Modern Shanghainese bites and cocktails with a story
Concealed behind a large golden orb of a door, Eliza Bar hides an entire new world away from the Telok Ayer locale. The third from Coterie Concepts, the sultry cocktail bar continues an intricate narrative that shrouds the group’s first two bars—Sum Yi Tai and Mona’s Lounge. You won’t find the same old-school Hong Kong glamour here though; Eliza’s decor is infinitely more updated, with glimmering glass elements and plush seats evocative of New York jazz clubs and London’s early cocktail scene. The international approach is meant to reflect Eliza’s story of having a London education away from Shanghai.
The bar counter and jazz stage take up much of the space, with clustered seating dotted around for casual drinks and bites. Cocktails are the name of the game; Group Bartender Sam Wong’s curated menu will take you on a spiritual journey (literally, if spirit-focused and spiritual were the same thing, that is) from past to present. Encouraged to be read (and enjoyed) in order, the cocktails are divided cleanly into three sections: Vintage, Classic and Signature, with a spirit in each.
For example, whiskey fanatics can start with the Vintage Sazerac ($22), drank neat and known as the oldest Old Fashioned in the book, before progressing onto less stiff variations—namely the Classic Mint Julep ($22) and the Signature Drums & Sax ($22), sweetened with chamomile, honey and ginger liqueur.
Alternatively, just drink whatever you want. The Gin Fizz ($22) is a tried-and-true Vintage that’s a great palate opener; or get the Wake-Up Call ($22), under Signature, is a sweetened, hibiscus-infused Tequila with yellow chartreuse and maraschino liqueur—an instant hit with ladies. Overall, the innovative Signature section—which puts forth cocktails inspired by Eliza’s backstory—is worth a try if you’ve made your way down. On The Bund ($22) teases coconut rum with extra fruity flavours, while Rise ($25) reinvents bubblies with a cheeky scoop of strawberry sorbet. From the humble modern Shanghainese food menu, must-tries include the fatty braised pork belly, garlic chilli fries, and Shanghai gyoza.