Operation Dagger

The buzz: Former basement storeroom of modern British restaurant Oxwell & Co. transforms into a hush-hush experimental cocktail bar that takes cues from hobo symbology and a 1950s movement to rid of gangs and secret societies in Chinatown.

The decor: Pared down with lots of bare walls, polished concrete floors and simple wooden furniture. The highlight lies in the huge 6000-bulb light fixture above the bar that weaves through the subterranean space. The mad scientist-like hideout comes complete with shelves of apothecary bottles housing spirits, essences and in-house ingredients.

The drinks: A small but creative menu of cocktails, house brews, wines and beer that’s seemingly scrawled on to a leather-bound book. Cocktails are well-thought out, if a little bit kooky and out of the box, with libations like Snow ($25) made with yoghurt, genmaicha, yuzu and white chocolate; and Egg ($25) a locally-inspired drink with salted egg yolk, vanilla and caramel. Although many drinks tend on the heavier side, the Gomashio ($25) with sesame, cucumber, ginger and citrus is refreshing, while the house mead ($18) is pleasantly funky with a honey aftertaste. you can also opt for a $120 cocktail omakase that includes six cocktails and bar bites.

The food: Super light bar snacks like a cucumber gomashio stack ($5), addictively crunchy kale crisps ($6) and chilli-spiced puffed wild rice ($5) that’s reminiscent to a Japanese genmaicha tea.

The music: Old school hip hop tracks meets upbeat nu-disco grooves. It’s apt for the cheeky yet chill vibe of the place and certainly keeps the drinking mood going throughout the night.

The crowd: A mix of cocktail-lovers, regulars, friends of the barkeeps and those pretty young things who stumble upon new bars like its lost treasure. 

Why you’ll be back: Not only are the team are going to expand their cocktail list, we can all look forward to more in-house creations like aged mead, mulled wine and infused spirits that will keep our palates guessing for more visits to come.