Bar Stories, Haji Lane

IMG_2717What is cocktail art? Art has no menu, no name. It’s watching someone mix flavors you didn’t even know you liked (they made champagne & mustard taste like velvet?! ) Whilst visually every glass needed it’s own exhibition in the London Tate, it’s that exquisite.

After Bar Stories, you’ll never drink a cocktail in the same way again.

IMG_2698I’d normally leave restaurant blogging to you foodies, but I have to rave about this tiny 1st floor shophouse located on the endless alley of cool that is Haji Lane Singapore.

It’s midnight Thursday.  The tiny glass doorway looks as though you’re heading upstairs to a funky vintage Korean boutique. There’s an older ‘in crowd’ already perched at the 8 seater sunken bar. We later find out from the owner they are THE most prominent restaurant critics in Singapore. The IMG_2704vibe should be intimidating, instead it’s the opposite. It’s personable & intimate like you’re all a mutually raptured audience gathered in a friend’s Japanese loft bar.

Forget tequila sunrises. Forget what you know about spirits. Simply sit and watch in awe. I’ll start with the glass washer. She immaculately polishes the expensive stainless steel shakers & preps ingredients with the precision of a surgeons assistant. The guys she’s choreographing around are 20 IMG_2735something Singaporeans, both former chefs. One is painstakingly tweezing petals onto an ice sculpture whilst the other is grating a daisy-chain of mandarin rind around a martini glass. They hand roast baby tomatoes with a blow touch just for a cameo on a Bloody Mary. It’s a theatre of intricacy one minute, then huge elaborate Pisco flames the next, which trickle down a 5 story glass ‘waterfall.’

IMG_2743Prepare to chat. The guys spend time analysing your tastes, navigating your pallet between the sweet, sour, spicy, sorbet. Of course you can give them whatever steer you want, from ‘surprise me’ to ‘something bourbon based.’ When you become a pro at this you can challenge them with the abstract. Our absinth themed masterpiece of the night was inspired by the creative direction: “Green fairies in a winter time jungle…”

IMG_2709It’s a one-off. An experience in taste and in cocktail culture. Despite all the theatrics, the secret is in simple mathematics. It’s all about ratios apparently!

Except that you come away feeling it’s much more; it’s about grace, design and attention to detail.  Be warned, the ‘performance’ time per cocktails  is at least 10 – 15 mins. But there in lays the beauty really.


Bar Stories, Haji Lane, Little Arabia, Singapore
Open from 3pm – late.
Drinks prices from $22 – $25

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Edna
    Mar 05, 2013 @ 14:38:33

    Um, that sounds ridiculous. Count me in next time I’m in Singapore…


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Connecting to %s : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

March 2013

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