Step aside Singapore Sling, the cocktails of Bee Bee’s are the new representatives of Singapore’s flavours. You’ll find cocktail fusions of Peranakan and Tiki influences nestled in the second story of one of the shophouses along Boat Quay. In this dimly lit bar, you’ll even get a picturesque view of the Singapore River as you sip on these wonderful concoctions.
Behind Bee Bee’s are the Kishore brothers, who also opened the famously affordable Taiwanese bar FIVE TEN, so of course, the prices here are $10 nett and above – pretty reasonable for craft cocktails. “I don’t believe in charging expensive prices, so I opened Bee Bee’s for everyone to have fun. Here, we can come in bermudas, and we call everyone by names, we’re all bros,” said Bryan Kishore, 22, owner and bartender. “We named this bar as a tribute to my mother, who is half-Peranakan. We grew up poor, and eating her great home-cooked Peranakan food.”
Bryan started out washing glasses to earn extra money, and then became a bartender two days after he turned 18. “It was mixed fun and bartending. I had a mohawk back then,” he laughed, “they taught me everything they knew.”
Jumping into the drinks, Bryan recommended us the refreshing Sorry Not Sorry. Described as “an unapologetic and flamboyantly pink drink”, he was inspired by his favourite drink that can be found at food courts and hawker centres. It has a spicy mix of red dragonfruit and soursop with cachaça, lime, lemongrass, ginger, galangal, and kaffir lime leaf. Bryan said, “It’s Bee Bee’s expression of solidarity with the LGBTQIAPD (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual/aromantic, pansexual/polysexual, demisexual) community, telling them to get out of the closet, and that we accept them here!” To us, it was evident that the many ingredients were complementary and gave a perfect combination of sweet and sour. Every sip gave you the full fruity flavour, with a pleasant after-taste. It even came in a Peranakan glass with a pink umbrella and lime leaves.
We also had the Sombong, which had two pandan leaves in a glass cup. “I had just came back from New York, and over there, everyone was so fascinated with pandan,” Bryan explained his inspiration for the drink. This green drink was described as a “light blend of melon and pineapple, like rosé in a bucket of prosecco”. Indeed, it had a strong pandan taste, which is probably one of the most distinct Peranakan flavours, and was balanced out with the sour mix of fruits. These were just two of the nine Peranakan-inspired cocktails.
If fusions of Peranakan flavours aren’t your thing, there are the Tiki drinks too – and boy, they did not pale in comparison. We were warned that these six drinks were quite strong for cocktails, but that did not stop us. We had the Missionary’s Downfall, Bryan’s “go-to drink in the sweltering heat of Singapore” and the Rum Runner, a sweet fruity mix with a hint of rum.
All of the drinks came in variations of cups – from wooden to metallic to glass – every drink was presented differently, and was truly insta-worthy that we couldn’t help but whip out our phones immediately to snap a photo of every drink. The bar snacks included the Tuna Tartare Bruschetta ($7) and Auntie Mary’s Bruschetta ($6), which stayed true to the Peranakan flavours.
If you’re ever unsure of what to order, you can always ask for recommendations – we must say that these were pretty spot on. Otherwise, feel free to start up a conversation with the friendly members of Bee Bee’s. You could ask why and how they painted the walls the way they are, or anything about the drinks, and they will be more than happy to share.
The food menu is changed every two months, and Bryan shared with us that there will be a Peranakan-influenced Indomee dish coming up, alongside a drinks menu change, which will probably include Christmas drinks like eggnog. Whatever Bryan has up his sleeve, you can be certain that it’ll be something worth coming to try!
Mondays to Saturdays 5pm – 12 midnight
Closed on Sundays.