One of this year’s most anticipated bar launches, Candour is officially in full swing in SoHo. This cool bar transitions into a late-night lounge complete with a small dance floor, where hip-hop, rap and R&B are played by local DJs.
The majority of Candour’s drinks are refreshing and distinctive in flavour. While the main menu gives details on the ingredients, a separate purple menu that looks like an album cover discusses the influences of each libation in detail. You can also scan a QR code to check out the music accessible by Spotify to see what’s playing!
For a lighter start, ICY GRL ($98) lives up to its name with its striking blue colour. Served in a short tumbler, the drink is inspired by female rap artist Saweetie. Similar to a Kamikaze, ICY GRL contains Tried & True vodka, with a chill toasted coconut ending after each sip.
A drink I really liked is Chronic ($118; +$15 for 20mg CBD) – a Código margarita with mint chartreuse. The name of the cocktail says it all; it’s directly influenced by Dr Dre’s 2001 album, The Chronic.
Runnin’ ($128) is another fresh cocktail with a pastel pink colour derived from strawberry and rhubarb. Made with Compass Box whisky, the drink gives off the same vibe as a whisky sour but leans on the lighter side.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, EARL ($128) is the most spirit-forward drink on the menu. It’s akin to a smoky Sazerac cocktail, containing Hennessy cognac, Montelobos mezcal and Cynar herbal liqueur. This tipple pays tribute to Earl Simmons.
A guest favourite I recommend trying is Clique ($138). Rap music is full of collabs, and this concept is captured in a single drink. Created by Jesse Vida from famed Singapore gin bar ATLAS, Clique is a take on a refreshing gimlet with a citrusy, clean ending.
Crafted by Executive Chef Karisa Cheque, the starters and larger plates contain Chinese-American twists, featuring several plant-based options. There’s even orange chicken, which I haven’t had since being back in the USA!
The chicken burger ($148) is generous in portion, with a sweet, soft pineapple bun complementing the deep-fried chicken. Layered with homemade beetroot mayo and pickled cauliflower for some acidity, the burger is perfect for two to share. You can also ask for the chicken to be replaced by TiNDLE plant-based chicken.
The mapo tofu ($88) is another a hit. Crispy tater tots are covered with silky tofu mixed with doubanjiang (spicy bean paste) and sesame seeds. This dish is savoury, comforting and great with all the cocktails if you’re having a long night.
Candour is already a hit with the SoHo crowds, attracting a mix of people who love and can appreciate both good throwback and new age hip-hop. The lounge is sexy, sleek and a fun place to be come sundown, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. And if you’re really in the mood, you can pop some aces with your crew; the bar also has a champers list that goes from Dom to Moët.
65 Peel Street, SoHo, Central, 2362 8100, book online
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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