We scour the island’s restaurant scene to bring you the new and the noteworthy – it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it! Here, Anthia Chng heads to casual restaurant bar Wine & Chef along the buzzy Keong Saik Road.
Started by the people behind wine retailer SG Wine Cellar, Wine & Chef incorporates Mod-Sin cuisine and boutique Italian wines in its cosy 48-seater space. Step right in and you’ll be welcomed by a bright wine room, piled high with vino from floor to ceiling. The restaurant décor is simple yet chic, with wood furniture and cream walls contrasted with industrial lightbulbs dangling from above.
Grub on this:
Expect to find the usual suspects like a cheese platter ($28) and a charcuterie platter ($22) on the menu. The real stars, however, are local fusion dishes created by the resto’s executive chef, Wilson Ang. Start with the tofu and century egg ($6), a vegetarian appetiser that’s creamy, silky and smooth, with the homemade egg tofu complementing the crispy crackers and savoury century-egg sauce (thankfully not too overpowering in taste). Another popular pick is steamed black mussels ($18), featuring Chilean mussels steeped in chicken broth, Chinese rice wine, minced ginger and garlic.
Seafood lovers will rejoice, as the mains here are mostly marine-centric. We thoroughly enjoyed the crab meat hokkien mee ($26), an interesting spin on the local delight. Made with a generous portion of fresh seafood – crab, tiger prawns, black mussels – alongside a good dose of pork lard, the linguine dish was devoured in minutes. If you’re craving something lighter, we strongly recommend the salmon confit risotto ($18). This dish was hearty yet healthy, with a perfectly seasoned salmon fillet with mascarpone and barley. Visiting with friends? Don’t leave without trying the curry pork knuckle ($20) – a huge sharing platter of beautifully braised pork knuckle drenched in an aromatic homemade curry and achar (pickled vegetables). The sauce packs heat though, so you may want to ask for it served separately if you’re not used to spicy food.
Wash it down:
Wine & Chef prides itself on housing an extensive range of Italian wines; look forward to over 250 wines from 42 wineries spanning North to South Italy. As a fan of bubbles, I was drawn to the Quota 101 Prosecco Extra Dry, a steal at $6 a glass ($29.90 a bottle). Crisp, light and refreshing, this sparkling was the perfect start to the meal. Another unanimous favourite was the Amarone Della Valpolicella DOCG Valpantena ($15 a glass, $69 a bottle). This full-bodied, well-rounded red went really well with the pork knuckle. Liked what you tried? Bring home a bottle for your next gathering!
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Read more at our wine and dine section.