The chinoiserie chic décor and even its name, Full of Luck Club, play right into the western stereotype of Chinese restaurants. But instead of fortune cookies, chop suey and General Tso’s Chicken, Full of Luck Club serves modern Chinese cuisine that are actually very good. Besides, the chefs are from the famed Li Bai restaurant in Sheraton Towers.
If you had dined there before, you may not have noticed the bar that’s tucked discreetly on the far side of the restaurant’s second floor. It is actually meant to be that way, as Lucky Bar is a speakeasy.
Lucky Bar’s proper entrance is along the alley behind Crystal Jade restaurant, not too far from the road. Just look out for the rabbit sign.
We visited the bar recently and found the interiors to be very tastefully done. The designers have also added a few visual elements to give character and verve to the space. In particular, we loved the illuminated 借酒消愁 (translated as “drink to drown your sorrows”) over the bar. Very apt indeed, given the not-so-great economy.
Bartender Darren Lim hosted us. He hasn’t worked at the best cocktail bars around the world and he hasn’t won bartending awards (yet), but it didn’t matter at all; his earnest demeanour won us over.
Darren was doing operations at the Port of Singapore Authority before switching to hospitality. He earned his bartending chops at Orgo, under the tutelage of Japanese mixologist Tomoyuki Kitazoe. In other words, you can be sure that Darren has got his techniques fine-tuned.
He said he’ll focus on Asian flavours at Lucky Bar, taking inspiration from Chinese herbs as well as tropical fruits.
For instance, the Dragon’s Breath (pictured, right) is made using High West Campfire whiskey, Mezcal, as well as homemade goji and watermelon syrup. This was our favourite cocktail of the evening and unsurprisingly, it is one of the bar’s most popular cocktails.
Darren also prepared some concoctions slated for the new menu.
He put together Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Bourbon Cask & Rye Finish, Hedonist (a cognac and ginger liqueur), lime juice and honey pandan syrup. The flavours were familiar, and very comforting. Darren also made a more intense cocktail using rum, five-spice powder and dark chocolate. It should be pretty suitable as a digestif.
If you’re peckish at the bar, we highly recommend the Golden Sand Corn with Salted Egg Yolk. The dish is self explanatory, and very addictive.
Lucky Bar is currently the only bonafide cocktail bar in Holland Village. The two-for-the-price-of-one offer during happy hours (6-8pm) gives you another reason to visit the place. And who knows? You may get lucky in more ways than one, at the Lucky Bar.
243 Holland Avenue