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Image: Joo 

Joo Restaurant and Bar aims to perpetuate the Korean tradition of bonding over shared food and drinks. Aptly named Joo ("alchohol" in Korean), the establishment by the husband-and-wife team of Jamie and Kristin Lim goes the extra mile with home-brewed makgeolli (Korean rice wine), and interiors that seem to belong to a trendy club, instead of a dining spot.

Conceptualised by the couple and their designer friend, Kenneth Tan, the plan was to have a "minimalist yet cosy, modern yet rustic" space that puts customers at ease while they eat, drink and be merry.

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Image: Joo

That vision was executed by The Design Ministy, which turned the interiors of the three-storey shophouse into a talking point – even the pinewood found on the restaurant's stools and tables were imported from Korea! Guests are treated to a casual setting on the ground floor where the open bar serves up Joo's signature makgeolli, soju mojitos, beer and cold-pressed juices On the upper floors, black chesterfield dining booths, as well as industrial chairs and lighting, are set up for group dining.

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Image: Joo

The second floor also features an amusing yet informative wall that illustrates Korean drinking etiquettes, such as never filling your own glass, and always receiving a drink refill with your right hand. The owners can attest to Koreans being pretty serious about these rules – whenever they try to pour themselves a cup when drinking with their Korean staff, at least three pairs of hands will reach out to stop them!