There is something insanely sexy about Manhattan. From the moment we went beyond those mysterious black lacquer panels which flanked the entrance, the lush opulence of this swanky hotel bar at Regent Singapore time-traveled us back to 19th century's Golden Age of cocktails, fine drinking and gourmet bites. Reminiscent of glamorous old New York yet exuding an upscale contemporary feel. Dark. Intimate. Sexy.
Fitted with luxurious upholstered leather furniture, Manhattan serves as the perfect spot to congregate for an evening of chilling out in relaxed elegance. The classy interior no doubt reflects a taste most impeccable. Everything from the dramatic backdrop of 300 illuminated bottles in the main salon to the quiet sophistication of its 3 private rooms are so gorgeous!
It would be imperative to savor some of the 25 seasonally rotating cocktails specially crafted by Manhattan's Head Bartender Ricky Paiva, who honed his skills at some of the world's leading bars such as San Francisco's Rickhouse.
Themed around the rich history and flavors of Manhattan's various intriguing precincts such as SOHO, Spanish Harlem, Theatre District and Wall Street, standout concoctions include Box Office Smash ($23, Johnny Drum Private Stock Bourbon, Housemade Ginger-apple Syrup, Fresh Lemon & Organic Mint), Eighth Ward ($24, High West Campfire Whiskey, Sangue Morlacco, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino & Ferrand Dry Curacao), as well as a very pretty and delicate The Princess Cut ($23, G’Vine Floraison Gin, June Fleur de Vigne Liqueur, Housemade Hibiscus Syrup, Fresh Lemon, Rosewater & Champagne) which most ladies would probably like.
Much effort can be seen clearly in these exquisite spin on classic American dishes, especially the Maine Lobster "Roll" ($26) featuring fresh Maine lobster wrapped around a refreshing crab salad, instead of a typical bun. The Shrimp Ceviche Tacos ($20), a combination of nicely chilled shrimps, mildly alcoholic Bloody Mary cocktail sauce, avocado and micro celery on crispy wanton, was just as delightful in every bite.
Its nondescript demeanor got me mistakening this as ordinary chips, but the House-made Kettle Chips ($12) are anything but that. Made with Idaho russet potatoes, each thinly sliced piece is perfectly fried to a shattering crisp and simply divine when dipped into the creamy decadent mix of foie gras and pan-fried onion.
I would also highly recommend the Rebellion Burgers ($20), mini power packs of Angus beef patty, tomato onion jam, artisan Nicasio cheese and butter lettuce sandwiched between soft paprika bun rioting with deliciousness.
And once I tasted Chef Nicholas's Street Style Hot Dogs ($15), all other versions which I had before just don't measure up anymore. Love the densely packed crunchy sausage bursting with juiciness as it succumbed to my bite, an utter enjoyment hugged by pillowy buns, teased with the sweetness of braised tomato onion, pickle relish, and intoxicatingly laced with Manhattan's Knickerbocker lager mustard. Superbly satisfying! You can say this doggie has hit all the right notes.
To finish the night-out on a sweet note is always a good idea, that's when the selection of The Big Apple Cheesecake ($10), a delicate rum-infused apple mousse on vanilla sable, Bourbon-infused Doughnuts ($10), PBJ Whoo-pie ($10) and Cappuccino Numero Uno ($12) became irresistable choices.
My only complain is that pricing tips towards the higher end, but the experience at Manhattan certainly topped many other hotel bars in Singapore. Absolutely a place worthy checking out if you wanna impress your date or business associates.
Manhattan, Regent Singapore
Address: 1 Cuscaden Road, 2nd Floor, Singapore 249715
Contact: +65 6720 8000
Opening Hours: Daily 5pm-1am / Violet Hour Mon-Fri 5pm-7pm