Hotel bars are in vogue again, thanks to hotspots such as Antidote, Manhattan, and Jigger & Pony. But the crown jewel, without a doubt, is the newly unveiled MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore.
The MO Bar is a cosy interpretation of swankiness: loungers draped in luxurious textiles of dusty pastels, hand-woven tapestries and etched metal panels. But more importantly, the drinks programme marries evocative storytelling—a nautical journey across Asia and the Pacific isles—with creativity and finesse.
Rough Waters by the Coral Sea ($26) epitomises just that—the cognac-and-vermouth base is barrel-aged in saltwater-cured American oak, then served with a squid ink tuile ‘coral’ daubed with roasted pepper sauce. It’s a veritable nightcap, heady with a buttery mouthfeel and salted caramel-like depth. The prosecco-topped Roaring City ($24), on the other hand, strikes fresh tropical notes with housemade pineapple tepache (a fermented brew of pineapple and brown sugar), lime-and-vermouth jelly and curry leaves.
The food menu is no after-thought either, with compelling choices such as a Nyonya-inspired hotdog dressed with sambal mayo and achar, or somen noodles that are equal parts refreshing and hearty, tossed with shallot vinegar and Tasmanian crabmeat. There’s afternoon tea, but day-drinking is another worthy option, since MO Bar opens from 11am till late.
4F Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue. Tel: 6885 3500.