With Phase 2 in full swing, couples can finally meet up with their boo in person after 2.5 months of “LDR”, but as the crowds swarm outside to celebrate their long-awaited freedom, finding a quiet place to catch up can be a monumental task.
To avoid throngs of people while you’re out, we’ve recce-d and compiled this list of 7 quiet bars in Singapore comprising neighbourhood izakayas and hidden speakeasies to let you easily siam huge crowds. And to commemorate the fun, we brought along the vivo v19 smartphone to put its host of camera functions to the low-light test.
Note: Most of these bars will require you to make a booking beforehand, so be sure to do so before heading down!
Instead of heading to bars in town like everyone else, couples in the North can avoid splurging on expensive cab rides to and fro by swinging by Khatib’s lowkey Kamikaze Tapas Bar.
Aside from basking in the bar’s tranquil, waterside vibes, you and your partner can feast on their delectable yakitori skewers at just $0.90/stick. Alternatively, order up some appetisers such as the Seasoned Baby Octopus with Pickled Radish as well as the Mussel Au-Gratin with Tom Yum Sauce to share.
Address: 81 Lorong Chencharu, #01-05A ORTO, Singapore 769198
Opening hours: 5.30PM-3AM, Daily
Telephone: 6755 3393
Hidden in an alleyway in Tanjong Pagar is Junior The Pocket Bar, a teeny speakeasy so secret that the only thing pointing out its existence is a little iridescent signboard.
The dim lighting and chill music make for a cosy atmosphere – great for hush-hush conversations and revving up the romance after your date hiatus. Themes here change once every 6 months to constantly bring something new to the table, with the current one featuring a glorious throwback to wacky 1980s Japan.
From left to right: The Unicorn ($25) and the Crane ($25)
Their current menu is as quirky as the theme, with cocktails named after origami spirit animals such as the Tree Frog and the Crane (both $25). An ode to citrus lovers, the cocktails pair of Japanese fruits such as Kyoho grapes with Sakura vermouth and cognac to give a not-so-subtle taste of Japan.
Those who prefer something a little milder can opt for their earl grey-infused cognac a la the Unicorn ($25) which features clarified Hokkaido milk, strawberries and gin.
Address: 43 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088464
Opening hours: Tue – Fri 6PM-12AM, Mon & Sat 6PM-10.30PM
Telephone: 8121 1462
Book a table here.
Eastsider couples can swing by The Cider Pit in Joo Chiat. Located under a shophouse, this bar is decked out with wooden barrels and furniture, giving it a rustic, old-school vibe that makes it a welcome break from Singapore’s high-tech modernity.
As a neighbourhood bar, patrons are expected to keep their noise levels to a minimum – so you won’t have to worry about struggling to hear your SO over all the background noise, especially during the times you have your masks on.
Be sure to browse through their wide selection of ciders and beer – with prices for a pint starting from just $10, it’s definitely one of the cheaper bars you’ll find around Singapore.
Address: 328 Joo Chiat Road, #01-03, Singapore 427585
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 3PM-1AM, Sat & Sun 1PM-1AM
Telephone: 6755 3393
While the Circuit Breaker may be over, trips to Japan will not be happening anytime soon. On the bright side, if you find yourself missing the city, head right over to Tachinomiya to sate your cravings for Japanese street food and drinks.
This hole-in-the-wall izakaya is situated in the heart of Kovan, about a 10-minute walk from the MRT station. Here, you can find snacks like the tamago mentai ($11) and cheese mentaiko scallops ($5.50) – perfect if you’re feeling a little peckish.
Drinks-wise, this bar has a huge selection of Japanese beers and sake to add to the experience. Couples can opt to share drinks like the Mio Sparkling Sake ($20) – but if you’re feeling a little fancy, you can even try the Miyakanbai Junmai Daiginjo Kura no Hana ($123), which is usually only served on First Class flights on Singapore Airlines.
Address: 211 Hougang Street 21, #01-285, Singapore 530211
Opening hours: 11.30AM-10.30PM, Daily
Telephone: 6286 0738
Movies have shown us hidden rooms behind doors or bookshelves, but behind a fridge door of a wanton mee stall is exactly where you’ll find The Dragon Chamber.
You’ll experience a complete 180 change in terms of atmosphere after stepping through the door. Compared to the wanton mee stall entrance, this bar will plunge you into a different realm with its dim lighting and brilliant neon graffiti – a setting almost reminiscent of mafia hideouts in the movies.
The menu features a range of novel dishes like fried durian and maple syrup-infused you tiao, making it the perfect date spot for adventurous foodie couples.
Image credit: @thedragonchamber
Of course, you can forego the food altogether and simply sit back with a drink in hand. Sip away at cocktails like the Pink Elixir ($22), or browse through their extensive selection of wines, sakes, and beer for something you can share.
Address: 2 Circular Road, Singapore 049358
Opening hours: 12PM-2.30PM & 5PM-12AM, Daily
Telephone: 6805 8181
Book a table here.
Serangoon Gardens is well-known for hotspots like Chomp Chomp and RK Eating House, but if you walk down the nearby alleys, you’ll come across the cosy neighbourhood bar called Plonk.
The sleek wooden bar tops, abstract paintings, and potted plants give off a warm, welcoming vibe that’ll let you settle right in and feel at home. Swing by between 3PM-7PM to enjoy their daily Happy Hour promotion where the prices of wines, beers, and cocktails are slashed to just $10 each.
Address: 7 Maju Avenue, Singapore 556685
Opening hours: 10.30AM-9PM, Daily
Telephone: 6286 4688
Book a table here.
Instead of classic cocktails like martinis and margaritas, Hopscotch has a series of locally-inspired drinks that proves to be close to home.
Nestled all the way inside Gillman Barracks, this bar features intricately-designed cocktails with Asian twists. We suggest trying the Ice on Wheels ($23) – this sweet combination of rum, horlicks, and milk is served up in a jar atop a miniature trishaw.
Apart from the cocktails, you can also try out their shots at $6 each with local flavours like bandung and taro.
Address: 45 Malan Road, Singapore 109455
Opening hours: Thurs – Sat, Mon – Tues 5PM-10.30PM, Wed 5.30PM-1AM
Telephone: 6339 0633 | 9320 0107
Book a table by giving them a call.
Planning your date nights can be a little tricky when the whole world seems to be out and about in Phase 2. With these quiet bars in Singapore, you won’t have to jostle through huge crowds, letting you spend quality time with your +1 while allowing you to maintain social distance with ease.
But considering that we usually head out at night, taking shots to commemorate our evenings can be pretty difficult considering dim lighting and light flares almost always get in the way of a good picture.
And after a whirl with the vivo v19 on our night out, the proof is in the pudding. Priced at $599, the smartphone makes a steady companion for those who can’t help documenting every single moment of your friendly reunions. Armed with a 32-megapixel front camera, you’ll be able to take unlimited selfies even in the darkest of settings.
The rear camera is just as impressive with an Al-Quad camera that has a 48-megapixel main camera along with a 8-megapixel Super Wide-Angle camera and a 2-megapixel Macro camera, which will come in handy for photographers of all levels.
If reading this has piqued your interest, then listen up – you might just be the lucky winner to walk away with one of these v19 smartphones in vivo’s upcoming draw. To enter, here’s what you need to do:
*Terms and conditions apply
This is the time to let your imaginations run wild, as only participants with the most creative entry will stand a chance to win. Don’t take too long to think about your concept either – this contest ends on 31st July 2020, so make sure to upload your post before then!
This post was brought to you by vivo.
Photography by Pichan Cruz and Alaric Sim.
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