Manhattan at Regent Hotel Singapore has partnered up with Michelin-starred Braci for its first culinary-inspired Friends of Manhattan Series. With a history of hosting many bars from around the world for guest shifts as part of its Friends of Manhattan Series of events, this culinary event was the first time that they hosted a top chef from outside of Regent.
Mirko Febbrile, Chef De Cuisine at Braci was in Manhattan for an exclusive one-night only kitchen takeover, which successfully satisfied my hunger and need of new cocktails on the pallet. We were able to see the first glimpse of Mirko’s highly anticipated upcoming spring menu for Braci, featuring contemporary Italian cuisine.
Braci, translates to ‘embers’ in Italian, with the restaurant’s menu inspired by wood and its main cooking method employed using Josper ovens and the Japanese shichirin grill to re-define and uplift classic Italian cuisine. It is a stylish open-kitchen restaurant, with a menu rotating according to (ingredient) seasonality, personal memories and travel experiences around the world.
Taking care of the cocktail pairing for the night is Manhattan Bar Manager Rusty Cerven, bringing over 15 years of experience honed in establishments such as Connaught Bar, The Gibson, 1880 member’s club and SKAI Bar.
The journey started with snacks, Gnocchi Cacio e Pepe, Hokkaido Scallops with Tropea Onions and Peperone Crusco, Foie Gras Semifreddo and Fig Vincotto served with a liquid gold extra virgin olive oil harvested from olive trees that grow abundantly in Mirko’s hometown, Cima di Bitonto EVOO and Altamura Bread, baked in a traditional Apulian wood-fired way from the province of Bari. The Snacks course is accompanied by Manhattan’s special concoction for the event, the Fiorello, a bright drink with Haku Vodka, Select Aperitivo, Cocchi Rosa, Tomato Sorbet and Champagne.
Half way onto my drink and after a requested second bread (because it was THAT good), came the second round of drinks, the Verde Cello, made of Roku gin, Mancino Secco, Italicus, Luxardo Limoncello and Matcha, giving the drink a very green colour. With such colourful drinks, I tend to expect something sweet but it was what I found the strongest drink of the whole pairing experience. It was accompanied with Mazara del Vallo Red Prawns with Smoked Dashi and Petit Pois.
Served with Funghetto, a Chita Whisky drink mixed with mushroom-infused Cocchi Americano, Nonino Grappa and Dill olive oil, was the the pasta dish: the Anchovy Tortellini with Colatura di Cetara, Ikura and Toritto almonds in a milk foam form.
Then came my favourite part of the whole nice, the prime, buttery cut of Tochigi Wagyu Beef, accompanied by yogurt cheese, whey and stuffed morels. With the meat melting in my mouth, I honestly could’ve had a second piece in a heartbeat! It was paired in perfection with the Spezia, my favourite of all the 5 drinks served throughout the night. It is made of Marker’s Mark Manhattan’s Private Select with solera cream sherry, spiced port and Angostura bitters.
For dessert, we took a bite into is a taste of spring with Fukuoka Strawberries paired with sake, as well as a Sakura and Amalfi Lemon while floral white peaches take their stage in the petits four course. The fruit’s puree is encased within a sphere of black tea, and served alongside double fermented Nama chocolate and candied sage. Fragolina with Courvoisier VSOP and Strawberry Milk Punch is served to end the night in beauty.
A Friends of Manhattan Series experience is a journey not to be missed, so do keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming edition! If you haven’t been to Manhattan Bar in Singapore yet, make your way there now, it’s a must! Make sure to make a reservation in advance as it can be quite hard to snag up a seat there.