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The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Industrial, New York-style basement speakeasy with great drinks and grub.

The must-orders (if any):  This One Also Works with Tequila, Americano², Naan, Hanger & Kale

Summary: Situated in the basement of 12 Ann Siang (the top floor is rooftop angmoh haven The Screening Room, whilst the ground floor is Asian-style charcoal grill concept Coriander Leaf Grill), the cosy, basement-sexy, New York-style speakeasy Catchfly – helmed by head mixologist Liam Baer – manages to juggle industrial chic vibes, great drinks and good bar food all at once. The selection of cocktails is extensive and provides for casual female drinkers, braggadocio alpha males, sexy party girls and quiffed gentlemen alike. The individual cocktails each possess a fair bit of personality – “It’s Not the R, It’s the Sea” plays it like a houjicha pina colada, whilst elsewhere the playful “Americano²” combines both meanings of the word in one fizzy Negroni-coffee package. “This One Also Works with Tequila” is a refreshing riff on the gin and tonic, while “This Monkey’s Gone To Heaven” is the mouthly equivalent of a kiss from a rugby-playing smoker.

The bar also readily entertains bespoke requests – from classic Negronis and G&Ts to the lemon meringue-esque Ramos Gin Fizz, the off-menu requests pleasured as much as the on-menu selections.

The food menu is surprisingly satisfying by bar standards – the Hanger and Kale is a tender, salt and crunchy pepper maelstrom of flavour, and the fact that Coriander Leaf Grill is upstairs means you also get to enjoy items like pillowy Naan with a range of dips.

Catchfly manages to be comfortably laid-back yet chic and sophisticated at the same time. I would be back.

It’s Not The R, It’s The Sea – All the Rums, Passionfruit, Mezcal, Coconut Cream, 5 Spice Macadamia Orgeat, Lime, Toasted Rice ($23).

This One Also Works with Tequila – Gin (or Tequila), Dill, Cucumber, Green Chartreuse, Lemon, Lime, Salted Grapefruit Soda ($22).

Americano² – Cold Brew Coffee, Campari, Chinato, PX Sherry, Tonic ($18).

Classic Gin & Tonic.

Penicillin.

Lemongrass Gimlet.

Classic Negroni.

This Monkey’s Gone To Heaven – Blended Scotch, Banana, Fernet Vallet, Chocolate Bitters, Cinnamon, Laphroig Rinse ($24).

Ramos Gin Fizz.

Naan.

Hanger & Kale – Barbequed Hanger Steak, Sautéed Kale, Pine Nuts, Beet Purée ($29).


Grade: A2.

Catchfly
12 Ann Siang Road (Basement)
Singapore 069692

This was a hosted meal, courtesy of Catchfly.

Author

Shawn began documenting his food experiences since he started reading Law at the National University of Singapore. Initially he turned to food for solace from the rigours of university life, and food eventually became his safe haven away from the horrors of legal practice. However, it dawned on him one day that he has become sufficiently enlightened about the magic of discovering new and good food, and that it was time to share his findings with others. Instead of aligning himself with the vast sea of vanilla foodie influencer-style of writing, which would admittedly open more doors in terms of free meals and public relations love, Shawn decided to approach food writing by way of satirical humour, turning the don't-ya-wanna-eat-what-I'm-eating-cuz-I'm-a-public-figure self-importance/self-indulgent gravitas of Instagram foodie-ism in Singapore on its head and conveying his thoughts about food in a manner which is decidedly obscure at times and on others, frankly nonsensical. The rigours of legal practice and desire for a form of indulgent escape led to Shawn's second passion - experiencing and writing about new and luxury hotel properties. Secret Life of Fatbacks is an extension of Shawn's Instagram account (@Larvitar). For intellectual property reasons, he is unable to name the website anything related to the titular Pokémon character. Feel free to ask him in person what "Fatbacks" refers to. Shawn is not a professional critic, blogger or photographer. He is simply a guy who loves food and luxury hotels very much and (likes to think that he has) a quirky sense of humor. Shawn is presently a full-time lawyer, and when he is not premature ageing due to stress and vicious deadlines, he is somewhere spending an exorbitant amount of money trying out new dining places and hotels.

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