Rooftop bars are still top drinking spots in 2018.
The rooftop bar craze may have hit the island a decade ago– but when these watering holes offer gorgeous views of the city skyline, and newer and more novel concoctions, the trend to situate drink establishments on high grounds will remain. Here’s a round-up of 12 Instagram-worthy bars found in interesting – some in higher-than-ever – locations all over the island.
This rooftop bar is one with not just altitude but with attitude too. Standing at a peak of 282 metres (63 storeys) above ground, this outdoor post proclaims to be the “world’s highest alfresco bar” , assuring you of stunning 360 degree views of Singapore as the sun sets over the horizon. Stretching across the 61st – 63rd floors of One Raffles Place, enjoy this world class nightlife destination, complete with an extensive cocktail list, comfy loungers and a lowered dance floor amid palm trees to dance the night away.
Soon, you can get to hide out at another watering-hole in Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD). To be re-opened in July 2018, this swanky rooftop bar, courtesy of Sofitel So Singapore, promises to remain as the go-to address for spirited after-work and week-end parties with a wide selection of vintage and New World wines, state-of-the-art cocktails and fine champagnes.
The bar formerly known as KU DE TA is located on the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands (MBS) – which means you are guaranteed an uninterrupted view of the people below, the bay… basically, the whole city. (Factoid: it’s actually slightly more elevated than the SkyPark Observation Deck here).
Best to get seated in the outdoor outdoor under a huge red brolly to watch the sun set in the evenings. Or, head for seats that fringe the edge of the bar (that also overlooks a pool) – you might not be able to sit down here, but you will get the best views of the skyline. And when the DJ spins tunes into the night, get toasting with creative tipples such as the “Bibik’s Delight” – a blend of Havana Club Anejo rum, Cointreau, fresh lemon, black tea, honey, egg white and kaya (coconut milk and eggs jam) .
Here’s a little titbit – the name of this bar at The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore is derived from the Clifford Pier‘s historical Chinese name, Red Lantern Pier, which was a landing point for Singapore’s early seafarers and immigrants.
However, the bar is everything but historical. Framed by an infinity lap pool, it offers enthralling panoramic views of the Marina Bay waterfront and Singapore’s skyline, making it the coveted destination for gourmet snacks, fine champagnes, signature cocktails (created by its resident mixologist) and wines.
Lauded as one of Singapore’s best rooftop bar, Loof is known as Singapore’s quintessential local bar (it’s spelt as a common Singaporean mispronunciation of the word “roof” – geddit?) atop Odeon Towers in downtown CBD. Enjoy carefully crafted Southeast Asian inspired cocktails with a local twist such as the “Singapore Sour” that contains sour plum extract, soda, calamansi and vodka, and a trio of alcoholic “Bubble Tea” specials that comes with tapioca. There’s even a Mama Shop here retailing gems of local-curated nostalgic wares!
If you are looking for something a little more quaint with just your other half, try 1919 Waterboat House & Rooftop Bar. Built into a colonial heritage building that was once located in Singapore’s busiest ports, it is now found on the edge of SG’s Central Business District, at where the Singapore River meets the Marina Bay. What this means: An intimate setting with a scenic river-bay view that’s close to the city – romantic and convenient.
Here, sit back and sip on refreshing vodka-based signature cocktails like “The Orchard”, that’s made with apricot, apple, cinnamon and lemon, and “Merlion Punch”, that’s made with passion fruit, white peach and pineapple, along with classic bar bites.
Of course, if you really want to impress your dinner date, you can order signature dishes such as Hokkaido scallops with braised leek, sugar peas, buttered lentils with rich scallop emulsion, or Maine lobster tail poached in paella butter with a medley of seafood and lobster emulsion, at the restaurant below the bar.
It may not be the highest rooftop bar around (it’s located at a humble level five of a heritage shophouse at Boat Quay), but it does offer a lovely 360-degree view of Singapore’s city skyline around the Singapore River, Marina Bay Sands and the Central Business District. Plus, it serves oysters from New Zealand, France and Japan, that are served with signature sauces like ponzu and yuzu (Japanese citrus and soy sauces). Pair them with a bottle of champers, or choose from a selection of signature cocktails like “lust, caution” that’s made of Sichuan pepper-infused gin and cynar, to make the night complete. Tip: You can enter via South Bridge Road – just look for its small black plaque next to the building lobby, then take the glass elevator up to the fifth floor.
Sometimes, you really need to get away from the concrete city life – you won’t do any better than at this garden-bar at Grand Park Orchard hotel at Orchard Road. Relaunched in March 2018, you can now kick back on its yellow lounge sofas as you imbibe on exclusive popsicle flavoured drinks by SG-borne creative food company, Popaganda. Of the six “Boozy Pops”, try the “Imperial Tea Garden” that’s made of mixed berries and Earl Grey paired with sake (just don’t let the kids get at the ice cream plonked in the glass – it’s an alcoholic beverage after all).
Away from the city but ensconced in the hipster nabe of Tiong Bahru, is this contemporary Asian bar positioned on the roof of Link Hotel. Lin Rooftop Bar (“Lin” is short for shu lin, which means “forest” in Chinese) dishes out Asian-flavoured cocktails. Alongside classics such as the Singapore Sling and Long Island Tea, are inventive ones such as “Princess Lotus” (vodka; grapefruit syrup, liquer and wedges; and mint leaves) and “Tipsy Pig” (bourbon, Benedictine DOM and a strip of bacon).
Part of the Indochine group of clubs, hotels and resorts is this restaurant and bar that is perched atop the tallest structure in Gardens by the Bay Singapore. Design and eco-conscious fiends will dig the build of the resto, as it is made of sustainable PET plastics and green wood made from rice husks instead of the usual timber. Also, the food menu supposedly does not include any endangered species in its ingredients (so fine-food diners can rest easy).
After you get your fill of the interiors and the Western-Indochinese fusion dishes, head out to either the alfresco bar or into the air-conditioned lounge to view the Gardens by the Bay and the CBD while seated 50 metres above the Supertree Grove. Order from a list of high-class sake (Japanese rice wine), baijiu (Chinese white liquor) and other premium options. Note that patrons to the bar must pay a $20 entrance fee which is redeemable against drink purchases.
Pop down to Bay Hotel Singapore to visit the first rooftop bar in the Harbourfront area to spot ships – its offers a 360-degree view of Sentosa and the Keppel Harbour. And of course, chill with drinks. Aside from the usual suspects of wines, beers and classic cocktails such as Caipirinhas, the bar also serves nine cocktails inspired by the Great Wonders of the World, crafted from ingredients unique to the country they are associated with. For example, “Touch My Heart” (after the Taj Mahal, India) is a Kiwi-based sweet drink while “Meiji Shrines” (after the Shinto religious buildings in Japan) is a chocolate milk based creation (that actually reminds one more of the Meiji Japanese brand of chocolate confections than the shrines).
Yes, you can drink in the arts, culture and your liquid poison of choice, all in one place – at least, at Smoke & Mirrors, you can. Situated at the National Gallery Singapore museum, you can tour the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian art, before heading up to this rooftop bar. While here, have a taste of head bartender Yugnes Susela’s progressive cocktail programme, which includes the fruity “Old and New Sling” (rye whiskey, cassis, bitters and pineapple bubbles) and the savoury “Mighty Duck” (jackfruit rum, 5-spiced honey and edible egg shells). One of their drinks even comes served in a custom concrete-looking ceramic vase!
Updated by Chris Ong, June 18, 2018.
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