Best bars in Farrer Park, when you fancy a drink but don’t want beer!

I miss being able to enjoy a few quiet drinks at my local pub. The concept of a neighbourhood bar is not very popular in Singapore. I mean, it is a small country after all and it doesn’t take long to jump in a taxi and head to Robertson Quay. Nonetheless, I have been seeking out all the possible places to enjoy a good cocktail or glass of wine in my area of Farrer Park. While it is slim pickings, there are a few cool places to enjoy an alcoholic beverage for those of us who do not like drinking beer!

Here is my guide to drinking in Farrer Park, especially for people who hate beer!!

Barking Irons

This small joint has been around for a while but they recently re-branded themselves as Barking Irons. They are a so-called Sci-Fi bar borne of the great minds of Mary Shelly and Jules Verne. The bar logo features a bizzaro-looking octopus to this effect. Personally, I don’t get it. I view Barking Irons as an old school American bar that specialise in dark spirits. They boast several bourbon and whisky-based cocktails on their menu, along with greasy finger foods such as chicken wings and fried cheese, which are perfect for heavy-drinking sessions. The house white wine is drinkable.

What to drink

I don’t mind their house white wine, which is a Chilean Chardonnay that costs $12 a glass. It’s the most reasonably priced and best-tasting white wine served in Farrer Park! They also make a mean Negroni cocktail for $18, which is not listed on the menu. The friendly bartenders are able to whip up most cocktails on request.

Barking Irons is located off Horne Road and as such, they do not get much people-traffic. However, it is a quality local bar and a new favourite of mine to stop at for a nightcap after dinner.

Barking Irons
78 Horne Road #01-01, Singapore 209078
Tuesday to Sunday, 4pm to 12am

The Druggist

The Druggist is where I go where I’m desperate for an alcoholic drink and nowhere else is open. The Druggist is the most popular drinking hole in Farrer Park, boasting over twenty different craft beers on tap at any given time.  However this place would be SO MUCH BETTER if they served decent drinks besides beer. The wine tastes like floor cleaner.

What to drink

Besides beer, the only other options are water and shitty house wine. The white wine tastes dreadful but the serving size is generous. If only The Druggist could improve it’s wine repertoire this would be my favourite bar in the neighbourhood.

The Druggist enjoys a comfortable setup inside an old Chinese shophouse with abundant outside seating. Even better, they are open every day until very late!

The Druggist
119 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207547
Daily, 4pm to 12am

The Refinery

Fancy a gin and tonic or a bottle of expensive wine? Then head on down to The Refinery. Make no mistake about it, this chic establishment is on the pricy side. The Refinery specialises in Japanese-inspired Western brunch fare. However they have a decent drinks list to accompany the food. On the downside, the wines are very expensive and mostly by the bottle. They also close early.

What to drink

The Refinery is great for pre-dinner mixers. A Hedrick’s gin and tonic is only $14 or try their Citrust Highball with Jim Beam and fresh lemon for $12. If you are going to eat a meal here, then order a bottle of the Gerard Bertrand Reserve Viognier for $68. Weekdays between 5pm and 8pm are Happy Hour and you can enjoy a glass of house wine or beer for just $9.

The Refinery’s official opening hours are until 11pm however they will shut the doors earlier if there are not enough customers. We got booted out at 10pm one Saturday night!

The Refinery
115 King George’s Avenue, #01-02 Singapore 208561
Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 11pm
Monday and Sunday, 12pm to 3pm

alittle tashi

This gorgeous place has been around for a while but they are struggling with business. alittle tashi, intentionally written all in lower-caps, specialises in small bites and modern Asian comfort food. The interior is small yet vibrant with a tasteful decor and spaciously-spread dining tables. alittle tashi really is the ideal spot to enjoy a few pre-dinner cocktails and snacks or perhaps a nightcap on the way home.

