The Lounge Bar

The ever-changing lineup of bars and restaurants in the Duxton enclave is perhaps representative of the always-evolving zeitgeist of the dining and drinking scene here, and at 23-seater The Lounge Bar, a standalone extension of Restaurant JAG on Duxton Road, it’s the spirit of craft that’s been beautifully captured.

The Lounge Bar is found on the level two space of the shophouse occupied by Restaurant JAG on the street level, but sports its own entrance via a side door leading straight up a flight of stairs. Once in the bar, you’ll likely first notice the elegant chesterfield sofas, warm lighting and custom woodwork in an otherwise clean, cosy space. Pull up a high stool by the bar if you feel like trading quips with perky barman Neo Yong Siang (call him Y.S.), or gather round the lounge tables if you’re here for drinks and dinner-worthy bar food with the besties.

On the menu are six signature cocktails ($18 each), each well thought out creations that take more than a leaf from Restaurant JAG’s herb-forward leanings. Each drink centers around and is named after a specially-sourced Savoie herb. Start with the Surreau or Thilleuil, the former a bubbly concoction featuring Cognac and the elderberry herb, and the latter a Japanese-inspired long drink that is aromatic and made using umeshu, green tea and Suze Gentiane liqueur.

To really appreciate the craft bottlings found at The Lounge Bar, try the Agastache, made using infused BarSol Pisco and smoky Pierde Almas Mezcal; or the Menthe Poivree, with a generous pour of Smokehead Islay Single Malt being the base. Both are hefty drinks, and best had paired with substantial plates from their bites menu.

It’s no hyperbole to call the food here elevated, thanks to the work of Michelin-starred Chef Jeremy Gillon who helms the kitchen. He offers a distinct selection from the restaurant downstairs, but still with the finesse expected from a French culinary maestro. Don’t think twice and just get the Croque Monsieur ($26), a generous plate of ham and cheese on bread that makes for the perfect accompaniment to most drinks at the bar.

For meats, the O’ Connors Grass-fed Angus Striplion ($48 for 250g) is chunky and satisfying, especially when eaten with the side of pickled vegetables, while the Vegetarian Risotto ($18) is a creamy bowl of basil pesto, greens, nuts, mushroom, root vegetables and rice that goes surprisingly well with the herb-forward signatures.

It’ll be remiss not to mention that Y.S. mixes a mean lineup of classics too (also $18 each), especially when he’s equipped with such a well stocked bar. Try his Negroni (choose between classic or white) or Old Fashioned to start, but it’s the Sazerac you’ll want as the nightcap.