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Bar review: French wine hangout Napoleon in Chinatown

Napoleon Food and Wine Bar

206 Telok Ayer Street

6221 9282 | napoleon.sg

It normally has customers, honest 

Who Drinks There: Napoleon attracts an eclectic mix of wine drinkers, many of whom work nearby. The shophouse has been given a stylish, contemporary makeover, with solid wood tables and muted grey walls; timber wine cases and glass jars filled with corks indicating this is the place to drink wine.

Best Thing About It: The Enomatic wine-dispenser takes pride of place in the centre of the room, serving three portion-controlled sizes of 16 red and 16 white wines. At around $15,000, this baby does not come cheap, but it’s a one-stop shop: storing, cooling, preserving and serving wine in one hit. Choose your wine through the iPad ordering system and it will be delivered to your table, or give the Enomatic a try. It’s easy: buy credit for the Napoleon card, choose your wine, insert the card, put a glass under the dispenser nozzle and press your selection: taster, half glass or full glass.


Signature Drinks: The constantly changing selection of wine is unashamedly French, and selected by young French sommelier, Florian. This is a great place to try lots of different wines from regions all over France. We spotted one exceptional red blend at $40 a glass, but all price points are covered, starting with a simple $8 white. Tasting starts at $2.50. For novices, the wines are labelled according to style: fruity, dry, rich or sweet, which is helpful if you’re not sure where to start. Friendly bar manager, Pong, can whip up a nifty wine cocktail; or for non-wine drinkers there’s Asahi on tap (half pint, $10) and bottles of Budweiser and Corona ($13).

Nibbles and Noshes: Every table comes with an iPad for ordering food from the decent menu. There are hearty main meals and desserts, but we chose from the snack options; truffle potato wedges ($10) and a charcuterie and cheese platter ($35) loaded with chorizo, tasty duck rillettes, three cheeses, tapenade and more.

When to Go: Open Monday to Friday from 11.30am to midnight and Saturday from 6pm to midnight. Daily lunch specials including a soup, main course and soft drink start from $16.