To find Operation Dagger, look out for a symbol of an upturned crown stacked over a rectangle above a discreet door at the corner of Ann Siang Hill. The logo meaning “owners will give to get rid of you” in hobo code reflects the vice and secret societies that once thrived in the area, which were eradicated during “Operation Dagger” launched by the Singapore police in 1956. Other such signs are drawn along the wall of the stairs leading to the bar, with each carrying different meanings.
Walking down two flights of unlit steps leads to a bunker-like minimalist space, dimly lit with a cloud of light bulbs above the bar and four walls.
Founded by Luke Whearty in 2014, the idea of Operation Dagger defies the concept of speakeasy bars and classic cocktails. The bar displays no brand of any liquor and their experimental drinks are eccentric and quirky. Consistently listed on Asia’s 50 Best Bar, Operation Dagger has also nurtured outstanding bartenders such as Sasha Wijidessa and Vijay Mudaliar, the latter going on to open award-winning bar Native.
In December 2019, Operation Dagger has switched to a new gang with a spanking new menu to welcome the new year. The recipes are a combined effort of everyone in the team, including the bartenders, chefs and staff. Four all-time favourites Gomashio, Bee Pollen, Hot + Cold and Choc Pinot are drinks created since the opening of the bar and remain in the menu to preserve the founder’s motto. Whearty has now moved on to open a bar in Melbourne.
Cheese No Egg | Purple Yamborghini
Purple Yamborghini is one for yoghurt lovers as it is made with yam, yoghurt and pandan, like a drinkable dessert with a touch of saltiness at the end.
Cheese, No Egg uses cheddar cheese, cream, honey and is presented in a smoked vessel. The only savoury drink on the menu that has a creamy texture and satisfying finish.
Golden Mile is the strongest drink in the menu that smells full of basil on the nose. It contains green coconut, Thai basil, chili oil and bitter lemon oil for those who want to avoid a sweet drink.
So It Wasn't Coffee | Golden Mile | E-701
E-701 with beetroot, cacao, mandarin and cream cheese is a drink created by current Head Bartender, Thomas Girard who drew inspiration from Red Velvet Cake when he arrived in Singapore. It’s garnished with a crispy sugar flour charcoal and beetroot.
The Frenchman’s previous stint in his cocktail consultancy firm in Paris led to another drink on the menu, Tepatxe which uses fermented sage and pineapple. This drinks goes into the fermented fruit drink section of the menu alongside other non-alcoholic drinks Jackfruit (fermented jackfruit, coconut water), Pear + Fig (fermented pear, fig, beetroot), Sticky Mango (fermented mango, glutinous rice, coconut) and Lychee (fermented, not shaken).
For those who like coffee, "So It Wasn't Coffee" is clarified coffee topped with house made tonic water. It has the light taste of roasted coffee but with a refined flavour and texture. The bar source their coffee from Sarnies Café where the bartender used to work.
There is something for everyone on the menu, even for the less adventurous who have the usual wine, sake and beer options.
Psst… There is a CCTV in the toilet and a TV screen next to the hand basin outside, but they are not connected.
Telephone No: +65 6438 4057
Operation Time: Mon - Sat: 6pm - 12am