Maduro bar review: Embark on an experiential journey with new scrumptious bites and music-inspired tipples

Nestled in the quiet confines of Dempsey Hill amongst lush greenery, Maduro (which is a term used in old Spanish etymology to depict an act to ripen or mature) is a cocktail lounge that has always been a refuge for both music-lovers, cocktail drinkers, and even whisky connoisseurs pre-pandemic.

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Thanks to its hidden location that offers guests picturesque views and peaceful serenity away from the city crowds, it wouldn’t even be wrong to say that Maduro is a slice of heaven on earth to those in the know.

Following a six-month mandated closure due to the global pandemic, the one-of-a-kind cocktail lounge wants to reacquaint with its guests in the new normal – this time, through a symphony of music-inspired tipples to tell a tale of tune and time.

Get your taste buds dancing with Maduro’s new cocktail menu, The Trouble Clef

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Enter The Trouble Clef, a ballad of nine unique cocktails that are meticulously created to take you on an experiential journey inspired by jazz pianist and founder of Maduro, Peter Ng (more fondly known as Mr. P).

Known for its devotion to preserving the virtuosity of the classics – both music genres and libations alike, the new menu is genius way to reignite the flame Mr. P has for music (especially classical and jazz) and Maduro.

At the heart of the new cocktail menu is a beautiful harmony of Maduro, Mr. P, and his music, which is directed by bar manager Rajesh Kumar who drew inspiration from Mr. P’s beautiful compositions from his album, A Journey with My Friends.

As the album pays homage to old memories and individuals who have significantly impacted Mr. P’s life, each drink represents a love letter to Maduro and the team that makes them who they are.

According to Kumar, The Trouble Clef is the first curated menu in Maduro that’s beautifully influenced by the story of Mr. P and his love for the arts and jazz.

He adds, “When creating the menu, I wanted to deviate from the norm and pushed myself to think as far out of the box I could. With these creations, I want our guests to enjoy cocktails the way they would with a ballad, with each note and drink adding to the experience and also for them to see the beauty in Maduro the way Mr. P has.”

In celebration of the new menu launch, AVENUE ONE had the opportunity to sample the entire cocktail menu, along with six other new gastronomical offerings that Maduro is adding into its menu.

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Oblivion on Himalayan

Out of all nine new cocktails, our top favourite was the Oblivion on Himalayan (S$23), an irresistibly unique tipple that’s influenced by the crowd-pleasing Himalayan Salt sports candy (which Mr. P said he loves and must have a packet with him at all times).

The cocktail definitely reminded us of the refreshing sports candy with its mélange of citrus, salty, and sweet flavours, thanks to a combination of Smokelab Vodka, citrus medley, and lemon essence served with a delicious meringue cap.

Coming close behind was Ain’t It A Sin (S$23), which is a blend of tequila, rock melon essence, and white grape juice with splashes of an orange-based citrus medley.

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Left: Pina-Play | Right: Strange Fruit

Those who prefer something floral can opt for Strange Fruit (S$23), a floral, comforting, tangy twist on a classic Hot Toddy that’s inspired by Nina Simone and Billie Holiday’s rendition of the eponymous poem.

Made with a gin instead of the usual whiskey via a tea brewing method, this unique curation is concocted with Stranger & Sons Gin, earl grey tea, peppermint, citruses, lavender, honey, and apple cider vinegar.

We were also especially intrigued by Kopitiam Gentleman (S$25), which is a blend of rye whiskey, char siew reduction, gula melaka, and orange bitters that’s topped off with a slice of bak kwa. According to Kumar, this was inspired by Mr. P’s penchant for local roasted delights.

For the adventurous and spice lovers, we recommend ordering the Pina-Play (S$23). This cocktail is an elevated version of the common favourite, Daiquiri, with a nudge of ghost pepper, Plantation 3 Star Rum, spiced pineapple, and an orange-forward citrus medley.

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Cereal Note

Got a sweet tooth? Then, you shouldn’t miss Cereal Note (S$23), a dessert cocktail influenced by Mr. P’s sweet tooth. This creation draws inspiration from a Chocolate Martini with the spotlight being on the cereal and is made with Skyy Vodka, cereal, milk, cacao, and simple syrup.

Maduro’s new bar bites are just as tantalising as its music-influenced tipples

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Left: Cheese Platter | Right: Cheesy Nachos

To complement our evening of drinking, we were served portions of Maduro’s new gastronomical additions in its food menu. You can’t go wrong with the Cheesy Nachos (S$18), which is loaded with melted cheese, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream to keep you digging for more.

For the more refined palate, you’d do well to ask for the Cheese Platter (S$36) that’s topped with walnuts, almonds, and golden raisins with crackers and bread on the side.

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Left: Chicken and Leek Stew | Right: Grilled Octopus Leg

In need of something more satiating? Go for the Chicken and Leek Stew (S$29) or the beautifully seasoned Grilled Octopus “Leg” (S$42) that’s served simply with lemon and aioli to let the natural sweetness of the seafood shine.

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Beef Bourguignon

We absolutely enjoyed the Beef Bourguignon (S$35), which is essentially a beef and mushroom dish in red wine gravy that we lapped up with freshly baked bread.

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Piggy in a Sleeping Blanket

Our highlight of the evening though, was the Piggy in a Sleeping Blanket (S$19). Generous cuts of traditional char siew were sandwiched between two warm baguette slices, with nary a sign of a complementary sauce. Without any sauce, it’d just be two pieces of dry bread with roasted meat in the middle, we thought to ourselves.

Boy, how wrong we were – the char siew was soft, tender and unmistakably juicy, immediately melting in the mouth the moment you bite into the sandwich.

After taking the first bite, we knew that any sauce that goes onto this lovely creation would ruin it instantaneously. If you love yourself some delicious roasted meat, don’t leave without ordering this.

Where to find Maduro

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Besides counter seating and lounge area, you can also spend the rest of your evening at Maduro’s al fresco corner

Maduro is located at 40C Harding Road, Level 3, Singapore 2495481. The bar currently opens on Mondays through Saturdays from 3pm to 10.30pm, and is closed on Sundays.

To make a reservation, contact Maduro at 9756 4775 (you can click on the number to send a WhatsApp message), email [email protected] or book online. You can also visit the website or follow Maduro on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates and promotions.

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