I initially had reservations upon hearing of a club called The Alibi, thanks to the infamous bar in the U.S. version of the television show, Shameless. I was relieved and excited to know that rather than the armpit-of-satan, drunken watering-hole-in-the-wall that The Alibi Bar was in the TV show, this club promised a high-class experience right on the water overlooking the famous Singapore skyline.
Having RSVP'd in due time (rather than risk paying the steep $50 entrance fee), I assembled my girl squad for the night and arrived at the club a tick before midnight. Expecting to see a line of people at the door and a steadily swelling crowd inside, I was rather surprised by what I encountered instead.
At the entrance, we were met by an empty line and two hostesses striking names off slightly rumpled sheets of paper. Both seemed a little unsure, but I could not discern whether it was because they were new to hosting or because they knew how many people were actually inside (although one was wearing a fetching jumpsuit from Topshop that I definitely must go and find sometime).
The bouncer had the large door promptly opened for us, something I highly appreciated because I have an immense aversion to feeling the hand oils other people have left on door handles. Stepping into the club felt like entering a snow globe, except it was dark and instead of precipitation floating through the air, there was only the anticipation that more people would come very quickly (which unfortunately they did not).
The short corridor opened up to a circular bar which opened up to a semicircular dance floor with a narrow outdoor deck running along it. The offerings at the bar were both paltry and pricey, with an unimpressive selection that definitely did not justify the high price tag (as if I'm going to pay $19 for a Stella and $20 for an unexceptional glass of wine). To add insult to injury, the menu was laminated and the logo font was equal parts amusing and worrying (and this is coming from someone who hates choosing fonts with a passion, and couldn't care less).
Determined not to let the bar or the white, offensively sparkly, broken-tile columns dampen my evening, I moved towards the dance floor. My first impression was that the tall man in the white shirt was rather handsome and had nice biceps, and after taking a few seconds to subtly check him out, I reverted my attention because one must never look enthusiastic when eye flirting.
The dance floor seemed rather spacious, and I'm sure it's great when it's more full. I certainly appreciated the open-plan layout because it meant I could easily spot a potential bae from across the room. I do worry about their lovely wooden flooring, as I'm sure drunken heels and spilled drinks will definitely leave them looking like Jabba the Hutt's neck skin after a while.
The music was neither here nor there - something you could casually dance along to but just as easily forget that it's even playing. For the sake of my friend who lives right along the bay and hated Avalon for its throbbing noises at 3am, I appreciated that the music could barely be heard outside.
The view from the outside deck was fantastic - you're literally on the water with the ArtScience Museum and the Big Floaty Boat (aka Marina Bay Sands) right across from you. It's a great place to chat and sneakily watch people dancing inside, moreover, it's well lit so a potential bae inside can see you from the dance floor too. My only wish was that the deck were a metre wider or more, it required a lot of squeezing past already squashed groups of people. I was very worried about being bumped and accidentally dropping my phone (or myself) into the water. This did not seem to be a qualm for a certain group of club-goers, however, who dropped (or rather tossed) wine glasses and other unknowns into the water for amusement.
My final opinion on the entire affair was a resounding 'meh.' Whilst claiming to be a high-class establishment, and a 'party playground for the discerning,' they certainly under-delivered on the 'class' aspect. The menu lacked refinement, both in its offerings and its appearance. Moreover, the VIP opening night boasted cat woman lookalikes, clad in tight leather jumpsuits, kitten ears and black eye masks.
Short of launching into a nit-picky diatribe as to why this club is not nearly as classy as it has the potential to be, I will simply say that I will probably not be returning to the Alibi very often. However, I'm sure over time it will gain a loyal patronage of people not nearly as obnoxious and sober as I was. To be fair, from the Facebook photos, the second opening night looked like it was much better. I would recommend going anyway because, as I wrote in a recent blog post, one should take everything with a pinch of salt.
Pepper & Söl
*all photos are from The Alibi's Facebook Page