Great cocktails. Great food. Great company. And one cool place. All the elements for an awesome weekend afternoon at Raffles Makati's Long Bar.
In one epic weekend afternoon, I sampled a round and more of Long Bar's signature cocktails, including their new Bar Chow at the Long Bar, plus a selection from Long Bar's new Power Lunch Sets (more on the new lunch dishes soon in a follow-up post).
After sampling the legendary Singapore Sling and Long Bar's other signature cocktails (see my previous post here at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2013/01/singapore-slings-gold-flakes-and.html), it was good to be back, this time to sample Long Bar's bar chow. Not your usual pub grub, this is, after all, the Long Bar. Served daily from 5pm to 2am, Bar Chow at the Long Bar includes a selection of classic Asian and international dishes and reinvented pub favorites to pair with your favorite cocktails. Cool cocktails and great food. This was going to be an awesome afternoon.
Just like the iconic Long Bar in Raffles Hotel Singapore, listed as one of the best bars in the world, Raffles Makati's Long Bar maintains the rustic and graceful old world charm, down to the signature cocktails and peanuts. And yes, you can simply drop the peanut shells on the elegant tiled floors of Long Bar, just like the Long Bar in Singapore. A truly liberating experience, and one that sets Long Bar apart from other bars in the metro.
Inside, dark wooden tones add a formal flair and sophistication to the Long Bar's cool vibe, and the ceiling fans add that piece of nostalgia and character, a throwback to colonial times. One feels a sense of tradition and history, layered with a cool modernity, just the place for a round of cocktails.
The Long Bar also offers al fresco dining areas, allowing one to gaze up at the impressive structure of the twin Raffles and Fairmont properties. It's also a cool spot to enjoy your cocktail when the sun goes down.
Cocktails at the Long Bar not only follows tradition, but a philosophy shared by Fairmont and Raffles properties worldwide, seeing the bar as an extension of the kitchen. This philosophy is summed up with Fairmont's F.A.M.E., or the Fairmont Artistic Mixology Experience, using the best spirits and the freshest ingredients for some of the finest cocktails anywhere. And I dive right in for an old favorite. The Long Bar's Panutsa Old Fashioned (P 380), a blend of Jim Beam Bourbon, Panutsa Palm Sugar, Orange Bitters and an orange peel, my personal favorite. This would probably be Don Draper's cocktail of choice. The classic Old-Fashioned is given a cool twist with the palm sugar, giving it a subtle sweetness but retaining enough bite to put some hair on your chest. After a few glasses and you'll definitely feel...like a boss.
Long Bar's other signature cocktails then followed. The Pineda Mojito (P 380), a refreshing blend of Havana Club 3 Anos Rum, Fresh Lime, Thai basil and mint, mandarin orange and topped with soda bubbles. The fresh lime, mandarin orange, basil and mint add a refreshing sharpness and layers of flavor to the premium aged rum, just perfect for a weekend afternoon.
Want something refreshingly dry? The Lychee Martini (P 380), with house-infused lychee Vodka, shaken (not stirred...just had to say it) until icy cold. Crisp, clean and bold vodka flavors straight up with just a whisper of sweetness from the lychee for that distinct dry sensation.
The Chinese Five Spice Fizz (P 680), with Remy Martin VSOP, lemon, soda bubbles, Chinese 5 Spice syrup, and fresh ginger. Sweet and soothing, with a delicious hint of ginger, a mild cocktail with a unique flavor. And this pairs well with any of Long Bar's Bar Chow.
The Classic Singapore Sling (P 380), the Long Bar's proprietary concoction with Tanqueray Gin (no other gin will do), Cherry Heering, Cointreau, fresh lemon and pineapple, Angostura Bitters, topped with Benedictine. A visit to Long Bar won't be complete without this, and this one completes your Long Bar experience.
And while at the Long Bar, why not go all the way with their unique and indulgent concoction. The Raffles Makati's very own and exclusive take on the signature Singapore Sling, the Makati Luxury Sling (P 680), an exclusive blend of Tanqueray Ten, Cherry Blossom, Grand marnier, Benedictine, lime and pineapple juices, and Angostura foam. Oh, and 24K gold strips...real gold in a glass. This, and discarding the empty peanut shells on the Long Bar's elegant tiled floors, has to be one of the most liberating experiences. Nothing even comes close...
