One of the latest gin bars to surface in Singapore is beGIN, a whimsical space tucked on the second floor of iconic British pub Penny Black.
As if we needed more proof that we’re in the second wave of a gin craze – the oldest and one of the most traditional drinking institutions here in Singapore, Penny Black on Boat Quay, is now home to one of Singapore’s newest gin bars. It’s a rather bizarre pairing – the very contemporart beGIN, casually “hidden” on Penny Black’s second floor, is probably the very antithesis of a public house and its industrial chic makes a rather stark contrast to the old-school feel of the traditional British pub downstairs.
Like most of its ilk , beGIN boasts a modest collection of 50 different gins you can enjoy in a multitude of ways. For the more adventurous – or highly spirited – you can experiment with its Gin Flight (S$28++) which comes with four different gins of styles from different eras in the history of gin.
Or you can have the gin in cocktails. Yukie ($22++) is a gin sour with a touch of matcha to provide an interesting flavour counterpoint. Lavender ($25++) is fancily served in a cloud of smoke and is predictably floral. Then there’s Jagmohan ($25++), a spicy, creamy yet refreshing tipple worth the order just for the accompanying trio of chutneys and crispy chapati. For something non gin, the Koko ($23++) is a chocolate take on a rum Old Fashioned plus a touch of absinthe.
If you’re not quite so adventurous, there’s always the good ol’ gin and tonic to fall back on.
Where beGIN differentiates itself from other gin-focused bars is its spread of pan-Indian inspired bites. There aren’t many places in town where you can combine Indian food and cocktails – only Flying Monkey comes to mind – so this is a win where we’re concerned.
We’re big fans of the Samboo-sa pasties ($11++), basically a delectable curry puff with a tandoori chicken masala filling, as well as the Crab Bomb-a ($15++), a pani puri reimagined with a creamy Indian crab curry centre.
Now we’re just a little upset there’s no way to imbibe in these tasty fusion Indian snacks while chugging an Old Speckled Hen from Penny Black downstairs. A pit stop there for some right proper English ale after a visit to beGIN would be a great way to, uh, end an evening.
Address 27a Boat Quay, The Penny Black Upstairs, Singapore 049817 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 5pm to 1am Mondays to Thursdays; 5pm to 2am Fridays and Saturdays; closed on Sundays
Tel (65) 6538 0584