Pioneering Amoy Street classic cocktail bar Jigger & Pony finds new, bigger home in Amara Singapore, and puts out definitive cocktail menu that should please both its long-time regulars and new cocktail aficionados.
If one had to pinpoint exactly when Amoy Street first became the bustling street of nightlife that it is today, most would agree that it started with the arrival of Jigger & Pony. Started by fresh-faced couple Indra Kantono and Guoyi Gan – you can read more about them here – as a contemporary bar focusing on classic cocktails back in 2012, it kickstarted the street to life. More and more contemporary establishments started moving in, and when New York institution Employees Only picked Amoy Street as its first Asian outpost the stretch became the stuff of F&B legends.
Jigger & Pony itself grew too, becoming a veritable if small F&B empire with (the now-defunct) rum bar Sugarhall, contemporary cocktail bar Gibson, dive bar Flagship, oyster bar Humpback, and cafe restaurant Caffe Fernet. When they announced their move away from Amoy Street, it shocked the industry.
“We felt it was time for us to take the brand to the next level,” shares Indra Kantono, co-owner of the Jigger & Pony Group. “We wanted to move it a bigger venue as the Amoy Street location had to constantly turn guests away on the weekends,” he explains.
That new venue would be in Amara Singapore, in a corner between the hotel’s lobby reception and French restaurant Bar-roque Grill and hidden behind an unobtrusive door up a small flight of steps.
Inside though, is all Jigger & Pony. You’ll find the mahogany familiar, as is the swanky bar setup. But there’s loads more room – it’s almost twice the size of the old Amoy Street space – and another short flight of stairs into the back brings you to its second bar perfect for hosting guest bartending shifts or industry events.
The menu – it’s now in the form of a glossy magazine probably influenced by Monocle – sees an overhaul too. Thankfully if you’ve grown up with the classic cocktails from Jigger & Pony, quite a bit of it is still there. If you’re old-school that way, you can’t go wrong with the Negroni ($23++), Classic Gin Martini ($23++) or the Old Fashioned ($23++).
If you prefer something more innovative, the Silk Martini ($23++) – comprising of vodka, dry vermouth, grapefruit and clarified earl grey milk punch – has all the vibes of a classic but with flavours that will excite and bemuse. Then there’s the Madame President ($23++), a take on the Negroni but with the Campari in the form of a lollipop. Even the Tokyo-Hi ($23++), a reimagined whisky highball, ups the ante on flavour of the tall drink with Japanese elements such as shiso, gari, and umeshu.
For those who miss the fabulous rum-based Bumbo Old Fashioned ($23++) originally from Sugarhall, it makes its return here.
Kantono shares that he was initially scared to move Jigger & Pony away from “party central” of Amoy Street to its new digs in the quieter, more business-like end of Tanjong Pagar. “But initial feedback has been great,” he says with visible relief.
It may be an overstatement to say that Amoy Street’s loss is Tanjong Pagar’s gain, but one thing is for sure – Jigger & Pony has grown up.
Jigger & Pony
Address 165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Amara Hotel, Singapore 088539 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 5pm to 1am Sundays to Thursdays, 5pm to 3am Fridays and Saturdays
Tel (65) 9621 1074