Since its introduction in 2014, Bali-based Potato Head Folk’s foray into Singapore with its four floors of wonder in an iconic Chinatown heritage building has helped cement the area as a vibrant hub of entertainment and nightlife. But while most visitors revel in the country’s humidity with tiki drinks on the fourth floor rooftop bar or indulging the burgers from Three Buns on the first, cosy Studio 1939 tucked on third floor is a hidden cocktail gem.
Potato Head Folk Group Development Bar Manager Kamil Foltan, who joined the group in February last year from Tippling Club, has brought his cocktail chops over and looks to be slowly but surely asserting his experience and influence to turn Studio 1939 into a respectable drinking hole. To that end Foltan has revamped the bar’s cocktail menu while retaining a tropical vibe that’s remains true to Potato Head Folk.
And since you can’t get more tropical than the coconut, Foltan’s Coconut Negroni ($20++, main picture, left) infuses coconut into the classic Italian aperitivo, bringing a sweet nuttiness to help round out the usually bitter drink. If you’re not a fan of coconut, Studio 1939 also offers coffee, and chocolate and cherry, versions.
Then there’s the Kong’s Fizz ($21++, above), which combines banana-infused Monkey Shoulder whisky with chocolate bitters, sugar syrup, lemon juice and soda in a the variation of a sour that’s citrusy with banoffee flavours.
Other cocktails also have that island influence – Release The Kraken ($23++) uses Trinidadian rum Kraken Spiced Rum as a spirit base, or the Yuzu Highball ($21++) which employs Bali’s own Nusa Cana rum. Foltan shares that he’s also exploring the use of indigenous fruits and plants native to Bali, drying and infusing them to use in upcoming cocktails.
But Studio 1939’s ultimate island tribute is the Yakun Kaya ($22++), a hat tip to Singapore and its namesake local breakfast purveyor Ya Kun Kaya Toast. The drink is a take on the traditional Old Fashioned with flavours coming from pandan-infused bourbon, almond syrup, and coffee bitters that totally reminds you of the breakfast favourite. We’re not sure how impressed the folks at Ya Kun would be, but the drink is sure tasty.
Foltan is also looking to mould Studio 1939 into a space that can accommodate more serious drinkers; he’s bulked up the whisky and rum offerings here to include a few rarer editions from independent bottlers such as Gordon & MacPhail to cater to spirit enthusiasts.
In that sense Studio 1939 helps round out the overall Potato Head Folk experience by offering something for more mature drinkers, compared to the more beach-like atmosphere its rooftop bar provides. We reckon it’s on to a good thing.
Address 36 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089143
Opening Hours 11am-12am daily
Tel (65) 6327 1939