SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) – MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental hotel is the latest bar in town – and it offers serious views.
See Marina Bay through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Go at sunset and your heart will swell with pride over how gorgeous our country looks.
Singapore has some incredible bars ranked on best-of lists worldwide and MO Bar could be joining them.
Besides the jaw-dropping views, it seems to have found a balance between amazing drinks and great bar bites.
I have not had such a good time with food and drinks since Anti:Dote.
Since this is a bar, let us start with the cocktails.
I don’t drink if I can help it, but I would gladly down some of these cocktails.
Serious alcohol fans may dismiss my views, which is fine, but think of this as a guide for the rest of us who only tipple when the occasion or temptation calls for it.
Bar manager Michele Mariotti has worked in top bars across Europe and lands in Singapore with a special drink programme.
My favourite is the Sea Beast ($28). Sitting on top of this squid ink coriander soju is a slab of salmon. You eat the salmon before you proceed with the drink.
Gimmicks often fail, but this works. I loved that savoury fizzy sensation as I sipped.
The Roaring City ($24) is heavy with pineapple yet light, while Mother Of Dragons ($26) is so pretty that it’s worth an actual Instagram post, not just an Insta-story.
For those who want to eat, you are in luck. Bar bites are usually an afterthought, but that is not the case here.
Singdog ($26) is a one-bite tribute to Singapore. It has Nonya sausage, achar, scallion and dry shrimps in it, with a sambal mayo to tie it together.
It is slightly spicy, aromatic and full of texture. A bit of a handful when you are handling a drink, but it is worth the effort.
Much easier to handle are the Phoenix Wings ($32). The sticky sweet-spicy glaze is addictive, and the wings are plump and meaty.
The Somen Noodles ($32) is a delicately-flavoured bowl of noodles that is as pretty as it is delicious. Small chunks of Tasmanian crab meat add to the sweetness. Take a moment to admire its beauty before you devour it.
Maybe the least impressive item for me was the dessert Avocado ($16). It arrives shaped like an avocado, you crack the shell open and there is avocado mousse and gula melaka ice cream inside.
While the Sea Beast cocktail is a gimmick that works, this is one that does not.
The shell is hard and overly sweet, while the ice cream does not offer any excitement.
Where: Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue
Open: 11am to 1am (Sundays to Thursdays), 11am to 2am (Fridays, Saturdays and public holiday eves).
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