Telok Ayer Street is located in the heart of the Central Business District and the area is home to many restaurants, bars and cafes. The office crowds near Telok Ayer Street provide the necessary footfall to the area making business rather brisk and establishments vie for customers.
Amongst all this competition, Bitters and Love stood out spectacularly non-chalant in trying to make its facade as prominent as possible. It’s front door is probably the most inconspicuous entrance in the area with only a reversed peep-hole (yes a peep hole to look into the bar) adorning the door. This is not meant to create a vibe of exclusivity, but in actual fact, the inside of the building has a wonderful friendly environment, both in service as well as decor.
What Bitters and Love tries to create is, simply put, a sense of community in the heart of Telok Ayer Street. Rather than making it all about a culture of consumption, they created a space where meaningful connections can be made. Everything from the decor, the service, the conversation, to the drinks and food, the level of attention to detail is impressive.
Its conviviality and the unapologetic belief in re-creating nostalgia to connect with their patrons are what appealed to me the most. But words fail when I try to describe the vibe of this place. That said, we can only represent the foods and drinks at Bitters and Love, and the amount of thought that goes into those dishes.
Singapore Cocktails with a twist
Bitters and Love’s signature cocktail is the Kaya Toast Cocktail. It is truly nostalgia in a jar and the flavours reminds you of the kaya toast we have every morning except more fragrant and definitely more fun (with the alcohol).
You can also have them tailor a cocktail. There is, however, a particular item on the cocktail list called “Surprise Me“. Which is exactly what I ordered and I was very pleasantly surprised.
The bartenders at Bitters and Love are awesome at creating new cocktails. And when it comes to the classic ones, they taste pretty darn good as well.
Truly Local Fusion Food
The Chicken Char Siew skinny pizza above is quite the awesome. One, I thought it was pork. Two, there is no ingredient in this dish that is irrelevant. Every flavour works in tandem and even the coriander cuts into the strong char siew flavours beautifully.
The homemade meatballs is very tasty and coupled with their own-baked toast, it works amazingly well as a bar snack.
I must admit, this is my first time eating fried oyster as a patty for a burger. But this oyster karaage-burger makes for a very interesting experience.
If you are in need of something that could satiate your alcohol-induced hunger pangs, look no further and just order the fried popcorn chicken with nori seaweed. Or the truffle potatoes.
Wishing this truffle potatoes to be crispier. But whatever the case, it still tastes great and goes well with the cocktails.
Great Hangout Bar
When we consider what makes a good bar, people almost always point out that the vibe is very important. Apart from developing a wholesome food and drinks menu that represent really local flavours, Bitters and Love manages to create a community of like-minded and convivial individuals where eating and drinking are ways by which they connect with the patrons.
Quality of food/drinks: 8/10
Value for money: 7.5/10
Bitters and Love (Map)
118 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: +65 64381836
Dinner and Drinks: Monday to Thursday, 6pm – 12am; Friday and Saturday, 6pm – 2am
Nearest MRT Station: Telok Ayer MRT (3mins walk)