Good food, great drinks, excellent atmosphere. If a restaurant can do all three well, you probably have a recipe for success. Sugarhall checks all three boxes, and then some. By Vanessa Tai
The first thing that strikes you when you step into Sugarhall is its lively vibe. With its muted lighting, earthy interiors, and energetic playlist of vintage Latin, Ska, and Jamaican reggae, it’s hard not to feel perked up instantly. Deborah and I were recently there for a media tasting on a Wednesday evening and at 6.30pm, the place was already filling up with office workers chasing down a good, stiff after-work drink. Well, with the bar being helmed by Jigger & Pony’s bar manager Aki Eguchi, you can be sure the cocktails at Sugarhall more than deliver.
The owners of Sugarhall are the same folks who brought you Jigger & Pony (which is actually right next door), and the husband-and-wife team are determined to continue delivering the same top-quality, edgy cocktails that gave Jigger & Pony its fame.
Deborah had the Especial Martini, which is a blend of Brugal Extra Dry Rum, Cocchi Americano, and a mezcal-washed pickled quail’s egg (yup, you read right!) It’s not as strange as it sounds, and actually washes down nicely with the drink. I had the Bumbo Old Fashioned – a mix of El Dorado 12 YO Rum, demerara sugar, nutmeg tincture, and cinnamon. Sounds more like a dessert, right? But don’t be fooled; the cocktails at Sugarhall are potent. Don’t worry about getting too intoxicated though. The owners have thoughtfully created a menu where each cocktail comes with “Hungry to Full” indicators so you can pick a drink according to your appetite. So, if you’re famished, you might want to order a lighter-bodied concoction versus a richer, full-bodied cocktail.
With Sugarhall, the owners have expanded their repertoire beyond just drinks by offering an extensive flame-grilled menu. The kitchen is headed up by Polo Seah, a former alumnus of W Hotel’s steakhouse SKIRT, and you can expect a selection of meats and seafood, all carefully grilled over a wooden fire. Here, they make use of two types of wood, one from Thailand (to cook the food) and another from Japan (to keep the fire going). They also use wood chips from USA, which lends the grilled meats an aromatic, smoky flavour.
While the meats were delicious in their own right, what truly impressed us were the selections “from the garden”. This is where the chef gets to flex his creative muscles and create side dishes that are fun and inventive. Our favourite was the Creamy Mushrooms; which, despite the generous serving of cream, wasn’t stodgy and actually lent a nice contrast of textures to the meats. Another side dish we enjoyed was the Grilled Cauliflower, which came with bacon, burnt butter, capers, and hazelnut. The medley of flavours wowed everyone at the table, including Deborah, who’s a bonafide carnivore … so that’s saying something.
If you’re looking for a fun night out, Sugarhall — with its laidback vibe, unpretentious food and kickass cocktails — comes highly recommended.
Sugarhall is located at 102 Amoy Street, Tel: 6222 9102, Website: www.sugarhall.sg
Material World was invited for a tasting at Sugarhall and was not paid for this review. All opinions are the author’s own.
About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 27-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.