If the presence of a towering gin tower, bookended by a fresco ceiling on one end and a Champagne Room on the other, does not speak to you about its towering ambition, perhaps its carefully curated collection of 1,011 types of gin will.
No? What about its cadre of gin specialists, comprising a Master of Gin, a gin researcher and Roman Foltan the head bar tender, who is also ex-bartender of London’s Artesian that topped the World’s Best Bar four times in a row?
Also consider the Champagne Room, where the gin tower is anchored, home to a collection of 250 types of Champagnes including a clutch of shipwrecked bottles reportedly priced at S$200,000 each. For the exact list price, we defer to the team of two Champagne sommeliers, who will be at your beck and call should bubbles be your cup of tea.
Welcome to Atlas Bar (“Atlas”), the 9,000 square feet grand lobby bar at Parkview Square that has been breathing new life to what was once Divine Wine Bar Society since March 2017. While the dreamy fresco ceiling and colonnaded main lobby of the art deco style office building retains the unabashed 1920s Deco glamour with its palette of gold bronze and red, a new dream team has swept in with Foltan helming the bar, Maître D’ Carla Davina Soares (also an alum of Artesian) gracefully plying the floor and Executive Chef Daniele Sperindio running the kitchen. To complement the new team are new furnishings made in Spain using French and Italian leather and velvet matched with new curtains and brand-new carpets.
Apart from its fine collection of gins, Champagnes and other spirits, Foltan proffers cocktails that celebrate the Art Deco era of the 1920s. Order a Gin Tonica (modern American gin, grapefruit, juniper, grapefruit tonic water, S$22) to toast to the bar’s massive gin collection; or Erté (modern French gin, ylang ylang cordial, gentian liqueur, ratafia de champagne, thyme sugar, S$26) to revel in a touch of bubbles. For something a little stiffer, the Atlas Martini (London dry gin, ambrato, vermouth, orange bitters, champagne vinegar, S$24) can’t be beat. But for the ultra discerning spirits drinker, age mattes and there are Vintage Martinis aplenty (S$50 to S$250 depending on vintage), not to mention Vintage Cocktails, we suggest the Florentine Negroni 1920s (Florentine London dry gin, 1930s Italian sweet vermouth, vintage Campari, S$200), not that we got to taste it.
It’s convenient to overlook the food menu when the drinks menu is a heavyweight but Sperindio, former head chef of Open Door Policy and Open Farm Community, has a created a spiffy modern European-centric menu that makes for fine drinking companionship whether you are looking to snack or have a proper sit-down meal. The bruschetta of toasted sour dough smeared with blue prawn tartare dressed in soy and orange vinaigrette, a tiny tongue of sea urchin and Oscieta caviar (S$28) brings toast bling up to a new level, all the better to graze with a sip of Champagne. For something a tad hearty, the canvas of velvety egg pasta sheet with Toriyama A4 wagyu beef slices, wagyu beef ragout, Parmesan espuma and bolognaise (S$30) is rustic and tasty all at once. We hear the Gindara black cod with red grapes, glazed chervil root and cauliflower (S$34) is a potential winner too. If you’re ordering a cup of joe from the Espresso Bar, pair it with the warm and crisp-in-the-corner madeleines (S$18).
Singapore’s cocktail bars scene has seen many interesting new entries but when it comes to sheer grandeur, Atlas is hard to beat. See it to believe it.
600 North Bridge Road |atlasbar.sg
© Evelyn Chen 2013
Please note that the reviews published on this blog are sometimes hosted. I am under no obligation to review every restaurant I’ve visited. If I do, the reviews are 100% my own.