Alkaff Mansion 1918 Bar: Savour Local Spice Trade Era In Menu

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Nestled within the serene Telok Blangah Hill Park, The Alkaff Mansion stands as Singapore’s largest heritage and lifestyle multi-concept property, adorned with a gazebo, European-styled fountains, and water features, exuding the timeless grandeur of its more than 100 years of history. The mansion’s roots trace back to 1918 when it was built by Syed Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Alkaff, of the Alkaff family, whose ancestors arrived in Singapore from Yemen in 1852.

The Alkaffs were renowned traders, orchestrating a lucrative business between India and Indonesia, specialising in spices, coffee, and sugar. Their legacy resonates through the centuries, and to honour this storied past, The Alkaff Mansion proudly unveils Alkaff Mansion 1918 Bar -capturing the essence of Singapore’s spice trade era.

Celebrating the year the mansion was built, 1918 Bar serves up a delightful fusion of Asian spices with contemporary European flair in its menu offerings. The bar offers a thoughtfully curated selection of beverages that reflects both classic and locally-inspired concoctions, with each signature cocktail named after significant events tied to the mansion on the hill. Reflecting the rich heritage of the original mansion owners, the food selection showcases local favourites where spices take centrestage, exquisitely elevating their flavour profiles.

Experience an exquisite journey through time with the meticulously crafted Signature Cocktails offered at 1918 Bar. Fortune Arises ($20++) pays homage to the 1850s with a symphony of Sauza Silver Tequila, Alkaff Blend Espresso, Kahlua, Agave Cinnamon, and Chocolate Bitters. The Garden Glitz ($20++) is a nod to the 1920s with its blend of Sipsmith Gin, Apple, Calamansi, Sour Plum, and Soda.

Mizumi ($20++), made with Suntory Haku Vodka, Midori Melon Liqueur, Miso, and Lime, captures the essence of Japanese landscapes in the Alkaff Gardens in the 1930s. Fast forward to the 1990s with the Klapataart ($20++), an earthy and bold masterpiece featuring Courvoisier VSOP, Gramona Vie De Glass, Honey, Lemon, and Almond.

The Classic Cocktails (from $18++) invites patrons to savour flavours rooted in Alkaff family, who traded herbs and spices across historical eras. Experience the sophistication of the 1920s Gimlet, a blend of Sipsmith Gin, Benedictine DOM, Lime, and Lemongrass. The 1940s Matcharita modernises tradition with Sauza Silver Tequila, Triple Sec, Cherry Brandy, Matcha, and Yuzu. Crafted from Pierre Jean Merlot, Bacardi White Rum, Crème De Cassis, Orange, and Berry Mix, the 1960s Sangria embodies celebration, while the Cosmopolitan from the 1980s revives zest with Suntory Haku Vodka, Triple Sec, Cranberry, Lime, Cardamom, and Mint. Relish the elegance of the liquid narratives of the past with familiar classics like the Singapore Sling, Negroni, Old Fashioned and Mojito. Each classic cocktail is a testament to masterful mixology, capturing the past’s essence while delighting in the present.

The bar’s extensive drinks list pairs harmoniously with delectable culinary delights that blend local traditional favourites with European flair. Savour dishes like the Iberico “Kong Ba Bao” ($16++), showcasing Grilled Iberico Secreto nestled in a Lotus leaf bun with a savoury braised sauce. The Hazelnut Coffee Wings ($16++) feature Mid-Joint Wings coated in delightful Hazelnut Coffee Sauce.

Explore the adventurous side of the palate with the Laksa Squid Ink Prawn Roll ($16++), a harmonious medley of Sustainable Farmed Red Sea Prawns wrapped in Squid Ink-infused Bean Curd Skin, complemented by Black Fungus, Laksa Paste, and Sriracha Mayonnaise. Delight in the twist on nostalgic flavours with the Har Jeong Katsu ($20++), a succulent Breaded Chicken Thigh marinated in Prawn Paste. The Bak Kwa Pizza ($30++) embodies beloved East and West flavours, while the Curry Beef Pie ($22++) presents a hearty Slow Cooked Angus Beef Curry with a Hard-Boiled Egg, Tater Tots, and flaky Puff Pastry.

Complete this memorable culinary adventure with mouthwatering desserts like Fried Tang Yuan ($10++), traditional Peanut and Sesame Tang Yuan served with French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Chopped Peanuts, and Mixed Berries, or relish the Spanish twist on the traditional ‘You Tiao’ ($12++) featuring Pandan Churros accompanied by Cinnamon Sugar and a delightful Kit Kat Dip.

At 1918 Bar, the highlights are as diverse and vibrant as the rich history of The Alkaff Mansion itself. Step back in time as the bar embraces its classic roots by hosting large-scale parties reminiscent of the mansion’s heydays, where high society gatherings were the norm in the 1930s1. Enjoy weekends filled with the soulful tunes of live bands, creating an enchanting atmosphere that keeps the night alive. The excitement continues with regional bar takeovers, such as the recent collaboration with Budi Bar from Melaka, which added an extra dose of cultural flair to the experience.

For those seeking late-night revelry, the bar’s themed parties, like the Retro Nights, will promise unforgettable evenings filled with 80s nostalgia and dancing. As an ode to the heritage and origins of four-wheel drives, 1918 Bar is also gearing up for a special event in September – A Perennial Drive, where it will partner with the Classic Car Club for a captivating showcase of vintage cars, seamlessly linking the past to the present in a celebration of timelessness.

The intertwining narratives of spice trade, cultivation, and experimentation have left an indelible mark on Singapore’s history and landscape. The pursuit of these exotic and valuable spices not only fuelled economic ambitions, but also transformed the cultural fabric of the region, creating a tapestry of flavours and scents that continue to enchant and enrich the experience of modern-day Singapore. Step into 1918 Bar and embark on a journey through time, where the classic beauty of The Alkaff Mansion harmoniously merges with the nostalgia of yesteryears.

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