Employees Only | A Speakeasy Experience Unlike Any Other
Flawlessly executed cocktails; Delicious food; Vibrant atmosphere. Start your exciting night at Employees Only Singapore.
Employees Only first started in New York back in 2004 by five bar industry friends. Since then, Employees Only have critically lauded and honored with awards by the global bar community — including Spirited Awards for “Best American Bar Team,” “World’s Best Cocktail Bar” and “World’s Best Drinks Selection” by Tales of the Cocktail, as well as eight consecutive appearances on Drinks International’s “World’s 50 Best Bars” list, including a 2016 win of the “Legends of the List” award. With its expansion in Singapore, Employees Only remains true to its core and that is to offer flawlessly executed cocktails and delicious, elevated food, served in a beautiful space without any pretence.
Employees Only is snuggly located in Singapore’s Central Business District, just a stone’s throw from Telok Ayer MRT station. As conveniently located as it was, doubts surfaced as we reached our destination as the exterior of Employees Only was illuminated by red neon lights, unlike what I had expected. Even my colleague asked if I was sure Employees Only was located here, resulting in me checking my phone for the address twice, maybe even thrice, to assure her that we were at the right place. This is no wonder as Employees Only is a well known speakeasy and restaurant and only the most informed will know the this secret hide out.
Upon stepping into Employees Only, it was as if the neon lights and dark wood of the outside belong to a different world. Employees Only exuded such great energy and joyfulness that was unbelievably infectious. While some may prefer a romantic and quiet setting, Employees Only offers anyone looking for an exciting and exhilarating start to the night.
We started the night with Employees Only signature cocktail drinks – The Amelia and the Ginger Smash. The Amelia is a Ketel One Vodka and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur based drink shaken with pureėd blackberries and fresh lemon juice. This was an enjoyable drink to begin as it was not too strong, just enough to get the night going.
For those who are hesitant to try the Ginger Smash at Employees Only, worry no more! The Ginger Smash was refreshing due to the addition of fresh pineapple and fresh lime juice. Most importantly, it did not taste too strongly of ginger. Rum lovers need to give Ginger Smash a try as it is topped with Maraschino Liqueur for an unforgettable cocktail at Employees Only. Between the two, I thought Ginger Smash was a more interesting and unique choice. The Amelia was a cocktail that would not go wrong and I recommend giving both a try!
The food that followed was incredibly tasty and took me by surprise. A few noteworthy mentions off the dinner menu include the Spicy & Crispy Prawns with Kale & Lemon, a must try for everyone who loves seafood, and the Hand-Cut Steak Tartar Crostini & Mixed Greens Salad. The Steak Tartar in particular was a game changer for me. It was mixed with in-house special sauces that is only available at Employees Only, which is probably what makes it so unique and differentiated from other steak tartar on the market. The Spicy & Crispy Prawns was flavourful with just the right amount of spice that made it so unforgettable.
It was an enjoyable night at Employees Only and it felt like everyone was invited to an extravagant party. Employees Only stayed true to its goal of providing top notch, high quality food and cocktails; leaving guests to really enjoy and soak in the vibrant and lively atmosphere. This is what true hospitality in the F&B industry should be like and Employees Only definitely set the bar high for me.