Indra Kantono & Gan Guoyi – The cocktail couple behind Jigger & Pony Group.

The first date:

I took Guoyi to Aoki on our first date, thinking I would impress her. Turns out she does not enjoy sashimi and raw fish! We first met over beers and prawn-paste chicken wings at Ice-Cold Beer along Emerald Hill Road, so I should have known better.

Most memorable meal together:

I proposed to Guoyi just before Christmas 2012 at Luke’s Oyster Bar & Chop House in Gemmill Lane. It was around the corner from Jigger & Pony so she did not suspect anything. Halfway through dinner, I pretended to take a phone call outside and Michael Tai (then Luke’s manager) had 96 roses sent to our table. I walked back in with the final dozen, got down on one knee and proposed. Symbolically, 108 roses stand for “Will you marry me?” She said yes and we have been back to Luke’s for our anniversaries.

A dish with special meaning:

Back when Guoyi was still flying for Singapore Airlines, we vacationed in South Africa and went on a safari at Kruger National Park. Her birthday took place on this trip and the lodge’s chef specially prepared pepper pot soup, a delightfully, intensely flavoured dish we’ve come to love, for the occasion. We got the recipe and cook this for our friends each Christmas. It is a soul-warming dish with potatoes, cabbage, tomato, bell peppers, paprika and a touch of coconut milk.

(Related: Leaving a legacy of giving)

Who’s the better cook:

Guoyi is definitely the better cook, and I like to think that I am the better bartender. Then again, she was among the top eight of the Diageo World Class Singapore competition back in 2013. So she’s probably the better bartender, too!

Favourite date spot:

Definitely not high-end sushi restaurants – still not that much into sashimi! However, we both love Japanese restaurants, particularly the small izakayas. Mobomoga at Mohamed Sultan Road is our favourite because the food is inventive and pairs well with Kakubin highballs and sake.

A cocktail with significance:

The Sidecar (cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice) at Bar Ishinohana in Shibuya, Tokyo. It was the very first Japanese cocktail bar we’d been to. That was back in 2010 and before we opened Jigger & Pony. That cocktail, made by bartender-owner Shinobu Ishigaki, introduced us to the art of Japanese craft cocktails.

(Related: World’s 50 Best Bars: Singapore’s Atlas climbs to No. 4 while Jigger & Pony up 20 spots to No. 9)