They are by no means nor any measure “new kids” on the block, but they sure have a bunch of hits that really pack a punch.
I’ve been sitting on this gem of a find for months now, at the behest of friends who banned me from blogging about it for fear that we wouldn’t get seats if word got out. But guess what, the cat’s out of the bag in a big big way (WSJ and businesstimes are some of the names that spilled the beans), so I figured there’s no harm entering the foray and cluing the rest of you in on this delightful drinking hole.
Behind an unmarked door, tucked away on an obscure little lane just off Clarke Quay, is 28 Hong Kong Street, a speakeasy (though we use this term liberally) run by head barman and manager, Michael Callahan (by way of San Francisco), and his lovely host, Thea. Without any advertising, promotion or even a sign outside, they’ve managed to attract a crowd of avid alcohol lovers night after night for the past three months.
The recipe to their success? Cocktails made from scratch, ice chainsawed out back then carved by hand, and a bartender who’s serious about his bourbons, vodkas and gins. If you’re going in a group, may I recommend the punch? It’s the original bottle service, (before the onset of Belvedere and its buddies) made to be shared by friends over flowing conversation, not under discolights and music that makes your eardrums cry out for mercy. i.e. it’s a very civilized form of imbibing.
If it’s a cocktail you’re after, there’s no shortage of options here. The Taitai Tipple and Modest Mule are personal favourites, and I love that they thoughtfully included the potency on the menu (the little bottles you see above – 1 for weak/3 for strong).
But by far the best thing about this place is that Michael always has time to stop for a chat, and an endless explanation and an entire history behind the drink in front of you.
Reservations are needed, nay, make that mandatory. And while it’s a little hard to locate, I guarantee the drinks will more than make up for the effort you made to make your way there.
Email or sms for a seat at 28 Hong Kong Street.
Oh, and HAPPY WEEKEND FRIENDS!