At Madame Fan Bar, head mixologist Davide Boncimino offers a sophisticated, modern take on chinoiserie.
Asian-inspired cocktails tend to have a certain cliched reputation. At best, the Asian ingredients are token embellishments that do nothing for flavour-building; other times, they’re exaggerated into caricatures of the exotic and foisted unceremoniously on the palate.
Thankfully, the ambitious cocktail lounge extension of famed Alan Yau’s Madame Fan restaurant offers a sophisticated, modern take on chinoiserie. Head mixologist Davide Boncimino is adamant about creating drinks that are “good enough to eat”—that vision is realised through an awe-inducing assortment of housemade liqueurs, shrubs, fat-washed spirits and edible garnishes that bridge culinary and mixology techniques to compose Madame Fan Bar’s 13-item menu.
Consider the Yu Cha ($26), adulterated with tie guan yin-infused peated whisky, black peppercorn cordial and shiso vermouth into a classy, Oriental middle-ground between a Martini and a Martinez. Or the O&O ($22), a deliciously fruity twist on the classic Americano with olive oil cordial for a rounded mouthfeel, and floral undertones from osmanthus tea soda. The biggest trompe l’oeil is the (Not) Classic PBJ ($28), which pushes the East-meets-West marriage to a whole new extreme with peanut butter fat-washed Glenfiddich 15, and a liqueur of caramelised kumquats as stand-in for marmalade. That basket of dim sum? That’s “just” garnish—chocolate-coated macadamia nuts masquerading as baos, daubed with chilli puree for visual realism.
The NCO Club, 32 Beach Road. Tel: 6818 1921.