26C Lorong Mambong
6763 4325 | facebook.com/HVWineLoft
Who Drinks There: Couples and small groups looking for the “good wine and fine ambience” promised by Wine Loft’s motto. When you’ve had enough of noisy roadside spots such as Harry’s, Tango and Walla-Walla, and need somewhere quiet and air-conditioned for a cosy chat – or to get properly sozzled – this is the place.
Best Thing About It: So far, it’s Holland Village’s only wine bar, says owner Nancy Ho. On a Friday night at a table by the window, you have an interesting view of Lorong Mambong’s seething and increasingly wobbly mass of humanity. What’s more, the prices are wino-friendly.
Signature Drinks: Downstairs is the popular Three Crowns, whose jolly good cocktails ($14 to $16) can be rushed up the wooden stairs as fast as you can say “The Ultimate Margarita”.
But it’s really all about the wine, says owner Nancy Ho. Seeing little point in stocking what she calls “supermarket wines”, she spends a lot of enjoyable time tasting candidates for her interesting and generally affordable wine list. House pours include a sparkling, a white and a red ($12 per glass; $48 per bottle), and the rest of the list is a selection of both New and Old World from both hemispheres.
After a light and floral glass of Wild Rock Elevation Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand ($68 per bottle), I came home to the splendid Lammershoek Pinotage 2007 ($68), grown in South Africa’s Swartland; and from that I would not be moved.
Nibbles and Noshes: By the time you’re ready for a philosophical discussion over a slow tipple, you’re possibly also in need of something to soak up whatever has gone before.
In a stroke of genius, Wine Loft has linked up with several top restaurants nearby to deliver selected items from their various menus. We feasted on Middle Eastern fare from Al Qasr, including Lebanese grilled prawns and a vegetarian brinjal bake with fragrant rice. And then, someone kindly ran across the road for mango sorbet from Häagen-Dazs. What more could a woman ask for?
When to Go: Any night from 6pm to about 1am, with more faces to be seen from about 8.30pm or 9pm. Wednesday nights are open-mic nights with an accompanying guitarist; you could sing a song or even read a poem, if the spirit so moved you. On Fridays there’s a saxophonist, too.