A diverse blend of soul and southern comfort.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.