Swank new bars like Cufflink Club have their place, we’re more often searching for a casual drink. A bar with crumbling brick walls and flaming drinks. A bar with a serious beer and hard cider list. A bar that screens sports on the telly. That’s where this Tiong Bahru newbie, Coq & Balls comes in. On the same stretch as similarly causal joint Heart of House and Korean spot Big Mama.
With a name like Coq & Balls, you figure that they’d be savvy marketers. Judging from the nearly full house on Tuesday night—nice buzz and a nifty indie-ish soundtrack—it appears they’re doing something right despite being open for just under two weeks.
The fact that the bartender couldn’t make us a sazerac nor, after another round of discussions, an old-fashioned (we were in Old Man mode) might have been a buzzkill in other venues but the servers—and we don’t know this for a fact but it seemed like the people doing the serving own/operate the place—were just so nice about it. Plus, the recommended house cocktail, an apple-y absinthe-y “Something Green?” ($19) was pretty damn tasty (thankfully not too sweet).
No doubt the selection of cocktails will increase exponentially as the bartender gets more practice (there’s a full wall of liquid raw materials behind him); in any case they have a solid list of craft beers and ciders. To avoid confusion, two tips for your visit: One, the servers-who-we-think-are-owners wear street clothes so don’t think it’s some random punter stopping by your table to tell you how delicious the bacon cherry bombs ($6) are. Two, if/when you have to pee, chicken = man & cat = woman. (Duh.)
But back to that savvy marketing thing. When your bill comes you’ll be offered a 10% discount if you check in on Facebook on the spot. So worth it to bring/charge your phone. And then you can sit back and watch the (“balls??”) comments roll in.