A popular and charismatic fixture within the cocktail culture of Singapore since 1991

August 28th, 2012


Known simply as “No.5“- the cocktail bar that occupies the restored two-story Peranakan terrace house in the Emerald Hill area of central Singapore, has for nearly twenty-one years now, enjoyed an endearing popularity- both with its many loyal long-term customers- and the host of new guests attracted by the charm and character of this unique bar. Originally conceived as an inviting place for both locals and visitors to drop into and enjoy premium quality drinks in a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere, the owners have continued the tradition unchanged over the years, to the obvious endorsement of an appreciative clientele. No. 5 offers drinkers an enticing variety of cocktails- both classic and contemporary concoctions- plus an impressive selection of spirits, shooters, beers, mocktails and other beverages to quench all thirsts. Offering great value for money has been one of the key cornerstones of the long term success of No.5, with prices having barely changed over the life of the bar. House pours are a generous 45ml, compared to the standard 30ml pour in most bars.  A compact menu of bar snacks to soak up the drinks offers perennial favourites such as their famous chicken wings, and the No.5 Special Pizzas.

No.5  features one of the longest Happy Hour sessions in the neighborhood- with deals on drinks from 12pm until 9pm, which is then followed by an offering of Martini Specials from 9pm until 1am. Regular special events are also highlights on the annual calendar at No.5– with parties held every year for such occasions as “Cinco de Mayo”; the September Beach Party; the “birthday” of the mascot SPCA dog “Bouncer”; and the annual No.5 anniversary party in December.


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The distinctive  No.5 building  facade, and outdoor timber-decked terrace- ideal for enjoying the balmy tropical evenings

 The Cocktail Bar

The building occupied by No.5 was originally a private residence, built around the turn of the 20th Century. The unique Peranakan style of architecture has become recognised as a treasured part of Singapore’s heritage, and the conversion of the premises into the No.5 Cocktail Bar was carefully executed as a faithful restoration to the original style and finishes of the period. Combinations of  raw concrete walls, timber floor boards and the intricately carved rich timber detailing are authentic to the original construction.

The two levels of the interior are connected by the large central light-well that bathes the lower level main bar in natural light during the days. The ground floor consists of the main cocktail bar area- with seating at the long solid timber bar counter, or at high tables along the facing wall. At the rear of the room, two raised timber platforms, furnished with handwoven rugs and plush cushions, invite guests to luxuriate in the traditional manner whilst imbibing their cocktails.

The centre-piece of the room is the striking main bar mirrored display wall, framed by a massive antique carved wooden arch. Overhead in the light-well red Chinese lanterns are suspended from the upper ceiling- in exactly the same manner as when the bar first opened 20+ years ago.

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The main bar extends across on sidewall- with the stunning back-bar display of bottles and massive carved timber frame

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The entrance and front section of No.5- with original interior finishes and intricately carved timber work

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 Looking back down the main bar room towards the front entrance- the interior is virtually unchanged from when it opened in 1991

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 Raised  platforms on either side at the back of the room offer comfortable lounging on Persian carpets and plush cushions.

Upper Level

Accessed by the broad timber staircase from the ground floor entrance area, the upper level holds a quieter space decorated in the style of a classic coffee shop- with round white marble table tops and wooden cafe chairs.  The walls are adorned with old framed photos recollecting the events, and celebrated bon vivants of the early years of the No.5 Cocktail Bar.

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The classic elegance of the original shophouse is highlighted by the open void of the lightwell

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 The open space provides natural light through the interior and “connects” both levels 

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The classic cafe-style seating upstairs- with timber framed chairs and round white marble topped tables.

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The entire sidewall is adorned with nostalgic old photographs of regular customers and parties from the early days of No.5

The Cocktails

Serving up premium quality cocktails in a convivial, welcoming atmosphere, is the raison d’etre of No.5 Cocktail Bar. For more than 20 years, the bartenders at No.5 have been experts at the art of creating delicious cocktails, highlighted by the eponymous “No.5 Cocktail” – a truly unique creation ( see below).  Other specialties include a large range of martinis-  flavoured with the exotic tropical fruits, herbs and spices of the region, and the house-infused vodkas- with the No.5 Original Infusion- Chili Vodka showcased in large glass jars on the main bar counter.

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 No. 5 COCKTAIL- The famous signature cocktail.  Served in a huge, over-size glass more than 14cm in diameter. Prepared in two separate parts- red & green- and carefully poured to create the split colour effect. Blended with ice for a thick consistency, ingredients include Rum, Vodka, pineapple juice, mango juice, coconut cream & syrup, strawberry puree, Bols Blue Caracao, & Creme de Banana.

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PEACHY SURPRISE MARTINI- Premium vodka, Bols Peach, Peach syrup- blended with ice and garnished with lemon slice

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The classic GIN & TONIC- always a favourite choice at No.5- solid rock of ice, 45ml of premium gin, topped with tonic water & garnished with a kafir lime leaf and wedge of lime

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 No.5 Original Infusion- Chili Vodka. Premium vodka infused for minimum of 30 days- the fiery drink is served in tall shot glass

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The Martini Menu- click for larger image

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No.5 Emerald Hill Cocktail Bar

Address: 5 Emerald Hill Road,  Singapore 228293
MRT station: Somerset
Reservations: +65. 6732 0818
Website:   no5.emerald-hill.com/
Facebook Page:  www.facebook.com/pages/5-Emerald-Hill-Cocktail-Bar

Opening Hours:
Monday to Thursday 12:00 pm ~ 2:00 am
Fridays & Saturdays  5:00pm~ 3:00 am   Sundays & PH  5:00 pm ~ 02:00 am

Happy Hours:    Weekdays- 12:00pm ~ 9:00pm ;  followed by Martini Specials from 9:00 pm ~ 1:00 am – with two martinis for S$16