You would think that a nightclub located in the heart of Singapore at Suntec City would serve passable food at best – French fries that spent too long in the fryer and flour masquerading as tempura.
But, as the music boomed around me and revellers formed shapes in the air, I was more focused on wolfing down some of the most delicious food I had ever gotten my fingers on. It was the kind that belonged in a proper cafe with snaking queues, made popular by Instagram and word of mouth.
Mantou sliders were repeatedly dipped into the decadent Asian butter poached crab (pictured above) and the Seoul Jajang Bomb fries were wiped clean, fingers licked thereafter just to hang on to the last strands of goodness.
But I expected as much from WAN (which simultaneously means Play, Night and Bowl in Mandarin), the new kid on the nightlife block. With so many club-bar establishments recently opening in Singapore, it takes something special to stand out from among the crowd. WAN, who took over the space that Balaclava used to occupy, certainly has what it takes to survive the fickle scene.
What to Expect at WAN
WAN bills itself as an Asian after-dark utopia, with Shanghai-inspired murals painted on its exterior walls and an interior that strongly resembles a Wong Kar-wai film set thanks to the Oriental motifs, symbols and embellishments liberally littered around the party area.
The bar counter is also an actual aquarium although the lifelike marine animals swimming in the water are fake, the marketing manager Adam Tie reassures me.
WAN’s soft launch was at the start of December and in the two months since then, the team have been hard at work tweaking the menu, adjusting the sound system and sharpening the blunt edges. Their effort shows. It has been quite a while since I’ve been to a nightclub that is as detailed as WAN, both in its presentation and commitment to the subtle details.
For example, every local’s favourite bubble tea is given an alcoholic twist and served in a tiny unicorn float. Finish the drink. Keep the float. When I asked Tie why the float, he replied, “Why not?”
Why not, indeed.
WAN is officially opening this weekend on 9 and 10 February. It’s bringing in Flash Finger, one of South Korea’s top DJs and a purveyor of house music, and Wolfpack, the duo currently ranked in 41st place on DJMAG’s top 100, on those two days.
I’ll see you there. I’ll be the one in the corner eating the mantou sliders with Asian butter poached crab.
Check WAN out at wan-night.com