“Are you ready to time travel?” This is the question posed upon all those who step through the Art Deco doors of The Powder Room. Set in the beating heart of the CBD, this mezzanine cocktail lounge is known for being Singapore’s first thematic cocktail bar and pays great homage to the building’s heritage, originally constructed in the 1930s and now set above The Black Swan restaurant. The Powder Room is a fabulously unapologetic celebration of the hedonism that the 1920s Jazz Age encapsulates, as well as the soaring popularity of a carefully constructed cocktail that over the last five years has reached fever pitch in Singapore.
The Lo & Behold Group Bar Mentor, Julian Serna’s unbridled vigour for the craft of the cocktail and the crossover between bar and kitchen is evident in every sip of the newly designed menu. The team specialises in using seasonal ingredients and utilises old-school techniques such as sous-vide fruit infusions similar to those of old-fashioned perfume extracting. The attention to detail and time taken to achieve quality in every aspect of the drinking experience is justified upon the first taste. One of the stalwart cocktails on the menu has taken eight years to achieve its current state of evolution…The B.B King, paying tribute to the jazz legend, incorporates banana-infused whisky (made in-house) with barbeque bitters and is literally completed with a smoking gun filled with maple syrup for a smooth, rich and complex taste. To accompany your drink arrives a miniature, banana whiskey-infused sorbet, making sure nothing used in the in-house infusion processes goes to waste.
Perhaps the most fun and frivolous aspect of time-travelling through The Powder Room is the theatricality and showmanship of the bar crew, Gerardo Callipo, a Florentine firecracker and the Bar Manager ensures that every cocktail is served with maximal style to match its transportive taste. From liquid nitrogen mists to fire guns (order the aptly named Playing With Fire to experience the full flame –throwing spectacle) the personality and story behind each pour is brought to life through the energy of its experts. The crystal glasses, vintage shakers and the stunning, silver drinks server used to pour out the group punches make up the beautiful little details that ensure The Powder Room serves up a bygone era with every order.
If you, like us at Sassy, are a little obsessed with the decadence and glamour of the 1920s (who could forget Miuccia Prada’s vision of a crystalline-clad Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby?) — The Powder Room is on our must-list. For a little weekend escapism—or even midweek mayhem—the sexiness of prohibition America, speakeasy style and the sounds of the jazz age have been conjured up right on our doorstep with irresistible furore. Julian Serna & his team at The Powder Room have defied that old adage: they don’t make them like this anymore. At The Powder Room, they most certainly do.
The Powder Room at The Black Swan is located at 19 Cecil Street, Singapore 049704, (+65) 8181 3305, www.theblackswan.com.sg