KURO Restaurant + Bar

The buzz: Clarke Quay’s latest addition offers pretty solid cocktails and an extensive menu consisting both Asian and Japanese plates—the latter being inspired by consultant chef Hide Yamamoto of namesake restaurant at Marina Bay Sands.

The décor: Big iron doors, plenty of wood with gold trimmings, concrete walls, dark, plush furniture and dim yellow lighting—all in all, giving the place its grand allure. Unlike many other gastrobars (or bars for that matter), the place is very spacious. There are different seating areas to choose from, like the alfresco area and a private area next to the stage, so don’t worry about feeling claustrophobic.

The drinks: There’s a lot of focus on Japanese whiskeys. They stock options like Hibiki 12 Years ($15 per glass, $220 per bottle) and top-of-the-range Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 25 Years, which is priced at a whopping $2,000 per bottle. Their specialty cocktails are also worth a shot—interesting choices include the Irish Lover (gin and Bailey’s, $15) and the popular Sweet Lips ($15), which has rum, ginger ale, Chambord and Apple Sourz.

The food: Not every bar serves a good mix of light bites and hearty mains. Items like the pan seared tuna with ponzu sauce and truffle oil ($20) and prawn paste chicken wings ($15) make satisfying options, but for a full meal, go for stuff like the Spider Avocado Roll (comes with deep fried softshell crab, $18) or tonkotsu ramen, priced at a wallet-friendly $12.

The music: Random clubby ambient techno. Otherwise, it’s music from the live band—different acts take the stage on Wednesdays (9pm onwards), Fridays and Saturdays (9:30pm onwards).

The crowd: Not so much of men in suits; more like a laid-back bunch of folks looking to chill. Nobody dresses to the nines here so blend in by keeping it casual.

Why you’ll be back: If it’s not just drinks you want, but also a proper meal (especially if you’re craving for Japanese) in a casual, laid-back setting.

Like your fish firm, tender, fresh and raw? So do we. Check out our favorite places for sushi in Singapore.