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Bar of the week: Bar-roque Grill does a mean rum infusion

Chef Stephane Istel's revamped bar menu reminds us there’s more to rum’s sidekicks than coke.

What: Bar-roque Bar
Where: 165 Tanjong Pagar Road #01-100
Opening hours: 12pm to 2:30pm; 6pm to 10:30pm
Phone: 6444-9672

While fiercely loyal to the recipes of his hometown, Alsatian chef Stephane Istel of Bar-roque Grill has turned to a more tropical chapter of his life for the Bar-roque Bar. Three years of soaking up the sun and sea in the kitchens of the Caribbean has armed Istel with the expertise to place the bar’s focus on the ultimate summer spirit: rum.

B-RG 2100

The three-year-old Bar-roque Grill has always had a bar (which partly explains the name) but it was always more of a supporting act to the delectable meats within the restaurant. However, after regulars started buying Istel’s infused rum experiments by the jars, these flavourful spirits (and the cocktails they make) now dominate the drink menu.

There are six infusions, each one inspired by a country, and three signature cocktails. But we recommend sticking with the rum to see just how harmoniously the ingredients Istel has chosen meld with the spirit. The Sing (pineapple, red chilli, vanilla and cinnamon) will please those with a sweet tooth while The Thai (mango, lemongrass, lime leaves, lemon slices) is a fragrant fusion of two diverse cultures.

  • Pineapple Fizz

As an al fresco bar that happens to be situated in the precise spot the setting sun blasts its rays, it’s not the coolest or even the quietest drinking spot around so don’t bother talking shop here. The revamped Bar-roque Bar is warm and lively — just like the chef and his rum — so just kick it like they do in the Caribbean.

 Best bits: The rum, obviously.

Check out our previous Bars of the Week: Smoke & MirrorsUmi + Vino | Sum Yi Tai | The Flagship | The Armoury