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#270

NOT AN ONION JOKE

02 Dec 2015 By

This cocktail parlour is named Gibson, after a classic drink of course, but also because the proprietors reckoned a martini with an onion garnish is a great companion to oysters and seafood. Parched went to figure it out.

Aki Eguchi is the Bar Program Director of Jigger & Pony, and Sugarhall, and is know for his inclination towards tipples that are clean and balanced, those that are easily discernible to the palate (More Q/A below). The concept for Gibson’s cocktails is a menu designed around a mood, so whether you’re ‘Finding Comfort’, ‘Forging Friendship’ or ‘Sharing Happiness’, there’s a drink for you.

The cured seafood dishes are all created to match the complex tipples as well, and Gibson also offers a small selection of reserve cocktails for those looking to take their drinking experience to even greater heights, using more premium spirits from their own collection – Sazerac 18 Year Old for $90, anyone? (The Bumbo Old Fashioned 17 Years Old with Caroni rum looks like a killer though).

The Gibson

The Gibson ($24++) comes with a trio of condiments including smoked tsukemono, smoked quail’s egg topped with caviar and a pearl onion pickled in-house.

We started with – naturally – The Gibson, made with Hendrick’s Gin, Monkey 47 Gin and Dolin Vermouth. I preferred mine dry, so it’s always a good bracing start. Also, the oysters (Hama Hama, Blue Pool, Sea Cow) are perfectly matched with the umamish cocktail. (Here’s an oyster-slurping tip for you). And you should know, Gibson shares not just the same kitchen as Humpback downstairs, but also a similar happy hour: oysters for $2-3 each.

Angel's ShareAngel’s Share ($23++) with aged plum rum

The Angel’s Share is made with ume-infused Sailor Jerry Rum which has been barrel-aged for one year, aged absinthe and Peychaud’s Bitters. The drink is, importantly, shaken, not stirred, and thus you don’t taste the absinthe (although I don’t really mind sometimes). At this point the seafood started swimming in (haha) and it wasn’t so much a pairing as a deluge. In came the Sea Bream Ceviche with yuzu dressing (better than good), and Uni Crudo – served on a hallowed urchin shell with additional caviar. At $38++ it’s not a big portion, but is a reasonable indulgence.

gibson

My Next Mistake ($25++) with vodka, beetroot, raspberry and orange.

My Next Mistake is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, a wreck of an idea when you’ve had too many and want something stupendous (read: dry ice) to end the night. Like maybe the sight of a drink served in a giant copper pineapple cup cracks you up, but it’s a nominative deterministic disaster. Technically it looks elaborate, but I’m not a fan of beetroot (reminds me of detoxing) so the taste is overwhelming. Plus it’s just such a production. Mistake.

Gibson Crystal Ramos Gin Fizz

Crystal Ramos Fizz Gin ($23++) with clarified milk punch and orange flower bubbles.

So I had to end the night with a Boulevardier, made with Rittenhouse Rye, Antica Formula and Campari – it’s darn good. My friend had the Crystal Ramos Gin Fizz, which looked great (no mistake there) and tasted fabulous – it’s clarified and clear. Envy. But what’s even best was the last seafood dish: Rainbow Trout Tartare ($24++). The trout from Norway is cured for three hours and then diced, and served with a passionfruit sour cream dressing. The texture has a nice give, and the flavours are varied and vivid. Perfect way to end the night actually, I’ll come back for this.

Parched Verdict: The menu is pretty extensive and the barmen can easily make you anything else you want. I liked the music and the vibe, and the Reserve Cocktail list looks premium and is worth exploring. I also like the idea that there’s no standing room and the bar sits 36 pax only – a nice return to civility.

We then managed to get a few words with Aki Eguchi.

gibson

What’s your favourite drinking soundtrack(s)?

Aki: “Classic Jazz.”

Most memorable drinking experience?

Having celebratory drinks after being awarded the title of winning bartender at the 2011 Diageo Reserve World Class competitions in Singapore.” [Aki is a two-time, award-winning bartender of the Diageo Reserve World Class Singapore 2011 and 2012.]

Best hangover cure?

Pocari Sweat.”

Person you would most like to drink with?

“James Bond.”

What’ve you learned about life from behind the bar?

Believe in yourself and never give up.”

Gibson, Level 2, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road. Tel: 9114-8385. Monday-Saturday from 5pm-12mn.

Like this? There’s a great pool bar in the Alexander area that’s perfect for sunsets

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