You know a true speakeasy means business when its name should come with a PG-13 warning. Cloistered away on the second floor of restaurant-café The Refinery, Little Bastard is vision of Canto-nostalgia. Mahjong tables serve as dining ones, naked light bulbs dangle from the ceiling, and jazz pipes softly from the speakers. Chef Gabriel Tan, who has worked at Oxwell & Co., serves up a madcap litany of modern Southeast Asian cuisine. A Tom Yum Consome sees Japanese Himi udon noodles served with crabmeat in a clarified tom yum broth, while the popular Duck Confit Penyet pairs duck confit with homemade sambal and kecap manis. And don’t forget the drinks. Try the Simply Yeo’s, where gin is infused with lemon peel, barley, and pandan leaves, or the Cut-leg Milo Peng, wherein Milo is spiked with bourbon, coffee bean-infused Vermouth, Irish syrip, and condensed milk.
115 King George’s Ave. Tel:62931204. www.therefinery.sg/little-bastard/
For those of you who can never get enough caffeine, another specialty coffee joint has just set up shop off Balestier Road. With co-owner Aslam Yusoff’s earnest dedication to serving up the perfect cup of Joe, customers can be assured of a fragrant brew from Sweden’s Koppi, Norway’s Tim Wendelboe, Malaysia’s Cloud Catcher Roastery, and Singapore’s very own Nylon Coffee Roasters. Sustenance, too, comes in the form of healthy café-fare with a twist – think a smoked duck eggs benedict, avocado confit on toast, or pulled beef served atop roast baby potatoes and kale.
20 Foch Road. Tel: 8720 0093
Old Hen Coffee Bar
Owners and siblings Ivan, Terry and Mason Lim are coffee nerds of the best kind, pulling cold brews (white or black, both excellent) every day in their hip haven on Rangoon Road. While you can grab the brews to go in their signature beer bottles, why not linger a bit? The brothers recently opened a sister outlet just a five-minute walk away on Owen Road to handle the customer overflow – so you’ll definitely be able to nab a seat and watch daily life unfold.
88 Rangoon Road. Tel: 6341 5458