About Manhattan Bar at Regent Singapore
To the average hotel visitor looking for a couple of drinks, Manhattan at Regent Singapore appears swanky, perhaps even intimidating.
This is because Manhattan isn’t just a bar. It prides itself on housing the world’s first in-hotel rickhouse, alongside an impressive Ingredients Room which serves as culinary playground for Head Bartender Ricky Paiva.
What is a rickhouse, you might ask? Basically, apart from being Ricky’s personal workshop, the rickhouse is where barrels are stored after being filled with freshly distilled spirits.
This is a delicious slice of bartending heaven – and it gets even better when paired with the Ingredients Room, where quirky and rare ingredients such as wildcherry bark and dandelion root are on proud display.
As you might expect, this gives Ricky ample opportunities to delight patrons – the main beverage menu features 25 seasonally rotating cocktails that are based on, and reminiscent of, old New York.
There are a few distinct salons inside the bar, each separate from the main salon. The Rockefeller Room (seats 16) is a uber-exclusive, très luxe area tucked behind a ‘secret’ door. A less intimidating area, the second private salon – decorated in plum velvets and tan American chairs – seats up to 12.
Still, a minimum spend is required so check if your posse is willing to empty their pockets. If not, check out the Library if you desire a quieter reprieve from the crowd in the main bar.
To call the Manhattan menu meticulously crafted would be a gross understatement. Chef Nicholas Trosien, who first started out at the Corden Bleu College in Miami, tailored an entire range of American influenced gourmet bar bites to complement the cocktails served.
Our pick: Street Style Hot Dogs ($15) paired with the Box Office Smash ($23)
What did us in was the Knickerbocker Mustard drizzled over the hot dogs. A lager developed with an award-winning local microbrewery, Manhattan has cleverly infused it with mustard to created a light and tangy dip to be enjoyed with the hot dogs.
It was accompanied by the Box Office Smash – Johnny Drum Private Stock Bourbon, house-made ginger-apple syrup topped with fresh lemon and organic mint, served with a side of salted caramel popcorn. This coupling was clearly meant to jolt some Broadway memories.
One can expect different facets of New York to be brought to life at Manhattan through cocktails and bar bites – all fancy, whimsical and creative. Like the Cappuccino Numero Uno pictured below. Soho was reportedly the place when the first cappuccino was served and that was the inspiration for this dessert! Yes, we were dunking brownies!
We were told that The Princess Cut ($23) was a crowd favourite, and I couldn’t agree more. Concocted from G’Vine Floraison Gin, June Fleur de Vigne Liqueur, home-made hibiscus syrup, fresh lemon, rosewater and champagne, I think I’ve finally found my holy grail cocktail.
Firstly, the home-made hibiscus syrup is absolutely genius. The cocktail is sweet and slightly intoxicating without being over-empowering. Also, wouldn’t you look at the presentation of little rose buds lain atop the glass? I’m definitely ordering a round of this for all of my girls!
Honourable mentions go to the Maine Lobster ‘Roll’ ($26) – generous dollops of fresh Maine lobsters wrapped around a crab salad and dripped in remoulade sauce.
The Shrimp Ceviche Taco ($20) – blend of fresh shrimps and citrus flavors was complemented by a home-made bloody mary cocktail sauce.
At this point one must ask, just how many amazing flavours come out of the Manhattan kitchen?! Ricky says ‘Thor many!’ Get it?
What we didn’t like as much:
House-made Kettle Chips ($12)
Found in the Wall Street section of the menu, this was the rich man’s Jack ‘n Jill. I was expecting the foie gras and onion dip to blow me away but it was rather mild and unremarkable. Props to it being house-made yet again, but save your money for other dishes on the menu.
The ‘Big’ Apple Cheesecake ($10)
This dessert dish was presented in a cute and novel manner, and while the vanilla sable was fragrant and satisfying, the apple in this dish just didn’t quite do it for me.
Manhattan has a great deal to be proud of – bartender extraordinaire Ricky, the rickhouse, and a chest of ingredients for a well-heeled crowd. Head chef Nicholas enjoys pushing the boundaries of ‘bar food’ by serving up innovative, gourmet-standard bar bites.
Let’s not forget the many dimensions to Manhattan’s quest for details. We were served Remember the Maine – Redemption Rye mixed with Manciono Amaranto Vermouth and Sangue Morlacco Liqueur in custom cocktail glasses, handcrafted by one of the world’s oldest glass factories.
The ingredients in this particular cocktail are tough to swallow, so only order it if you’re certain you won’t end up breaking one of those specially curated glasses!
Getting to Manhattan Bar
Address: Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road, Level 2, Singapore 249715
Opening hours: 5pm – 1am daily | Telephone: +65 6725 3377
Website: www.regenthotels.com/singapore | Facebook: www.facebook.com/manhattansg
This post was brought to you by Manhattan Bar.