5 best Singapore bars for sitting, sipping and chilling
Forget those places with music so loud you can't hear yourself think and the bass set so deep it rattles the ice in your drink. What you need after a tough day for some quality time with friends are places that dish out atmosphere and alcohol in equal doses. We've picked out some of our favorite chilled out watering holes in town.
Best bayside view: Orgo
Why do we like Orgo? It's stylish, serves up great cocktails and it's on the rooftop of the Esplanade, overlooking the Marina Bay area. Inspired by Japan's cocktail dens, Orgo is one of those mod lounges that's distinctly different from the rest of Singapore's raucous bar scene. Owner and resident mixologist Tomoyuki Kitazoe will never chase you away for lingering over drinks and waiting for the sunset view, which is worth hanging around for.
There are two options: the expansive outdoor deck for the view of Marina Bay Sands, the Fullerton area and the rest of the city waterfront, or the indoor lounge which is thankfully air-conditioned to get some respite from the tropical heat. Ask to be seated at one of the 'ice cubes' within, which offer semi-private seating encased in glass. There's a limited dinner menu, but the range of tapas is a lot wider and goes well with the drinks, especially the uber-good fresh fruit martinis.
1 Esplanade Drive, Esplanade Roof Terrace, Singapore. Open daily from 5pm to 2am. orgo.sg.
Best creative space: Night and Day
Combine throw-back clothes, a pack of smokes, a book of beat poetry and a philosophically creative outlook and you'll get Night And Day -- an unconventional watering hole in Singapore that attracts artists, writers, and designers with its trend-centric bohemian atmosphere.
The decor in Night And Day is a mixture of contemporary furniture interspersed with relics, all under the roof of an untouched building designed in the 1950s that hosts regular cutting edge music and art performances. As far as getting your swerve on, you can go with standards like beers on tap and dirty martinis. But we recommend getting in touch with your inner boho, and trying Night and Day's house specialty cocktail, Variosity -- sour, sweet and heavy on the gin.
139 A/C Selegie Road, Singapore. tel +65 6884 5523. Opens daily 6pm to 12am. www.nightandday.sg.
Best entertainment: Bar 84
Located in the Gallery Hotel, Bar 84 is famous for having a nightly magic show by owner-bartender Hashi-san, but beyond that, its one of those places we're almost reluctant to divulge as it's such a cool chill-out joint. Its regulars have been trying to keep Bar 84 under wraps since it first opened a few years back, and the bouncers at the door can scare you into thinking you're just not cool enough to be there.
Cozy up on a sofa or banquette, toss back a few well-mixed drinks (all the bartenders are Japan-trained), and do some celebrity spotting -- local personalities such as famed Sydney-based chef Tetsuya Wakuda are known to make appearances on a regular basis.
1 Nanson Road, The Gallery Hotel, Singapore. tel +65 6235 0002. Opens Monday to Saturday from 7pm to 2am. www.galleryhotel.com.sg.
Best beer brews: Paulaner Bräuhaus
Singapore's first German microbrewery is still one of the best places to hang around for a few pleasant hours over fresh brews and hearty German fare. Paulaner Bräuhaus has been kicking around for over a decade now and it's still going strong, probably in part for its casual, friendly atmosphere and the legendary month-long Oktoberfest celebrations.
Tucked away in a corner of Millenia Walk, the restaurant is spread across three floors -- with a Maibaum (Maypole), a 16th century Bavarian architectural feature in the middle -- and serves up authentic Bavarian meats like pork knuckle and sausage. Whatever you order, its best washed down with one of their freshly brewed beers like the Munich Lager, Munich Dark, or a seasonal variety like Oktoberfest.
9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-01, #02-01, #03-01, Time² @ Millenia Walk, Singapore. tel +65 6883 2572. Open daily from 11.30am to 1am. www.paulaner.com.sg.
Best value for money: Prince of Wales
There's a real nice busker/garage band vibe to this place, which isn't surprising considering Prince of Wales' location almost in the heart of Backpackerville at Dunlop Street in Little India. It doubles as a backpacker's lodge upstairs. The atmosphere's homely and the company's as casual as it gets.
The music's a bit hit-and-miss, since the acts are all amateur efforts, most of them just honing their live set skills, but once in a while a real musical talent can be discovered. Good or bad, the music isn't overpowering and the beers are cheap (about S$10 for a pint of imported brew). Aussies love this place especially, with the Gippsland Gold and Brewers Pilsener shipped in directly from the Australian state of Victoria.
101 Dunlop Street, Singapore. tel +65 6299 0130. www.pow.com.sg.
Got another favorite chill-out place? Don't be selfish, share it with us below.