Words: Leanne Fulcher Photos: Monica Tindall
The selfie-culture has revolutionized the cocktail industry. Consumers are not just looking for a delicious drink, but a concoction that is Instagram-worthy. The Grand Hyatt’s newly revamped martini bar and their latest addition, the party room, a gin and tonic oasis, have literally raised the bar in happy hour choices, and photogenic drinking, in Singapore. With 32 martini options and 62 varieties of gin and tonic at the happy hour price of $14, you can afford to experiment, satisfy your thirst and get the perfect shot, all at the same time.
Martini Bar & Party Room @ mezza9, Grand Hyatt Singapore
The Grand Hyatt is an oasis from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road. The two bars are part of their mezza9 concept, named for their nine dining concepts offered inclusively within their walls. No matter where you choose to eat or drink you will always have access to the full range of their menus.
The newly refurbished martini bar boasts an understated elegance and a nostalgic ambience with hard wood panelling and dark rich carpeting. The wall of glass at sunset lets in a beautiful glow and is the perfect companion for some eye-catching photos of your delicious cocktails. At other hours, the low lighting offers the perfect relaxing ambiance whether it be a post-work cocktail or an intimate encounter.
The martini bar offers an extensive choice of 32 martinis with a generous pour of 45 ml per drink. They pride themselves on their openness to creativity inventing two new martinis each month. If the new drinks are well received they become part of the regular menu. The drinks are meant to be a topic of conversation and the variety of options encourages experimentation and sharing.
On arrival we perused the cocktail menu, tentatively selecting several that sounded amazing. When Diaz, one of the two head bartenders, joined our party we learned that he was not only an accomplished mixologist but also an engaging storyteller. He began to share his inspirations behind many of the drinks he personally created, which in turn encouraged us to surrendering our selection into his capable hands. As we all know, nothing goes better together than a drink and a story.
As a family-man, Diaz confessed that much of his inspiration came from his own family. The first concoction was the Lollipop, garnished with a lovely heart-shaped colourful swirl of a sucker that was definitely photo-worthy. For Diaz, this drink has a deeper message. The drink signifies togetherness whether you are male or female, gay or straight; we are all children at heart. The beautiful strong blue colouring is reminiscent of Blue Curacao, but with a surprisingly well-balanced and not too sweet taste.
The Gummy Bear Martini follows the “kidspiration” theme. It looks like a cocktail perfect for your inner-child, but it packs a nice punch. This martini will be a favorite for fans of the cosmopolitan.
The Popping Pear is all about rebellion. Do you remember Pop Rocks candy? It explodes in your mouth and as children we were told not to mix it with soda. Diaz was not allowed to eat this as a youth, so as an adult he decided his ultimate revenge was to include it in a cocktail. The blend of sour pear and vodka makes it a very smooth drink and the popping sounds adds an extra touch of fun!
The Apple Truffle was a favourite of everyone at the table. A unique blend that matches the bar’s goal of surprising their guests with interesting and unique combinations that are also on trend. The drink has a unique smell but the taste is delightfully refreshing paired with apple and garnished accordingly. The inspiration for this drink actually came from his wife who hates the smell of the ever-popular truffle-fries. Diaz was eager to create a drink that included truffle knowing his wife would predict that she would hate it, and yet would have to confess to it being an ingenious combination that suits every palate.
We went on to try their signature martinis including the Cucumber, Chocolate and Coconut Martinis. The Cucumber Martini was surprisingly refreshing. If you closed your eyes, it was easy to imagine yourself sitting at the pool as part of a spa indulgence. The Chocolate Martini, we were told is very popular and “very dangerous.” Its delicious taste and drinkability hide the high alcohol content of this drink. The Coconut Martini was very refreshing and would be my go to drink after a long day.
The party room is the newest addition to the mezza9 family. Compared to the martini bar it has a quieter more laid-back feel, perfect for inviting conversation in a group setting. The room was intentionally designed with a combination of natural wood and Peranakan cloth to absorb sound. The bar-top is beautifully made from a single piece of wood. The room has been designed so it can be rented for private functions. The Grand Hyatt Singapore team does not offer party packages, but instead are happy to customise events based on your budget and the size of the gathering.
