The Cufflink Club
The buzz: The latest addition on the cocktail bar front is this newbie in a Chinatown shophouse (just a few doors down from Esquina and Oriole Coffee Roasters) headed by owner-mixologist Joel Fraser, who’s an alum of both award-winning Melbourne bar Der Raum and Tippling Club.
The décor: The Cufflink Club boasts a sleek but not uptight space, with the requisite bar counter accented by lime green tiles (prime seats in the house), black leather bar seats and comfortably dim lighting.
The food: Cheese and charcuterie. Think nibbles like chorizo ibérico bellota ($8) and Prosciutto di Parma ($8), as well as Tomme de Savoie ($7), Brillat Savarin ($9) and as a nod to Fraser’s Brit roots, Mrs Kirkhams Lancashire ($9) too.
The drinks: The focus is obviously on the cocktails, with about 20 concoctions to choose from. You’ll find fun tipples like Walking Dead ($25), a riff on the Zombie made with spices and a secret blend of 13 different rums and garnished with a candy eyeball, as well as For Whom The Bell Tolls ($21), a tart but well-balanced rum-based number with Maraschino, pink grapefruit and lime accompanied by a paper airplane folded from a page out of Ernest Hemingway’s novel which inspired it. Or have yourself a Ménage à Trois ($22), kissed with Calvados, Poire William and Pisco.
The music: A mix of old school R&B and feel-good tunes.
The crowd: All types, including post-dinner folks from Esquina and execs working in the area.
Why you’ll be back: If you’re after a convivial spot to hit for cocktails served up with a tongue-in-cheek approach, this is just the ticket.