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#692

DRINK HERE: HEMLIG

18 Jun 2022 By

The Best of Sweden, Denmark and Norway is Usually Seen in Netflix Noir Thrillers. But Now You Can Get the Best of Scandinavian Cocktails and Dishes in Hemlig, Singapore.

Hemlig in Scandinavia Can Mean “secret” or “homely”. It Also Means Singapore Now Has a Bar/Resto That Serves quality dishes and cocktails, executed in a style best described as “grandmother’s food served by the grandson”. The grandson is Swede owner/operator Knut Randhem, a longtime stalwart of the F&B scene in Asia.

Dishes include house-cured Swedish Gravlax, traditional Danish herring and cold water Norwegian shrimps. The menu is seasonal, and the theme is the ‘bridges’ that connect the different Scandinavian countries and the unique elements of each region are represented.

Dane, Norway are we gonna pass on this Swede offering. (Think we just won the ‘Most Scandi Puns in a Sentence’ contest.)

Tjorn cocktail Hemlig

Tjörn (Sweden): Altos Plato tequila, elderflower, lingonberry, lime.

Cocktails here are named after famous bridges in the three countries, whose photos decorate the walls in Hemlig. This cocktail is certainly bridging my sober day outside and my first bit of fun inside. (I promise this will be the last time I build bridge puns.)

The Tjörn is a take on margarita, minus the salt rim. For some reason, Nordic fruits seem to play well with tequila, and here lingonberries add layers of cool to a summer classic.  

Kanon 37 cocktail Hemlig

Kanon 37: Aquavit, Peychaud’s Bitters, lemon, bubbles.

Another wicked take on a classic (French 75), the bar’s version replaces gin with aquavit for a more herbaceous note. Aquavit is a traditional Scandi spirit distilled with caraway or dill. Other flavours can include cumin, fennel, cardamom, anise or citrus.

Hemlig

Svinesund (Sweden-Norway): Cask Aquavit, Martini Rosso vermouth, Campari.

The classic Negroni is refined with Cask Aquavit. You’re beginning to see a distinct style to Hemlig’s cocktails: cool classics with a Scandinavian touch.

Storeseisundet (Norway) cocktail Hemlig

Storeseisundet (Norway): Havana 3, cloudberry, lime, sugar

Knut’s take on the daiquiri is elevated with the introduction of cloudberry, a Nordic plant with edible raspberry-like fruits. The touch of sweetness enhances the rum and lime, making this cocktail the right side of lagom. This slippery Swedish word is hard to define, but means something like, “Not too much, and not too little, but juuuust right.”

We thought that was the friendly one for the road…

Martini cocktail Hemlig

Øresund Bridge (Sweden-Denmark)

Except we had one more for the road. The off-menu Scandi Martini (Scanditini?) is stirred northern-cold with a blend of Fine Blanche eau-de-vie, Beefeater gin, Bivrost aquavit and Lillet Blanc. The cocktail has the stout simplicity of a classic Martini but with a host of lighter umami layers. It was the last bridge I had to cross for the night.

All cocktails are S$24++

A word ’bout the food:

Hemlig

We loved most of the items on the modest menu (which will expand in the coming months). The Gravlax ($22) is a fresh salmon/dill delight, the Gubbröra ($18, above) is an unexpected comforting dish, and the Homemade Meatballs ($28) are served with Hemlig’s mash, lingonberries, pickles and reduced beef jus —granny would most certainly approve.

Verdict: Go. Jio your friend and go.

Hemlig, 57 Neil Road.

Whatsapp: +65-88454044 

Like this? Of Course Sweden Has a Beer Museum

[Village image by Michelle Raponi, Pixabay]

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