The Singapore Sling gets 2020 updates at art bar’s new digs

The Independence Sling. Photo: Maison Ikkoku
The Independence Sling. Photo: Maison Ikkoku

A Kandahar Street gallery-bar-restaurant is applying its talents to a new joint celebrating the national cocktail and pairing it with refined Peranakan dishes. 

The new establishment – aptly called Sling – will open Feb. 17 underneath Maison Ikkoku’s gallery with a promise to revive love for the 105-year-old Singapore Sling, especially among the younger generation.

Its menu will feature five varieties of Singapore Sling, including the original, alongside a host of dishes inspired by the culture of the Peranakans, those people descended from mixed lineages of Chinese, Indian and Malays.

Expect classics like kueh pie tee, yu sheng, and turmeric chicken, to name a few.  

Here’s what to look forward to.

The Classic

As many already know, the original Singapore Sling was created by Hainanese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915. It’s comprised of ingredients such as London Dry Gin, Cherry Heering, Benedictine D.O.M, and pineapple juice.

Sling will keep the original exotic concoction alive with the Original Sling (S$26), which also contains homemade grenadine and comes topped with pineapple and lemon foam. 

Coco-nuts with this sling

In the early 1900s, coconut plantations covered Singapore’s east, and Sling wants to pay homage to that. Thus a variety near and dear to our drupal hearts, the Coco Sling (S$28) is made with the ingredients of the original plus hints of roasted coconut topped with coconut foam.

Tribute to Sir Stamford Raffles

The 1819 Sling (S$25); made with Giffard pineapple liqueur, cinnamon, and peppery spices; is a tribute to the founder of modern Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles, who played a significant role in developing the region’s spice trade. 

The ‘Merdeka’ sling

Caution: Sling warns that sipping this drink might provoke patrons to shout Merdeka, or independence, in the middle of the restaurant. 

The Majulah Sling (S$25) is a tribute to 1965, the year Singapore gained its independence, and consists of flavors said to symbolize the nation’s challenging history. 

Campari is the main ingredient for a bitter, dry taste with herbaceous notes. 

The ‘New year, new me’ sling

In a time of climate crisis, the Sling-a-pu-ra (S$26) doubles as a reminder of tropical Singapore’s rich biodiversity.

Sling wants to raise a toast to the city-state’s wildlife and nature reserves with a concoction made with local ingredients such as pandan, lemongrass, ginger, kaffir and calamansi — which also happens to be great for detoxing. 

Cheers to the environment and a healthier tomorrow.

Refined Peranakan dishes

The Babi Hitam. Photo: Maison Ikkoku
The Babi Hitam. Photo: Maison Ikkoku

Sling’s food menu is meant to compliment its cocktails and include dishes made with recipes straight out of founder Ethan Leslie Leong’s grandmother’s cookbook. 

Among them is the Classic Kueh Pie Tee (S$19), which are canape cups filled with ingredients like turnip, tofu, long beans, and eggs.

There is also Turmeric Chicken (S$28), Babi Hitam (S$39) and Rendang (S$45).

If you’d like a plate to share, Sling serves a popiah that comes vegetarian (S$36), with sweet pork (S$39), or with crispy prawn (S$49). They come served in tiered containers filled with popiah roll skins, stewed turnip, carrots, long beans, and the like.

Hey Mee. Photo: Maison Ikkoku
Hey Mee. Photo: Maison Ikkoku

Other dishes include grilled lamb rack, or Kambing Bakar (S$39), and Hey Mee (S$38 for half portion), which is fried Hokkien noodles cooked with lobster and lobster broth.

If you need more than cocktails to end the night on a sweet note, Sling is serving its rendition of Kueh Dadar (S$16), the coconut roll dessert.

Kueh Dadar. Photo: Maison Ikkoku
Kueh Dadar. Photo: Maison Ikkoku

Sling opens Feb. 17
20 Kandahar St, Singapore 198885
11:30am-2pm, 6pm-10:30pm weekdays
11:30am-10:30pm weekends and holidays

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