• Sarah Voon

Smoke & Mirrors, National Gallery Singapore


After an amazing omakase lunch at Yàn, we ascended to the rooftop bar of National Gallery. Overlooking the Padang and Marina Bay, we were sitting at one of the most scenic spots in Singapore getting ready to indulge in some of the most creative and gastronomic cocktails at Smoke & Mirrors.

The interior of Smoke & Mirrors reminded me of a scene I had watched in a tv series of an old gentlemen's lounge.

The bar itself is quite compact but its design is really cool and much like the bean in Chicago.

The new cocktail menu, officially launched today, 20th July, at Smoke & Mirrors draws its inspiration from chefs and special ingredients from a culinary aspect. There are three categories of drinks to cater to all kinds of cocktail drinkers - "High & Mighty", "Subtle & Gentle" and "Refined and Renewed".

Our first cocktail was a very pleasant and fruity one. Made with peking duck jus, five spice honey, lemon juice and jackfruit-infused rum is Duck's Fat Hope and it was created for Singapore's annual cocktail week.

The cocktail is under the new menu's high and mighty selection and is every bit as high and mighty as it sounds. It was my personal favourite out of the lot.

The next drink we tried was a stronger Bourbon based cocktail served in a beautiful wooden Japanese box over sencha and waterlily scented hay. A Japanese wooden fan also accompanies the drink for more than just decorative purposes as it is for you to fan out the scent of sencha.

This drink speaks to more than just your tastebuds as it engages your smell receptors, affords a beautiful aesthetic and you feel the contrast of holding the cold bowl of drink in the hot tropical weather of Singapore.

The Nakajima's Dansu is a twist on an old fashioned and is made with bourbon and Sakura tea. It is garnished with a Mexican tarragon flower which is edible.

The next cocktail we tried had my Singapore editor exclaiming how much it looked like it was a prop right out of the Harry Potter series.

It isn't hard to see why she would make that distinction since the Temporada (which means seasons) is served in a rustic chrome goblet. The drink is made with rum, rock melon juice, coconut and agave flesh, with brine cucumber and garnished with different coloured Mexican mint, to represent the various seasons in the year. This cocktail is found in their subtle and gentle section of the menu.

Truly a labour of love, the edible garnish is created from a blend of pumpkin and Mexican Tarragon, which is then placed in a custom-made leaf mould and dried overnight. Indian Borage, also commonly known as Mexican Mint, is dyed in vibrant colours to mimic leaves of the four seasons.

This next drink is inspired by the movie Cast Away and even comes with a little bit of literature. The rolled up parchment reads an excerpt of a poem from the movie and is coffee smoked to carry a very earthy scent.

Smoked Up is a mix of tequila, banana maple syrup, lapsang souchong and burnt lime.

The overall taste of the cocktail is incredibly smoky from the spirit and burnt lime but it is refreshing in its unique way.

The last cocktail we got to try during the preview is a twist on the martini and comes from the Refined & Renewed section of the menu. Baby carrot and pink peppercorn infused gin is the main component of the drink and is garnished with lavender sorrow flower buds. Instead of typical olives, Usagi's Tipple is served with wasabi soaked cherries. This turned out to be my editor's favourite drink - it isn't hard to see why with its sweet notes and tangy finish from the wasabi.

Smoke & Mirrors

#06-01, National Gallery Singapore, 1 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957 T. +65 6384 5595

Opening Hours

Sun – Thurs

12 noon – 12.30am

Fri – Sat

12 noon – 2am

Dress code: No slippers and flip flops.

#barsinsg #SmokeMirrors #nationalgallerysingapore #japanesethemecocktails #asianflavorcocktails #bestcocktailsinsingapore

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