Manhattan Bar: Do the Harlem Shake

The Manhattan bar ranks amongst the world's top 50 bars. As a homage to old-world cocktails, it serves up an impressive list featuring the many iconic boroughs of - where else - New York City. It's famed barreling program eschew the common spirits, focusing on classic and once-forgotten creations. A trailblazer amongst hotel bars, it focuses on barrel-aged Negronis and revered by visiting mixologists. Add in the quintessential weekend "adults-only cocktail brunch" that harnesses the staying powder of Bloody Marys, and you have an opus magnum to the African-American neighbourhood of Harlem, north of Manhattan borough.

Manhattan Bar Manager Philip Bischoff and Head Chef Nicolas Trosien have revealed a new menu centered on Harlem, north of New York's Manhattan Borough. Five classic craft cocktails with a fresh twist as promised. Let's see how they fare...


First up, Lenox - Alipus Baltazar Mezcal, Koko Kanu Rum, Luxardo Espresso Liquer, Pineapple, Lime, House-made Grenadine, Peach Bitters, Egg White ($23)

Never say no to egg white and Mezcal. A different expression of the espresso martini, this remake of the indelible Harlem Nights of the Lenox lounge in the heart of the Harlem district is to die for. Conceived by mixologist Cedric and perfect to start off the night with. Refreshing and well-balanced.

Red Rooster - In-House Barrel-aged Applejack, St. Germain and Luxardo Sangue Morlacco ($24)

Return to the Red Rooster restaurant (now that's a tongue-twister). Applejack, one of the oldest American spirit, has been given the Manhattan treatment. Expect to be overwhelmed by its smouldering sweet profile. Although the strength of the alcohol dissipates over time, leaving the beverage decidedly smoother.

Barber Shop - Bowmore 12 YO Whisky, St. George Raspberry liquer, Hibiscus syrup, lime juice, cucumber, mint leaves and ginger beer ($23)

One of the favourite sights along the Harlem district, with its old-school charm of red and white barber pole lights, this aesthetically appealing apertif will have you clamouring for more. That raspberry liqueur really masking the alcoholic drawls of the Islay whisky, and the overall sensation is a perfect amalgamation of chic and cool. Literally. Holdable ice-bucket. Check.

Globetrotter - Ferrand Cognac, Fresh Lemon, Ferrand Dry Curacao, Simple Syrup, Knicknocker beer foam ($22)

Who could forget the legendary Harlem Globetrotters on the basketball court? Looking at the foam that rises upon the top of this mixture of beer and spirits, the crowd goes wild with anticipation. This is one drinks that does not take itself too seriously, much like its namesake!

Gin and Juice - Tanqueray No. 10 Gin, Pink Grapefruit, Maraschino, Simple Syrup, Sea salt, Egg White and Champagne ($24)

Rolling down the street, sipping on that gin and juice? Snoop Dogg's steady long ode to this popular cocktail styles has all the ingredients - tanqueray gin, maraschino cherry, his trademark champagne, all with a sly nod to the inclusion of egg white. This sly dog is worth its salt.

Food falls in the same league of extraordinary gentleman. With the Southern Cornbread ($10) conjuring rolling of eye white and oohs and aahs all round. I adore Chef Samuel Samuelsson, his admirable career path and innovative take on modern cuisine truly respectable, that being said, his appearance in Top Chef Masters causing a serious case of gaga for me, Hence when the Manhattan kitchen churns out a warm cornbread taking inspiration from said chef, I wanted to kidnap the entire dish. Served with pimento cheese and a sneaky barrel aged maple pecan butter (one moment on your lips, forever on your hips..Psst.. who cares?), this is cooked to order and arrives at your table spewing smoke from its crevices. It's impossible not to enjoy this sacrilegious act.

The Fried Green Tomato ($16) is your typical soul food but done more artfully in the crib. Deep fried till crusty brown, topped with pork belly, homemade chili aioli and white cheddar.  I suppose these would be perfect in sliders. I chomped thru half of mine before exchanging stolen glances with the approaching plate... Chicken and Waffles ($18).. I can't even.

So, let me begin to explain the blasphemy of this marriage. Juicy fried chicken drumettes wrapped with waffles quarters; its bent edges sealed in with extra batter so that they encapsulate the crusty bird. Grab a Popsicle and start chomping away. But don't forget the accompanying honeycomb and homemade hot sauce.

Last but not least, the dessert that will leave you with gold fingers. The Banana Cream Cookies ($12) is a play on the Southern classic banana cream pie (now doesn't that sound naughty?). Similarly, the  crisp wafer sandwich interceded by a fluffy banana cream and chocolate will have you lickin your fingers and reaching out for the next cocktail to extrapolate the sweet experience.

Manhattan Bar
1 Cuscaden Road
Regent Hotel
t: 6725 3377

Operating Hours: 
Daily: 5pm - 1am
Sunday Cocktail Brunch: 11 30am - 3 30pm

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