How many good bars have you been to? And we mean like really good? As in Top 50 in the world? Well good news for you, Singapore is home to many of them and if you are based in Singapore, or simply visiting, you are not short of options! The Manhattan Bar, located in the Regent Singapore, has been ranked as high as 3rd on the list of the world of the Best bars and is definitely worth making some time for in your Singapore itinerary.
Located in the world’s first in-hotel rick house, the Manhattan Bar draws inspiration from the golden era of cocktail making. We paid it a little visit to see what a Top Ranked bar in the world looks like and tastes like!
With yearly rotating menus, Manhattan Bar is currently running a New York Personalities concept like this by putting the focus on the lives of New York’s most iconic people and turned them in to a whole range of cocktail drinks. They have chosen famous people that have made global impact in film, music, politics, culinary and fashion. There are six famous characters, 18 new cocktails, each with a fascinating story that directly related to the life off that particular character.
So we have put together all the cocktails we tried and their adjoining story so you get a feel of how good our experience was! Without spoiling too much about the full menu, we really invite you to go and experience it at the Manhattan Bar yourself!
Monsieur Saint-Jour $26: A chef never forgets a defining taste memory. While spending summer in France, a young Bourdain was whisked off to La Teste sur Mer, a tiny oyster village on the Bassin d’Arachon in the Gironde. A gentleman, Monsieur Saint-Jour took the family out on a boat and offered Bourdain a taste of his first freshly shucked oyster. He described it as “magic”. A twist of a classic martini and vesper, the cocktail is made with The Botanist Gin, Lillet Rose, Fino Sherry, Mignonette Cordial and Orange Bitters. An olive wrapped in an oyster leaf is served on the side for salinity and the brininess one associates with the vast ocean and all its treasures.
After Hours S$25: When Bourdain did sit down to a proper meal, it was usually in the wee hours, after service and in the solitude of his kitchen brigade. He had a penchant for cheesy greasy foods and his go-to? A sinful truffle focaccia loaded with oozy cheese. Paying homage to his dietary preferences and the well-known chef trick of finishing a dish with a pat of glossy butter, the After Hours comprises Buttered Never Never Triple Juniper Gin, Cocchi Americano and Saler’s Gentian – topped with a fried cheddar crisp.
With this drink, you could feel the smoothness of the butter lining your mouth which has a unique taste with the gin. This one was Thuymi’s favourite dink as well.
Milkorno S$26: It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who served in the White House when the Great Depression hit. With a heart for the people, the President tried to set an example of how to eat nutritiously but economically. With the help of his wife, they changed the White House menu to feature budget foods. To fortify these meals, Milkorno, a compound of powdered skimmed milk and ground corn, was sometimes added (cornflakes in porridge form, if you will). 70 years on, the cocktail form is decidedly more lush, with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Michter’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Corn and Smoked Pepper Milk Punch.
The story is truly amazing as we learned so much about this woman. Did you know she was a pilot as well? For the Milkorno, you have to sip, eat and sip again with this drink 🙂
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.
3000 S$26: That scene in Avengers Endgame that shattered all our hearts when Iron Man’s daughter proclaims the highest declaration of love was in actual fact, an encounter between Robert Downey Jr and his real-life daughter. Moving and poignant, the phrase “I love you 3000” was incorporated into the movie. His favourite flavour of Neapolitan ice cream bears a similar child-likeness and is reinvented here with Flor de Cana 12 Year Rum, Chocolate, Vanilla Cream and Strawberry Dust that takes the form of Iron Man’s arc reactor.
This is the one that was quite sweet and full, so was great to match with our desserts. The little picture of the reactor on top makes the drink even more special.
Leather Jacket S$26: Not that leather jackets ever went out of fashion but The Ramones certainly had more people coveting their signature punk look when they donned Schott jackets with effortless panache and pizzazz. Clad in a sheen of jet-black wax to emulate the go-to fashion choice for rebels and rockers alike, this big, bold drink is all theatre as it pours Woodfood Reserve Bourbon Whiskey, Flor de Cana 7 Year Rum, Amaro Montenegro, Mancino Rosso Vermouth, Strega and Bitters with dancing curls of smoke. Very spirit forward.
Hey Ho Let’s Go! S$26: The band’s biggest hit Blitzkrieg Bop opens with this high-energy rallying cry of Hey! Ho! Let’s Go, making it a popular song that is often played at sporting events or places to generate hype. Sometimes, we need just as much of a pick-me-up from our drinks. Boozy and beer-based, this drink brings to mind a Michelada (a spicy Mexican Beer and Lime cocktail), only it has Del Maguey Vida Mezcal added to the mix. Pre-bottled and capped, it is served with salt-rimmed glasses and only cracked open at the table.
I think this was my favourite drink as I really enjoyed the beer and lime tasting combination. The fact that it is pre-bottled allowed the flavours to really sync well.
Golden Hour S$26 : It’s almost impossible to talk about wedding gowns without mention of Vera Wang in the same conversation. The fashion designer has grown from a single bridal boutique into an eponymous brand sealed in every bride’s lexicon. Alluding to the magical time of the day, where for 60 precious minutes, the setting sun casts a magical glow thus making for beautiful wedding photos, the Golden Hour is akin to a creamy white textured gown with its own bouquet of Rockmelon Osmanthus Syrup, Belvedere Smogory Forest Vodka, Lavender Bitters, and Bitter Orange and Elderflower Tonic.
To complement the cocktails that we were served up, we also picked several dishes from the food menu, linked to the Manhattan theme. I had to go with the famous New York Hotdogs, however, the mixture of regular and Sweet Potato fries went down very quickly as well. Thuymi was a huge fan of the Lobster Rolls and the Tartare! The Tartare has unique wonton crunchy wrap rills which you fill were tasty.
As the food was going down so well, we decided to also take the recommendations of the Chicken Shawarma Wraps felt like we had picked it up from a vendor on 61st Street! Yes, I totally came up with a random street in NYC! But if you want a real recommendation, check out The Halal Guys if you are ever visiting the Big Apple.
Our favourite cocktail drink…. great question. It is super hard to choose between these drinks so I guess it comes down to personal preference. I really enjoyed the “I Love You 3000” and was matched perfectly with our dessert choice. We had the Big Apple Cheesecake and the Bomboloni (which are now our favourite desserts too.)
The bar staff, as you can expect from such a quality bar, are very hospitable, knowledgeable and showed so much passion towards their craft, the enthusiasm, and they had so much interest in each drink. It got us truly excited about how the drinks are crafted and how the story links back to the person. They knew everything a step before we did and gave us an exceptional experience. Two thumbs up to the team!
Phase 2 opening hours at Manhattan are Tuesday to Saturday, 5pm to 10.15pm; Sundays, 12pm to 3pm for Adults-Only Sunday Cocktail Brunch. For reservations, email [email protected] or call 6725 3377. All prices are subject to service charge and prevailing government taxes.