Nestled within the serene embrace of Telok Blangah Hill Park, The Alkaff Mansion stands as a living relic of Singapore’s vibrant history. Adorned with European-styled fountains and a gazebo, this heritage property exudes the timeless charm of its more than 100-year existence. The mansion was built by Syed Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Alkaff in 1918, a distinguished member of the Alkaff family, whose lineage stretches back to their arrival in Singapore from Yemen in 1852.
The Alkaffs, celebrated traders, orchestrated a thriving commerce between India and Indonesia, specialising in spices, coffee, and sugar. This rich legacy finds modern expression in The Alkaff Mansion’s newest offering, 1918 Bar—a tribute to Singapore’s spice trade era. Marking the year of the mansion’s construction, 1918 Bar curates a delightful marriage of Asian spices and contemporary European twists in its culinary creations. The bar’s curated selection of beverages reflects both classic and locally-inspired blends, with each signature cocktail named after significant events tied to the mansion’s illustrious history. The food selection masterfully showcases the Alkaff family’s heritage, elevating local favourites with an emphasis on spices.
The experience at 1918 Bar transcends taste, crafting an immersion in history through meticulously crafted drinks. The Fortune Arises cocktail ($20++) harks back to the 1850s, harmonising Sauza Silver Tequila, Alkaff Blend Espresso, Kahlua, Agave Cinnamon, and Chocolate Bitters. The Garden Glitz ($20++), an ode to the 1920s, weaves together Sipsmith Gin, Apple, Calamansi, Sour Plum, and Soda for a refreshing tribute. Mizumi ($20++), with Suntory Haku Vodka, Midori Melon Liqueur, Miso, and Lime, captures the essence of the Alkaff Gardens’ Japanese landscapes in the 1930s. The Klapataart cocktail ($20++), inspired by the 1990s, features Courvoisier VSOP, Gramona Vie De Glass, Honey, Lemon and Almond, creating an earthy and bold masterpiece.
The Classic Cocktails category (from $18++) beckons you to relish flavours steeped in the Alkaff family’s trading history. The 1920s Gimlet fuses Sipsmith Gin, Benedictine DOM, Lime, and Lemongrass, offering an exquisite ode to sophistication. Modernising tradition, the 1940s Matcharita blends Sauza Silver Tequila, Triple Sec, Cherry Brandy, Matcha, and Yuzu. Crafted from Pierre Jean Merlot, Bacardi White Rum, Crème De Cassis, Orange, and Berry Mix, the 1960s Sangria embodies celebration, while the 1980s Cosmopolitan revives zest with Suntory Haku Vodka, Triple Sec, Cranberry, Lime, Cardamom, and Mint. Familiar classics like the Singapore Sling, Negroni, Old Fashioned, and Mojito further invite guests to relive history.
1918 Bar, however, transcends libations, offering a culinary journey that harmoniously blends local traditional favourites and European elegance. The Iberico “Kong Ba Bao” ($16++), Hazelnut Coffee Wings ($16++), Laksa Squid Ink Prawn Roll ($16++), Har Jeong Katsu ($20++), Bak Kwa Pizza ($30++), and Curry Beef Pie ($22++) showcase a fusion of flavours that elevate familiar dishes. Desserts like Fried Tang Yuan ($10++) and the Spanish-inspired ‘You Tiao’ ($12++) round off the experience on a sweet note.
This historic haven extends its embrace beyond mere dining. As the sun sets, the bar awakens with live bands on weekends, channeling the spirit of high society gatherings that once graced the mansion in the 1930s. Vibrant regional bar takeovers, like the recent collaboration with Budi Bar from Melaka, infuse a cultural spark. Themed parties such as Retro Nights ensure every visit is an unforgettable step back in time, resonating with the nostalgia of the ’80s. In September, the bar is set to host “A Perennial Drive,” partnering with the Classic Car Club to showcase vintage cars—an homage to the origins of four-wheel drives and a celebration of timelessness.
1918 Bar, residing in the heart of The Alkaff Mansion, embodies the indomitable spirit of Singapore’s spice trade history. With every sip, every bite, it takes you on a journey through time, reliving history while celebrating the present. An exquisite blend of heritage and innovation, 1918 Bar offers more than just a night out—it’s an immersive voyage through flavours, time, and unforgettable moments.
For more information, visit www.1918bar.sg