The House Bar, the sister bar of Taiga Dining, at Regent Singapore is a boutique lounge that sits about 20 people or so. Serving Japanese food, it’s a sexy, intimate and sophisticated bar that is suitable for date nights and a gathering of close friends.
To get to the bar, look for this black-and-white painting of mountains and clouds. I know we shouldn’t touch art but see the crack along the wall? That’s the handle of the door – pull it. It feels so forbidden and naughty to touch a painting.
The cocktails are super on point. They have some Japanese-inspired cocktails like chu-hai ($24, shochu, fresh grapefruit, St Germain, soda) and Sake Bramble ($24, sake, creme de mure, floral tea syrup, lemon juice), which are great. But having tried several, I really love their classic cocktails Old-Fashioned ($24) and Negroni ($24) – they hit the spot. It’s *chef’s kiss*. I’d return for the cocktails.
Most of their food are bar bites although there are some mains and filling dishes. The Shizuoka Amera tomato is sprinkled with arctic salt: sweet and acidic. Nothing special but the ingredient is nice.
The fatty tuna is aburi (seared) at the surface and completed with yuzu zest. The tuna is pillowy but yuzu and tuna don’t mix well together.
The Negitoro Monaka ($28) is a waffle biscuit layered with chopped fatty tuna, avocado, and salmon roe. They are all ingredients that I love but together, they are not greater than the sum of their parts. I think this will be better as a ricebowl don? The deflated biscuit doesn’t do justice to the ingredients.
The Miyazaki beef sando ($78) is a Japanese-styled sandwich with Miyazaki beef, lightly smeared with mustard aioli. The beef is excellent quality — could have been salted a bit bolder — but I personally won’t part with my money for the sandwich. It is too expensive.
The best dish of the night is indubitably the snow crab claypot rice ($98). This is a simple dish, not different from our own claypot rice, except they use dashi and katsuobushi bonito flakes. It is a plain dish but the blandness allows the umami, pleasant fishiness, and mild sweetness to shine through. I have eaten Japanese claypot rice several times at several restaurants over the years. While this rendition isn’t the best, it is still satisfying and warming and comforting.
The food cost a pretty penny although the ingredients are premium and clean. But when I return, it will be for the cocktails and the sexy vibe.
You may be interested in other speakeasy…
–The Dragon Chamber, Circular Road: “You Know You’re Hungry for That [Crocodile] D***”
–Employees Only, Amoy Street: 7th Best Bar in the World, Speakeasy With Decent Food
–The Other Room, Marriott Hotel: Secret Bar That You Need to Ring a Doorbell to Enter
–Tempura Oji, Outram: The Japanese Ramen Bar Behind a Fridge
This was a tasting. Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.