Ever since The Library broke into the scene as one of Singapore’s first speakeasy bars in 2012, it was on the tip of the tongues of many who eagerly placed their names on a coveted wait-list to enter.
A lesser known fact is that it is part of Unlisted Collection’s string of successful F&B establishments. It is no wonder that 4 years on, with the acumen and cumulative experience of its bosses, a revamp was in order for The Library to remain relevant and hip in the cut-throat local bar scene.
One significant change is its storefront. Gone is the bookshelf that gave rise to its namesake. In its place, is now a Eu Yan Sang storefront, with ‘Four-Tune’ cards planted for customers to interact with the various herbal concoctions which have found its way into the actual drinks menu.
Snoop around their social media accounts for their password. Or simply play the game on the iPad of the Eu Yan Sang storefront to obtain it. Armed with the password – push the door and in you go. Entering the bar is still as mysterious as before, with the retention of its ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’ entrance and dimly-lit steampunk interior.
@theLibrarySG was the talk of the town when it first broke into the local bar scene. It retained its trippy mirrored pathway but has since revamped its facade (no longer the bookshelves), to feature four-tune cards🃏 Also featuring a marriage of @euyansang's herbs with their cocktails. Our favourite of the night had to be "Rice and Shine" -which was a clever infusion of ginger-rice shrub and chrysanthemum with London dry gin.
Slovakian Adam ‘Eddy’ Bursik now helms the bar and is responsible for its revamped “Red Light District” menu; made up of psychedelic toned fonts which can only be viewed through a red-tinted foil. The refreshing Eu Yan Sang cocktail – Rice & Shine ($24), with lime cleverly infused with ginger-rice shrubs and chrysanthemum flavoured London dry gin is one of our favourites. Another crowd-pleaser is the quirky Arial Italic Black ($24), which comes with a quill, a pair of spectacles and a swig of coffee-infused cognac.
As for bites, The Library’s selection definitely surpasses the average pub grub. The Beef Cheek Bao ($8) is an enlightened version of the Chinese kong ba pau, served with moist beef cheek soaked in decadent soy-based savoury sauce. Other items on the menu such as the slightly spicy Kim Chi Hot Dog ($9) and Char Siew Spring Rolls ($7) are predictable but nonetheless satisfying.
This was an invited tasting.
Image credits: The Uniform