Coq & Balls
The buzz: This Tiong Bahru newbie is just right for a casual drink. Coq and Balls has got a good vibe and is on the same stretch as similarly laid-back joint Heart Of House and Korean spot Big Mama.
The décor: The place already feels like a comfortable neighborhood hangout. The owners and servers wear street clothes, there are grungy crumbling brick walls, and behind the bar, sports are screened on the telly.
The food: Simple bites like Bacon Cherry Bombs ($6), bacon and cherry tomato yakitori, and Breaded Coq Strips ($6), deep fried pork with your choice of dipping sauce (wasabi, chili or tartar), are hearty enough to sop up any excess alcohol. If you want a full meal, sandwiches such as smoked duck breast with teriyaki ($15) as well as pan-seared tuna with mayonnaise ($12) will do the trick.
The drinks: There’s a comprehensive international beer and hard cider list. Japanese Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout ($14) sits alongside Australian Little Creatures Pale Ale ($12) and Westons Vintage Apple Cider ($16) from the UK. The cocktail specialty here is the Chuck Norris ($21), a triple shot of green, blue and red absinthe served in a flaming glass. Much tamer is Something Green? ($19), comprising Grey Goose La Poire, midori, absinthe, apples and egg white.
The music: A nifty indie-ish soundtrack adds to the buzz.
The crowd: Young creative professionals unwinding over a couple of cold ones and filling bar chow while watching TV.
Why you’ll be back: For a fun easy night out that you don’t need to dress up for.