“A Royal Tipple”
The Royal Mail Bar is an extended beverage arm of the similarly named restaurant on the 2nd floor. The bar has rejuvenated itself and introduces new specialty cocktails and British-inspired tapas to its menus, going with the ever-evolving drinking culture in Singapore with emphasis on creative drinks.
After 3 months of research, conceptualization and testing, the kitchen and bar team have come up with a revitalized direction for the bar food and drinks menu with exciting choices.
The eye-catching round bar counter located at Ascott’s lobby is where revellers can head to quench their thirst as well as savour British-inspired grubs.
The bar interior has relatively little seats, but isn’t too crowded as well making it an intimate cosy affair. A live acoustic band also plays a mix of jazz and pop songs on certain nights to liven up the mood.
The Royal Mail Bar’s happy hour and daily promotions are truly attractive, with $10 burgers and 1-for-1 deals on different days. Perfect for the overworked CBD worker to visit after work.
And so we start on our cocktail tasting journey, with yours truly tasting an absurd number of different cocktails in 1 night.
Old Fashioned Spice ($18). Bourbon, honey, cloves and a burning stick of cinnamon. A sweeter drink rather than the usual classically strong Old Fashioned, with just a hint of smokiness and cloves at the back. Perhaps to appeal more to the gentlemen, the sweetness can be reduced slightly while conversely, ladies would prefer a less stiff drink with the same degree of sweetness.
I enjoyed the drink, but had a bit of an identity crisis.
Agent 006 ($18). Lime, sugar, mint, rum, lychee liquer and lychee juice with a burning stream of Bacardi 151. The dramatic flaming effect seems to have failed to appear for us twice when this drink was served. But still, a refreshing lychee mojito rendition with a strong addon from the barcardi 151 rum. Pretty well balanced and tangy.
Tina Funfetti ($18). Baileys, chocolate syrup, milk and butterscotch with a drizzle of grenadine and sprinkles. A tad sweet on the palate, and not thick enough as a milkshake (which further increases the sweetness). Perhaps the use of ice cream or full cream might work for a fuller body.
Straight Cut Chips ($12). Comes with truffle mayo. I particularly like thicker cut fries, which has more bite and pairs really well with the truffle mayo instead of being annoyingly doused in truffle oil like how every other bar serves truffle fries.
Garlic Bread ($8 for half a loaf). Very toasty albeit a bit hard to peel off from such a large suspended loaf.
Classic Corn Tortilla Chips ($12). Served with spicy beef ragout, Jalapenos, melted red cheddar with tomato salsa, sour cream and cheese sauce. The beef ragout is definitely the highlight dip, with otherwise pretty ordinary chips.
Lovestruck Ginny ($18). Gin, watermelon, mint, sweet and sour. Despite the cheesy punny name of the cocktail (they use gin, so ‘Ginny’ get it?), I quite liked this fresh watermelon cocktail. Added with some sourness, fruit flavour and subtle gin, I can really appreciate the simplicity and basics to create a well-balanced cocktail like this.
Timeless English ($18). Brewed Earl Grey Tea, Vodka, Sweet and Sour. The Earl Grey taste is really subtle and sadly with all the heavy bar food flavours going on tonight, its scarcely there and a bit blunt. Perhaps to appreciate this drink, you need to sip it individually to not be overwhelmed by influencing factors.
Chocolate Dream ($18). Baileys, Kahlua, Vodka with chocolate syrup. No doubt another sweet drink, but the amount of creaminess, cocoa, fat and vodka balances this drink out way better than the Tina Funfetti earlier. My only qualm is how they char the marshmallow on the exterior only, instead of slow roasting it for a soft mushy inside. Too much of a burnt taste instead.
BBQ Sweet and Spicy Meatballs ($14). BBQ beef ball patties, raspberry jam and chili powder. On paper this dish sounds lovely, but I found the meat balls to be cooked abit inconsistently, with some being very hard and chewy, while others were underdone.
Beer-battered Calamari Rings ($16). Good, freshly fried battered rings with aioli on the side.
Shrimp Paste Chicken Drumlets ($14). Comes with a chili crab tomato sauce, which tastes really delicious with this very localized version of drumlets.
Apple of my Eye ($18). Green apple, vodka, frangelico, sour apple liqueur and egg white. The Royal Mail’s version of a apple martini, the egg white gives a frothy full body while the addition of frangelico adds some nuttiness as the back. With a dash of lemon juice, perhaps that sourness would really bring out the essence of this appletini to perfection.
Plum Job ($18). Sour plum powder, vodka, sprite. It’s like a sour plum shot at the club, but in a cocktail form. Long, lingering plum sourness that makes you ask whether you’re pregnant with cravings, this is a drink you either hate or love.
Cubed Beef: Prime Roast 140g ($28). With spicy crab-tomato and Bearnaise sauce. The same signature roast beef I fell in love with in The Royal Mail restaurant upstairs, I found the additional sauces quite unnecessary given there was already beef jus on the roast. Still as tender and flavourful as I remembered, the only problem was it being a little lukewarm when served. Still, absolutely lovely.
Cocktails had some hits and misses, which is always a trial and error issue with creativity, but kudos to the effort made. I believe with some fine-tweaking, the drinks will be quite outstanding. With the daily promotions going on though, it’s definitely worth your while to give The Royal Mail bar a visit.
The new bar bites deliver a variety of flavours, including classic British snacks as well as Asian tapas. My only issue was with the consistency and speed of service, with some dishes taking as long as 30 minutes to be served, even with the bar being half full only- something the kitchen can hopefully work out in time.
Related Article: The Royal Mail Restaurant Food Review
Expected Damage: $15 – $30 per pax