Take the slow lane at Cook & Tras Social Library, where you can pull a tome off a shelf, curl up and get lost in myriad worlds.
But that’s not all. When you emerge from your reverie, there’d be Southern European and local bites to immerse yourself in anew. This is the main restaurant and bar of Six Senses Maxwell, a boutique hotel that together with Six Senses Duxton mark the brand’s first urban foray. Parisian architect and designer Jacques Garcia designed the hotel not only with grandeur and comfort in mind, but a deep sense of heritage. Adorning the corridors, for instance, are the building owner’s own collection of documents tracing Singapore’s history. Think rent receipts for apartments owned by prominent businessman Eu Tong Sen, and indentures for land, that like the hotel’s, had once been used as nutmeg plantations.
Cook & Tras Social Library itself is equally artfully laid out. Mirrored ceilings suggest the bouncing off of ideas and inward reflection befitting a study; book shelves etched into the walls form natural nooks to nestle into; while French windows open out to a five-foot way when the need for fresh air—and fresh inspiration—strikes.
When they first opened at the end of last year, a modest Straits heritage and international bar bites menu accompanied choice cocktail selections. Now, an expanded all-day dining menu is available, featuring Southern European and Straits heritage cuisine, alongside pizzas, burgers, sandwiches. Executive chef Ian Mancais, who used to cook for British and Middle Eastern royalty, is inspired by the Mediterranean flavours of Southern Europe. Sustainability is another issue close to his heart; which is just as well, as sustainability consciousness is a core tenet of Six Senses’ properties, so much so that they have pledged to go entirely plastic-free by 2020.
Within his domain, Mancais confidently declares that his is a zero-waste kitchen, shipping off any remnants to a farm to be used as compost, and making full use of produce, for instance in the way that citrus peels are dehydrated and used as powder for seasoning.
He says, “Using natural, local and sustainable ingredients topped with a dose of imagination, we have successfully created a menu to help our guests reconnect. We want them to embrace their indulgence in healthy dining, safe in the knowledge that it’s not only good for their body and soul but also for the world around us.”
Such a mindful meal could start with a refreshing vine tomatoes and mixed melon ($22) paired with a citrus granite, creamy burrata and a lemon balm vinaigrette; or the kaleidoscope of green in The Lean Green ($18), featuring kale, baby spinach, avocado, papaya, berries, citrus dust and kombucha dressing. Follow that up with tender chunks of Iberico pork sate ($9), an Indonesian street food favourite served with pickled vegetables and rice cakes. Alternatively, opt for the steak chimichurri (from $45), which stars juicy, smoky grass-fed beef from Australia served with a mild roast garlic puree, confit cherry tomatoes, housemade chimichurri sauce and asparagus.
End with dessert that’s reminiscent of a camping trip in the woods. Campfire S’mores ($20), arrives in a cloche of smoke comprising torched marshmallows, vanilla ice cream and nuts. Black on Black ($22), on the other hand, featuring 72 per cent single origin Araguni, bamboo charcoal cherry, mascarpone, classic black forest and hints of edible gold, will call out to chocolate lovers.
For drinks, there are no lack of options from the beautiful bar, with cocktails such as C+T Shakerato ($25), comprising Martini Riserva Rubino, Amaro Averna, strong cold brewed coffee, Bittermens xocolatl mole bitters and seltzer; or Steinbeck ($22), named after novelist John Steinbeck, made up of Laird’s Applejack, grenadine, lemon and a spiced port reduction.
2 Cook Street. Tel: 6914 1400