Known for pioneering mixology in Singapore, renowned Maison Ikkoku celebrates the best of regional produce with the launch of new establishment SLING. Set to revive the internationally recognised Singapore Sling for a new generation, SLING Singapore introduces an all-natural craft cocktail menu that showcases innovative interpretations on this classic tipple alongside a mouth-watering array of artisanal local cuisine.
Singaporean Founder, mixologist and chef-extraordinaire of Maison Ikkoku – Mr Ethan Leslie Leong, saw a stagnancy with the national cocktail and decided to bring the Singapore Sling back into the limelight. “As palates get more refined, guests demand more options and styles of cocktails. At SLING, we are dedicated to finding you the perfect Singapore Sling that suits your character, taste preference or mood. Of course, food is an integral part of the Singaporean identity, and we have refined local dishes to showcase our cocktail offerings’”.
The new level-one space of Maison Ikkoku will be converted into Sling come 17 February 2020 while retaining its art gallery featuring Singaporean-inspired paintings.
Widely regarded as the national drink; the Singapore Sling was first created in 1915 by Hainanese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. This national treasure among Singaporeans and discerning travellers has gained both local and international recognition through its historical significance. Using all-natural craft ingredients from the region, Ethan has curated five distinctive interpretations of this iconic cocktail that are ideal the modern palate.
For a traditional version that pays homage to its heritage, the Original SLING ($26) is crafted with the classic London Dry Gin with juniper-forward notes, Cherry Heering, Bénédictine D.O.M, Cointreau, Angostura Bitters, homemade fresh Grenadine with fresh pineapple and lemon foam for a perfectly balanced concoction.
Inspired by the kampong days in the early 1900s when coconut plantations covered Singapore’s land in the East, Coco SLING ($28) is a playful interpretation on the classic that includes the addition of roasted coconut and young coconut meringue.
The spirit-forward interpretation 1819 SLING ($25) pays homage to the British Governor Stamford Raffles. The cocktail is a nod to Raffles, then Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen, who developed Singapore as a port for the spice trade and who had an avid interest in botany. The tipple includes Giffard premium pineapple liqueur which adds sweet, faint vanilla notes that are balanced by delicate cinnamon, peppery spice and light citric acidity.
The Majulah SLING ($25) is inspired by Singapore’s Independence Year 1965. This bold take on the timeless tipple uses the addition of Campari, resulting in a bitter, dry cocktail with herbaceous notes – a toast to the nation’s robust character that overcame tough challenges of its past.
The SLING-a-pu-ra ($26), emphasises the tropical heritage of Singapore and is an ode to the wildlife and nature reserves. With the addition of passion fruit and fresh pandan, lemongrass, ginger, kaffir and calamansi, this well-rounded tipple is fruity, refreshing and well-balanced.
The perfect complement to a locally-inspired cocktail, SLING’s food menu presents familiar Singaporean favourites with a decidedly Peranakan flair – a homage to Ethan’s grandmother. Ethan says; “My grandmother grew up in a Peranakan village and picked up all her culinary skills from her baba/nonya neighbours.
The menu at SLING is my most personal concept to-date and is inspired by nostalgic favourites from my childhood. We are offering refined, cuisine that is flavoursome prepared from scratch, in-house. The quality of ingredients is paramount, and we pride ourselves on using only natural ingredients and cooking our food in either sunflower or olive oil, which is free of MSG, preservative, artificial flavours or colouring”.
The curated menu at SLING features impactful and flavourful starters such as Classic Kueh Pie Tee ($19), homemade canapé cups filled with stewed turnip, long beans, tofu, shredded pomelo, coriander and eggs, and a quintessential local favourite Yu Sheng ($18) with thinly sliced raw fish tossed with Asian coriander, green chillis, ginger and calamansi juice.
Highlights from the sharing plate offerings include a traditional D.I.Y Popiah available in Vegetarian ($36), Sweet Pork ($39), and Crispy Prawn ($49). Presented in a traditional tingkat, each tier opens to reveal four homemade popiah skin, plant-based stewed turnip and carrots, long beans, eggs, coriander, shallots, beansprouts, tofu, roasted sesame seeds and other accoutrements depending on the choice. Sweet Pork features Chinese waxed sausages as a topping while the Crispy Prawn has deep-fried prawn fritters – both give additional fragrance and texture to this familiar dish. Innovative placards detailing the wrapping method comes with the dish, acting as the perfect conversation starter.
Sharing plates at SLING features heart-warming recipes from Ethan’s childhood, updated with modern cooking techniques. “My best memories come from watching my grandmother cook a giant tureen of curry to feed our family of 12. My dishes are a tribute to her while sharing Singaporean cuisine on an elevated level.”
Straight from Ethan’s grandmother’s cookbook, the Nenek Chicken ($28) contains juicy pieces of chicken fillet simmered in ginger, lemongrass and turmeric, to form a flavourful curry best paired with Nasi Biru ($3) – Japanese pearl rice with bluepea flower and lemongrass. Other mains include star dishes such as Babi Hitam ($39) and Rendang ($45).
The former presents a succulent slab of Hokkaido Kurobuta pork that is sous-vide then braised for 72 hours in a blend of house spices that include galangal and candlenut. The tender meat is roasted for a smoky aroma. The latter showcases slow-cooked wagyu beef loin in a rich coconut curry and mixed spices. Ethan also takes the extra step of squeezing the coconuts by hand to obtain extra-fresh coconut milk to create this dish.
A not-to-be-missed dish is the Kambing Bakar ($39) – a tender frenched rack of lamb marinated in local herbs and fresh pandan leaves, and Ikan Asam ($32) – a beautifully poached, then grilled salmon fillet in an ambrosial assam, tomato and onion sauce atop a bed of chickpeas. Accoutrements such as Timun Pedas ($12) – cucumber pickles and Kampong Sayur ($19) – seasonal local vegetables stir- fried with anchovies complete the meal.
Another highlight includes the Hey Mee (half or full at market price), a wok-hei filled Hokkien noodles cooked in Asian rock lobster and lobster broth, stir-fried with homemade pork crackling and crowned with a half or full baked lobster. For extra finesse, the lobster is flambéed tableside for an Insta-worthy shot.
For a sweet finale, Sling’s sole dessert of Kueh Dadar ($16) shows off a freshly made French-style pandan crêpe, homemade young coconut espuma, toasted coconut shavings and a shot glass filled with fragrant gula Malacca syrup.
SLING only accepts walk-ins and does not take any reservations.
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