Engagement party, hen’s night, stag do, or even just date night out for two, there’s no denying one of the best spots be at on the weekend is in Manhattan. Not the city though, we’re talking about the award-winning bar on the second floor of Regent Singapore.
Like the hotel it is housed in, the Manhattan has been around for quite a while, it is a grand old dame that, like fine wine, only gets better over time. Over the years, they have revamped their beverage programme and food offerings and stepping further and further away from the stereotypical hotel bar. Even by regular bar standards, this is no ordinary space. Oozing grandiose and the cheeky charm of a speakeasy in the 20s, Manhattan is all Chesterfield sofas, dim mood lighting, trimmings of gold and bronze and polished, dark wood furnishings. Like the borough it is named after, it is both sleek and exciting.
Ranked #1 in Top 50 Best Bars in Asia
It holds a number of accolades, named 1st in the list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars of 2017, 7th in the William Reed Business Media list of World’s 50 Best Bars for 2017 and given one of the top four spots of the Best International Hotel Bars in 2017 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards (phew! What a mouthful!). But don’t take their word for it, visit the bar instead.
A refreshing revamp
The bar’s latest revamp has given the menu an upgrade. You’ll find that different sections of the menu are inspired by the key eras New York has gone through. Both tipples and bar bites whisk you away to eras as early as the 16th century, when Dutch explorers first landed on the island and runs past other key eras such as the Prohibition era and to the 1990s – the glamour and wealth of commercialisation.
Must-try menu items
Some must-try cocktails include Coal ($24), inspired by New York City’s industrial revolution, it is a chocolatey drink mixed with dry curacao and single malt whisky, poured over a piece of ice, hand-cut to resemble a gem or lump of coal (depending on your perception). We feel the dark reddish tones of the drink give the gleaming piece of ice a ruby-esque quality. Or taste First Voyage ($25) a concoction of vermouth, gin, port wine and orange bitters, housed in a clay pot. They say the “porous clay imparts characters of earth to the spirits aged within”.
Pair the drinks with bites such as the crisp Green Goddess Kettle Chips ($13), you won’t be able to stop popping this delightfully crunchy and well-seasoned chips into your mouth. Or savour house favourites like the Big Apple Cheesecake ($12).
Discover their Adults-Only Sunday Cocktail Brunch & Boozy Milkshakes
You’ll want to come on Sunday, when they’ll host the Adults-Only Sunday Cocktail Brunch, priced at S$119 per person with non-alcoholic beverages, S$150 inclusive of free-flow cocktails, beers, and wines, or at $195 for the above inclusions and an additional free-flow of Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve Champagne. Or you could indulge yourself at their newly added station, the Boozy Milkshake Station, that offers three marvelous milkshake flavours that you will surely enjoy. A wedding anniversary perhaps? The spread spoils you with an endless array of bar bites, barbecued meats, lobsters, freshly shucked oysters and of course plenty of drinks. They also launched their Manhattan Whiskey Embassy Programme earlier this year that is perfect for the men of your group! Looking for more? There’s a Bloody Mary cart zipping about for a custom drink!
A perfect event spot
But indulgent meals aside, the bar is also good for events, with hidden alcoves throughout the space. The Rockefeller Room sits behind a well-concealed door and sits up to 16, the Private Salon up to 12, and if you’re looking for a bigger party, opt for both The Rockefeller Room and its adjoining Library, where you can sit up to 30. Personally we’d book an event to get a chance to use The Flowing Bowl.
The communal punch bowl cart, gleaming in its polished bronze surface, is brought straight to the table with specialty cocktail mixes, topped with a full bottle of champagne, fresh fruit and a hand-cut block of crystal ice. It is quite a sight to behold and will make an outstanding statement piece.
Sign up for a unique experience at The Rickhouse
But should you choose to make your event even more unforgettable, the cherry on top of this glamourous cake is the rickhouse. A rickhouse is a storage area where one holds barrels of whiskey, leaving them to breathe and soak in the goodness of the wooden barrels. Manhattan has its own rickhouse where it stores its own custom whiskeys and of customers. That’s right! For a sum you can barrel your own custom whiskey.
The process begins with a discovery of different aromas and flavours in the bar’s own apothecary-style sensory room. Dried herbs, fruits and other items mixed for your perfect spirit. The whiskey is then barrelled and aged before you return and take a sip. The remainder of your barrel will be stored for you in a wax-sealed glass bottle for your next anniversary or special occasion. This unique experience is only available in Manhattan and definitely one for keeps.
Manhattan at Regent Hotel Singapore