As food and wine pairing becomes more and more commonplace, it is not unusual to see places like Wine & Chef that amalgamates a wine shop, restaurant and bar into one.
Opened in mid-March this year, the 48-seater establishment is located along Keong Saik Road, home to many delectable temptations including Kok Sen, Don Ho, Loloku, 999.99 Five Nines and Potato Head Folk.
While the concept of Wine & Chef is not surprising, I was surprised by the creativity and quality of the Mod-Sin dishes that it serves.
Hokkein Mee with linguine pasta? Salmon confit risotto fish porridge? I'm sold!
It is understandable for a teetotaler like me to naturally gear towards the food offerings, but for you who loves a tipple or two, be glad to know that the team behind Wine & Chef is SG Wine Cellar, in partnership with wine distributor Papawines from Italy.
This means you can expect Singapore's largest collection of Italian wines from boutique family-owned wineries with over 250 exclusive wines. Prices starts affordably at $25+ for a bottle, and you can also sample the selection of monthly-changing housepour wines at just $6++ per glass (150ml).
Guests are encouraged to browse and shop in the wine room, or buy a bottle to be enjoyed on-site together with Mod-Sin dishes created by Executive Chef Wilson Ang, who has worked in the kitchens of DB Bistro, Spruce, and Fordham & Grand.
For Wine & Chef, he has created a varied menu comprising of small bites, sharing plates, fillers (carbs), sides, and desserts, as well as charcuterie and cheese to complement the wines.
We started our meal with Tofu & Century Egg ($6). Made in-house using organic soya milk and fresh egg, the silky tofu is served nicely-chilled with creamy century egg yolk sauce. The topping of "pok chui" crackers provided some crunchy textural contrast.
Steamed Black Mussels ($18) was another pleaser with fleshy Chilean mussels steeped in chicken broth. The aromatic Chinese rice wine, minced ginger and garlic gave the dish an unmistakable Asian touch.
My favorite of the evening was the Salmon Confit Risotto ($18), which is Chef Wilson's interpretation of local fish porridge.
Instead of rice, barley is cooked till a risotto-like consistency is achieved, and given a lift in flavors with mascarpone cream and lemon juice. The cured Norwegian salmon was sous-vide to soft, medium-rare center perfection. Pair the two together, it becomes a union that spells comfort and bliss in every spoonful.
The Crab Meat Hokkein Mee ($26) had me slurping over its delicious broth made of high grade dark soya sauce, lobster and prawn head stock. The use of linguine over the typical yellow noodles is brilliant, as the pasta retains a firm al-dente bite and doesn't give the dish an alkaline taste.
Flavors are oomphed up even further with crispy bits of piquant pork lard. So so so delightful!
We all agreed that the Curry Pork Knuckle ($20) is super-value for money. Its huge portion is good for at least 2 to 3 pax to share. The accompanying homemade achar or pickled vegetables is just ideal for cutting through the richness of the dish.
Do save some space for desserts such as Durian Panna Cotta ($12), and Venere Rice Pudding ($9) where pulut hitam or black glutinous rice is cooked with pistachio paste and a hint of gula melaka, and served with vanilla bean ice cream and coconut crumble.
Eat, drink, and be merry. Wine & Chef is the place to experience it all.
Wine & Chef
Address: 7 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089115
Contact: +65 6221 9279
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-11pm / Sun 10am-5pm
Prices are stated in Singapore dollars and subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST. Information is correct at point of published date.
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