Night Hawk perfects the profound Art of new Age Speakeasy comfort
I’d just passed Papi’s Tacos, then Five Oars Coffee, but my speakeasy stop for the night still eluded me. A sharp left towards Tras Street led me to a brusquely exposed brick wall, embedded with an enigmatic red door, accompanied by a cryptic avian insignia that I presumed translated to “Night Hawk is right here”.
Behind the door, lurked plush lounge chairs, refulgent ribbed metal surfaces, and a busily twitching flap display board, all accentuated by shades of rusty orange and a modest sprinkle of reserved teals.
Even with an omission of see-through glass parameters, one can appreciate an erudite channelling of Edward Hopper’s 1942 magnum opus within Night Hawk’s design and palette decisions. The space is sleek and modish, laden with a deceptive warmth to compensate for the sordid loneliness of life in a big city.
That is the beauty of Night Hawk and the beauty of ‘urban alienation’. At its heart, it passingly acknowledges the vapidity of modern life and offers a welcomed escape from a frigid embrace soddened with adult-acquired loneliness.
The cocktail bar focuses on a sense of affable warmth, touting an oxymoronic speciality of “futuristic nostalgia” — desired in a gradually distant metropolis, to feel comfort even amidst the dissonant pace of adulting and an unknown future.
As gibberish as “futuristic nostalgia” sounds, Night Hawk’s mixological tenets are self-explanatory and easily appreciated as classic cocktails imbued with an edgy touch.
An efficacious demonstration would be the Kick Artist Fix ($25), an buttery, braggadocious medley of rye, rum, maple, and fortified wine left with just a rumour of old-fashioned sensibilities.
The dramatically scarlet Crimson Solace ($25) on the other hand, was more in-line with and indicative of Night Hawk’s uncanny ability to contort classics, imbuing palatable comfort into an intrepid modification.
Despite a queer ensemble of peated scotch, sweet potato, beetroot, orange, and chocolate, the drink imposes a plush zest very much reminiscent of whisky sours, and a little touch of sweet potato lagging behind. A luxurious solace, indeed.
One drink to perfectly encompasses the “futurism” in their mixology, was aptly named Savour the Future ($25), underscored by an inventive approach to the archetypal savoury cocktails.
This is Night Hawk’s method of astutely blending miso’s unique flavour traits into a concoction that beguilingly straddles the savoury charm of bloody marys and dirty martinis. And yes, there’s real caviar on the garnish.
Night Hawk doesn’t do pomp, it doesn’t do avant-garde either, and it surely doesn’t do mechanical perfection. Instead, it’s a bar unabashed in its geniality as a confidential space for hazy after-hours within the dreary CBD.
It’s a surreptitious refuge where the regular classics are eschewed for something that can grant a vibrant pop of colour to the greys of this sprawling concrete jungle. It’s like a lighthouse for the weary in in the vast colourless emptiness.
- Address: 43 Tg Pagar Rd, #01-02, Singapore 088464
- Hours: (Tues–Sat) 5:30pm–12am