There is a high standard shown in terms of execution and hospitality. The menu is surprisingly straightforward. Drinks here are mostly classics but done in a uniquely Employees Only fashion. We noticed a very heavy emphasis on fresh ingredients throughout the menu, which was divided into two sections.
Off of one side, titled “EO Classics,” we ordered the Ginger Smash. Muddled fresh ginger root and fresh pineapple shaken with Havana Club 3 year rum. A little bit of maraschino liqueur and lime to round that out, and you have a tasty take on the old dark and stormy that is worthy of the tropics and of a country that has long been the shipping trading post of the straits. It’s definitely an Employee’s Only classic drink that fits right in for Singapore.
The reverse page of the menu, list what they refer to as “Tropical Classics.” From here we ordered the EO Paloma: cimarron blanco tequila, house made grapefruit cordial, fresh lime juice, and a pinch of something called black lava salt. The latter sits right on top of some perfectly cut ice and is a layer that you both smell and taste as sea salty and slightly smoky. It is a taste of the seas that adds spice to this much beloved cocktail.
One thing that is not often discussed when talking about great bars is the seating plan. We must say that Employees Only stands out in this regard. Upfront there’s an exciting and entertaining cocktail bar where people who have come to party do kind of cram around. But that’s a good thing people are having fun and engaging with strangers. Further towards the back of the space, you find boots seating. People in larger groups, or small parties friends enjoy hanging out in this section. You still get all the electricity from the space, plus the fun live dj music, but you’re also not too crammed together and have enough space to chat.
Our hats must be tipped to both Steve Schneider and Bryan Bonifacio, bartenders who we first met in Manila during Manila Cocktail Fest. We had already seen them in two Manila bars, and both times they lifted the crowd, somehow in complete control of a location’s vibe and mood. If there’s an electricity in a bar, these two are the dynamos.
Finally getting to see them at Employees Only SG, we found that the experience was doubled by the home court advantage. At the end of the day you come to a bar like this for two reasons. First is to have high quality, expertly crafted beverages. The second reason is because you want to have a great time. Employees Only Singapore serves up both without compromise. In a word, this bar is “electric.”