We've always been fans of cocktail bar Jigger & Pony, even now, more than two years since its opening and after what seems like an endless stream of new bar openings. It's one of those few rare places where I can recommend my friends to go to, without having to worry that standards have dipped since my last tasting there (and I'd end up looking like someone who has the worst ideas in the world). In fact, one of my enduring tasting memories involved attempting to have four of Jigger & Pony's nefariously potent cocktails, and having to throw in the towel after just two. Yes, it's that kind of place and no, they don't make them like Jigger & Pony very often anymore.
But my love isn't unconditional - for the longest time, I've bemoaned the lack of a proper food menu here. Sure, there are cold cut platters and decent tartines. But when dining out these days equates to finding one cool place and staying put for the rest of the night (whilst looking smugly upon those who didn't manage to get seats), you want an all-rounder. You want to be fed well and watered, and you want it now, darn it!
And it looks like my whinging has been heard. Jigger & Pony's refreshed food menu, though small at just 12 items, now includes more substantial nourishment (think beef rib sliders, pork belly and lamb) under its Big Bites section. Plates under the Small Bites section aren't to be sniffed at either – these at heart are good old-fashioned comfort grub, but given executive chef Polo Seah's (who also manages the kitchen at sister bar Sugarhall) inspired spin.
Well done, Jigger & Pony. Our love just might be unconditional now.
Must-tries: Bite-sized fun comes in the form of the Mushroom Poppers ($16), an unabashedly comforting appetiser that stacks quail eggs upon button mushrooms and doused in a luscious chorizo cream sauce. The hefty chunks of Pork Belly ($20) – brined and cooked for six hours – cooked for six hours, is deliciously firm, paired with a sweet apple and fennel jam to cut through the richness.
The Beef Short Rib Sliders ($22, above), though not quite as substantial, deserves top marks for an on-point homemade BBQ sauce that's perfectly smoky-sweet and tangy.
Drink also: The Parisian ($22, above middle), one of the six new additions to Jigger & Pony's drinks menu. Despite its ruby-red, slightly girly facade, this play on the classic Martini finds happy middleground between an easy-drinking tipple and a lethal concoction that'd knock you off your feet in a matter of sips. Sweet, smooth and so potent - classic Jigger & Pony.
Jigger & Pony is located at 101 Amoy Street. For more information, call 6223-9101 or visit www.jiggerandpony.com.