Stockton Takes You Back to the Halycon Times of 1890s London

Stockton has got quite the stellar resumé. Earning a number of prestigious titles since its opening over six years ago—which includes #11 Best Bar for Asia’s 50 Best Bars—the speakeasy bar has garnered citywide attention for its world-famous cocktails and well-loved bar food menu. Serving classic and creative drinks, the original menu is backed by eclectic, Darwin-inspired stories.


Previously owned by Maximal Concepts, the bar recently handed its reigns to an equally-lovely new owner, whom we had the pleasure of meeting. We headed to the hidden gem to try a range of the best cocktails and food—and it’s safe to say, it was one of the most hospitable and delectable experiences we’ve had to date.

stockton cha siu papers times

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

Location


Situated in buzzing Central, Stockton is tucked away up an unexpected, nondescript flight of stairs behind a narrow alleyway. It ticks all the boxes of being a speakeasy—the hidden venue, the word-of-mouth recognition, and the vintage interiors upon entering. It’s not really the type of place you just stumble upon—but people talk. And they talk a lot because Stockton is always packed—filled with social groups, business meetings, and date nights.

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Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

Design


Designed by Australian-born Ben McCarthy of Hong Kong-based design firm, Charlie & Rose, Stockton is inspired by the Prohibition era in Victorian England, where the Temperance movement was at its peak—and so was the rise in speakeasy bars. So as one can probably imagine, the London-themed interiors feature the expected favourites—plush leather sofas, deep wooden furnishings, and the occasional radical art piece or ornament.

stockton cha siu papers times

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

There’s an old-world nostalgia at the venue, whisking you away from the city crowd only a few footsteps away. The design is minimal yet sophisticated, featuring beautiful Persian carpets and a sporadic dash of whimsical taxidermy.

stockton mr ping cha siu papers times

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

The Food


It’s definitely a challenge for bars that are predominantly known for their drinks, to master their food menu too. Yet, Stockton champions both the food and drinks list. Serving a range of snack-worthy platters, as well as its bigger plates, the kitchen can whip up a feast for a delectable palette. We were presented with a beautifully-curated personalised menu with Cha Siu Papers Times printed over it—a heartwarming gesture! The menu featured a mix of the classic cocktails and the best bar bites to try.

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Mixed Board at Stockton | Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

First, we tried the Mixed Board, a decadent cheese and cured meat platter served with light crackers and crispy bread slices. There was prosciutto, salami, mortadella, and rich cheese slices from across the globe. An obvious sharing plate, this dish makes an indulgent and quick pecking option for group gatherings. Stockton works with with the best artisans that have the highest distinction in France to serve guests with authentic cheese and cold cuts of the best quality.

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Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

We then tried the Beef and Tomato Meatballs, a juicy devouring dish, perfectly complemented by the fresh tomatoes. The Heirloom Tomatoes & Burrata was also a heartwarming dish, using creamy, rich burrata atop a bed of sweet, ripe tomatoes.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

There’s always room for a cheat day—and for us, treating means deep-fried goodness is involved. That’s not to say it’s not classy though—at Stockton, it certainly feels it, even when there’s a plate of hot fish and chips in front of you. As one of the signature creations, the Fish & Chips fully represents its British-bound surroundings with honour. And it tastes delicious at that. The piping hot fish is dipped crispy batter, served with equally-crunchy chips. If you love this old-fashioned combination, be sure to give it a try at Stockton.

stockton

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

The salad was refreshing and well seasoned. We think it could have done with a little more dressing—perhaps some more olive oil or balsamic.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times