We tried thinking about phrasing the introduction without mentioning Hallyu, but it's close to impossible. After a decade of the wave, that's going on longer than expected, nearly anything Korean is associated with it. And so, along with adopting the culture, we adopt their food as well. There's an abundance of good, family-run Korean restaurants especially along the Telok Ayer and Bukit Timah stretch, but not as many Soju-centric bars. If you are looking for alternatives to speakeasies and are the type to try drinks like rosé cider, these bars would work for you.
Many have praised its unique offering of fusion Korean dishes like the Seafood Gochujang Risotto, and the bar is famed for home-brewed Makgeolli, but the Soju Mojito and Sojurita here also have a great price-to-quality ratio. Plus, they have amazing wings that make an ideal partner to your poison.
Joo Bar is located at 5 Tan Quee Lan Street, Singapore 188094. For more inquiries, call 8138 1628.
Kko Kko Na Ra
The interior does look like a kitchen that belongs to an English granny, but you will find classic Korean cuisine and liquor. Among the fruity array of soju cocktails are apple, pineapple, and the popular watermelon bowl. Since it is technically a fruit as well, do try the cucumber, which adds a bittersweet flavour to its soju variant.
Kko Kko Na Ra is located at 68 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088489. For more inquiries, call 6224 8186.
As the name suggests, the bar specialises in their beer selection filled with a thick, even brim of foam. You can try a combination of alcohols in the Kream So-Maek, grapefruit flavoured beer followed by a shot of soju in the middle, or Kream Bomb, a shot of Korean whiskey atop a pint. Don't dismiss the joint as a cheap beer tap, Kream Beer also supplies premium soju brand Hwayo for the refined tongue.
Kream Beer is located at 60 Duxton Road, Singapore 089524. For more inquiries, call 6226 2369.
Don't Tell Mama
You might have seen pictures of their overturned bottles aesthetically placed in the cocktail on social media. These Sojuritas and Mama's Potions are effectively sweet and punchy at the same time. The establishment is not another drinking hole along the CBD—the cafe by day, Korean-Mexican bistro by night, facilitates your drinking games with a drinking buffet everyday from 6pm to 9pm.
Don't Tell Mama is located at 52 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088473. For more inquiries, call 6221 2007.