The Elephant Room isn’t one of the bars where you can order a gin-and-tonic or Pina Colada. There are only seven drinks on the menu of this newly opened bar, and they are concoctions that you’re never going to be able to find anywhere else.
Founded by Yugnes Susela, the former Head Bartender at Smoke & Mirrors, The Elephant Room is a cocktail bar that pays tribute to his Indian heritage and Little India, where he spent most of his childhood in.
The dedication to stay true to his roots is evident from the menu, which is made up of cocktails made with spirits that originate from India (such as Old Monk rum and Amrut whiskey) and South Asian spices.
Most of the ingredients are sourced directly from Tekka market and you’ll find house-made extracts that are unique to the bar, thanks to the many hours of tasting and research sessions by the bartenders.
Left: Jothi’s Flower Shop | Right: Buffalo Road
The drink that really left an impression on us is Jothi’s Flower Shop, made with Jasmine gin, davanam tinture, lime, and honey. Named after an actual flower shop in Little India, this drink brings to mind the sight and scent of the cultural district with every slow sip.
As it is best served at a low temperature, liquid nitrogen is used to cool down the drink before serving. The mist of nitrogen evaporating as it comes into contact with the glass makes Jothi’s Flower Shop the drink with the most “showmanship” too – it’s definitely one you’d want to order for the ‘gram.
If you’re looking for something that’s easy to drink, then Buffalo Road is the crowd-pleaser. This refreshing gin-and-tonic with an Indian twist is made with pink guava gin and vetiver, which will likely be popular with the less adventurous.
Tekka, named after Tekka Centre, is an interesting one to consider too. This is made with Old Monk rum, which Yugnes said is a must-have at every Indian party but isn’t popular as a mainstream spirit. The dark rum has fruity notes that are complemented with spiced palm sugar and banana skin to form a full-bodied drink with a palate that grows on you.
Besides seven unique cocktails (all drinks are priced at SGD22++), The Elephant Room also has four items on its food menu.
As The Elephant Room is first and foremost a cocktail bar, we weren’t expecting much from its food menu – but we were pleasantly surprised. Just like their drinks menu, nothing is conventional. Instead of regular bar foods, The Elephant Room treats patrons to hearty dishes like lamb broth.
Butcher’s Lamb Broth
For something hearty, the Butcher’s Lamb Broth (SGD18), which pays homage to the butchers of Tekka Market and is a kambing soup that’s comforting and not too gamey (thankfully so!).
Left: Desker Road | Right: Tamarind Curry Prawns
Or for something unique, try Desker Road (SGD13) too, a pani-puri that’s filled with libido-fortifying moringa plant – an ingredient can be easily found in Little India, but you hardly see in local dishes.
But if you ask us for our favourite dish, it has got to be the Tamarind Curry Prawns (SGD24). This is served with generous portions of grilled tiger prawns and flat bread. The gravy is what won our hearts – we actually asked for more bread just so that we can dab off every bit of it off the bowl.
The Elephant Room is a breath of fresh air for us in the cocktail scene and we’re glad that they’re taking a slice of Little India and putting it into modern drinks that everyone can enjoy.
The Elephant Room is located at 20A Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088391. Opening hours are from 5.30pm to 12am, Mondays to Saturdays; closed on Sundays.