Dive into Dario Knox’s comprehensive collection of bespoke cask-finished liquors, Prohibition-style cocktails and more at this new cocktail bar at The Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel along Orchard Road
Why do you go to a bar? The obvious answer is well-made drinks. But why do you go back to a bar? For Master Bartender, Dario Knox, it is to feel welcomed. The bar is tucked away on the ground floor of The Marriott, hidden behind unmarked black velvet drapes. As you walk into the bar’s cosy, softly-lit space, complete with modern swing music, you’ll find yourself transported to the swinging ’20s. But even as a first-timer to The Other Room, a new bar in town that feels old, I felt quite at home.
The bar’s prohibition-style aesthetic is more than just skin-deep – it’s an authentic interpretation that puts a focus on Dario’s collection of cask-finished, infused and even smoked liquors and moonshine. Have a favourite spirit? The Other Room’s treasure trove of bespoke cocktails is an opportunity for you fall in love with them all over again – from pepper-infused Hendricks to a port cask-finished Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva.
But, before diving into Dario’s veritable tome of a cocktail menu, it’s well worth taking a moment to appreciate the menu’s design. Each drink is accompanied by a short explanation of its history, followed by its ingredients, strength and flavour profile – giving boozers a closer connection to their concoction of choice. This menu, a labour of over 13 months of experimentation, is bound to have something that’ll pique your curiosity – trust us on that.
Despite the many, many cocktails on the menu, I opted to start with my personal favourite – The Old Fashioned. It came garnished with an orange peel and poured over a single, large ice cube. But there is more to The Other Room’s rendition than meets the eye; instead of a single whisky, the drink is layered. A smoky Scotch is carefully poured over a sweeter whisky that mellows as you make your way through the drink.
For my next drink, I asked for something sweet, sour and slightly spicy, and was soon presented with the Improved Whiskey Sour – the improvement being the addition of a black pepper-infused bourbon for a hint of spiciness. The drink presented to me, however, had the novel inclusion of pepper-infused Hendricks gin and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder for a bit of warmth.
Round three arrived in the form of The Fidel Castro, a drink that was bitter, smoky and sweet. Modelled after the Rum Old Fashioned, this beverage offered an intriguing mix of Palo Cortado Cask-finished rum, chocolate bitters, Angostura bitters, a dash of sugar and the addition of Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure cigar smoke. The smoke is piped through the drink in a special device, and leaves you with what is essentially a cocktail and a cigar in a glass – classy.
Still feeling adventurous, I figured it was time to explore something completely different, so I picked the High Tea (lead image). The drink, inspired by the classic Aviation cocktail, was a sweet and surprisingly floral tipple. A backbone of vodka is bolstered by peach liqueur, lavender, lemon, white vermouth and yuzu tea. Presentation-wise, it’s a pretty drink to look at in its dainty china cup, and you won’t be faulted for taking a snap or two.
The Other Room is a sum of all its parts: creative, daring cocktails, and a cosy, unpretentious environment. New to the world of bespoke cocktails and find yourself feeling a wee bit intimidated? Leave your fears at the door and enter The Other Room, we promise you’ll be well taken care of.
The Other Room, Marriott Hotel Singapore (ground floor, behind the black curtain), 320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865. Open Mon-Wed 6pm-3am, Thu-Sun 6pm-4am.