After a few more rounds, it's time to sample some of Long Bar's signature Bar Chow, available daily from 5pm to 2am, starting with Long Bar's take on the classic Tarte Flambee (P 350), an Alsatian flatbread dish covered with fromage blanc or creme fraiche and a variety of toppings, sometimes called a flammekueche. First up, Spicy Beef Tarte Flambee, tender and flavorful beef on crisp dough topped with herbs and sesame seeds for an Asian twist. The spice cuts through the rich beef in a perfectly balanced way, and not too overpowering. The crisp texture of the freshly baked flat bread is just perfect with any of Long Bar's cocktails.
The classic Bacon & Onion Tarte Flambee, a blend of rich and deliciously salty bacon with the mild sweetness of onions on crisp dough. You just can't go wrong with bacon. Seriously.
Spicy Beef with Avocado, a unique medley of sweet and spicy flavors and textures. The avocado adds a creamy richness that contrasts with the crisp flat bread, and like all of Long Bar's Tarte Flambees, there is a delicate balance in flavors.
Ginger Chicken & Coriander Tarte Flambee, another unique combination, this time with tender and smoky chicken with herbs and vegetables. Again, the medley of flavors are perfectly balanced in each and every slice. Pair this with the Chinese Five Spice Fizz and you have your very own happy hour at the long Bar.
Smoked Salmon Tarte Flambee, my personal favorite. Fresh, premium salmon with clean, subtle flavors that pair well with any of Long Bar's signature Slings. Simple flavors using the freshest, premium ingredients works all the time, and this does not disappoint. Long Bar's Tarte Flambees are light, yet flavorful, with each version providing distinct flavors, and it's a good idea to go for two or three different Tarte Flambees along with another round of cocktails.
The PBB Trio (P 255), pork belly buns with cabbage and mustard. Crisp fried buns with tender pork belly, fresh veggies and a nice sharp mustard to bind it all together. Sounds good, tastes even better. A cool Asian twist to bar chow that's comforting yet different.
This. Pork Rinds (P 185), with chili and tamarind rub. Pure pork bliss. Not your usual light and airy skin cracklings but huge slices of pork belly deep-fried and dusted with a flavorful rub that brings chicharon to an entirely new level. Each piece is noticeably heavier than the regular crackling, and the rub gives it a sharp and distinct flavor that cuts through the richness of the pork belly. Salty, lightly sour with just a hint of sweetness and a cooling heat from the chili combine for a flavorful punch in every bite.
This goes well with the Panutsa Old Fashioned or the Pineda Mojito, or a few beers. After Long Bar's Pork Rinds, any other chicharon will just be, well, any other chicharon.
After a few more rounds, Chef de Cuisine Gregory Georges (L) and Executive Pastry Chef Didier Derouet checks in on the group, now noticeably happier, with the cool bar chow and cocktails. But Chef's Gregory and Didier have more tricks up their sleeves. It was time to sample The Long & Short Of It, Long Bar's extensive power lunch sets, as the chefs return to the kitchen to prepare another round of dishes...more on this in my next post.
Drop by the Long Bar during Happy Hour, offered daily from 5pm to 8pm. Priced at P 680++ per person, which includes one Chef's Sampler Platter, unlimited red and white wine, Singapore Slings and local, imported and draft beers. Definitely more reasons to catch a few cocktails at the legendary Long Bar. Next up, we sample Long Bar's Power lunch selections...stay tuned for the coming post.
Another round at the Long Bar? Definitely. Special thanks to Loni Balagtas-Bayangos, Marketing Communications Manager, for a fantastic weekend afternoon at the Long Bar.
Raffles and Fairmont Makati are located at 1 Raffles Drive, Makati Avenue, Makati. For more information and reservations, you can call the Raffles Makati Restaurant Reservations at 555-9840 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with Raffles Makati on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RafflesMakati or follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RafflesMakati.
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