Fancy having your own walk-in wine cellar with hundreds of bottles? And your personal chef to grill a few lamb chops to go with your chosen bottle of Bordeaux? Our lunch at the new Grill by 1855 The Bottle Shop in Paragon Orchard felt a bit like that. It claims to have “over 800 premium wine & spirit labels” in their new restaurant / wine shop. Not only that, the kitchen is “helmed by the chefs of the acclaimed WAKANUI Grill Dining Singapore”. Who can resist a new restaurant with good food with wines at retail prices and no corkage? Not us.
It was a quiet weekday afternoon and the entire Grill by 1855 The Bottle Shop @ Paragon Orchard was empty, other than ourselves. From the outside it looks like a normal wine shop with floor to ceiling shelves of wine. A small glass window gave us a peek into the kitchen. The inside of the restaurant / wine shop was dark and simply laid out. If this was any other restaurant, we would have thought it to be somewhat gloomy. But this was the real basement of Paragon and it evokes the feeling of dining in a wine cellar. There is no need for decoration, the neat stacks of wine bottles are things of beauty.
There was no wine list at Grill by 1855 The Bottle Shop @ Paragon Orchard. There is no need for one. It is more fun to browse the real things on display. We ended up with a bottle of 2016 Le Volte dell’Ornellaia. A lower tier of wine from the highly desired super Tuscan Ornellaia. But for ordinary patrons, their third wine is good enough for us. We paid the retail price of this bottle of wine ($50) and no corkage or other surcharge was imposed for dining in. We like this system.
There was however, minimal wine service. The selected bottle was brought somewhere to be opened. The opened bottle was brought to the table and that was it. But it was fine with us. Better no corkage than have them fuss over us. The wine glasses were decent. The wine has been described by a famous reviewer as “A fine-grained and focused red with berry, coffee and spice aromas and flavors. Medium body and a clean finish. Extremely pretty and delicious to drink now“. We could not detect all those flavours but we agree with the last sentence.
The menu at Grill by 1855 The Bottle Shop @ Paragon Orchard is nowhere as comprehensive as the wine. It is a one-page affair, dominated by grilled items. Which is also fine with us as the food look like items that go well with wine. If only they have beef hor fun and oyster omelette, it would be perfect.
The deal was made sweeter by the opening promotion of the Paragon outlet. A free lamb chop (which is priced $10 each in the menu) with every main dish. Which left us no option but to just order two main dishes. We can always try the other items another day. We decided to have the Smoked Salmon with Caper Wine Sauce ($18) and Roasted Lamb Leg with Gravy ($18).
The free lamb chops arrived first. We have low expectations of anything that is free but this was better than our normal expectations. The lamb chop at Grill by 1855 was succulent and tender. Most importantly, there was no gamey flavour. They are priced at $10 each which is quite pricey as each one is small. But perfect to go with a good red wine.
The roasted lamb leg was not as refined as the lamb chops. But it was also not strongly flavoured. Even my lunch companion who normally shuns lamb thought they were very good.
The smoked salmon, in comparison to the lamb dishes that day, was not as outstanding. It was not the semi-raw type of smoked salmon. It was a warm cooked dish. It also comes with rice but we asked for more vegetables instead. We had ordered this in case the lamb dishes turned out to be too strongly flavoured. We need not have done that as the lamb was much better.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Grill by 1855 The Bottle Shop
#B1-13 Paragon Orchard
290 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6767 1855
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm
Nearby MRT Stations: Somerset, Orchard
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog