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#624

OLD MAN NEW TRICKS

01 Jul 2019 By

Exactly Half a Year Into 2019 And I’ve Found The Undisputed Best New Bar In Singapore (So Far)…

The original The Old Man in Hong Kong is now Asia’s best bar, and its Singapore iteration is fast becoming a favourite with punters and… shall we call them “people who write about these places”? Do reviews matter if people like the place? Can I convince people to not buy any more Ed Sheeran “music” with a bad review? No I can’t.
But the people have spoken (judging from the crowds on most nights), and I do love their innovative cocktails – Old Man is the best new bar in Singapore in the first half of 2019.

Old Man Singapore

The components of a cocktail before it’s blended and served.

Ernest Hemingway’s short novel The Old Man and the Sea is the inspiration for this joint (you can make out Papa in the artwork.) His books are stacked around the bar (no you won’t be reading them) and his other titles are the cocktails’ names. 

The drinks here go beyond the daiquiris and beers that the author favours. The crew (taking their cue from HK HQ) take innovation to the next level, employing all manner of kitchen equipment like the Rotary Evaporator (Rotavap), Sous Vide cookers to make infusions and blends. The cocktails are then pre-batched and waiting.

Old Man Singapore

The copper panel that runs along the table top is chilled to keep your drinks cold – eliminating those pesky coasters wait staff are so fond of fiddling with.

It’d be a crime if the cocktails were simply poured from bottles and served to guests. Order something and the bartender still goes through the motions of stirring, shaking and garnishing before serving you a crisp and crystalline drink, but pre-batching allows them to get the cocktails out faster: on good nights they can serve hundreds of a particular order just because they’re prepped to the gills. and it also ensures consistency – a bugbear even the best bars try to contain.

A consequence of this is that you can’t order anything off script, all cocktails are on the menu only, but it ranges from a simple Gin & Tonic (not so simple in flavours) to a more spirit-forward Negroni – and amazingly all are $17. My bill for four cocktails was under $70, a rarity in Singapore.

That’s The Old Man in a nutshell: a bar that employs new tricks to get the old things right: brilliant cocktails, prompt service, friendly prices and a familiar concept that’s winning them awards. I expect this Old Man to be competing with their other Old Man to come out winning in the bullfight.

The Old Man Singapore, 55 Keong Saik Road, #01-04.

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