It's difficult to live the dream, but we can all try the next best thing. For those who dream of getting high on Moroccan exoticism and balmy beaches, Balcony Bar brings you a little closer; that is, short of the beaches. An outdoor extension of The Heeren, this 24-hour bar brings you the pleasure of palaces in Casablanca while letting you access Singapore's shopping haven.

  • The Vibe
    With its intricate artdeco metal frames, mosaic tiles and four-poster beds, Balcony depicts the French-influenced Middle East – something very much like the palaces of Casablanca and the rest of French North Africa. Such a decadent old-world setting is brought to the 21 st century with the sound of electronica, lounge and chill-out music, creating an ambience that's hip yet aristocratic.

    With two equally posh levels, this bar is one of the places to see and be seen. The first level is completely al fresco, with a parquet deck and chairs of white cushions. Swings frame the area, on which guests can sit and enjoy their drinks. As you ascend Balcony Bar's translucent stairs, you ascend from the porch to the balcony proper. Here you are greeted with shades of brown, orange and white. Of course, if it is night-time, all you see are the sensuous flickers of light and shadows created by dim orange candles and subdued lamps. This is the outdoor portion of Balcony's 2 nd floor, which is decorated with Moroccan rugs, cushioned stools and luxurious white daybeds. The indoor section, where the bar counter is, is much darker. A DJ spins records in a corner, while the barrister concocts his drinks in front of bar shelves that are shaped like chateaus.

  • The Food and Drinks
    Snacks are not usually the focus of bars but those at Balcony Bar's ones are surprisingly good. The Calamari ($10), while nothing special, is at least soft and chewy rather than rubbery. The mayonnaise accompanying it is a little spicy, differentiating itself from the usual offering. Also try the Seafood Pizza ($13), with a thin crust and a generous serving of squid. Unfortunately, there isn't much seafood other than this. The pizza, like the mayonnaise, is also slightly spicy.

    The highlights of Balcony's bar snacks are the Balcony Toastees ($10) and Balcony Wings ($10 for 6 pieces, $18 for 12 pieces). The Balcony Toastees are pieces of baguette topped with mayonnaise, bacon and mozzarella . Slightly bitter and salty, the unique taste of the toastees is a cross between pizza and garlic bread. The Balcony Wings, on the other hand, is nothing special – just very well-done barbequed chicken wings! Hot and juicy, the wings complement the barbeque sauce, although the dip contains a little too much tomato, making it sour.

    Unfortunately, Balcony's drinks don't quite live up to the standard of the ambience and snacks. Despite being uncommon and creative, the drinks lack a punch and are rather unsatisfying. The Watermelon & Strawberry Margarita ($14), while well-presented with a strawberry and a slice of watermelon, is so light that it defeats the point of drinking an alcoholic beverage. The Lychee Martini ($14), suffers the same failings – it is too watered-down and tastes too much of syrup. Likewise, Balcony's original Watermelon Martini ($14) is a let-down, since the taste of vodka does not mix well with watermelon juice.

    The Lime Jellita ($14), one of Balcony's signature cocktails, at least has enough alcohol. However, the melon liqueur used in the drink is a little too syrupy and artificial. What saves the cocktails in Balcony is the Blue Morocco ($14), a mixture of tequila and Blue Curacao. Sweet, fruity and well-presented, this bright blue cocktail is something fit for ladies who like light, pleasant-tasting alcohol.

  • The Service
    Balcony seems short-staffed, with the wait staff running around hurriedly even though the place is not crowded. While the staff is friendly, they do not know very much about the drinks or the menu. Also, drinks take a little too long to come.

The SD Advisor's take on Balcony Bar
The ambience is Balcony is fantastic, except for the crowded streets and shopping centres that surround the bar. I would go there for the drinks, but not the cocktails; the next time I'm there, I think I will just order a beer or a whisky on the rocks.