Wine and dine at Caveau Bar, Shaw Centre

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Caveau Bar at Shaw Centre was formerly known as the Caveau Wine Bar. It had undergone a major makeover in early 2015. The change in name is slight but the physical changes have been substantial.  The old Caveau Wine Bar was very wine focused. It had shelves of wine available for retail or drinking on site. Wine dispensers from which you can extract tasting portions or by a full glass. Wine magazines were available for browsing. It was like drinking and eating in a wine cellar. The new Caveau Bar looks more like a regular cafe or restaurant.  The friendly, cozy atmosphere is replaced by a colder, darker and broody feel.    As we had mentioned in an earlier post, it felt like the Batman of old had been replaced by a modern-day Batman.

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The wine dispensers are still there but the mood still seemed different. There was however one change that appeared to be more promising. The food menu is more interesting than the old one. Here are the wine by the glass and food menus.

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We decided to try the clams and pork sausage in white wine sauce and tomatoes ($28), the foie gras and kabayaki eel on toast ($26) and BBQ pork ribs with port and mustard glaze ($26).  To wash down all that, we selected a bottle of 2013 Aldo Clerico Dolcetto d’Alba ($65) from the quite extensive wine list.

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The Aldo Clerico Dolcetto d’Alba was a young wine. Fresh and fruity, it had soft tannins and was ready for drinking quite soon after it was opened. Not very complex, but like most Italian wines, it is a wine that is meant to be drank with food and it was a good complement to the range of food we had that evening.  With the high mark-ups at restaurants it is always a challenge to find a wine at a good price-to-taste ratios. At $65, the Dolcetto was one of the lowest priced wine in the list, but did not taste like a budget wine at all. We would certainly recommend this wine.  It went particularly well with the foie gras and the pork ribs.

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The clams and pork sausage was an unusual combination, but the the blend of tastes was a successful one. The sauce was more like a light tomato sauce than a white wine sauce, but we had no complaints. The overall taste was a seafood and meaty taste enveloped in a light tarty tomato sauce taste. Very satisfying and addictive.  We asked for some bread to mop up the sauce. Each order of bread costs $3 at Caveau Bar.

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The next dish was the foie gras and eel on toast.  The foie gras looked a bit pink but the taste was good. The earthy liver taste and smokey eel flavour were both equally strong and deep flavours that harmonised well together.

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The final dish of BBQ pork ribs may look very plain and boring but I assure you the taste is anything but. The ribs were very meaty. We had planned to order three dishes first and order more if we need to later.  But these ribs were enough to make us call it a day.  This was not an ordinary sweet honey coated BBQ rib.  There was no sweet sauce that dominates the taste. You can taste the natural taste of the meat which was enhanced by the glaze.

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Overall, the food at Caveau Bar was very good. The service however was not as attentive and warm as the old Caveau.  No water was served.   Each plate piled full of clam shells was cleared only on request.  A separate request had to be made for the other plate.  Smiles were a rare commodity. The folks were not as chatty or enthusiastic about wine as the former bunch who were eager to launch into a conversation about any of the wines which we might be curious about.

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Ratings:
Food: 4
Service: 2
Value: 3
Atmosphere: 3
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
3 Tops

Caveau Bar
1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #01-12, Singapore 228208

Tel: 6737 2622

Sunday to Thursday
10:30am – 11:00pm

Friday and Saturday
10:30am – 1:00am

Website

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