Best Hidden Bars in Singapore 2018 - Boozez

Best Hidden Bars in Singapore 2018

Looking for a secret hideaway to get drinks after work? Hidden bars, otherwise known as speakeasies have been in the Singaporean landscape for some time now but many are still hidden to the public. Speakeasies arose out of the Prohibition era in America where consumption of alcohol was banned and hence these establishments were made for people to drink in secret together. Usually hidden behind a façade, speakeasies are hard to find and you might just brush past one without noticing. Ever wondered which bars are the best hidden bars in Singapore? Fret not because….

Here is Boozez’s list of the best hidden bars in Singapore!

Employees Only Singapore

Employees only

First up on our list of the best hidden bars in Singapore. Hidden behind a fortune teller stand with a neon pink sign lies Employees Only. Similar to the speakeasies during Prohibition, once you get past the fortune teller, you enter into the hidden bar. Run by the people behind the best bar in New York, the Singaporean outpost is a dead ringer of the one in New York, bringing its vintage charms into the streets of Chinatown.

Employees Only is spearheaded by Igor Hadzismajlovic, one of the original five partners of Employees Only in New York who ensures that the Singapore outpost lives up to EO’s core tenet: To offer flawlessly executed cocktails and delicious elevated food, served in a beautiful space without any pretence.

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The Secret Mermaid

Secret mermaid

Only accessible as the sun starts to go down, the Secret Mermaid takes over the spot of Shinkansen (a DIY salad bar in the day). Push open the metal door and you will find yourself in a library of craft spirits imported mostly from America. Check the Secret Mermaid out for unique spirits like bacon or smoked salmon vodka. Enter this hideaway and you’re in for a fairytale experience!

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The Horse’s Mouth

Horse's mouth

Hidden in Uma Uma Izakaya, customers who want to head into The Horse’s Mouth have to walk in, press a hidden button to let a black door slide away to reveal the stairwell that leads to the basement bar. Very much like one of your spy movies, enabling you to live out your secret agent dreams for a short minute. The menu is limited but don’t let that scare you as bespoke cocktails are available here. Just tell the bartender what you feel like having and he’ll whip up something for you! Enter into this secret underground world.

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Operation Dagger 

Operation dagger

Down the dingy alley with no signboard and only an inconspicuous logo above the door, Operation Dagger is one speakeasy that is hard to catch. Keep your eyes peeled for the incomprehensible scribbles that point towards this bar. Modelled after an apothecary and almost akin to an underground lair of a mad scientist, be amazed as the bartenders utilise dry ice, liquid nitrogen and Bunsen burners to whip up concoctions just for you! No wonder it is one of the best hidden bars in Singapore! The bartenders here are able to mix up bespoke cocktails as well so do let them know your preferences and watch them work up some magic.

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28 Hong Kong Street

28 Hong kong street

Nominated as the Best Bar in Asia in 2016. 28 Hong Kong Street is one bar you don’t wanna miss! Its nondescript exterior makes you think that it’s a well-kept secret but 28HKS is a bar that is well-loved. Upon entering, you enter an antechamber where the hostess will lead you and your entourage in. 28HKS is known for their carefully crafted drinks and mixology but don’t be afraid to order your classic cocktails as well. Do check out their truffled mac & cheese balls – a big hit with the crowds in 28HKS.

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Ah Sam Cold Drinks Stall

Ah sam cold drinks

With its name making it sound like a shop in a hawker centre, Ah Sam Cold Drinks Stall is actually a bespoke cocktail bar hidden away in the upper level of a shophouse. Its signboard is placed above the sign of a massage parlour at the entrance of the stairwell, so don’t miss it! Known for its quirky cocktails that come with a local spin – don’t miss out the milo bourbon, a great crowd pleaser. Staying true to its hawker roots, Ah Sam Cold Drinks Stall also serves hawker food such as XO carrot cake, har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken) and char kway teow! These local dishes pair surprisingly well with the drinks. Definitely worth the experience.

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Bitters & Love

bitters and love

By day, a brunch place – Free The Robot, operates and by night, Bitters and Love takes over. Bitters and Love amazes with its exquisite cocktails. Try out their signature tipple: The Kaya Toast Cocktail, a spin-off of the favourite local breakfast of Singaporeans, even including the egg. The bartenders here are amazing and creating customised bespoke cocktails which usually come served in little plastic takeaway bags – gimmicky but it’s cute and we will take them Instagram worthy shots.

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The Spiffy Dapper

places to chill in Singapore

Located on the second floor of 73 Amoy Street, look for the Dapper Coffee sign to guide you up to this speakeasy which oozes old-school charms and brings you back into the Prohibition era. With a non-exhaustive selection of gins, a heads up for you gin lovers – this is one bar you don’t want to miss out on! However, throw caution to the wind as this bar does not have a menu and the mixologists make you a cocktail based on your preferences and mood at that moment. Cocktail science, taken seriously.

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where to go in Singapore at night

Credits: Asia Bars & Restaurants

Hidden in Hua Bee Coffeeshop where meepok is whipped up and served in the day, Bincho is a hidden gem that is so easily passed by due to its inconspicuous entrance at the back. Alongside yakitori sets from Chef Asai Musashi, Bincho also serves special Japanese inspired cocktails by local bar hero Stefan Ravalli formerly of The Library. Bincho also has a collection of sakes and beers that compliment the food served.

Oxwell &Co

oxwell & Co

Last but not the least on our list of the best hidden bars in Singapore.  As its namesake, the Apothecary was designed to mirror a medieval pharmacy. Situated on the third floor of Oxwell & Co, this vintage emerald bar holds just 12 people and comes with a hidden door that leads to a private dining room. The shelves are lined with glass bottles labelled as medicinal solutions that are used in the cocktails served on the menu. Check out the Croak & Wheeze relief which is a mix of Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, honey sage syrup, citrus, orange bitters and cigar smoke.

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About Kelly

Kelly is a well known lifestyle writer with over 3 years of experience. She loves to travel and explore places; a majority of her work has been dedicated to reviewing famous pubs and restaurants around the world. She is also a renowned food critic and is known for her honest and tasteful reviews. Currently, she is working on her upcoming book.