The party room boasts 62 different varieties of gin and tonics, more than any other bar in Singapore. The UK produces 80% of the gins available, but the other 20% are international varieties. Paper Lantern is a local Singapore-owned gin company, which produces its gins in Thailand.
We had the opportunity to taste several different variations on the classic gin and tonic. Paper Lantern had a peppery taste that when paired with lemon grass and twisted lime brought out the spicy and the sour. The Basil and Pineapple was inspired by Diaz’s Thai wife. By biting the pineapple, the sweetness was emphasised. While most gins are white, the Four Pillars – Shiraz Gin is made by a company that originally specialised in wine making. When they saw that the gin industry was booming, they switched their operation to blending the wine operations with juniper berries. While gin is not normally my drink of choice, the Shiraz Gin, garnished with orange and accompanied by a Mediterranean tonic for a fresh and more flavourful taste was a lovely discovery.
Food at the Martini Bar & Party Room
At the happy hour price of $14 per cocktail it would be easy to get carried away, so it is important to line that stomach with some food along the way. The bar menu is far from typical and we tried out several of the most popular dishes.
Crispy blue swimmer crab cakes in a remoulade sauce are one of their best sellers. Soft, juicy and fresh with the taste of the sea, we can see why these are a hit.
The wood-fired padrón peppers with smoked sea salt are the perfect bar snack, making you want to sip and nibble, sip and nibble, as is the wagyu bresaola with guindilla peppers. Another bite, perfect for sharing (or not), the truffled camembert de Normandis with figs and rye bread washes down very smoothly with one of many wines available by the glass (or bottle).
We get a look at some of the hotel’s sustainable options with the “Fat bastard” rock oysters with shallot vinegar, and continue the seafood theme with California sushi with snow crab, avocado, cucumber and mayo, and the spicy tuna sushi with sustainable tuna, spring onions and chili.
It’s all delicious and it’s all fresh, and if we hadn’t had so many drinks, it would be worthy of a much more detailed description 😉
Sustainability at Grand Hyatt Singapore
Throughout the menu we saw the word “sustainable” frequently and were impressed with the Hyatt group’s corporate social responsibility practices and attempts at not only sourcing food from ethical sources, but also in bringing awareness to the importance of this through their labeling system on the menu. The Grand Hyatt Singapore produces 30% of its electricity in-house, and 30 to 40% of the vegetables used at the Grand Hyatt Singapore’s various dining concepts are actually grown on their very own roof-top garden. Organic fertilizer is made from the one tonne of food waste produced within the hotel daily, and next year the hotel aims to include many more plant-based options on the menu. Their goal is to be on-trend, but also to be more forward thinking and responsible in their actions.
So how’s that? Guilt-free drinking and eating, photo-friendly cocktails and an overall positive experience – I’d say the Party Room and Martini Bar at mezza9, Grand Hyatt Singapore are well worth a visit.
Reasons to visit: beautifully presented Instagram-worthy cocktails that taste as good as they look; good-value happy hours; extensive list of cocktails whether you are a fan of the martini or the gin and tonic; delicious fresh food options from any of the nine kitchens; a party room perfect for a private function; environmentally friendly ethos.
- Check out a fabulous Sunday brunch at mezza9 here, and our Grand Hyatt Singapore hotel experience here.
Party Room and Martini Bar
mezza9, Grand Hyatt Singapore
10 Scotts Road
+65 6738 1234
* Reservations are not taken for happy hour so arrive early.
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday (5:00 PM – 12:00 AM)
Friday and Saturday (5:00 PM – 1:00 AM)
Happy Hours/mezzatime (Daily, 5:00 PM- 9:00 PM)
• All Gin & Tonics / Martinis – S$14++ per glass
• Wine by the glass – S$14++ per glass
• All house pour spirits and mixed drinks – S$14++ per glass
• Beers – S$9++ per bottle
• Champagne – S$16++ per glass
Happy-After-Hours (Daily, from 9:00 PM – Close)
• All Gin & Tonics / Martinis – S$18++ per glass
• Core wines and wines by the glass – Based on current dining room prices
• All house pour spirits and mixed drinks – S$18++ per glass
• Beers – S$12++ per bottle
• Champagne – Based on current dining room prices