Singapore’s first Italian cocktail bar
Towering over the Singapore River is the new Intercontinental Singapore Robertson Quay, a beacon of hope that just might save the sleepy expat area from the dreary routine of cheap happy hour pours and languid weekend brunches. When you arrive at the hotel you’ll first spot Publico – a casual Italian deli serving all-day breakfast and fresh brews – but that’s not where you’ll find Marcello, the concept’s bar. Singapore’s first Italian cocktail bar only reveals itself in the evenings. The sliding doors that connect the two are drawn after five so you need to walk through the lift lobby and head ‘round the back. There you’ll find ample outdoor and indoor seating in the form of rattan sofas and leather banquettes to settle into for a night of imbibing.
For drinks and a show, grab a seat at the long bar where men in spiffy white jackets shake up cocktails inspired by 19th century Italy. Order the smoked black olive negroni ($22), the bar’s version of the classic cocktail that’s mixed with gin, Campari, Italian vermouth and smoked black olives for added depth and complexity. The Alamfi sour ($25) is another stunner – the creamy and luxurious tipple is blended with homemade limoncello, citrus, egg white and amaro, the bar’s poison of choice. It stocks the largest variety of amaro in Singapore, which is also available by the glass ($14-$35) for those with a penchant for this herbal digestif.
Avoid the Bitter American ($19) lest you want to turn into one. The watery cocktail is flat and the bourbon, amaro, citrus and egg white that apparently make up the drink are barely perceptible. The bar snacks aren’t anything to shout about either. The truffle arancini ($12) is dry and lacks the heady perfume you’d expect from mushrooms and truffles. The spicy Italian sausage ($12) is simply a bowl of thinly sliced sausages ($12) stir-fried with onions to make up for the lack of volume.
Our advice is to eat somewhere else – there are options aplenty in the area now. But the bar is still worth a visit, even for just the negroni alone.
1 Nanson Rd
|Opening hours:||Daily 6.30am-midnight|
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