Hidden above contemporary Indian restaurant Revolver is modern Asian izakaya and cocktail bar, Barood.
Just when you think Singapore’s nightlife scene holds no more surprises, a concept like Barood shows up. Founded by the same folks behind progressive open-fire Indian eatery Revolver and Michelin-starred Japanese omakase restaurant Hamamoto, Barood is what the founders call a modern izakaya.
But not like any izakaya as we know it. Even a modern one. An izakaya conjures up a casual and convivial space serving up all manner of Japanese bites that you wash down with alcohol. A more modern izakaya is likely to feature elevated bites that you pair with fancier drinks.
Barood, on the other hand, looks and feels more like a cosy and plush speakeasy. Which it is. It just also happens to serve up excellent fusion Asian bar bites to go along with some of the more idiosyncratic cocktails we’ve seen in a while.
You’re looking at drinks like Café con Leche, an Expresso Martini inspired by the Latin coffee beverage with coffee, coconut and hazelnut flavours. Or Mud Wrestling, its take on the classic Manhattan but with hints of black truffle. Otherwise there’s Tropical Skin, a liberal spin on the Daiquiri using a blend of rums along with curacao, orgeat made from halwa, and lime. There’s also Naked Flower, a floral twist on the Bijou with its jasmine and rose accents.
But more impressive is its inventive bar grub. The menu borrows culinary influences from all over Asia (and South America), but specifically from the Indian sub-continent. Barood in Urdu means gunpowder or explosive substance, so you can expect some truly explosive flavours here.
Hot Chicken Balls may sound absolutely pedestrian, but these are the most glorious spheres of tender minced chicken smothered in a delectable spicy Manchurian sauce. Or how about Malabar Sloppy Joe? It may borrow the name of the American minced beef sandwich, but here it’s really spiced pulled pork stuffed into an Indian pav.
There’s also the mind-blowing and palate-teasing Goat Biryani Arancini. Yes, this is essentially a deep-fried rice ball much like its Italian inspiration, but instead uses biryani stuffed with goat meat.
There’s more, but suffice to say the bar bites at Barood are fun and challenges your perception about fusion cuisines. They are also absolutely tasty.
We came here for the cocktails, but stayed for its food.