By: Verne Maree
Fairmont Singapore, Level One
80 Bras Basah Road
Essentially a hotel lobby bar, but with a whole lot more going on: both food and drinks use fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables grown organically in the hotel’s own roof-garden. Sit at the combined bar and open kitchen to watch the show, or relax into an armchair at the floor-to-ceiling glass wall that looks onto the busy forecourt.
Loosely based on a “remedy” theme, expect beautifully balanced cocktails ($23), designed or perfected by Tom Hogan. Tom is literally a fine artist – having studied sculpture at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago – and his own sketches and working notes illustrate the margins of a drinks list that features house-made tinctures, bitters and flavoured liqueurs. We particularly love Le Liaison (velvet falernum, Luxardo maraschino, egg white, lemon, winter bitters, Scotch) and Corpse Reviver (Lillet blanc, orange liqueur, lemon, absinthe, gin).
Cocktail and tapas-pairing are a thing here. Highlights of the modern tapas menu ($8 and up) from chef Carlos Montobbio, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants all over Spain, include Shigoku oysters with cucumber, wasabi cream and passion-fruit jelly; scrumptious caramelised foie gras with vinegar-glazed leeks on crisp puff pastry; a delightfully inventive crisp Parmesan pizza with olive oil caviar, tomato and basil; and perhaps our top pick, scrambled eggs with sea urchin, asparagus and Kaluga caviar.