We shed a tear when Sentosa’s much-loved pop-up bar The Shack closed earlier this year. But the fact that its farewell party was so well-attended seemed to hint at two comforting certainties: first, that upwardly mobile party folks’ thirst for cool, beachside hang-outs stretches well beyond the frankly drab, teeny-bopper-infested Café del Mar; and secondly, Tanjong Beach Club, its handsome new successor, had big boots to fill.
Happily, Lo & Behold – the folk behind OverEasy, Loof and The White Rabbit – have pulled it off. But whereas The Shack had a kind of rough-edged, buck-toothed charm, TBC – as it will, no doubt, come to be known thanks to the city’s trigger-happy acronym-isers – has a much more preened, self-conscious vibe. It feels distinctly more grown-up, favoured by youngish, fashionable, high-net-worth individuals with small pedigree dogs and assertive swimwear.
But don’t let that put you off. This isn’t quite the showy skin-fest it could be. (Or would be if, say, Singapore was a short flight from Moscow). And despite its minor pretensions, this place feels oddly accessible. Plus, if nothing else, the gaudier, silicone-happy clientele who sit among the more grounded, easy-going types make the bar a pleasing people-watching spot. Certainly, to survey the crowd from the main bar on a recent visit was to realise that Singapore is experiencing something of a golden age in hot pants.
Music-wise, guest DJs fly a strictly sophisticated music flag that segues into a kind of Balearic buzz around the pool with more hushed, minor-key revelry spilling out onto the beach. The tasteful decor is faintly retro: the dark wooden decking, robin’s egg blue sun loungers with beige canvas canapés and throwback, broad-striped deck chairs feel like a modernist reboot of 1950s-postcard Nice.
Traditional cocktails are the gist here (passable but not great, more care in the prep required, $15-$18) with Erdinger and Tiger on draught. At first, we were excited to find pints here were going for a suspiciously modest $10-$14. Sadly, on a second visit, they’d been replaced by half glasses but still at the same cost.
The newly added restaurant The Dining Room offers some boutique sharing plates, as well as mains like striploin steak with duck fat potatoes and smoked eggplant. If you're looking for that upper-class coastal dining, it's a suitable spot to tucker in.
There are glitches to iron out from the peppy if adolescent service – but otherwise it’s good news: Singapore has a winning new party pen. It feels long overdue.
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