Stay Gold Flamingo founders Jerrold Khoo and Bai Jiawei are weirdly obsessed with Pollock. It’s written, or rather splashed all over their double-breasted denim blazers (designed and made by Bai’s sister, we should add). These rainbow stripes are earned, Bai tells us.
Currently, only he and Khoo sport colour on the otherwise standard bartender uniform here. Eventually, staff will get to achieve the kin-like welcome of getting splotched with coloured paint when ready, the remnants of which add onto the sunroom’s back wall that carries the same motifs.
It’s almost metaphorical. Both hailing from highly reputable bars in the local scene, Khoo and Bai chose to leave their respective comfort zones in pursuit of carving out what they coin “a third place”. This self-professed next-generation wave of bartenders shaped by Singapore’s evolving craft cocktail scene simply want to put their own spin on a modern classic bar.
View this post on Instagram
You are first greeted with ‘Flamingo’. Complete with clay elements, pink granite and terracotta hues to sufficiently scream ‘millennial’, this typical upbeat, all-day café offers more than just a cuppa joe. Quick bites like Citron Tart and Shiso Chicken Sandwich (SGD12) may blatantly cater to the office-hours CBD crowd, but the beverage menu still carries a curated selection of beer, wine and an array of light, fruit-centric cocktails (think Spritz and coolers).
Pass the heavy velvet veil and you’re in Stay Gold. Calling the space dark and edgy might be dismissive, but there are indeed hints of neon amid the deep cyan enclave, and a damn ceiling of reflective, rippled stainless steel.
Besides booth seats, the bar counter (strategically split in halves) and open floor seats, there are two corners dedicated to the founder’s individual articulation of hosting. Khoo’s wide-berth semi-circle decorated with rock and roll insignia of his old band on the right juxtaposes Bai’s uncomplicated yet intimate nook on the left.
View this post on Instagram
Libations are also divided into two archetypal categories. Classics under ‘Stay Gold’ and their modern variations in ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’. All are constructed through the bar’s ‘trinity element’ approach; that is, a core spirit, modifier and enhancer. There is an attempt to reflect this in the menu’s presentation, where two triangular formations (one upright, the other inverted) complement each other with each corresponding pair of drinks sharing the same base.
Some are subtle. Intro To Absinthe (SGD16) looks and tastes both like a tall glass of coconut water though it carries that carbonated with earl grey and a dose of absinthe. Conscious Mule with Leatherwood honey and Haku vodka (SGD23) goes down like a vegetable shake, for those who enjoy vegetable shakes.
Their counterparts Sazerac, a stiff concoction of Rémy Martin VSOP Cognac, Michter’s Rye and a spray of absinthe, and the Moscow Mule blending Belvedere Single Estate Vodka and ginger beer, pull a heavier punch.
When it comes down to it, there’s pride and personal touch in the way Khoo and Bai operate. As a culmination of their passion, efforts and expertise, it’s a maverick vision with a splash of funk.
Stay Gold Flamingo is at 69 Amoy Street, Singapore 069888.