The one with the nondescript bar

On the second day of a brand new 2013, I had dinner with a new friend whose name means ‘floor’ in Brazil. As to how he picked our dinner venue…let’s call it an honest mistake that turned out to be pretty good.

Undeterred by the rain, we ventured from Robertson Walk to the other side of Clarke Quay on a quest to find a nondescript bar – a hole in the wall, watering hole or unlikely bar would probably be a suitable description too.

We were greeted by the bright neon signs of some other pubs on the row when we arrived at Hong Kong Street. There was also a very random association which sat on the street corner. But there was no bar. It was like it had an invisibility cloak thrown over it or something.

The strangest thing was that we could smell the alcohol…and I felt like a greyhound who couldn’t spot a target in plain sight. Then a frail-looking old man who was having a smoke on the corner started gesturing towards the pink doors in front of us. He pointed, gestured, nodded and mouthed directions without a word.

So we thought we’d try our luck at breaking and entering this innocent-looking set of pink doors which had a single lock. And that was when we stumbled into 28. It felt like we had wandered into a modern-day speakeasy with dimly-lit interiors, dark wooden furnishing and a low bar counter. Shelves of rye, scotch, tequila, rum and bourbon beckoned…and we took our seats at the bar.

The drinks were very good to say the least and Jeremy the bartender entertained us with some cool facts about the establishment’s cocktails. It’s always interesting meeting people who are passionate about what they do for a living. I’d definitely recommend the Ramos Creole (a whiskey-based cocktail) and Hard to Port.

I’d post photos but the place doesn’t allow photography, which serves it well. It all adds to the mystery behind 28 and the whole experience. Two cocktails, two Lil Law-breaker shots and a complimentary truffled mac & cheese ball snack later…we were sold. I’ll definitely return for more in the days to come.

Thanks 28 & ‘floor’ for a truly great evening to start my year 🙂


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