THE ONGOING gentrification of food streets continues unabated in Singapore, a movement that also forces the establishments in these neighbourhoods to keep innovating.
The Ann Siang Hill/ Club Street area continues to invite and excite a steady flow of customers with an ever-changing selection of bars and restaurants.
Hidden behind an unassuming black door in the basement of 12 Ann Siang, American-styled cocktail bar Catchfly from The Coriander Leaf Group, is among the latest to wade into the already bustling F&B scene along the slope.
Relying heavily on American spirits, it features re-imaginations of classics. The four-part drinks menu offers a little for everyone — from fresh tropical cocktails to serious heavy hitters packed with flavour and a bit of kick.
The Next Thirst Quencher
Head Mixologist, Liam Baer has something for everyone, but he reckons shims will be the next big thing. These low-alcohol cocktails, with little or almost no strong spirits (over 40% alcohol by volume), are already a movement in the US and the UK.
The Americano with cold brew coffee, Campari, and sherry is a great post-work pick-me-up while the 30/30 is light enough to be a fruity and floral accompaniment to a business lunch.
Among the other tipples, the Choke and Smoke, for example, made with single malt scotch, Italian bitter liqueur Cynar, orange oil, and brown sugar cordial, is peaty and pungent and surely for the adventurous.
So is the savoury Salad Days, made with gin, summer tomatoes, Suze Swiss bitters, and vermouth — its floating orb of smoked olive oil is a curiosity both in the glass and on the palate.
The refreshing Honey Badger, on the other hand, is a definite crowd pleaser made for easy drinking. Featuring an in-house rosemary-infused bourbon with yellow chartreuse, and a dose of lemon, ginger and honey, it is sweet but also has a cheeky bite.
Nosh To Nibble On
The extensive list of cocktails is enticing but the food offerings really impressed, too. Asian fusion influences from Coriander Grill are evident in the Mediterranean Dips served with naan, the Korean fusion Kimchi Beef Chilli (You can try this at home: http://www.storm.sg/kimchi-beef-chilli-recipe/), and Spiced Edamame.
The Sriracha Chicken Sandwich is a must try; the crispy fried chicken is liberally bathed in homemade sriracha that is not for the faint hearted. The Asian slaw might help the heat a little but you will probably need a swig (or two) of your cocktail to extinguish the burn — perfect bar food!
Par for the course for hip Ann Siang Hill, Catchfly’s interiors are familiarly flashy with its contemporary chic styling — cosy booths, comfortable suede lined chairs, polished parquet flooring, and mood lighting to accentuate the clean and crisp bar area. While the space is cool and snazzy, it is also friendly and unpretentious. It may be reminiscent of an underground speakeasy, but Baer promises that it will have none of the associated snobbery.
12 Ann Siang