- Vincent Lim
NINETEEN80, Tanjong Pagar Road
I've never been a big fan of the nightlife in Singapore. Maybe it's the friends I had growing up at the edge of seventeen or the music that I listen to, rarely do I find a bar/club that I truly enjoy. But sweet dreams are made of this, NINETEEN80 is a new retro-themed arcade-bar-discotheque paying tribute to the wonders of the 80’s.
I might have been born at the tail end of the 80’s, so I’ve not experienced much of it first hand, but I've always felt an affinity to the music, references and aesthetic of that era. I’ll admit, I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it.
So wake me up and let's a go go get it on like Donkey Kong.
Saturated neon lights illuminate from the entrance drawing me in like moth to a flame. I was nerding out even more seeing the row of coin operated arcade machines just across from the bar with classics like Street Fighter and Space Invaders.
Cyan and magenta lights filled the space -- artworks by Mojoko featuring countless nostalgic characters from cartoons, anime and video games, and a wall decorated with cassette tapes.
Straight up, every song that comes on makes me wanna dance with somebody. Don’t worry if you don’t have another dime to put in the jukebox -- whether if you're in the mood for rock and roll, R&B/hip hop, or poppy classics -- the rhythm is gonna get you, especially if you were born from the 1980’s to the early 2000’s.
I just can’t get enough of the nostalgic feeling (and all these pop culture references, but don’t stop me now).
And what’s a night out without a little liquid courage? Blue Lagoon (Super Disco Blend) ($18/glass and $50/jug) is as electric blue da ba dee as its surroundings. This isn’t a sophisticated cocktail, but so rarely were the cocktails back then. It’s sugary sweet with a bit of tanginess with the added yuzu, get it if you’re feeling nostalgic, or if you’re into sweeter cocktails.
The gorgeous Donna Summer ($20) is one of of my favourites from NINETEEN80's signature cocktails. The drink has a fun summer vibe with fresh strawberries, sweet and tangy with a nice punch from its rum base. The glass is rimmed with sumac powder for that added tarty flavour and ooh, it's so good, it's so good, it's so good...
If you like piña coladas like I do, try Club Tropicana ($20), though the drinks aren’t free. A lighter take from the original with coconut water, it’s lightly sweet and tropical with a sour plum powdered rim for an added Asian twist. All that’s missing is the beach.
And if you get hungry, chow down on grubs like Truffle Fries ($10) and Chicken Tenders ($15). Also, make sure to try the spicy mayo. Or get some turtle power with Leonardo (the pizza, not the turtle) ($20) that’ll make you wanna say “Cowabunga dude”.
NINETEEN80, you’re the one that I want to break free with. Admittedly, I’m probably looking at you through rose-tinted glasses, but with every breath you take, every nostalgic song and neon flash you make, I just have to admit that it’s all coming back to me now. If you have fond memories of this era, come kick off your Sunday shoes, hold on to that feelin' of being forever young, vogue and flashdance your troubles away, all night long (all night).
21 Tanjong Pagar Road
Tuesday & Thursday: 5:30 PM to 1:00 AM
Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 5:30 PM to 3:00 AM
Closed on Sundays & Mondays