Tag : Cocktails

A Japanese Cocktail Experience for All

Pei Xia Ang

For the sixth consecutive year, Gourmet Japan brings a lineup of exclusive dinners, celebrity chef creations, and personalised workshops.

Something for all, Mixology Japan features 12 bars, serving exclusive cocktails for the whole month of May. Indulge in specialty cocktails crafted by mixologists who are unafraid to experiment. Cheers to a good time! Or as they say in Japan, Kanpai!

gourmet japan yakitori

1. Bincho

Time works differently when you step through the doors of Bincho. This place combines the past, present, and future.

The location is a coffee shop in the day with traditional food like kaya toast served. When the sun sets, it transforms to a contemporary yakitori bar.

Also, the bar serves a variety of whiskey, sake, and shochu, and a selection of Japanese-inspired cocktails.

Gourmet Japan Exclusive:

$23++ per cocktail (public); $18.40++ (Mastercard cardholders)

The Crimson Earl

The Imo Patriarch

Mikado Midori

gourmet japan specialty coffee

2. Maison Ikkoku

Another “Cinderella” outlet, Maison Ikkoku is a cafe by day and cocktail bar in the night.

In the AM, feel energised with a cuppa. Customers love the MI Latte, a double-shot latte served with latte art.

In the PM, unwind with a glass of cocktail made from fresh fruits and herbs.

Gourmet Japan Exclusive:

$25++ per cocktail (public); $20++ (Mastercard cardholders)




gourmet japan boruto

3. Boruto

Tucked in the heart of the Central Business District (CBD) is a relaxing bar great for unwinding after work.

Boruto prides themselves on unique dishes, like the Hotate to Cauliflower no Grill ($15.80) with fresh scallops and a bouncy texture, and Saga Gyu Tataki ($28.80) with tender wagyu and special homemade sauce.

Gourmet Japan Exclusive:

$26++ per cocktail (public); $20.80++ (Mastercard cardholders)

Healing Tamashii

Flores de Mayo

Nature of Bōruto

gourmet japan the flying squirrel

4. The Flying Squirrel (Private Works)

Indulge in Japanese tapas and omakase dining. Here, the chefs bring you contemporary dishes that you will love.

Omakase concept, fresh ingredients and a cosy layout, and there really isn’t a better place to take your woman for a meal.

Gourmet Japan Exclusive:

$26 per cocktail (public); $20.80 (Mastercard cardholders)

Kuromaru Espresso Martini

Secret Garden

Chamomile Sour

gourmet japan fort by maison ikkoku

5. Fort by Maison Ikkuko

A new startup by Maison Ikkoku, Fort offers mouth-watering dishes with Western and Japanese fusion.

With an omakase concept for their cocktails, all you have to do is ask and ye shalt receive.

Gourmet Japan Exclusive:

$25++ per cocktail (public); $20++ (Mastercard cardholders)

Matteo— SAKURA



gourmet japan horse mouth

6. Horse’s Mouth

Located in the heart of Singapore, the Horse’s Mouth is a convenient spot for social gatherings.

The bar has a laid-back atmosphere, serving tasty snacks and drinks for a good time with friends.

For a heavier meal, try their ramen and sake. Simply oishii!!

Gourmet Japan Exclusive:

$25++ per cocktail (public); $20++ (Mastercard cardholders)


Ume Blossom

Tea Community

gourmet japan the wall

7. The Wall

The Wall aims to bridge the wall (pardon the expression) between food and whiskey, amateurs and connoisseurs,… well, you get the idea. At the Wall, no one will feel out of place. There is a drink for all.

Plus, savour whiskeys from their cellar of extensive collections. Featuring rare whiskeys available only during special appreciation workshops.

Gourmet Japan Exclusive:

$25++ per cocktail (public); $20++ (Mastercard cardholders)

Healing Garden

Summer Breeze

Purple Haze

gourmet japan the flying squirrel

8. The Flying Squirrel

No, you’re not seeing double, The Flying Squirrel is different from The Flying Squirrel (private works). This outlet is more traditional, where they serve an adaptation of local favourites like the Truffle Ebi Fry and Udon Pasta.

