It’s good to see Zouk Group’s Here Kitty Kitty staying true to its Japanese inspiration. The speakeasy bar’s intoxicating concoctions are made with Japanese spirits.
Japan, after all, is a country of drinkers. As far back as the third century, Chinese historians dutifully recorded that the people of Yamatai ‒ ancient Japan ‒ were unusually partial to a tipple. Unlike in the West, the culture of going out for just a drink does not really exist in Japan.
Drinking is almost always accompanied by a meal or otsumami (a light snack). Tucked away from main thoroughfare of Clarke Quay is Here Kitty Kitty, a speakeasy bar fashioned after a 1950s vice den. Home to three concept rooms ‒ including Cathouse, Mamasan Lounge and Shibari Room ‒ as well as a private bar and lounge, Here Kitty Kitty is the drinking culture of Japan manifested.
An array of signature maki rolls and izakaya bites such as the Wagyu Sando, a premium Japanese sandwich filled with Wagyu beef, caviar, uni and caramelised onions; the House Signature Maki, a sushi roll made with soft-shell crab, tobiko and mixed salad topped with bonito flakes; and the Negitoro Tataki, a seared Toro dish topped with caviar, kinome leaf, shio kombu, spring onions and crispy sushi rice, are available to make for an authentic Japanese drinking experience.
Serving up libations is acclaimed head mixologist Alastair Tan. Considered a global bar personality by Difford’s Guide (2015), Tan is an eight-year veteran whose personal style of bartending involves a good mix of classic Ginza cocktail techniques with a blend of local and European-style hospitality.
If you’re keen to pay a visit, we’ve listed down some delectable cocktails to try out at this establishment.
Here Kitty Kitty is open Tuesdays to Sundays, 6pm–10.30pm at 3E River Valley Road, 02-01/02 The Cannery, Singapore, 179024, tel. 9489 8357
(Images: Here Kitty Kitty)
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Featuring the verdant hues and earthy flavours of matcha, Haku vodka, with calpis and lemon for added flavour
Tasting Notes Produced by lactic acid fermentation, Calpis is a Japanese uncarbonated beverage with a milky and slightly acidic flavour, similar to vanilla flavoured Yakult. Aromas of crisp, fresh pear and citrus blossom greet the nose. The Haku vodka lingers with a peppery tingle, playing up the calpis and lemon and taking the bitter edge off the matcha.
Roku Gin, kyuri, basil and lemon
Tasting Notes Crisp and delicious Japanese cucumbers aka Kyuri add light sweet notes with no bitterness supported by the smooth and silky texture of the complex, multi layered, yet harmonious flavour of various botanicals like regular Gin but because it’s Roku, the added zest of yuzu.
A Here Kitty Kitty Las Vegas Signature with Don Julio Blanco tequila, Cointreau, watermelon, lime and citrus salt
Tasting Notes A bright and sassy with fresh agave aromas from Don Julio Blanco Tequila bolstered by some lemon and grapefruit. A waft of smoke accompanying the pear and citrus peel matches the Cointreau, a unique blend of sweet and bitter orange peels distilled in Angers with traditional methods to obtain an ideal and crystalline orange liqueur with the natural orange aromas.
A classic cocktail consisting of Kakubin whiskey, Chita whiskey, lemon and soda
Tasting Notes Fresh cereals with a tinge of spiciness on the nose, honey, citrus peels with a touch of cinnamon matching the lemon, and soda. The Chita, light and sweet, with pear-like notes, complements the entire concoction
A special concoction of Roku gin, nori, vermouth, orange bitters and umibudo
Tasting Notes Umibudo are sea grapes from Japan, with a similar taste to seaweed but a texture and mouthfeel like caviar. They complement the top note of Roku Gin’s cherry blossom and accompanying notes of green tea citron and slight pepper
A tart drink made with Maker’s Mark bourbon, ume, apricot and egg white that packs a surprising punch
Tasting Notes Sour and salty ume or umeboshiaka ‘salted Japanese plums’ are joined by the spiced honey, mixed peels, hazelnut and cut fruits, in the toasty oakiness of Maker’s Mark bourbon for a sweet yet dry finish.