Ume San 100: Singapore’s hottest new secret Japanese bar, hidden behind vending machines

By Evan Mua May 30, 2023
Ume San 100: Singapore’s hottest new secret Japanese bar, hidden behind vending machines
This hidden Japanese bar has become Singapore’s newest viral food spot. Photos: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

If you’re on the lookout for quirky hidden bars in Singapore, here’s a new one you shouldn’t miss: Ume San 100, a speakeasy hidden behind a row of Japanese vending machines.

Located at Fortune Centre, Ume San 100 boasts the largest selection of umeshu in Singapore, sourced exclusively from Wakayama. It is the birthplace of the beloved Japanese liqueur. 

On its facade, you’ll be greeted by vending machines carrying a litany of items such as liquor, magazines, and… condoms. 

We all know what you’re thinking — yes, Ume San 100’s unique entrance is perfect for those OOTDs.

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The eye-catching entrance has caught the attention of many passers-by. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Once you’re done with your photos, a gentle push on the “condom vending machine” (none of the vending machines are operational) in the middle will reveal a clandestine bar space situated just behind it, done up in a way reminiscent of authentic Japanese izakayas.

This means a laidback ambience underscored by rustic wooden fixtures, high stools, retro flag banners, and vintage posters.

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A peek behind the hidden entrance. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

Complementing the umeshu experience, Ume San 100’s menu also offers a delectable array of Japanese food and bar snacks.

If you’re not sure what to try, the bar’s signature Umesan Nachi Pagoda (S$20) is a good, safe option. It is an assortment of four seafood–focused sides — such as luscious lobster salad and numbing mala clams — paired with a stack of crunchy, fried gyoza skin.

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Satisfyingly crispy gyoza skin that goes well with anything. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

To sweeten the deal, Ume San 100 is also running a special deal through June where customers can get the signature Pagoda dish at 50% off.

Other popular bar bites include the garlic chicken karaage (S$16), made extra addictive with a heap of fried garlic, and The Uni is the Bomb! (S$14 for two pieces) that’s essentially a croquette that splits open to release a deluge of creamy uni-flavoured filling.

There are also mains available on Ume San 100’s menu in case you find your tummy growling before the drinks arrive.

One crowd favourite was the Angry asari soup ramen (S$16), a clean but hearty indulgence served with a smattering of asari (Manila) clams drenched in a rich asari white miso and pork bone broth.

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The Uni is the Bomb! is a little bundle of sea urchin joy that will delight all uni lovers. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

Alternatively, the Wagyu is the New Black chahan (S$22) is a solid option for those who can’t live without rice. You just can’t beat the simple pleasures of smoky charcoal rice topped with wagyu beef cubes and tobiko (flying fish roe).

Food aside, Ume San 100’s strength undoubtedly lies in its esoteric range of tipples. Highball fans, in particular, are in luck — there’s a staggering choice of 24 different highball permutations on the menu.

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How can you resist this bowl of sweet and creamy ramen broth? Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

These vary from the timeless Suntory Kakubin highball (from S$14) and classic ume highball (S$14), to more luxe offerings such as the Hakushu highball (S$26) and Yamazaki highball (S$28), which use premium whisky as their base.

However, for those on the hunt for something new, we strongly recommend diving into Ume San 100’s umeshu (plum wine) collection.

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Ume San 100 boasts the largest umeshu collection in Singapore — it even has spicy umeshu! Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

Aptly named the Umeshu Bible, the speciality menu comprises everything from no-frills classic umeshu to dessert variants. Think strawberry milk (S$16 per glass, S$78 for bottle) and matcha latte (S$12 per glass, S$58 for bottle).

Cocktail fans can also access a specially designed menu with a myriad of original concoctions based on the classics. If you’re looking to feed your cameras, then the striking blue-hued Sea Garden (S$22) is a must-get.

This was a hosted tasting.

For more new cafe openings, read our stories on the relocation of Keong Saik Bakery and the first local outpost of the popular Mister Donut.

Book a ride to Ume San 100.

Ume San 100

Fortune Centre, 02-07, 190 Middle Road
Nearest MRT station: Rochor and Bugis
Open: Monday to Sunday (5pm to 11pm)

Fortune Centre, 02-07, 190 Middle Road
Nearest MRT station: Rochor and Bugis
Open: Monday to Sunday (5pm to 11pm)

Evan Mua


Evan started off writing about food on Instagram, before joining outlets such as Buro and Confirm Good to pursue his passion. His best work usually comes after his first whisky shot in the morning.

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