- Travel Home
- Travel News
Drink by type: 10 bars for 10 social stereotypes in Singapore
Where you drink says as much about you as what you drink ... so where do you fall in this list?
Singapore in all its cosmopolitan glory tends to breed clichéd cliques. There’s nowhere better to find these strains than the nightlife petri dish.
Step into any watering hole and you’ll find an in-crowd outfitted with sartorial tendencies and other stock traits, the pick of venue often more telling than the choice of drink.
- More on CNNGo:You are what you drink: A guide to your bar personality
If you’re feeling disconnected, flick through this taxonomy of bar crawlers to find your niche.
Trust fund baby: Filter Club
The island’s only private club is a social sieve. Exclusivity is inherited if you are lucky enough to be born into a family of 21st-century socialites.
Filter is the place where money becomes priceless (thanks to Daddy’s visa), magnums of Belvedere and Möet flow endless, and an accidental crotch-baring stepping out of your Porsche in a skirt too mini could land you the cover of a local tabloid rag.
Filter Club, 1 Nanson Road, #02-05, River Valley Close, email@example.com
The Ah beng/Ah lian: Dragonfly
In days of yore, there was karaoke, and the ah bengs and ah lians were a throng of Chinese-speaking devotees with dyed hair, lurid gear, slippers and orange combs sticking out from their back pockets.
These days, they've become nondescript and could be mistaken for a regular person until he belts out a hearty "Yo-ah-yo!"
To spot this species of Singaporean, visit Dragonfly, the stomping ground for those in search of lashes of Martell, live mando-pop and a rollicking good time.
Dragonfly, 3 Sentosa Gateway, St James Power Station, +65 6270 7676
Beach revelers: Tanjong Beach Club
This is where all imitations of beach life converge in the sun.
"Laguna Beach" meets "Jersey Shore" meets Ibiza meets Seminyak -- a spectrum ranging from spray-tanned to sun-kissed skin, meaty to slender necks, gelled to tousled tresses, silicone to au natural bosoms all united by a common fetish for Havianas flip-flops, wife beaters, itsy-bitsy bikinis, buckets of beer and jugs of Pimm's.
And when the moon is opposite the earth, the party kicks into high gear with the regular Full Moon party (next one is on June 18), bringing together fire twirlers, super soakers, lasers and thumping house beats.
Tanjong Beach Club, 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, +65 6270 1355
Too cool for school hipster: Home
A standard night here means you’ll find American Apparel and skinny jean-clad art school students (and dropouts) along with a few financial and viral marketing types, anti-counter culture head banging to Arcade Fire.
These 18 to 30-year-olds are a post-war rojak (local slang for mix) of beat, punk and hippiedom under the guise of white trash a la mode -- an avant-garde illusion that reeks of Goldschläger.
Home, B1-01/06, The Riverwalk, 20 Upper Circular Road, +65 6538 2928
Wanker bankers: CUT
Singapore's latest upscale steakhouse bar has become the place for the options gurus and hedge fund honchos to perform their version of the banking belly bump.
The sleek, swish interiors, carnivore-catered menu, lacquered bronze panels and iconic Mario Bellini-crafted leather barstools are immediately reminiscent of a gentlemen’s club.
A complement for any crisp neck-tied financier who singularly strives for monetary standing over a glass of Remy XIII Cognac -- at S$750 a pop -- or a bottle of robust red possessing a retail price equivalent to a blue collar's annual salary.
CUT, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands Hotel, +65 6688 8517
Retro-goer: Zouk's Mambo Jambo
On Wednesday nights, Zouk harks back to the sampling origins of dance music and pays tribute to the disco-pop cusp of the '80s.
It’s far from a night out with Larry Levan at Paradise Garage, but great if you get off on cheesy top 40 throwbacks like Al Corley’s "Square Rooms" and Belinda Carlisle’s "Summer Rain." As Calvin Harris sang, there’ll be "…love for you, if you were born in the 80s," in the form of lychee martinis, jugs of Long Island tea and synchronized hand gestures.
Zouk (Wednesdays, Mambo Jambo), 17 Jiak Kim St., +65 6738 2988
The modern day kopitiam uncle: Colbar
Not quite your quintessential kopitiam (long slang for coffeeshop), this colonial haunt has salvaged its history and retained its charm since 1956.
For those with a penchant for nostalgia and superb beers, Colbar is the place for a lazy afternoon on the veranda with a leg cocked up and shaking over a Tetley’s Bitter and a copy of The Straits Times, or else to fraternize with other retired uncles.
BYOB (bring your own bird) is optional.
Colbar, 9A Whitchurch Road, Wessex Estate, +65 6779 4859
Art fart: PS Cafe @ Ang Siang Hill Park
Set in the heart of the gentrified section of Chinatown, this relatively new watering hole is frequented by urban creatives: artists, graphic and fashion designers, and those who loftily proclaim themselves as being "in the arts."
The fully stocked attic lounge bar lends a posh romanticism, an ideal ambience for drunken deliberation, innovation and general ego-stroking, over a reworked gin and tonic made with a splash of campari.
PS Café @ Ann Siang Hill Park, 45 Ann Siang Road, +65 6222 3143
New ager: Going Om
If you find your heart chakra out of alignment whenever Uranus is in Aries and desire a divine jolt of energy healing, you’ve come to the right place.
Modeled after a serene Himalayan paradise, this alternative space is for Rasta musicians, method actors, fire dancers and psy-trancers, who practise yoga, read tarot and derive blessings from crystal balls over the occasional Advocaat Chakra drink; all elementals are welcome.
Going Om, 63 Haji Lane, +65 6396 3592
Hip hopster: Butter Factory
Designed for the hip hopster i.e. a hipster who is more inclined towards hip-hop than indie electronica, Butter Factory sports similar folk to Home but with a ghetto-fabulous twist.
Trucker caps are replaced by basketball hats and bootie shorts and musical mash-ups reign supreme -- think Beyoncé’s “Summertime" spliced with Uffie’s "Pop the Glock" to a video projection of Bruce Lee’s one inch punch.
Yes, it makes no sense but the peanut butter shooters get you there.
Butter Factory, #02-02/03/04 One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road, +65 6333 8243