05 Nov 2015
The Look & Vibe
You walk through a nondescript glass door with the words “The Flagship” barely visible on it, then down a dark passageway until you emerge in a dingy 25-seater “underground” bar bathed in magenta light. The solid sound system blasts ’80s and ’90s rock: think Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, and Placebo.
The Flagship, sister bar of Humpback and Gibson seafood joints within the same shophouse, is painfully cool, but also apparently an antidote to stuffy, intimidating whisky bars. It is owned by the couple behind Jigger and Pony. The bar offers 100 mainstream and slightly quirkier whiskies. The simple cocktails are designed by Jigger head bartender Aki Eguchi and executed by the young, friendly Jerrold Khoo, 25, who’s in charge of the drinks here.
Bare and industrial, with distressed walls and not much decor besides a six-seat wooden bar and some low tables. We kinda like it. The glassware is plain, the prices of shots are blatantly tagged on the bottles, and you can make all the noise you want. There’s a “beer pong” table near the toilet that smells faintly of stale ale. On another occasion, our editor had beer splashed on her en route to the loo by a shrieking participant who seemed more thrilled than dismayed she had to down a glass of booze after losing a match. If anything could be the spiritual opposite of ornate temple-to-mixology D Bespoke bar just down the road, this is it. The clientele: in-the-know yuppies and hipsters looking for a loosened-ties-and-cheap-highs kind of night.
05 Nov 2015
You can get your usual range of popular whiskies here, available by the 45ml jigger or 30ml pony, but zoom in on the lesser-known bottles like the Macallan 1998, Single Speyside Malt, 9 Years Old (above left, $19/$28), which has a sweet, apple-y aroma and a flavour reminiscent of cider.
For something stronger, try the Clynelish, Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 14 Years ($15/ $22), with its fruitcake-like nose and deep caramel flavours. A simple list of four cocktails changes daily except for the straightforward Rye+Apple ($17), green apple juice mixed with Redemption Rye whisky for a tasty, tart and spicy tipple. On our visit, we also sampled the White Negroni (above right, $20), made with Hendrick’s gin, herbal liqueur Suze and bittersweet fortified wine Cocchi Americano for a light, clean and herbal drink. Or if you're playing beer pong, Sapporo Beer Chasers are $2 a pop.
05 Nov 2015
No fussy small plates here, just a simple list of three snacks. Get the Pok Pok Chicken Wings ($10), inspired by the famous dish from Thai eatery Pok Pok in America. The chicken is coated in a glaze of garlic, fish sauce and brown sugar then deep-fried and tossed again in more sauce. These have a lovely pungent zing and yummy crispy coating.
18 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Level 1. S089832. Tel: 6750-4461. Open daily except Sun. Mon-Sat 5pm-midnight. Last orders at 11.30pm. Facebook page.