Lucky Bar: Asian Inspired Libations in the heart of Holland Village

Seasoned observers who have visited the dining room of Full of Luck Club's sprawling 2nd storey complex would have noticed the little space in the back with the words 借酒消愁 splashed on it's grey washed walls. This is to become Lucky Bar which has recently rolled out proper operations as the neighbourhood cocktail bar or watering hole, a role that's in dire need of filling since it's haydays as a expat region shrouded in cheap beer towers and shisha smoke. This may just be the perfect solution to anyone looking for a late night hang in Holland Village without the guilty calories of a chocolate mud pie or ice cream sundae. 

Borrowing the tricks of a successful genre, Lucky Bar offers an Asian-inspired cocktail program deployed with the additional arsenal of a full fledged Cantonese kitchen to provide the creative muscle in the food department.

By unanimous consent, the ambience at Lucky Bar is infectious. Sporting quiet dark corners for those secret rendezvous and the bar for easy interaction with the jovial bartenders. We started off with the Jade Old Fashioned, a reinvented classic that sees green tea infused in Compass Box scotch, mathilde peache liquer, homemade honey syrup and lemon bitters with the final flourish of a classic Oriental Teapot Set. If you know me, I'm the lady who nurses a stiff Old Fashioned (rye preferably) as a first drink and usually conclude the night with a sherry cask rum neat; sweet drinks have never been a frontier I'm able to navigate. So with reference to Lucky Bar's lovely libations, most of them straddled the saccharine border, not a problem at all since they aim to please the young revellers.

Make sure to tuck into their tight bar food menu (available till 10 30pm). Favorites imported from the dining room downstairs include the Golden Sand Corn ($4.80) which involves crispy corn kernels rolled around in a finger-licking good salted egg yolk sand like coating. Absolutely irresistible. There's also the Hakka Crispy Kurobuta Pork Belly ($9) which have had past issues resolved and adopted a more succulent facade smothered in aromas of fermented bean paste, Chinese wine and fragrant spices. 

The One Ton Nachos ($12) doesn't try to hard to disguise itself as a bar grub. As much as I doubt the inclusion of pineapple in this equation, it actually worked out perfectly. Fried wanton skins replace the tortilla chips while Chinese-style pulled pork and melted cheese is piled on high. As most wantons will be reduced to a soggy mess upon contact with the slightest bit of moisture. Same goes for this dish, however, the assault of flavors combined with luscious sour cream made up for all grievances.

Drinks continue to feed the oriental vision with clever flavor infusions still respecting the tight classic ratios. Dragon's Breath for one is a sweet lover with a fiery edge, it's genial combination of high west campfire whiskey introduces waves of leather and peat to the otherwise familiar sweet concoction of goji and wintermelon syrup. Mezcal spray and flame-throwing tactics complete the theatrics and you're left in smouldering heights.

Used this to wash down Duck Spring Rolls ($7.50) and the plate of fine Money Bags ($8), pork and prawn wantons sitting in a moat of chili crab sauce. Incredibly moreish - so much so that you'll summon another drink to your presence.

At this point of night, I would implore you to steer into the realm of the stiffer spirits. The masculine Baccarat, not so much a gamble as it is a sure-win. Radix infused cognac meets plantation rum in waves of pleasure, dialled down a notch with orgeat syrup and finished with whiskey barrel aged bitters. Sounds like something to placate the soul after a difficult day? Most certainly. Otherwise, the refreshing brew of Johnnie Walker Blenders's Batch #2, lemon juice, honey pandan syrup and Hedonist ginger liqueur summons comforting notions with its semblance to honey ginseng tea. Albeit spirituous and more liberating.

As with any good genre piece, there are lee ways to imperfections. By conspicuously avoiding orthodox drink programs, people expect less and things fall in place with ease. Lucky Bar might just be a good choice for those looking to avoid the maddening crowd.

Lucky Bar
243 Holland Avenue
(entrance is located behind full of luck club via the back alley)

Operating Hours:
Tues - Thurs; Sunday: 6pm - 12am
Fri - Sat: 6pm - 1am
Mon: Closed

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