New Yorkers can look forward to a creative and imaginative cocktail experience packed with savory, spicy and umami flavors courtesy of The Elephant Room (TER), which made its debut on ‘Asia’s Best Bars 2023’ list, placing No. 64. Co-founder Yugnes Susela, has joined hands with Salil Mehta, founder of Fungi Hospitality Group to develop an Elephant Room New York craft cocktail experience, which will be unveiled at 31 East 20th Street (in the Singapura restaurant space) on Tuesday, December 5th, 2023. In addition to deftly executed cocktails, patrons can expect seasonal, Southeast Asian cuisine from the Singapura culinary team paired with signature cocktails from The Elephant Room.
“We’re excited to make our debut in New York, the nightlife and craft cocktail capital of the world,” stated Yugnes Susela. “The New York menu and experience is a showcase of our team’s passion and expertise, and an application of culinary techniques, experimenting with new and unlikely flavor combinations, coupled with hints of influences from our time spent in Manhattan.”
“We are looking forward to bringing the vibrant flavors of The Elephant Room to New York City – award-winning establishments such as The Elephant Room are continuing to evolve the Singaporean craft cocktail scene, delivering innovation and an exciting, immersive vibe,” shared Salil Mehta.
Susela and his head bartender, Chok Han have created the following signature cocktails for The Elephant Room at Singapura, drawing inspiration from the sights, flavors and smells found within Singapore’s neighborhoods such as Little India:
- Clarified Singapura Sling - Widely regarded as Singapore's national drink, this classic cocktail is loved by both locals and by many around the world. Clarified with milk for a smooth and milky texture then finished off with pomegranate foam on top, TER’s take on the Singapore Sling is fruity and sweet-sour. This cocktail also bears colours representing the Singapore flag
- The Breakfast Cocktail - Inspired by the classic all-day Singaporean breakfast combo: tea, toast and eggs. A cocktail that is rich and creamy, acting like our hearty breakfast that you can have any time of the day at Singapore’s renowned kopitiams
- Beancurd - Inspired by the traditional beancurd dish, which is a well-known dessert dish amongst Singaporeans. This drink has a silky texture, with a slight hint of sweetness
- Banana King - Subtly spiced, aromatic beverage that is infused with roasted banana gin, banana oleo, juice from the banana stem for acidity, sandalwood liqueur, and topped-off with a banana blossom sugar shard for garnish, served on a banana leaf coaster
- The Ginger Flower - TER’s reimagined version of The French 75 using ingredients commonly found in markets around Singapore and Chinatown New York, capturing the aromatic flavour of ginger flower (also known in Malay as ‘bunga kantan’), and by infusing it with gin, we complement it with sour plum and complete the cocktail with lemon and champagne.
- Pandan Cake - Inspired by the famous pandan chiffon cake found in local Singaporean bakeries, The Elephant Room crew is re-inventing the flavours found in the cake into a creamy, dessert-like drink
- Peranakan Fizz - Inspired by the common ingredients used in Peranakan cuisine such as kaffir lime leaf, tamarind and chilli. The base of the cocktail is made with an infusion of aromatic and zesty kaffir lime leaves. Both tamarind and chilli are made into a cordial, giving a sour and spicy note to the drink. Lastly, soda water is added to give a refreshing fizzy finish
- Three-Piece Satay - Singapore’s hawker culture is rightfully on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. A big part to play in that is the food itself and one of the most well-known dishes in Singapore is satay, and this beverage is a fun take on this iconic dish. Skewered meat is roasted with barbecue sauce, above a spitfire and basted with a sweet sauce (pineapple tepache). The drink is served with coconut leaf-wrapped rice (rice liquor) and most importantly, peanut sauce (peanut butter).
- Four Pillars – The four core pillars of Singapore are about the diverse community who started and still continue to build the country. These would be the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians, and ‘Hardwork’ (symbolized by gold). We looked for local ingredients that would represent these pillars well and also make a harmonious cocktail. Lemongrass represents the Malays, Szechuan pepper for the Chinese, flowers and spices symbolizes the Indians, and jackfruit represents gold.
The menu also features zero-proof offerings and mocktail versions of the above signature drinks:
- Ginger Flower – A delightful mocktail made from ginger flower juice, lemongrass syrup and lemonade
- Peranakan Fizz – Lime leaf, tamarind chilli cordial and soda
- Singapura Sling – Delicious pineapple puree, blackcurrant, lime, ginger beer or ginger ale according to preference
To pair with the signature drinks from The Elephant Room, Salil Mehta, has crafted a Singaporean-inspired food menu that will feature comfort dishes like the Clay Pot Rice (rice cooked with chicken and ‘lap cheong’ aka Chinese sausage, with the rice absorbing and preserving the essence of the ingredients); Char Koay Teow (stir fried flat rice noodles packed with ‘wok hei,’ cooked with dark soy sauce, chilli, bean sprouts, egg and chives); and Rojak, a mixed fruit and vegetable salad dish of Javanese origin, commonly found in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore (the Singapura version is composed of green apple, mango, pineapple, jicama, chilli, galangal flower, and topped-off with fermented shrimp paste dressing).
Singapura’s food menu also features a selection of different types of roti canai, the humble legendary street food dish that has its roots in India with strong Tamil influences, and unmistakably born in Malaysia and Singapore. The fluffy, flattened, disc-like shape of this humble, beloved dish is similar in shape and texture to parathas and chapatis, made with maida flour and ghee.
The Elephant Room at Singapura’s hours as follows:
- Open Mondays to Fridays, 5:00 pm to Midnight (Kitchen closes at 9:30 pm on weekdays; Elephant Room is open until Midnight)
- Open Saturdays and Sundays, from 5:00 pm to Midnight (Kitchen closes at 10:30 pm on weekends; Elephant Room is open until Midnight)
For reservations call (646) 429-9986; or visit Resy’s website.
About The Elephant Room
Launched in September 2019, The Elephant Room is Singapore’s first culture-forward cocktail bar inspired by the city’s vibrant ethnic enclave of Little India. Named after the sub-continent’s national heritage animal, The Elephant Room tells stories of real-life figures and experiences through modern tipples concocted with a culinary flair. Helmed by Co-founder Yugnes Susela, The Elephant Room is conveniently located within a short two-minute walk away from Maxwell MRT.
In December 2023, Susela and The Elephant Room team will unveil their first-ever concept in the Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan in collaboration with Fungi Hospitality Group.