Additionally, with their fresh supply of sashimi, you need to taste the TFS Chirashi ($25). Served with sweet sauce on vinegared rice, and topped with generous portions of sashimi, this is a dish your stomach will thank you for.

Gourmet Japan Exclusive:

$26 per cocktail (public); $20.80 (Mastercard cardholders)

Kuromaru Espresso Martini

Secret Garden

Chamomile Sour

gourmet japan umi+vino

9. Umi + Vino

Not many places can say that they use fresh seafood imported from around the world. But Umi + Vino happens to be the exception. Umi, meaning sea in Japanese, and vino referring to wines, Umi + Vino dishes out the perfect balance between fresh seafood and wines.

Gourmet Japan Exclusive:

$15++ per cocktail (public); $12++ (Mastercard cardholders)




gourmet japan astor bar

10. Astor Bar

At Astor Bar, bask in a setting of sophistication from the pages of Fitzgerald’s books. With over 50 cocktails to choose from and more than 200 whiskeys (some exclusives from the 1930s), this is The Place where the boys with toys hang out.

Unique to St. Regis Singapore is Chili Padi Mary, a local twist to the classic American drink.

Gourmet Japan Exclusive:

$28++ per cocktail (public); $22.40++ (Mastercard cardholders)

Rising Sun

Pride of Nippon

Japanese Negroni

gourmet japan mixology japan

Japanese infused cocktails may not be every one’s thing, but with 20% off for all Mastercard cardholders, this could be a good time to find something you like.

For more details, visit http://gourmet-japan.com

When in Manila, Mecha Uma!


I still remembered my first time visiting Mecha Uma and savoring the flavorful bite of its tuna tartare. It was so good that I always come back to the restaurant whenever I am in Manila.

Mecha Uma signboard

Global Cuisine with Japanese Influence

Helmed by Chef Bruce Ricketts, Mecha Uma serves modern Japanese-fusion styled tapas with focus on high quality ingredients. The restaurant also serves Chef’s Tasting Menu (Omakase Style). This needs to be booked in advance as there are limited quantities served per day.

My friend and I did a walk in at 6 PM on Tuesday and by some miracle, we got a table. The restaurant was full really quickly!

Small Bites with a Punch

Mecha Uma small tuna bites

Talking about the food, we definitely started with my favorite dish – tuna, foie gras mousse, pineapple and pink peppercorn sandwiched in coconut biscuit (380 PhP). There are only 2 pieces of this per serving so you will have to order more in case there are more than 2 people. Lots of flavors are packed into this dish. The thin coconut biscuit is sweet and this adds another great touch to an interesting bite. Definitely a must order here.

Mecha Uma salty and sour scallop dish

The second dish was scallop, Japanese fruit tomato, quinoa, mecha XO, tomato jus (380 PhP). This dish is salty and sour – it has that similar taste to a ceviche.

Mecha Uma raw salmon mixed with fresh ingredients

Salmon gochuzuke, barley, compressed egg yolk, sake roe, toasted roots and stems, sesame (390 PhP) made up the 3rd dish.

The fresh ingredients were mixed with raw salmon resulting in a dish that was quite surprising. It was nothing like a sashimi you’d expect from a traditional Japanese sushi place.

Mecha Uma lightly grilled octopus with dessing

The fourth dish was grilled octopus, polenta, onion, pickled corn and water cress (420 PhP). A very nice take on the octopus here. Good job Chef!

Main Courses to Share

Mecha Uma beef skewers

We ordered two main courses to share. The first was Wagyu cheek kushiyaki, crunchy vegetable, cardamom and carrot top salsa verde, mustard and raisin puree (420 PhP). This is basically the grilled wagyu cheek skewer. The sauce was slightly sweet and the meat was tender.

Mecha Uma grilled lamb shank

Our second main was apple glazed lamb shanks with ume, Szechuan pepper cream and carrot juice (650 PhP). The Szechuan peppers gave this sweet dish a refreshing spiciness to it.

Unimpressive Cocktails

Mecha Uma cocktails

Mecha Uma names all their cocktails in Japanese and are reinterpretations of the classics. My first order was Genji (Bourbon, Umeshu Yamasaki, X-Mas syrup, orange and Angostura bitter, 440 PhP).

