I remember my first clubbing experience – I just turned 18 and I celebrated my legal age of drinking at the now defunct China Black at Pacific Plaza. The music, the laser lights, the smoke machines… everything was new and exciting. There wasn’t much clubbing options 10 years ago, it was either Zouk, Centro, China Black or China Jump. The clubbing scene has evolved since then, giving party goers a pretty long list of choices. I’ve hung up my glitter tops and clubbing shoes a long time ago, but I still do enjoy a night out with my girlfriends.
Zouk is probably the longest standing clubbing institution in our little island and will always be known as a pioneer in the clubbing scene back in the day. 4 sections of Zouk have DJs spinning different music and there are different themes each night. The Butter Factory has 2 rooms both playing R&B and view of Singapore’s bayfront from the windows are spectacular. The crowd here is on the younger side (teens to early 20s) so expect to share the dance floor and bob heads with teenagers.
Mink is a relatively new club and it seems like the patrons are those that have outgrown Butter. The crowd consists of late 20s to 40s customers who have the spending power and they show it by buying 3L Belvederes or Doms by the buckets. It is a great place to people watch and definitely easy on the eyes in the eye candy department. Even more ostentatious is Pangaea at MBS, a playground for the rich and the who’s who. Prices are ridiculously expensive and I know of some tabs that have run to 5 figures.
If subjecting your ears to base throbbing music is not your thing, fret not, Singapore’s bar scene is equally diverse. Roof top bars with spectacular views of the city skyline are common in the financial district, either in office buildings or hotels – the popular ones are Lantern, Level 33, 1-Altitude and Ku De Ta. The Bank Bar and Boulevard are places for a quick after work unwind, filled with people in the financial industry gossiping or complaining about the markets. Cocktail bars are also getting popular; 28 Hong Kong Street has the NY underground scene vibe with really delicious bar food and the cocktails at Jigger & Pony mean serious business. For times when you just want a drink in your casual shorts and flip flops, Emerald Hill or Wine Connection at Robertson Quay are 2 great bars to chill.
Want a night out, nothing too crazy but not too quiet? The Vault at an old OCBC bank premise in Chinatown is a good compromise for a fun night out without getting breaking the bank. Alternatively, the live band at Pump Room gets the crowd singing along to familiar hits and is probably the best band in Singapore.
Too many choices? Perhaps a night out at Clarke Quay, an entertainment area lined with restaurants, bars and clubs might be the best bet, making club hopping the whole night easiest.