Manhattan Bar’s Bringing Harlem To Singapore

A diverse blend of soul and southern comfort.

manhattan-bar

It’s the new year and Manhattan bar at Regent Singapore’s about to drop their hottest new district that they’re presenting to you, with love. Goodbye SoHo, hello Harlem, the ever diverse and playful district, North of New York’s Manhattan borough.

Manhattan Bar Manager Phillip Bischoff and Head Chef Nicholas Trosien have painstakingly put together a new menu that evokes Harlem’s beautiful blend of characteristic New York soul food and southern comforts, bringing versatility in their dishes and classic cocktails with a twist.

manhattan-interior

Precisely because of Harlem’s diverse culture, allowing for more innovative methods in presentation, Manhattan decided to bring back mezcal and single malt whiskies, only to serve it with a twist. You’d commonly associate peaty whiskies with straight glasses but Manhattan’s just about to change all of that.

manhattan-lenox

The first drink of the night is the Lenox ($23), inspired by the ever famous Lenox Lounge in Harlem where many great jazz artists performed at, including Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

Lenox is a blend of reconstructed Espresso Martini and a redone version of the iconic cocktail, Harlem Nights, of Lenox Lounge. It contains Alipús Baltazar Mezcal, Koko Kanu Rum, Luxardo Espresso Liqueur, Pineapple, Lime, House-made Grenadine, Egg White and Peach Bitters.

Lenox certainly blends with Manhattan’s sleek interior, completely suspending my disbelief and play pretend that I’m in a jazz club, all I’m missing is a cigar really. The first sip gives an earthy and slightly herbal note but soon works its way to a nicely spiced and refreshing flavour, finishing smooth.

manhattan-cornbread

Southern Cornbread ($10). Head Chef Nicholas Trosien’s own version of the popular dish from Marus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster contemporary restaurant where President Obama and a group of others dined at, raising 1.5M from it for charity where a single pax is sold for $30k. 

The cornbread is freshly baked whenever an order is drop, so it’s definitely warm, fluffy and fragrant, complete with two very unique pairings – barrel-aged maple pecan butter and savoury pimento cheese.

I personally prefer the latter because I was mesmerised by its aromatic pungency that gives complexity to the dish. The maple pecan butter isn’t too sweet, still good overall but the pimento cheese has my heart.

manhattan-redrooster

Red Rooster ($24). Named after the restaurant mentioned earlier for its diverse culinary traditions in Harlem, Manhattan’s Red Rooster contains House-made Barrel Aged Applejack, St. Germain and Luxardo Sangue Morlacco. All mixed in and thrown together, it isn’t shaken or stirred like most cocktails are.

Definitely strong and very traditional, the first sip of the Red Rooster might prove to be rather daunting for those who do not like a heavier alcohol flavour. But, be patient and you’ll soon taste the different taste profiles of the liquor blending together to give a albeit floral and sweet lingering aftertaste. It only gets better after.

manhattan-tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes ($16). Another favourite from the soul food section, the tomatoes are coated and deep fried till they are fragrantly crisp, topped with juicy slow-cooked pork belly and white cheddar cheese. It pairs well with the chilli aioli and it surely comforts you the right way, especially after a few tipples. 
manhattan-barbershop
Barber Shop ($23). Why the barber shop for a name? Simply because it mimics the familiar feeling of the small gentlemen’s club gatherings in the barber shops of Harlem, where great camaraderie took place over casual drinks. 
Served with a prominent red and white barber pole straw, I was fooled by its sweet and fruity appearance. The presentation of the drink surely did not prepare me for the peaty hit. The Barbershop contains a Bowmore 12 Year Old Whisky, making it slighty salty and of course, smoky.
The fresh cucumber mint, lime, lemonade and ginger beer helps to balance the peaty islay whisky, giving a well-rounded drink.
manhattan-chickenwaffles
Chicken & Waffle ($18). A harlem classic, Head Chef Nicholas pairs it with in-house hot sauce and honeycomb sauce, of which I prefer the latter to my surprise. I mean, it’s savoury meets sweet, a perfect combination that never fails. The waffles are mixed in with the chicken drumlettes, thoroughly soaking in the honeycomb and slathering the chicken with a tinge of sweetness and saltiness that had me wanting more.
manhattan-globetrotters
Globetrotter ($22). Inspired by the famous Harlem Globetrotters, an exhibition basketball team that combines their passion for the sport with comedy and theatre.
Having Manhattan bar’s Globetrotter is albeit like watching the real act, having a beer and dishes on the side, hence the beer cocktail with a side of salted and cheesy pretzels. The beer is lager style, making it more hoppy, much like a Sidecar, a cognac-based drink. It is brewed specially for Manhattan.
manhattan-bananacookies
Banana Cream Cookies ($12). An indulgent way to finish off the night, the cream is light and aromatic a strong banana flavour. The cookies crumbles apart beautifully and mixes well with the cream to form a well balanced dessert that is fragrantly sweet, with hints of chocolate.
manhattan-ginjuice
Gin & Juice ($24). A cheeky tribute to Snoop Dogg’s ‘Gin and Juice’, it is a variation of the famous well-known American long drink that is exceedingly refreshing and definitely fruity. 
Manhattan Bar has certainly welcomed me to the Harlem District in the best way, completely immersing myself in its diverse culture and the ways in which it has influenced the foods and drinks.
With an interior that exudes sophistication and a dedicated team that makes sure every single detail is cared after, Manhattan’s Harlem District menu is definitely worth the time and every penny.
Expected Damage: $50 / $60 per pax

Manhattan Bar: 1 Cuscaden Rd, Regent Hotel, Singapore 249715 | Tel: 6725 3377 | Website

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