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Joining Mandarin Oriental, Singapore‘s impressive F&B lineup is MO Bar, a new bar concept which takes over where the former Axis Bar and Lounge left off. Situated on the fourth floor of the hotel and boasting impressive views of the skyline, the bar serves dainty afternoon tea sets as well as a carefully curated, conceptualised and regionally-inspired cocktail and bar menu.

The bar has a razor-sharp focus on aesthetic, and it extends beyond the cocktails. The Pacific Ocean-inspired design plays it all hand-carved wooden sculptures and hand-woven tapestries, with the lighting being suitably dim and seats being comfortably far apart from each other for that requisite amount of privacy and intimacy. Guests who wish for glamorous in-ear whispery moments or an opportunity to view the mixology team’s technical wizardry in action can opt for seats by the bar counter.

The cocktails, created in collaboration with the ever-reliable Proof & Company, are varied enough in concept and strength to cater to most tastes. The dramatic-looking Mother of Dragons (Strawberry Aloe Vera, Dragon Cachaça) is easily the most photogenic, evoking hazy pleasurable memories of grape-flavoured Yakult in its wake. In terms of concept, the most distinctive for me was Back To Bali (Indonesian Pandan Rum, Ginger Lemon Tea Ice), a cocktail which permanently makes Pokka Ice Lemon Tea inadequate for me in that it does not possess a drop of alcohol. Lighter options include the Singapore-inspired The Roaring City (Sparkling Pineapple Tapache, Vermouth Jelly) and refreshing Hong Sweet Kong (Carbonated Scotch Tea, Chinese Pear Babies).

The masculine and degenerate should opt for spirit-forward choices such as 7000 Leagues Ahead (Super Sonic Gin, Kaffir Lime Leaf Oil), which plays like a valentine to gin lovers, or the heady Rough Waters by the Coral Sea (Herb Cognac Wine, Edible Coral) which dons a mysterious black widow-esque coral veil. Of course, classic cocktails such as Manhattan and Negroni are ever present for your bespoke pleasure. For those who do not enjoy cocktails or spirits (perish the thought), the bar has its very own MO Bar Pilsner which the bar developed with local craft brewery, Archipelago.

The cocktails can be paired with light bites such as the lemongrass-perfumed stuffed Phoenix Wings or the saucily succulent Singdog (Nonya Sausage, Achar, Sambal Mayo, Scallion, Dry Shrimp). The playful and persuasively pocky Avocado (Pandan Sponge, Yuzu, Gula Melaka Ice Cream) jumps out from the limited selection of sweets, and achieves its goals with efficiency.

Whilst I was not the biggest fan of MO (hur hur) when it came to their previous (non-Mortons) bar programme, MO Bar comes in all guns a-blazing, and genuinely surprises with the strength of its tipples which manage to pair both concept and quality. For post-work evening drinks in the Marina Square hotel cluster area, this bar certainly poses as a formidable alternative to current mainstays Chihuly Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore and Lobby Lounge at Conrad Centennial Singapore (which boasts an extensive gin selection and an amazing one-for-one deal under American Express’ Chillax programme). I will be back.

The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Visually-striking cocktails have both personality and strength of concept.

The must-orders (if any): Phoenix Wings, Back to Bali, 7000 Leagues Ahead

mandarin oriental singapore mo bar
MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Singapore).
mandarin oriental singapore mo bar
MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Singapore).
mandarin oriental singapore mo bar food
Phoenix Wings, MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Singapore).
mandarin oriental singapore mo bar food
Singdog, MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Singapore).
mandarin oriental singapore mo bar food
Avocado, MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Singapore).
mandarin oriental singapore mo bar cocktail
Mother of Dragons, MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Singapore).
mandarin oriental singapore mo bar cocktail
The Roaring City, MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Singapore).
mandarin oriental singapore mo bar cocktails
(L-R) Back in Bali, Hong Sweet Kong and Twilight by the Bay, MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Singapore).
mandarin oriental singapore mo bar cocktail
Rough Waters by the Coral Sea, MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Singapore).
mandarin oriental singapore mo bar cocktail
7000 Leagues Ahead, MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Singapore).
mandarin oriental singapore mo bar cocktail
Negroni, MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Singapore)

Grade: A2

MO Bar
5 Raffles Avenue
Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, Marina Square
Singapore 039797

This post was written at the invitation of MO Bar, but all thoughts, degenerate drunkenness and sleepy taxi rides are solely mine.

Author

Shawn began documenting his food experiences since he started reading Law at the National University of Singapore. Initially he turned to food for solace from the rigours of university life, and food eventually became his safe haven away from the horrors of legal practice. However, it dawned on him one day that he has become sufficiently enlightened about the magic of discovering new and good food, and that it was time to share his findings with others. Instead of aligning himself with the vast sea of vanilla foodie influencer-style of writing, which would admittedly open more doors in terms of free meals and public relations love, Shawn decided to approach food writing by way of satirical humour, turning the don't-ya-wanna-eat-what-I'm-eating-cuz-I'm-a-public-figure self-importance/self-indulgent gravitas of Instagram foodie-ism in Singapore on its head and conveying his thoughts about food in a manner which is decidedly obscure at times and on others, frankly nonsensical. The rigours of legal practice and desire for a form of indulgent escape led to Shawn's second passion - experiencing and writing about new and luxury hotel properties. Secret Life of Fatbacks is an extension of Shawn's Instagram account (@Larvitar). For intellectual property reasons, he is unable to name the website anything related to the titular Pokémon character. Feel free to ask him in person what "Fatbacks" refers to. Shawn is not a professional critic, blogger or photographer. He is simply a guy who loves food and luxury hotels very much and (likes to think that he has) a quirky sense of humor. Shawn is presently a full-time lawyer, and when he is not premature ageing due to stress and vicious deadlines, he is somewhere spending an exorbitant amount of money trying out new dining places and hotels.

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