What to drink

alittle tashi have an impressive drinks menu that covers everything from cocktails and champagne to beer and sake. I’m a big fan of their Lychee Osmanthus Sangria for $16, which is made with plenty of juicy lychees and topped with white wine. They also make an incredible Mojito with sugar cane sticks for only $15. If you’re planning to enjoy some nibbles, then order a bottle of Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne for $140 or a bottle of the Waitara West Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand for $65 a bottle.

This jewel is just behind Jalan Besar on a small side street, almost hidden from view. I only stumbled upon it by mistake! If locals don’t start supporting great neighbourhood bars such as alittle tashi, they will die out! This place is a new firm-favourite of mine.

alittle tashi
39 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207538
Tuesday to Sunday, 6pm to 12am

Black Fairy

Black Fairy is a new addition to the Farrer Park neighbourhood. I mostly come here for coffee but they do serve wine and beer as well. Unfortunately they tend to close early so this place is not so suitable for a nightcap. However, they have very welcoming service as well as both indoor and outdoor casual seating.

What to drink

Although not listed on the regular menu, Black Fiary serve a wide-range of red and white wines by the bottle that are on display inside. The Baron Philippe de Rothschild Chardonnay is good at only $59 a bottle. I also like the Marrenon Petula Rose for $62 a bottle.

Black Fairy
131 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207553
Daily, 9am to 10pm

Oh! Carol

This place is a real hoot and the only true bar open until the wee hours of the early morning. It is also doubles up as an old-school karaoke and pool bar. Enjoy listening to the locals belt out a few Chinese classics or feel free to pick up the mic (or a pool cue) for yourself! Oh! Carol is a rustic and charming joint where I love to visit and knock back a few.

What to drink

As a true blue pub, you can get everything from beer to cheap spirits and wine here. I normally order Jacobs Creek Chardonnay, which is the only white wine they serve. It comes in a miniature bottle for $25. Oh! Carol is located right by Farrer Park station and is open until very, very late everyday.

Oh! Carol
149 Kitchener Road, Singapore 208525
Monday to Sunday, 6pm to 6am

Mahota

For all you healthy bumpkins out there, Mahota is your local healthy grocery store complete with cafe and bistro. They have a keto-friendly menu and serve organic red, white and sparkling wines as well as a very good range of non-organic wines. Too bad the decor sucks – it feels too sterile for my liking – as this place boasts one of the best drink menus in the area!

What to drink

Make a beeline for their very delicious organic prosecco at only $12 a glass. Otherwise a bottle of the Happs Wines Semillon Sauvignon Blanc from Australia is a perfect pairing for some keto food.

Mahota is technically closer to Lavender than it is to Farrer Park, but I would still consider it reasonable walking distance. Unfortunately they close-up fairly early at 10pm each evening, making them an unlikely pitt stop for too many drinks.

Mahota
808 Kitchener Complex, 809 French Road, Level 3, Singapore 200809
Daily, 10am to 10pm

IB HQ

Okay this place is admittedly a bit far away from Farrer Park station but I consider it walking distance (it is a 15 minute walk) and it is the best damn cocktail bar in Singapore so it deserves a shout out. IB HQ is on the expensive side since the cocktails are all designed and made by real connoisseurs. However IB HQ is actually the showroom of Indigenous Bartender, a research site dedicated to the study of ingredients and flavours from around the world, aimed at inspiring the local bartender.

What to drink

The cocktail menu at IB HQ changes regularly. During my last visit during National Day long weekend, they had a menu inspired by the history and culture of Singapore. I tried the best-ever Singapore Sling as well as a exotic concoction called Laha, made with vodka, yellow mustard, pineapple, vanilla and citrus. The key is to always keep an open mind and be willing to sample what the bartender recommends.

IB HQ is located along North Bridge Road, a few blocks a way from Jalan Besar and a stone’s throw from Haji Lane.

IB HQ
774A North Bridge Road, Singapore 198742
Tuesday to Saturday, 5pm to 12am

Do you know of any other places around Farrer Park where you can grab a drink? Please let me know in the comments box!

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