Monday, May 26, 2014

Halo Rooftop Lounge @ Wangz Hotel Outram Road

Last visit was some years back, for a friend's birthday celebration. Was pleasantly surprised to receive an invite for a cocktail and tapas tasting session recently. Hence, the date was set and went after work on a Friday evening.

Wangz Hotel is located at 231 Outram Road. Nearest MRT station would be Tiong Bahru, and very near to Link Hotel too.

Wangz is a cosy boutique hotel that has been in existance since 2009. The entrance led straight to Nectar, its on-premise restaurant.


The lift to the rooftop is a bit secluded, hence do look out for the signage that leads towards the right direction.

hello Halo

The draw at Halo, or any rooftop bar/lounges, would be the view from the top. At Halo, it offers a scenic panoramic view of the Tiong Bahru's skyline and its curved aluminium frame made the rooftop area, pretty interesting.

Was there early, so roamed around the area and snapped a few pictures.

aluminium frame and covered roof
alfresco with a view

Tapas seems to be the buzz these days. Small plates sounds perfect for small eaters, and I'll gladly accept a drink (or two) on a Friday evening. Let the night begin!

First up, Singapore Sling.

Quickly, what did you first think of? An image of tall glass, maraschino cherry and tropical? Was pleasantly surprised to see Halo's version, served in a coconut shell. No kidding!

Singapore Sling - No.3 London Dry, cherry liqueur and bitters

"A classic with a twist." - As quoted by Halo's resident mixologist, the talented As'Ad. He focuses on using fresh fruits and juices, as well as premium liqueur in his creations.

The Singapore Sling here looked good, and tasted good. Pleasant, mildly fruity and of cherries, and thankfully, none of that articificial syrupy aftertaste.

For the next drink, I had to ask as I thought I heard wrongly. "What was the name again?" Bye Bye Mai Tai?

Bye Bye Mai Tai - grapefruit hibiscus liqueur, finished up with rose water

Found that the Mai Tai at Halo, matches closely with the tropical theme. Its usage of edible flowers was much similar to Singapore Sling. It was abit hard to discern the taste in this one. Usually, Mai Tai is made predominantly with rum. Here, it uses grapefruit hibiscus liqueuer. Slightly more grapefruity than hibiscus-y.

The cocktails are quite balanced but in any case, the stomach needed food! Let's bring out the tapas.

Yellow Fin Tuna Ceviche on Crispy Corn Chip - tasting portion

Was trying to decipher what those strips were. If not wrong, should be candied orange peel/ginger. Liked the combination of chopped cucumber, tomato salsa and tuna ceviche. A refreshing taste. A little bit salty, but gone in one bite or two. Wished that the corn chips can be more curled up at its side like a mini taco. Easier to stuff 'em into the mouth!

Well, corn chips with chopped raw fish were fine but needed something more substantial. How about some mini burgers? Lucky me, next up was beef sliders.

Chimay Rouge with Angus Beef Slider

"Try the slider with the beer." Yup, why not. But first, a sip of that cold beer. This was my first, in trying a Chimay, Trappist beer. Beer that was brewed in a monastery for monks. It was easy to drink, smooth with medium carbonation and not that bitter. Enjoyable in big sips.

Angus Slider, I see you

The Angus Beef Slider was made out of two fluffy buns (housemade, nonetheless) that held together some purple cabbage slaw, a slice of tomato and of course, the handmade angus beef patty. No sauce required. This was simplicity. The pickled onion was pretty good too. Full portion @$18++ consists of 3 sliders.

Next up, meaty pork ribs!

US Kurobuta Baby Pork Ribs with Pineapple BBQ Sauce - tasting portion

The ribs were meaty, with a firm bite. As expected, the sauce was a little bit on the sweet side. Wished that the ribs were a bit more charred, with caramelization. These ribs paired well with beer too.

grill masters hard at work

If beer, and Slings are not your thing, then how about an elegant glass of Green Apple & Pineapple Martini? Ingredients included premium liqueur Thoquino cachaca, malibu coconut rum and one can taste real fruits bits of green apple and pineapple.

Green Apple + Pineapple Martini

If you ever wanted to know more about the cocktails, please go right up to the bar area.

bar area - mixologist in the house yo!

Did you know that Halo Rooftop Lounge also has live music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays? Now you do.

Jazz on Thursdays, and 'Accoustic Live' contemporary hits on Fridays and Saturdays.

Idah and Yazid, performing at Halo on Fridays

Drinks, music and food. What more do we need? about more food!

Chicken Lollipops with Blue Cheese Dip and Crudites - tasting portion

The batter was crispy but slightly bland. Blue cheese dip is an acquired taste. This one is not for me.

If you can only have one cocktail for the night, then may I recommend you the Botanist Bowl (@$18++). It had me at first sip. Yes, this was my kind of drink!

Botanist Bowl

Perhaps, it was the Botanist Gin, which is a small-batch, artisanal Islay (Scotland) gin. Perhaps, it was the Elderflower Liqueuer, or was it the fresh strawberries or home-made lemon foam? Or was it the molecular process of making it that brought out the flavours?

According to wiki, molecular mixology sees the creation of cocktails using equipment and techniques of molecular gastronomy. layman's term, it involves changing the appearance/texture of the original item, enhancing flavours by using gels, foam, sprays etc.

All I know, is that I liked it very much, so thanks for having this on the menu. As'Ad revealed that this is actually their bestseller cocktail, followed by Singapore Sling.

To end the night on a sweeter note, a small plate of honey BBQ wings.

Honey BBQ Wings

Served piping hot, sweet and slightly crispy at its edges. But, abit too skinny these wings!

In general, the tapas price ranges from $15++ to $18++ and most cocktails are priced at $18++.

Special thanks to Ms Prue Chin, Marketing Manager of Wangz Hotel for the invitation. Glad to be re-acquainted with Halo Rooftop Lounge. Not forgetting As'Ad, whom expertly concocted those drinks. Saw another rather interestingly named cocktail such as the 'Rhubarb Pie'. If you try it, let me know how it taste like!

Happy Hour happens daily from 4pm to 8pm, and all night long on Sundays. Look out for selected 1-for-1 offers during Happy Hour. Do note that the closing hour for Halo is on 11pm (Sunday to Thursday) and 12am (Fri, Sat, eve and on public holidays).


Halo Rooftop Lounge @ Wangz Hotel

Address: 231 Outram Road, Singapore 169040
Tel: (65) 6595 1388
Fax: (65) 6595 1399


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