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The Bar In The Attic - Puffy Bois | Outlets | Thirst Magazine
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The Bar In The Attic - Puffy Bois
Photos: Kim Choong

The Bar In The Attic - Puffy Bois

I love to use the word “hangout” when it comes to places to chill and wind down. Most of the time, these places involve eating and drinking, things we think about ALL THE TIME.

A bar that makes its way to my list of “Great Places to Hangout” (I shall put this list together sometime) is Puffy Bois. Owners Sam Ng and Zul Zaba, who became great friends when Sam was the spirits brand ambassador and Zul a beverage distributor, decided to pair up and open a bar. Starting as a pop-up in several locations from Caffe Fernet to Tippling Club and Meatsmith, the duo finally found a permanent location at 20 Bali Lane last October.

It’s a risky business, all F&B businesses are, but scoring the space gave them a promising head start. It is though, on the second floor. Not unusual for bars to require a little walk up in the compact Singapore island. While puffing after taking the stairs, we entered into a space that looked like someone’s apartment in an attic.

We were immediately welcomed by a voice at the long bar. There was a pizza oven in the right corner, liquor bottles on the shelves, and big black menu posters on the walls. Tall tables and chairs lined the wall near the entrance, and further into the space were low tables and sofas to lean back on. We went on to sit at the bar, prime spot for all the actions.

Puffy Bois offers what Sam and Zul do best – cocktails and pizzas. The drinks menu offers nothing over the top but relatable flavours, whereas pizzas – who doesn’t like a good slice?

Puffy Bois Singapore
[Photos: Kim Choong]

Nosh

The pizza oven is custom-made with two decks to allow four pizzas at the same time. One of the back legs had to be hacked off, Zul shared, so to fit into the narrow doorway of the heritage building.

The smell of the cooked pizzas reminded me of my growling stomach. We had the Parma-Roni (S$7.5/S$28) and Margherita (S$6/S$22), both were crusty on the outside and chewy inside. The pizza dough took three days to proof, Zul said, while laying the pan and spreading the sauce, lining the cheeses and meat and then shoving the whole thing into the metal box.

Zul has a law degree. He went into the distribution business and that’s how he met Sam. He got really good at making pizzas during Covid and boi, the blistered slices can be addictive. I’m thinking about it right now!

Sam looks after the drinks side. Having earned his stripes first as a chef, then as a bartender at The Black Pearl in Australia, Employees Only in New York and as gin and whisky ambassador, Sam Ng is putting all his combined experience in one place. Not every bartender wants or is made to open bars, but Sam has this approachable personality and great attitude for hospitality.

Sam and Zul combined, their top motto is: Don’t be a douchbag.

Drinks

We went through the drinks menu, starting with Pillar to Post (S$22++), Puffy Bois’s spin on the classic Americano highball using house-made Australian botanical soda with Strawberry Gum, giving a fruity berriness to a herbaceous drink. If there is only one drink you can have all night, this is the one to go for.

Next, we tried Ok Go (S$23++), a recipe inspired by co-founder Zul’s childhood memories. It was a jumble of clarified milk tea, dry sherry, carbonated jackfruit ice cream soda in a coconut fat-washed gin base concoction. It has a savoriness to the sweet and bubblegum top note that adds playfulness to the drink. The most adventurous drink on the menu, I must say, but it’s executed well here.

The next drink whizzed by as if we were hit by a Box of Stars (S$23++). The Bellini-inspired Champagne-imitated cocktail is amped up with agave with the flavors of Galangal and Ya pear. It’s referred to as “the Champagne cocktail’s sexy cousin” by the bar in case you wonder what that is on the bill.

The Dawn Chorus (S$24++) was a great transition from the previous drink because it’s an adult dessert that’s both boozy and yummy. The bourbon-based Old-Fashioned is heightened with chocolate bitters and house-made salted honey whey, and garnished with a waffle cookie drizzled with salted butterscotch. It felt a little naughty drinking this as it felt like nipping a shot at breakfast.

The most fun part of the experience is the open cocktail menu. What What (@$23++) lets you order a sour-style cocktail that can be put together within the bar’s available inventory. Pick a base spirit and decide whether it’s a long drink, short drink, or on the rocks. Then, Sam will suggest a drink and see if it matches what you have in mind using Puffy Boi’s house-made PB citrus. This is a blend of juice from lemon, lime, pink grapefruit, and calamansi, combined with the oleo saccharum made with the essence extracted from the spent peels and husks for a punchy mixer.

After my first sour, which was a mezcal-based Daiquiri that used Maidenii, a truffle barrel-aged vermouth, I went on to order a Negroni, Whisky Highball, Dry Martini, and Sam’s favorite classic, the Jerry Thomas Manhattan, while chatting with both founders and grooving over 90’s pop rock.

There’s also a list of wine and growers’ champagne but we didn’t go there this time.

That same night, the bar announced that they’d been nominated Regional Top 10 Honoree for Best New International Cocktail Bar - Asia Pacific (APAC) by Tales of The Cocktails Foundation. Congratulations!

Puffy Bois is located at Level 3, 20A Bali Lane, 189856 Singapore. Open from Thursdays through Mondays, 6pm – 12am, with the kitchen remaining open until 11:30pm for those late-night pizza cravings.

- T -

 

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