Mecha Uma yojimbo cocktail

The second one was Yojimbo (Capel, Sudachi, Cointreau, chocolate bitter and egg white, 490 PhP). Unfortunately, both were nothing to write home about.

Sharing is caring

Mecha Uma fried rice

The food at Mecha Uma is full of flavors. The use of fresh ingredients and creative presentations of the small bites make this place stand out from typical tapas or sushi restaurants. I really like the tuna and the other small dishes. In my view, Mecha Uma is a terrific place to come share some bites with friends after work. The only downside is that its cocktails are not as good as the food. I will definitely come back again just to eat the tuna though.

Mecha Uma
25th street, between 5th & 6th Avenue, RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Center, Bonifacio South, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines, Phone: +632 801-2770

Singapore Cocktail Festival 2017


Art of Mixology

It’s amazing how creative a person can be when concocting a cocktail. At the Singapore Cocktail Festival (SGCF) 2017, I saw the use of ingredients like chili padi infused gin or chicken rice chili in cocktails. Yes, you read correctly. Spicy cocktails, anyone??

The SGCF2017 was held at the Festival Village (old police station) next to Shaw Tower Beach Road from 16-21 March. Visitors could sample a multitude of cocktails at the price of 12 dollars each. That’s an amazingly low price. And did I mention it was a free-entry event?

After being very impressed by Alex Cratena’s NO B1G D€AL at the Library on 17 March (also a part of the SGCF), I didn’t hesitate to say ‘YES’ when my friends asked me if I wanted to go to the SGCF the following day.

The Venue

We arrived at the Festival Village in the afternoon just after our lunch. The event was still quite empty so we got a table for our group of 5 pretty fast. I suppose it was the afternoon sun that people were hiding from. Anyway, that was good for us because more crowd started coming in later in the day. Most tables became occupied in the evening.

Cheap drinks but…

Compared to the fancy cocktails in a nice bar in Singapore which cost double or more, the cocktails in this event are, unfortunately, not up to snuff. First of all, the drinks were served in plastic glasses or cups instead of beautifully decorated glasses. OK, I think it’s easier for the organizer to clean up later and hence, the use of plastic cups.

Singapore Cocktail Festival Paloma Presto with grapefruit

Secondly, not all the cocktails sold were great. The first drink I tried was Paloma Presto (Milagro Silver Tequila, Pink Grapefruit Juice, Sugar Syrup, Perrier and Grapefruit Juice) by Room of Illusion was a disappointment. The drink was diluted and not flavorful, despite being served without ice.

Singapore Inspired Cocktails

Singapore Cocktail Festival Leo's Flip with a local twist

My second drink was Leo’s Flip (Ron Zacapa 23, Wild Turkey Honey, Amaretto, Spiced Pineapple and Egg Yolk) by Nutmeg and Clove. This drink saved the day for me because it was a clear improvement over my first one.

Nutmeg and Clove drew inspiration and created this drink from a pineapple tart. This drink was part of the Singapore inspired cocktails presented by the top 4 local bars: Crackerjack, Mitzo, Nutmeg and Clove and 28 Hong Kong Street. Because of the hot weather, the ice in the drink melted quite fast and the drink became diluted in the end.

Singapore Cocktail Festival Unusual Negroni, a strong drink

Not Your Usual Negroni

My third and last drink of the day was a glass of Unusual Negroni (Hendrink’s Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Fernet Branca). The bartender asked me whether I would want my drink weak, normal or strong. Due to my earlier experience of weak drink and ice melting, I told him I wanted a strong drink. The bartender generously added more gin as per my request. However, Negroni is anything but a sweet drink. It turned out too strong for me to enjoy.

Verdict – You get what you pay for!

Overall, I think this year’s SGCF was a good one especially if you want cheap alcoholic drinks. It was not very crowded like most free events in Singapore, the music was cool and there were a plethora of drinks to try. I did not grab any bites there though so I could not comment on the food.

However, the drink quality and the experience is not the same as when you go to a nice bar with your friends. But hey, you get what you pay for, right??


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