PALAIS PS CAFÉ
Despite the mall location the boys behind the PS.Café brand have worked their own particular magic, designing mod-retro spaces for agreeable languishing. The airy, soaring space, with its black and white details, marble topped tables and accents of colonial rattan and glass, makes up for service that can be sketchy. PS Café's American South style is thoroughly appealing. The open-air veranda's massive windows open onto the lush Thai Embassy gardens next door: all summer solitude and a burnt peach cooler, or three.
Palais Renaissance, Open Mon-Sun 390 Orchard Road, +65 9834 8232
Tippling Club a gastrobar that has received wildly fluctuating reviews, features the creations of award-winning mixologist Matthew Bax of Der Raum in Melbourne. Bax's approach to drink is ever-evolving and reflects his status as a rising artist. Dempsey, a former army barracks, is now a hip hangout and Tippling Club's outdoor terrace is particularly enticing. Cocktails, Champagne and cava feature daily, from 3pm till late. Linger and lose yourself. It's expected.
Tippling Club, Open Tues-Sun, 8D Dempsey Road, +65 6475 2217
MARTINI BAR, GRAND HYATT
This perfect rectangle of a bar, tucked into the back of the signature Mezza 9 restaurant, remains one of the city's best-kept (and best-stocked) open secrets. Sit along the wooden bar bathed in natural light or relax in the sunken furniture; anything you could possibly desire to drink is yours here. The perfectly composed martinis are particularly good, naturally, while a series of chilled fresh raspberry, vodka, crà¨me de cassis, lemon juice and Galliano shots take the edge off a too-sunny afternoon.
Grand Hyatt Open Mon-Sun
Martini Bar,10 Scotts Road, +65 6416 7189
ASTOR BAR, ST REGIS
St Regis boasts an unsurpassed address, just ahead of the shopping stretch on Orchard Road. The Astor Bar is named after John Jacob Astor IV, founder of the St Regis brand. Come here for the Bloody Marys (the first ever was concocted in the legendary King Cole Bar of the St Regis New York) and stay, cocooned in leather, art and genteel luxe, for the evening Champagne tasting. House pours include Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and Krug multi-vintage, bubbling frothily forth.
St Regis, open Mon-Sun, 29 Tanglin Road, +65 6506 6866
BEAUJOLAIS WINE BAR
Tucked into the end of shophouse-lined Ann Siang Hill for nearly two decades, this old stager's two-unit set-up has been made over. The original has been stripped back to its authentic, original brickwork, while the sister space next door charms with its subtle reworking of Parisian bistro style. Imagine a secret address in the back of a deserted rue, albeit in Chinatown, order a bottle of red, and let time stand still on the ultimate street corner.
Beaujolais Wine Bar, open Mon-Fri, 1 Ann Siang Hill, +65 6224 2227
Standalone bars are a logical step forward for fashionable steakhouse Prime Society, another Dempsey Hill alumnus. Its sexy restaurant terrace easily became a sufficient draw to prompt the owners to conceive an adjoining bar. This second Society Bar perches on an outdoor platform that extends from the side of a prominent bank building. While it's opposite raucous Boat Quay and just off the central business district, it's far from the spill of cheap beer joints. Sit under the foliage sipping an icy Valt, the world's first single malt barley vodka, or a glass of outstanding, crisp Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc.
Society Bar, open Mon-Sun, 67 Chulia Street, +65 65362778