Priding themselves as the first umeshu and highball bar in Singapore, @umesan_100 carries at least 40 varieties of umeshu alongside other liqueurs. In this contemporary speakeasy behind a striking row of Japanese vending machines, you are bound to find something to your liking!

I’d recommend the tasting sets for first timers, particularly the fruity umeshu tasting set that we had. The 3 different flavors were characteristic on its own; Kyohime Kanjuku Yuzu was refreshing and zesty with a hint of tart from the plum liqueur. The pineapple was sweetest of all, using a mix of Okinawa pineapple with Nako plum, and Bijofu, my favourite, which was a blend of citrusy yuzu with a delicate floral tasting note of honey and sake. Smooth and palatable, I have to admit that umeshus are now my kind of alcohol.

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Not the strongest tasting cocktail in the menu, but Watermelon Sugar is the signature drink adapted over from Here Kitty Kitty Las Vegas. Probably because I am not very well versed in cocktails yet, or alcohols in general, this concoction of Don Julio Blanco Tequila and Cointreau wasn’t very much to my liking. The taste of tequila was strong where the peppery, green taste was overpowering the watermelon and lime, although it does smell really sweet. Just a hint of citrus finish. Served and embellished with citrus salt.

“Wait, what kitty?” That’s the most common response I get when I share about @herekittykittysg with people around me. Inspired by the Shinjuku Golden Gai nightlife, Here Kitty Kitty is a new speakeasy bar by the Zouk group that reminisces a Japanese vice den from the 1950s and housed together under one roof with Omakase restaurant, Sushi Icizuke.

I must say they have done an impressive job illustrating a culturally rich architecture; Beginning from the red lanterns and spiral staircase that greeted me at the entrance, to the falling autumn leaves and the mural wall at the main bar. Looking for an intimate setting? Tuck away in any of their three concept rooms – the plush Cathouse which is also spacious enough for about 6 people, the sexy Mamasan Lounge, or the classy Shibari room that we were seated at. Go find out what does Shibari mean if you don’t already know yet! Indeed, you’d find wallpapers and posters that spin a story about the theme. They also have a private bar that houses up to 75 for booking, as F&B director Glendon brought us on a tour.

Looking at the cocktail menu, you’d realise that they are Japanese inspired concoctions, and of course made using Japanese spirits. I had the Haku-Hai, which was served in a lovely masu cup and a paper straw. A refreshing blend of Haku Vodka, Calpis, matcha, and lemon. Easy and smooth to drink, suitable for people who prefer cocktails on the sweet, fruity (specifically citrusy) side and a slight earthy, bitter finish from the hint of matcha flavour. Excellent start for a TGIF!

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Housed within a modern oriental setting, @juhuataisg makes a perfect TGIF hangout place serving modern Chinese food alongside their 12 specially created cocktails and a range of craft beers on tap. Easily identified through the 2 red lanterns at the bar entrance on Duxton Hill, which also sets a prelude to the oriental vibe upon stepping in. The striking pink neon lights of Chinese characters “随心所欲”, which means to follow one’s heart’s desires, was an element for the chill ambience undoubtedly. They began operations barely few days before P2HA kicked in again last month unfortunately; suffering of the F&B scene is real.

Chanced upon their signature cocktail, Chrysanthemum’s secret, on my IG feed one day and I knew I had to try. We heard from Bar Manager, @dr.pepper_1986, about his inspirations behind this cocktail that represented Ju Hua Tai. Infusing 135 East Hyogo Gin with young chrysanthemum buds brings sweet, delicate floral tasting notes that wouldn’t be achieved if fully-bloomed chrysanthemum flowers were used. Further contributing to the sweetness was the lychee, raspberry, elderflower liqueur. Smooth and enjoyable, this would probably convert non-drinkers like me to drinkers. 😂

I was impressed by the thoughts put into presenting the cocktail. Not only was it served in a traditional blue and white porcelain tea cup (did it somewhat remind you of PM Lee’s magic cup?), the chrysanthemum flower garnish was made using the remaining bits of chrysanthemum buds cooked further with water, sugar syrup into an agar agar. Imagine the tedious task of having to mould and de-mould each chrysanthemum agar perfectly, which risked being discarded if any of its petals broke.

The only disappointment I had that night was the request of sitting at the bar counter wasn’t fulfilled even though I had already requested at the point of reservation. But I am sure I will still be back.

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Miss Ha ~

Level 9 Burppler · 1001 Reviews

Foodie for life <3

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