14 Nov 2015 By David Fuhrmann-Lim
Humpback has a happy hour we love, and a small plate seafood menu that works with its white spirits-based cocktails. What’s even better: You can also head round back to whisky dive bar The Flagship, or upstairs to Gibson for more elaborate cocktails.
Enter Humpback and buckets of raw oysters on the seafood counter welcome you. (More on the bar later.) The oysters are from the Pacific Northwest, known for its clean crisp melon-rind flavour with low salinity.
The Burley Lagoon oysters are $6++ each, $2++ during happy hour. The Rainbow Trout ($16++) has egg yolk, almond milk and mustard seeds, and has a lovely melt. The Clam Dip with cream cheese and Ritz crackers ($10++) I particularly like because it’s salty, rich and smooth. The Kale ($14++) with buttermilk, pear and pecan nuts (below) is cleverly fried, crispy and sprightly. Also good: Prawns ($20++) and Bigeye Tuna ($28++).So Parched, you’re asking, why are we telling you about the food? Well, first because the seafood is pretty good, reasonably priced and creatively prepared (the hamachi ceviche has a touch of yuzu), but also because Humpback is opened by the owners of Sugarhall and Jigger & Pony, so you know that the cocktails will matter.
For this Seattle-style restaurant, the craft cocktails have been made to complement the food (there’s also craft beer and wines). Start with the Watermelon Sangria ($22++), with Portland dry gin 33, lychee, watermelon, lime, salt and prosecco.
There are 12 signature cocktails, all curated by the group’s bar program director, Aki Eguchi, and it’s all white, spirits-based. Two others to try are Drunken Monkey ($22++), with Monkey Shoulder scotch, green chartreuse and dry curacao, and Bugs Bunny ($22++), with Tanqueray London dry gin, carrot, lemon and egg white.
At which point we went to check out Flagship and Gibson (reviews coming soon). Verdict on Humpback? We did go back again for happy hour, but also because we love the Keong Saik area. The Kale is really impressive, I still think about that.
The Happy Hour Menu is available from 5-7pm on Tuesdays to Saturdays, and all night from 5pm till midnight on Mondays.