You may not have noticed, but post-pandemic, Singapore has become decidedly more … sultry. Dark and mysterious alleyways and staircases no longer lead to the back of a hawker centre or to one of the island’s famously more shifty establisments – no – they take you to some of the new hippest joints in town. Hi, Barood.

Tucked on the second floor of revered Indian restaurant Revolver, Barood’s darkened shophouse entrance whisks you up the stairs and into a world of sumptuous shades of plum, intriguing and glamous vintage prints on crimson walls, intimate lighting, and lashings of plush furnishings that scream ‘slinky’.

Barood was inspired by the rich Moorish influences of 1960s Paris, which makes for a rather pleasant setting for cocktails and nibbles. In line with the dramatic surroundings, the mixologists have created a selection of extraordinary, signature cocktails – unsurprisingly, they pack a punch and ooze sophistication. Altos Reposado and homemade kesar kasturi (a liquor made by blending spices like saffron, dried fruit, herbs, nuts and seeds with clarified butter, milk and sugar before they are distilled into a spirit) create the basis of the Sweet Assasin; the Dark Knight is a punchy concoction of Mitcher’s Rye, vermouth blend, and mushroom black truffle bitters.

The Otoro Totadas are finger lime-lickin’ good

While Barood is ideal for an intimate drinks-only extravaganza, after a few of the above bevoirs you’ll be no doubt diving into the menu of Indian-Japanese izakaya-style tapas. Mini Duck Rice Cakes come topped with spiced pulled duck and a piquant tomato chutney; the Goat Biryani Arancini packs in lashes of pickled mango mayo; and Otoro Tostadas feature Yuzu-marinated otoro (fatty tuna) on a crisp tostada, spiked with green chillies and finger lime. Add to these the likes of Veggie Poriyal Pancakes, Batatas Bravas, Masala Lobster Sliders, and Malabar Sloppy Joe – a buttered pao with Malabar pulled pork, yuzu aioli, minced shallots and our foodie favourite – and you might understand why Barood is choosing to stay surreptitious. Don’t tell everyone or they’ll all want to go!

VERDICT: Barood is a vibey destination, ideal for friends, but especially good for couples and dates. If you’re craving mouthwatering Japanese–Indian platefuls with privacy and provocative surroundings on the side, look no further.

56A Tras Street, 078977.