Ume San 100 – Secret bar in Bugis
We all know the age-old adage, “do not judge a book by its cover”. Relax – we’re not able to throw some life lessons at you here. The same just happens to apply to a new bar in town. Near Bugis, you can now find a cool hidden Japanese tavern that is only accessible to those in the know: Ume San 100.
“Hidden” in this context doesn’t just mean “lesser-known”. You may have some trouble finding this bar since it’s actually concealed behind a row of Japanese vending machines. They open on 30th May 2023, and we’ve got you covered with the address down below.
Hidden umeshu & cocktail bar
The exterior of Ume San 100 resembles an average roadside in Tokyo, featuring vending machines with Suntory drinks and ready-to-eat meals. But James Bond wannabes may notice that prices of these snacks are in Yen – one of the telltale signs that there’s more to it than meets the eye.
All you have to do is to give the middle door a light push – yes, the blue door that “sells” condoms – and you’re in. Behind this row of artificial vending machines lies an izakaya-style bar with high stools facing a bamboo pub table.
Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for finding this hidden gem and soak in the fact that you’re now in the presence of the largest collection of umeshu in Singapore.
Despite being a small 20-30 seater space, the bar still has a couple of different zones you can settle down in. Head for the bar stools if you’d like to socialise with the friendly bartenders, and chope a seat at one of the cosy 4-seater tables – a prime location for HTHT over drinks.
These days, no drinking sesh is incomplete without some games. The party animals among us may be glad to know that they have a variety of games like Lucky Stab and Crocodile Dentist that’ll serve as great catalysts for bonding.
The bar isn’t called Ume San 100 for naught. They’ve got over 100 drinks on the menu, including 40 types of plum liquor with flavours ranging from sweet to experimental.
Umeshu fans can try the quirky and spicy Tougarashi ($14/glass) on the rocks, or sip on the aromatic Black Tea Umeshu ($12/glass), which is lighter, smoother, and easier to down. For special occasions, you may even want to open a bottle of 2008 Choki Jukusei Umeshu ($108/bottle), a flavourful and classic option that probably please everyone at the table.
Some come here for the drinks, others are here for the ‘Gram – and there’s nothing wrong with falling into the latter group. In fact, the bar eggs you on with IG-worthy drinks like the Sea Garden ($22) cocktail, a glittery concoction of gin, butterfly pea, prosecco, and edible “fairy dust”.
This comes with a cute scuba diver cup holder with a light at the bottom so the glitter truly pops for your camera.
There’ll be plenty of bar snacks that’ll fuel you up as well. The Garlic Chicken Karaage ($16), Spicy Tuna Kobachi ($16), This Uni is the Bomb ($14/2 pieces), and Yamazaki Umeshu & Raisin Vanilla Gelato ($16) are sure to satisfy the peckish.
If you’re looking for a hearty lunch while in the area, know that the establishment also operates as a ramen dry bar during the day. Mains such as the creamy and flavourful Angry Asari Soup Ramen ($16) will also be served from Mondays to Fridays only.
Good news for early birds: the sharing platter, Umesan Nachi Pagoda ($20), is also going at 50% off till end June 2023. This comes with a small tower of fried gyoza skin, with a side of lobster salad, mala clams, seasoned jellyfish, and soy wasabi.
Uncover a new hidden bar in Fortune Centre
We may not be Eggsy from the Kingsman, but you can bet that if there’s a cool secret room out of a spy movie, we’re there. You can find the obscure bar at level 2 of Fortune Centre. And, if this has whetted your appetite to uncover more gems, we’ve got you covered with this roundup of more hidden bars in Singapore.
Address: 190 Middle Road, #02-07 Fortune Centre, Singapore 188979Opening hours: 5pm-11pm, DailyThe establishment is also open as a Ramen Bar from Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm only.
More places in Singapore to visit at night:
Photography by Emilyn Cheng.Originally published on 10th may 2o23. Last updated on 29th May 2023.