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Junior The Pocket Bar Time Travels to the Roaring 1920s of Shanghai with New Cocktail Menu

Once dubbed the Paris of the East, Shanghai during the 1920s and 1930s saw an influx of wealth and splendour, as expatriates flocked to the city that became known for a unique East-meets-West culture that shaped architecture, music, social spaces, food and drinks. 

With the launch of their new cocktail and food concept, Volume 11: The Bund, Junior the Pocket Bar wants to give guests a taste of Shanghai's defining age of glamour and charm. The new concept features a specially curated food menu by Head Chef, Didi Sidek, that features traditional Shanghainese dishes that are not the world-renowned Xiao Long Bao (Shanghainese Soup Dumplings). Instead, start your meal with a Port Salad (SGD 25 ++) featuring an array of choice molluscs with a Shanghainese soy dressing. It is a refreshing spin on a popular side dish, highlighting the preference for sweet and savoury, evident across Shanghainese cuisine.

Another meal option is the Cow Noods (SGD 25++), egg noodles in Borscht Beef Consommé, which takes 48 hours to simmer and clarify, and is served with house-made truffle mushroom wantons for the epitome of East meets West. For dessert, guests can opt to end their meal with Sweet Beans (SGD 15++), a warm red bean pancake served with house-made milky oolong ice cream.

Silk Route cocktail, featuring shiitake mushrooms and peppercorn infused gin.

As for the cocktails, expect Shanghainese ingredients and western bartending flair. Cocktails on offer include a savoury martini called ‘Silk Route’, that features gin infused with shiitake mushrooms and mixed peppercorn, vermouth and grapefruit bitters, garnished with a sliver of braised mushroom. Or opt for the ‘Jade Harbormade with Shanghai Peddlers gin, with house-made lychee kombu cordial and topped with matcha.

Jade Harbour, which combines lychee kombu cordial with matcha.

For the adventurous, ‘Luo Song Tang’ is a Bloody Mary twist with Peddlers gin, lemon, sherry, hot sauce, lengthened with chef’s clarified borscht. Like its namesake, ‘Farewell My Concubine’ is a love affair of Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, Passoã passionfruit liqueur, aromatised wine, and gentian.

Served in a teacup, just like the herbal tonic some might be familiar with, ‘Stevedore’ – featuring Jura whisky, oolong tea, calvados, house-made Chinese pear & green apple cordial, and smoke – mimics the drink of choice for wharf workers after a hard day’s work at the docks. Finishing off, one might look towards ‘Paris of the East’, a milk punch made with Bol’s Genever, Galliano Vanilla, Brown Butter and Maple Syrup, topped with a bittersweet chocolate mousse, a liquid version of a common pastry found in most local bakeries – a chocolate éclair. 

Cafe Sonata cocktail, a blend of Calvados, apple, espresso and orange bitters.

Reflecting on the new concept, Owner and Head Bartender Hazel Leong expressed: "There is no other place like Shanghai, so many cultures in one city. It was eye-opening to see worldly influences with a Chinese twist, perhaps the birthplace of ‘fusion cuisine’? The vibrancy, the duality of the locals, the playfulness of the night, was truly awe-inspiring, something we strive to share with anyone that walks through the door, so they could see Shanghai how we got to experience it."

All cocktails on Volume 11: The Bund are priced at SGD 26++ and are now available to order at Junior the Pocket Bar until August 2024.

Happy sipping!