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.

Bar manager Michele Mariotti - MO Bar Mandarin Oriental

Bar manager Michele Mariotti at work

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.

Rough Waters by the Coral Sea - MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental

Rough Waters by the Coral Sea

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.


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