmite pork belly ($16) and the luncheon meat fries ($14) with homemade sambal.
While it is primarily a bar, the vibe morphs into a more club-like feel in the later hours and on weekends with the occasional party going on well into the morning hours.
So how do you find it, you ask? Look out for Sur, walk down the alley beside it and take the elevator up to the top floor and you're gold!
The Mad Men Attic Bar | 11 North Canal Road #03-02 | Tel: 62223529 | Opening hours: Mon-Thu 5pm-1am; Fri & Sat 5pm-3am
Jigger & Pony
No boogie-inducing beats here, but this watering hole is our pick for a low-key night out for its masterfully shaken cocktails. Its red and yellow booths and retro French posters are bathed in dim lighting, creating a warm and inviting ambience. Cocktails (from $20) are neatly arranged on the grid menu in three columns – Classics, Forgotten and Modern Twist – the latter two offering a subtle twist to favourites such as the Negroni and Summer Breeze. The (always obliging) bartenders pride themselves on Japanese bartending techniques – no clinks while stirring ice, Ginza hard shake – and their deft, fluid movements make for a hypnotic show. Pair your poison with their complimentary spicy tapioca chips, or more substantial bites such as a plate of assorted bruschetta ($12).
Behind the intimidating vault door of the former OCBC Bank building lies this sharp looking bar-cum-bistro. Modeled after a New York loft, think warehouse grunge meets elegant lounge; bare brick walls and dark leather couches. The bistro serves classic Western grub, but the real action is upstairs where resident DJs Brendon P and Ramesh K keep the beats deep and the house groove pumping. There’s not much dancing room inbetween The Vault’s chunky sofas but the punters still manage. Or just make happy as you mingle over cocktails ($15-$25), there’s always some action happening.
The vivid red lighting at the entrance of this buzzy ramen bar and izakaya (inspired by a fictional Japanese prostitute called Mariko) makes this spot stand out from its neighbours instantly. Piping hot ramen is served alongside Japanese beers and their signature Shochu Sour ($18), shochu, choya, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, elderflower syrup, maraschino liquer, lemon juice, grapefruit bitters and a dash of egg white (yes, it’s quite the concoction). Move onto the cozy front bar where you can bob to jazz, funk and house tunes (with a subtle Japanese bent) served up by guest DJs like Nomsta, Stephen Day. Look out for Miyagi Dance School, a monthly party by DJ duo Karate Sandwich that tosses together hip hop, electro, house and funk.
Marikos | 4 Jiak Chuan Road | Tel: 62218262 | Opening hours: Mon-Thu 12pm-12am; Fri-Sat 12pm-1am
A short stroll away from the noisy bustle of Club Street and Ann Siang Hill, this unpretentious bar and art space lives up to the simplicity of its name, which is a nod to its address on Mosque Street (ed’s note: when are places going to start having names with alphabets again?). Deep grey walls and an exposed brick bar lets the bi-monthly artwork on show take full attention – for now, it’s the edgy graffiti of Thai Artist P7. While it serves Thai cuisine in the day, it morphs into an intimate nightspot offering Asian-inspired cocktails such as The Ginger 22, concocted with ginger-infused vodka. Guest DJs Zig Zach and Darren Dubwise take to the decks on weekends and occasional hoedowns.
22 | 22 Mosque Street | Tel: 62217959 | Opening hours: Mon-Thu 4.30pm-1am; Fri-Sat 4.30pm-3am