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Bar review: The Other Room

We scour the island’s bar scene to bring you the new and the noteworthy – it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it! AMY GREENBURG checks out The Other Room at Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel.

the other room bar
This sleek setting is perfect for a mid-week gathering

First impressions:

Tucked behind a nondescript door and velvet curtains just off the hotel’s lobby, this intimate, dimly-lit drinking house is definitely discreet – but well worth knowing about. The bar looks like a mad scientist’s laboratory, with rows of identical, clear, label-free bottles rather than commercial ones. The mad scientist here is head bartender Dario Knox, who, drawing inspiration from the creativity of the Prohibition period (1920-1933) when bars in the US had to concoct new libations from limited stocks and ingredients, has created over 150 spirits – from rums, whiskies, bourbons, ryes and cognacs to vodkas, gins, tequilas and mezcals – that are cask finished and spice-infused to generate different and new taste profiles.

The Chosen One:

With a menu approaching 50 pages, it’s tough to choose a tipple. I’d suggest getting a rum or whisky flight (from $23) to taste three different versions of a bespoke libation. Or order a “direct flight” to taste the original product (Hendrick’s gin, for instance) and the finished product (pepper-infused Hendrick’s, which is fabulous, by the way; $18 to 40ml, $25 for 60ml). We also loved our cocktails: a sweet-and-sour Ciao G-Vine ($22) with gin, agave, sugar, lemon, celery bitters and egg white for me, and, for my husband, anOld Cuban ($22) made with aged rum, sugar, lime, angostura bitters, bubbles, mint and smoke.

 

whisky
Head bartender Dario Knox has created over 150 spirits

The Not-so-cheapskate:

Most of the 40ml drinks are in the twenty-dollar range, so if you’re looking for “cheap”, this isn’t your place. In fact, if you’re into trying vintage drinks, they’ve even got limited-edition “spirits from the past” on offer from the 1960s and 70s, starting at $40 a glass.

Last but not least:

If you have the chance to chat with the loquacious Dario while you drink, do it. He can give you the history and inspiration behind each cocktail and infused-spirit creation, and every other detail you’d want to know (or wouldn’t!); his clear passion for what he does makes the experience that much better.
#01-05 Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel,
320 Orchard Road
6100 7778 | theotherroom.com.sg

This article first appeared in the November 2016 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy for the full article, or subscribe now so you never miss an issue!

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