The Lounge Bar, a cosy cocktail bar on the second floor that is Restaurant JAG, will surprise you with cocktails incorporating herbs sourced from Savoie, France.
You may have heard of recently-opened Restaurant JAG, a modern European fine-dining establishment opened by Michelin-starred Chef Jérémy Gillon and F&B industry veteran Anant Tyagi. What you may not know is that hidden on its second floor is possibly one of the best cocktail bars on the Duxton Road stretch. The Lounge Bar, which to our great relief, has a cocktail theme that’s thankfully a lot more exciting than its not quite so imaginative name.
The cocktail menu is put together by young local bartender Neo Yong Siang, with a simple directive from Chef Gillon – to put herbs flown in directly from Savoie in France front and centre in those cocktails. The same herbs he’d use in the kitchen downstairs.
Neo delivers, and more.
Consider the likes of the Menthe Poivrée, named after what we know as peppermint. This unusual twist on the classic Negroni uses blended Islay whisky – Smokehead, if you must ask – as well as Montenegro, Branca Mentha, Campari, vermouth, and Angostura bitters for a rather herbal blast. Or how about Hyssop? The herb from the Bible – also from the mint family – is infused into rum and then incorporated into a sour here along with St Germaine liqueur and Peychaud bitters.
We’re rather enamoured with the Agastache. The anise-like flavour of this Savoie herb is beautifully merged into a Pisco Sour, infused as it is into Barsol Pisco and then blended with smoky Pierde Almas Mezcal and Aperol.
For those who prefer straight-up classics, Neo has you covered as well. His Sazerac, Negroni, and Old Fashioned, are all more than competent.
We like that the menu is small and tightly curated, although we’d love to have seen more French classics – the Brandy Crusta, Sidecar, White Lady – on it to fit the theme.
The Lounge Bar – good drinks at good prices.
One reason why we think The Lounge Bar is going to be the next major watering hole in this stretch? All cocktails are just $18++ each, a price a lot more humble than most high falutin bars in the neighbouring Keong Saik area.
Another reason? The bar food. And no wonder – you’re getting Michelin-level bar bites being sent up from the kitchen downstairs. The Croque Monsieur here is so fabulous we hear a certain award-winning chef along the Tanjong Pagar stretch makes sure he drops by for one of these before his shift. And if you’re vegetarian, the Vegetarian Risotto is a very tasty melange of vegetables ensconced in cheese-smothered rice.
It’s obvious that Chef Jeremy Gillon has set Restaurant JAG as an ultimate dining destination. But we’re sure he wouldn’t be too ruffled if you dropped by specifically for cocktails at The Lounge Bar upstairs instead.
The Lounge Bar by Restaurant JAG
Address 76 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089535 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 12-2pm and 6-10pm Tuesdays to Fridays; 6-10pm on Saturdays; closed on Sundays and Mondays
Tel (65) 3138 8477