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8 Specialty & Rooftop Bars
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8 Specialty & Rooftop Bars

Some bars are choosing to focus on one class of alcohol. Others prefer to let their prime location on rooftops with scenic views do the talking for them. We list eight spots we cannot get enough of.

Carving out a niche

Bōruto

A stone’s throw from the Central Business District (CBD), this industrial-chic izakaya stocks over 100 brands of sake. Bōruto pays tribute to the space by storing its ‘treasures’ - Juyondai, Isojiman and Nabeshima Black, among others - in the original vault of what was once a bank. The rare Gekkekan Retro is exclusively available at Bōruto and best enjoyed in the Private Room.

Head Chef Angus Chow, also Chef of the Year at this year’s World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence, churns out an extensive tapas menu, including Charcoal Karaage and Beef Short Ribs. Hidden Passion, a yuzu sake cocktail, is the sweet tipple of choice, the perfect starter before embarking on the true focus of Bōruto as reminded by the barrelled wall at the entrance: sake. Tony Chan, who oversees brand and marketing at Bōruto, shares that most customers concur that they have one of the largest sake range in Singapore.

Cin Cin

Situated in the heart of Tanjong Pagar, this 1920s art deco-style bar offers 100 labels of gin and 500 ways to customise your own martinis and G&Ts. Cin Cin, which means ”cheers” in Italian, derives its name from the sound of clinking glasses.

Head Bartender Fadly Sujebto enjoys the challenge of creating cocktails stirred rather than shaken as he discusses the science of proportions, mixing fresh ingredients and the room temperature. He shares, “You can’t go wrong with shaken but the same may not be true for stirred concoctions.” Perennial favourite Napue gin from Kyrö Distillery forms the base of the signature cocktail Aurora Polaris, which pairs perfectly with the Seared Ahi Tuna. Don’t leave the high tables without tasting the Hel Sin Gin, available exclusively at Cin Cin.

La Maison Du Whisky

Stepping into La Maison Du Whisky (LMDW) at Robertson Quay reminds you of its historical Parisian flagship plus a touch of Peranakan elements. The haunt for those seeking rare and exclusive whiskies carries the famed but extinct Japanese whisky Karuizawa with vintages dating all the way back to 1969.

Sébastien Cady, Trade Marketing Manager at LMDW, shares that rare may not necessarily be the most expensive as the bar also prides itself in having the latest releases in the market before others.

The most popular whisky here is the single cask release ex-Sherry Cask from Kavalan, while Signatory Vintage and Gordon & MacPhail bottles from Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain and Ben Nevis distilleries have a strong following.

A classic Bourbon Old Fashioned is recommended to bring out the flavours of a good whisky. Patrons are encouraged to order food from the vicinity’s waterfront restaurants as bar bites are not available. Sit by the bar for a view of over 300 tasting bottles and chat for hours about distilleries with the passionate and knowledgeable crew.

Caffe Fernet

Set against Marina Bay, Caffe Fernet exudes a modern Italian trattoria vibe, juxtaposed with some classic elements such as the Leiter Chair and European-styled table bases. The square fluted columns and vaulted ceiling of the original structure at Customs House have been retained to pay homage to the architecture’s history.

The bar features inventive renditions of Italian classics such as Aperol spritz and Negroni alongside an extensive mod-Italian food menu that includes Crispy Golden Beetroot and Mafaldine Cacio E Pepe.

“Every seat in Caffe Fernet provides a view of the bar to highlight the craftsmanship and narrative behind every cocktail, which we have taken pride to create,” says Aki Eguchi, its Bar Programme Director.

Drinks with a view

Kinki Restaurant + Bar

Overlooking Marina Bay Sands, this establishment’s cheeky moniker belies a hip-urban atmosphere inspired by the unpretentious rooftops of shophouses in Tokyo, where friends unwind after a hard day at work.

Check out the intricate Japanese tattoo designs of Miami Ink’s Chris Garver sprawled on the floor mural as you knock back unique umeshuinfused cocktails such as Nippon Chi-Chi and Spicy Hachimitsu paired with hot favourites Temaki Bites and Spiced Miso Chamame.

Adeline Koh, Marketing Manager at Refinery Concepts, tells us to stay tuned for the next Kinkilicious sundown party with Pop Tart, which takes place at least once every quarter.

Loof

Loof epitomises the local culture as evident from its name, a Singlish pronunciation of ”roof”. Step into the urban garden and get whisked away to a whimsical escape with a touch of nostalgia.

Grab the hottest seats - those facing the historic Raffles Hotel - and dig into Dude-Sin bar grub, such as Chilli Crab Waffle Fries and Loof Original Ramly, conceptualised by Chef Bjorn Shen.

Locally inspired drinks, such as Kopi Cat, with salted caramel vodka, always brings on the smiles with its quirky presentation. Plus, pop by the Mamashop for a curated list of old-school knick-knacks and newage local souvenirs.

“We wanted to create a space that would celebrate and epitomise local culture. The food, drinks, décor and design were all carefully curated to pay homage to the Singapore we know and love,“ says Managing Partner Wee Teng Wen.

Smoke & Mirrors

Perched atop the National Gallery Singapore, Smoke & Mirrors is an openconcept bar with panoramic views of Marina Bay. Cleverly angled walnut timber panelling shrouds the bar in semi-privacy and mystery while you indulge in the popular skinny truffle fries or chicken and waffles. At the popular outdoor terrace, you can chill with the bar’s signature Old and New Sling, inspired by the design of the Esplanade.

For their new cocktail menu, The Playful Eye, Head Bartender Yugnes Susela shares that his team researched unique flavour profiles and methods by chefs who push culinary and imbibing boundaries. “We drew inspiration from personal experiences, surroundings and travels to create 10 new cocktails such as the Smoke & Mirrors, inspired by my favourite restaurant, the two-Michelin starred Mugaritz in Spain,” he emphasises.

1-Altitude Gallery & Bar

At 282m above sea level, 1-Altitude, the world’s highest al fresco bar, offers a 360-degree view of the city from the heart of the CBD. Soak up its vibrant atmosphere after dusk with live music from top local bands and DJs. Join the crowd in getting a picture taken at the corner of the bar overlooking Marina Bay.

Savour the refreshing signature Altitude Affair as you dig into a Beef Rendang Pizza or Chorizo Croquetas for a perfect party night out.

Ian Sim, the General Manager, shares that his team’s focus is on “delivering an unforgettable experience for every guest by treating them just like visitors to their home”.

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