Soul as it happens, is also the heart of Harlem. Located north of New York’s Manhattan borough, Harlem is most well known for its African-American influence contribution to the country’s culture and arts.
From Billie Holiday to Malcolm X to the Harlem Globetrotters, the neighbourhood has left an indelible mark on the world on countless fronts, and The Manhattan Bar is paying its own tribute through its latest menu of gourmet fare and pours, replacing the incumbent SoHo.
Harlem, created by Manager Philip Bischoff and Head Chef Nicholas Trosien, is a collection of five classic cocktails with a fresh twist – as you would expect – and four innovative gourmet bar bites inspired by one of the most culturally significant American neighbourhoods in modern history.
Red Rooster, S$24 (House-made Barrel Aged Applejack, St. Germain and Luxardo Sangue Morlacco)
Named after Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem, which is known for the revival of native American cuisine and the diverse culinary traditions of the neighbourhood. Neither shaken nor stirred, this thrown cocktail is not too heavy on the palate and marries the aromatically sweet and floral flavour profiles of the spirits perfectly.
Lenox, S$23 (Alipús Baltazar Mezcal, Koko Kanu Rum, Luxardo Espresso Liqueur, Pineapple, Lime, House-made Grenadine, Egg White and Peach Bitters)
A reconstructed variation of the archetypal espresso martini, the Lenox is a remake of Harlem Nights, the iconic cocktail of the Lenox Lounge. Founded in 1939 along Lenox Avenue (Malcolm X Boulevard) in the heart of Harlem, the Lenox Lounge saw many famous figures walk through its doors – from musicians Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, to writers James Baldwin and Malcolm X.
Globetrotter, S$22 (Ferrand Cognac, Fresh Lemon, Ferrand Dry Curaçao, Simple Syrup and Knickbocker Beer Foam)
Inspired by the legendary exhibition basketball team Harlem Globetrotters, this drink brings its A-game with the ideal accompaniment of a side of pretzels.
Barber Shop, S$23 (Bowmore 12Y Whisky, St. George Raspberry Liqueur, Hibiscus Syrup, Lime Juice, Cucumber, Mint Leaves and Ginger Beer)
Dressed with an eye-catching red and white barber pole straw, Barber Shop is reminiscent of Harlem’s local hangouts and its community that fostered relationships in the many beauty salons and barbershops that lined the streets.
Gin & Juice, S$24 (Tanqueray No. Ten Gin, Pink Grapefruit Juice, Maraschino, Simple Syrup, Sea Salt, Egg White and Champagne)
A tribute to Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” single in his debut album Doggystyle. This cocktail is a fun play on the well-known American long drink with a finishing touch of a very “G” golden dog spray lacing the cocktail.
Fried Green Tomatoes, S$16
A staple side dish in soul food, this comfort snack is deep-fried until crusty gold and topped with succulent slow-cooked pork belly, chilli aioli and a smooth melted artisan white cheddar cheese.
Southern Cornbread, S$10
Inspired by the popular Southern Cornbread dish from Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster restaurant, this is an interpretation of the house favourite with Chef Nicholas’ creative spin on it. Baked to order and served hot with warm aromatic barrel-aged maple pecan butter and savoury Pimento cheese.
Chicken & Waffle, S$18
A quintessential dish of the Harlem district passed down through generations, Chef Nicholas dishes up Southern comfort with his take on this classic sweet and savoury item. Think chicken and waffle drumette, served with honeycomb and a house-made hot sauce for that added spiciness.
Banana Cream Cookies, S$12
Ending things on a sweet note is this indulgent cookie sandwich of soft fluffy banana cream and chocolate in between crisp wafers. A modern take on this must-try Southern American dessert.