Wine & Chef Singapore is a relatively new restaurant that opened in early 2017. It is located in one of the shophouses along the stretch of restaurants on Keong Saik Road. It serves an eclectic mix of food items that could be from menus at a zhi char stall, a Japanese izakaya or a French bistro. It has an extensive list of Italian wines which would not be out-of-place in an enoteca in Rome. The extreme mix and match could either end up successfully as the best of both worlds or as a complete disaster. There was only one way to find out.
Our first impression of Chef & Wine Singapore was slightly negative. The dining space was dark and cramped. The heavy wooden furniture appeared to be too densely packed into the compact space. The most attractive space was the wine cellar which was bright and neatly organised. The wine list has a fair selection of different types of Italian wines starting from around $25 a bottle. The cellar contains more wines that are not on the list and some non-Italian wines.
Wine & Chef Singapore Menu
Here are pictures of some pages from the Wine & Chef Singapore menu, Today’s Special, set lunch menu and a couple of pages from the wine list. It is not everyday that a cross-cultural mix of food such as grilled hamachi collar, soy sauce chicken, har cheong kai (deep fried chicken with prawn paste), Hokkien mee and pan-seared foie gras can be found in the same place.
The pan-seared foie gras ($14) was very good. It was cooked just right and was accompanied by bits of chopped mango to balance out the liver taste.
The crab otah ($15) at Wine & Chef Singapore is the most beautiful otah we have seen. Who would have thought the humble fish paste, usually grilled in slivers in attap leaves can be made to look so good. The extra garnishing of vegetables and fish eggs combined to improve its looks and taste. This was the best dish of the day.
The Today’s Special at Wine & Chef looked more like a menu from a Japanese izakaya – salt grilled salmon head and salt grilled hamachi collar ($20). We selected the latter. This was not a pretty dish but it was as good as any from an izakaya.
We had read some good reviews about the Hokkien mee ($26) at Wine & Chef Singapore and naturally wanted to try some. The Wine & Chef version was cooked with dark sauce and looked more like the KL Hokkien mee than the usual pale local version. The taste was fine but we did not think that it was exceptional. There was no rich seafood flavour and was quite salty. They were quite generous with the prawns.
We like the wine list at Wine & Chef as it features quite a lot of wines under $50. The house pours by the glass cost $6 or $8 each. We tried their $6 white wine and found it to be quite decent. For those with a bigger wallet, more fancy wines can be found in the cellar. It is good to see restaurants introducing affordable wines of decent quality. We also thought that the eclectic mix of cuisines and affordable wines was successfully done. Wine & Chef Singapore is certainly a restaurant that is high on our drinks and happy hour restaurant list.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Wine & Chef
7 Keong Saik Road
Nearby MRT Station: Outram