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Drink & Be Healed: Visiting Bar Spectre, Singapore's New "Mental Wellness" Bar

 

After scaling the steps from the bar alleys of Craig Road, my friend and I enter into the cozy 2nd floor compound that is Bar Spectre. Before we're given the menus, we're first handed two pieces of paper and each told to write down a worry or thought that we're eager to forget about for the night.

Shortly after, a blowtorch is thrust into our hands, and we're told to set the paper on fire. "It's a welcome ritual", our waiter explains in a noticeably calm, even, quiet tone that one is usually more likely to hear at a spa retreat than in a crowded bar in Singapore's CBD. 

 

This "welcome ritual", it turns out, is pretty apt as Bar Spectre is Singapore's first "mental wellness" bar, launched by ex-Masterchef contestant Inch Chua and SEA Suntory Brand Ambassador Andrew Pang. 

The bar is designed around the Japanese concept of "Kintsugi", the art of repair and a celebration of imperfect and growth. Consequently, you'll notice apothecary-themed cocktails designed with sustainability in mind - with the drinks menu organised according to four main groupings: Umami, Spices, Citrus and Herbal. 

I ordered the Endolphine (S$25) cocktail from the Citrus section, made with Black Tears Rum Infusion, Pineapple, Lime and Melati. It even came in a cute Tiki glass with a banana garnish resembling a dolphin! This was quite a sweet and tangy cocktail, with obvious tropical undertones from the rum and pineapple flavors. 

My friend ordered as Perfect Negroni, one of their month long specials offered at the bar to celebrate Negroni week. 

The bar bites menu is full of Sin-Mod inspired comfort food, my favourite of which was the Tomato Sambal and Smoked Duck Sliders. The tomato sambal was umami, sweet and flavourful, complementing the juicy smoked duck beautifully! 

We also ordered a yoghurt-sambal based dip with bread sticks that had a good balance of spice and tangy-sourness, as well as a pandan wrapped chicken that was juicy and flavorful with a slightly smoky char.

In keeping with its mental wellness theme, you can even scan the QR Codes on the nearby standees to find a list of resources, including mental health professionals, TCM pain relief services and even legal professionals!  

Overall, I found that Spectre offers quite a unique bar experience for those looking for some respite from the work week. Expect quirky theatrics and props served alongside their roster of humorously-named cocktails, as well as a locally-inspired, tasty and balanced bar bites - it just might distract you from your worries for one night! 

 

Happy sipping! 

@lotusroot518