You may love Singaporean food, but are you Singaporean enough to handle this Hainanese chicken rice cocktail? There’s a new bar in town that takes things up a notch with their unique brand of Singapore-inspired cocktails.
Tucked away in a secluded spot along Newton Road, Amrith is just a short walk from Orchard Road. Aptly named ‘Nectar of the Gods’, Amrith’s selection of uniquely Singaporean cocktails is guaranteed to blow your mind.
The cosy 15-seater had mahogany furniture right by the bar for a casual and intimate dining experience. Head Bartenders Edwin and Mark often chat with diners while preparing the exotic cocktails too.
We started with The Peranakan ($26). This elegant cocktail is actually inspired by Mark’s childhood memories of his grandmother’s perfume, which was the first thing he would smell when his grandmother caught him sneaking around the kitchen.
If you’re already feeling nostalgic, just wait till you try it. The Dutch gin-based drink infuses Peranakan elements with pandan, lemongrass and ginger. Finally, the cocktail is sprayed with a touch of royal rose cologne to recreate his grandmother’s perfume.
Before each sip, get a whiff of the delightful rose scent. The sharpness of the ginger cut through first, before finishing off with the fragrant sweetness of the pandan gomme. With a light citrus taste, the cocktail was refreshing and easy on the tongue.
I’ve always been told never to drink on an empty stomach. That’s definitely not an issue with this bowl of Katong Laksa ($26) cocktail. Coming from a family of hawkers, Edwin modified his family’s laksa recipe to concoct this alcoholic laksa.
Infused with a vodka base fat-washed with dried shrimp, the Katong Laksa uses actual laksa broth to recreate the bold flavours. Each bowl is also topped with two delicious quail egg halves that have been meticulously soaked in sake and soya sauce.
While chilli and cocktail sound like a disaster in the making, I really enjoyed the hiam-ness (spiciness) of the broth. The vodka wasn’t masked by the strong shrimp flavour, and went down smoothly. The sweetness from coconut milk brightened the flavours, and it felt like I was slurping up real laksa!
The noodles were actually cooked in the boozy laksa broth. While the vodka wasn’t very strong, I felt that anything stronger would make the drink unbearable. All in all, the flavours blended harmoniously together. Who knew vodka was the secret ingredient missing from our laksa?
Even Amrith knows that nothing beats waking up to a good cup of kopi. Their next food-inspired cocktail is a take on Singaporean breakfast — kopi, kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs! And yes, it’s named Breakfast Set A! ($26).
Made with whisky and espresso liqueur, the ‘kopi’ had a delightful creaminess very much like Bailey’s Irish Cream. Amrith even does the impossible by recreating kaya using pandan, sugar, eggs and coconut cream. The full-bodied and balanced taste was really close to the actual deal.
Amrith uses a flip method of adding egg yolk to cocktail the same way eggnogs are made. You can even dip your toast into the ‘eggs’ here. Go ahead and get a bit of the rich coffee aroma with each crisp bite of toast. Now that’s what I call breakfast!
As you can probably tell, Amrith commits to recreating their cocktails down to the finest detail. Just take a look at the Hainanese Chicken Rice ($26) cocktail, their recreation of Singapore’s national dish.
Combining sesame-washed rye, ginger liqueur, cucumber, calamansi juice and even some chilli padi, this complex cocktail is brimming with all the flavours you would expect in traditional chicken rice. It’s even sprayed with sesame and shallot oil to replicate the fragrance of a plate of chicken rice.
If you’re feeling hungry, the cocktail is served alongside succulent Hainanese chicken in tapas style. The best way to eat this is to take a sip, get a bite of chicken and let the flavours explode in your mouth.
While I found the drink a tad oily, the chicken rice flavours really came through. This cocktail is very savoury so it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you aren’t the type to chicken out, I’d strongly recommend Amrith’s one-of-a-kind chicken rice cocktail.
Of course, no meal should end without dessert! The last drink is Chocolate Milk Shake Ala Mode ($30), which is a grown-up version of Mark’s favourite childhood drink.
Laden with three kinds of chocolate (dark, white and spiced), this is every chocolate lover’s dream. The vodka and cocoa liqueur base went very well with this indulgent cocktail as they added smoothness and balanced out the dark chocolate’s bitterness.
For a sweet finish, the chocolate milkshake is topped with homemade vanilla ice cream. Filled with peppercorn, fresh vanilla pod and whisky, the ice cream brought a rich sweetness. The cherry on top was soaked in a strong kirsch for a boozy sweet taste.
I’ll admit, I believed initially that the Singapore-inspired cocktails would be just another gimmick. But after sipping these crazy yet lip-smacking concoctions, I’ve never been more glad to be wrong.
The Katong Laksa cocktail is really something special. So if you’re looking for a place to impress that special someone, Amrith is the latest bar to check out for its local food-inspired cocktails.
Expected Damage: $30 – $70 per pax