For us, Bacaro is akin to discovering the golden ratio among wine establishments in Singapore. It boasts exceptional, yet unpretentious Italian cuisine, a thoughtfully curated yet succinct wine selection, and an ambiance that exudes simplicity and relaxation, complemented by a staff that's genuinely amiable.
Bacaro specializes in showcasing small-batch artisanal wines, known for their limited production. Within their portfolio, you'll also come across treasures like the 1998 vintage Barolo, priced at around $200 – quite a steal! Feel free to consult Chef David for wine recommendations; having visited Bacaro over 50 times, we've consistently received excellent suggestions that offer both quality and affordability.
Some dishes that we love: Polpetta di Carne, Mozzarella in Carrozza con Acciuga, Polpetta di Melanzane, Battuta di Filetto con Zabaione di Parmigiano Reggiano e Chips di Crudo, Tagliatelle al Tartufo Nero Fresco, Gnocchi con Ragù di Bistecca
2. Clos Pasoh
We've always considered Clos Pasoh to be underrated, given that securing a reservation there at the last minute has never posed a challenge. Perhaps it's due to its position on the relatively higher end of the price spectrum, especially in comparison to our top pick. However, it does embody a more formal dining setting, making it an ideal choice for a refined experience, perhaps even a date night.
The menu features an exquisite selection of fusion French dishes that harmonize perfectly with the wine offerings. The wine menu centers around French producers, encompassing both well-known and boutique names.
We'd like to highlight the sommelier service at Clos Pasoh. Mush, the sommelier at the establishment, excels in guiding wine choices. He takes his time, attentively considers our wine experience, and subsequently presents a range of options, detailing the nuances of each.
3. The Masses
If you're aiming for a more laid-back experience while still indulging in those fusion French vibes, consider exploring The Masses. The cuisine is truly exceptional, and the ambiance leans towards casual rather than formal.
In terms of wine, the selection is relatively small, with a dedicated emphasis on French wines. Our initial disappointment, stemming from not finding our desired choice (due to stock unavailability), did somewhat dampen our experience. Nevertheless, this hiccup led us to adapt; now, we opt to bring along our own wine (bearing a corkage fee of approximately $40-$60).
Our favorite dishes: homemade sourdough with umami butter, pan-seared Foie Gras.
4. FOC Sentosa
Researches suggest that the wine tastes different depending on the music you’re listening to. How about other environment? Let’s consider the setting. Picture yourself savoring oysters with wine in a dimly lit restaurant versus lounging on a beach. This is precisely why FOC holds a special place in our hearts! This place proves to be an ideal destination for lazy Sundays, especially if you have a soft spot for Spanish cuisine.
Being a beachfront restaurant, anticipate a diverse array of light-bodied wines that perfectly complement those exquisite Spanish delicacies.
Dishes to try: Squid ink paella, Oysters
5. Boeuf singapore
If having a well structured red wine with a steak is your thing, then you definitely should explore Boeuf! This gem was introduced to us by our French friend, who claimed it offers the best Beef Tartare in Singapore.
The wine menu boasts a considerable variety and centers around French producers. It's worth noting that this establishment tends to be consistently busy, necessitating advance reservations. This might explain why we've had the opportunity to dine there just once.
Among all the restaurants discussed here, Garibaldi exudes the highest degree of formality. Hence, unless you particularly relish formal dining environments, it might be advisable to reserve this option for a notable occasion. Perhaps consider timing your visit during the white truffle season! During this period, they unveil a distinct menu featuring dishes that incorporate white truffles. The risotto with white truffles, in particular, might be a mind blowing experience.
When it comes to the wines, they proudly possess a private cellar stocked with Italian wines aged as far back as 30 years, or perhaps even older. Naturally, such exquisite offerings come with a corresponding price tag, so it's advisable to be prepared. Another disadvantage of this place is a big markup on wines, our bottle was 180% comparing to the retail price.
7. La Bottega Enoteca
If the idea of relishing pizza alongside wine tickles your fancy, this place is definitely worth considering. According to the prestigious 50 Top Pizza, an international pizzeria competition, their pizza secured the 19th spot in the Pacific region.
We absolutely adored the pizza; it was undeniably delectable, and the crust was truly remarkable. It's evident that they prioritize the use of high-quality ingredients. The price for this delightful experience is s$50.
When it comes to the wine menu, it's relatively small and the emphasis lies on Italian wines.
This is the first place we specifically visited in order to craft this post. The concept greatly appealed to us, with the wine menu standing out as a highlight. Its creativity and intriguing portfolio are notable. However, when it comes to the food, it doesn't rank among the best. It appears that within this list, there are options that provide better value for your money.
9. LQV Le Quinze Vins Singapore
Right alongside FOOL on the very same street, you'll stumble upon this bar. The amusing aspect is the stark dissimilarity between the two. In complete contrast to FOOL, service here is nearly non-existent! However, this lack of service also equates to no service charge. This spot could serve as an excellent choice to unwind with a bottle of wine after a day's work in the CBD. Please keep in mind, that kitchen is almost non existent at this place, just wines!
Tip: If you want to get decent wine suggestions, look for the French guy, otherwise the wine suggestions will be based on two simple questions. 1) Red or white? 2) Medium or full bodied?
10. Wine RVLT
If you've taken a liking to The Masses, you're likely to also appreciate Wine RVLT. It resonates with similar fusion vibes, albeit with an even more relaxed ambiance.
In the event that you haven't yet ventured to this establishment and are keen on delving into their culinary offerings, consider giving their tasting menu a shot. Available exclusively on weekdays, this menu provides a comprehensive showcase of all their dishes.
In terms of wines, the emphasis lies with small, organic producers, most of the wines here are very approachable.
In the beginning, we ranked Wine RVLT as #4 on our list. However, we soon came to the realization that our enjoyment of wine at Wine RVLT was quite limited – the particular style they offer simply doesn't align with our preferences. Additionally, we encountered a flawed bottle of red wine that likely underwent an unintentional secondary fermentation within the bottle, as indicated by its noticeable fizziness.
Dishes to try: Beef tartare, Sea weed butter with bread.
Wine connection, Robertson Quay
We don't go to Wine Connection, but due to its evident popularity, we felt compelled to give it a try. Our initial assumption was that it could potentially win the category "most affordable wine bar in Singapore." Regrettably, it fell short of that title due to its low quality food and wine.
Let's begin with something positive: the concept of purchasing wines in a restaurant at retail prices is amazing! This pleasantly surprised us. The wine selection, while not extensive, encompassed the most renowned wine regions, which was quite impressive.
For this evening, we opted for the Chianti Classico Riserva. Initially, we considered it a reasonably secure choice, but the wine we received turned out to be far from enjoyable. It displayed an unsettling imbalance, excessive oakiness, a pronounced bitterness, and lacked any fruit character. This unfortunate wine choice was accompanied by an equally disappointing beef carpaccio and a below-average duck confit.
We departed feeling quite disheartened. The sadness stemmed from recalling my earlier days of developing a fondness for wine, when sourcing a decent bottle was a a challenge. I'd have a satisfying experience at a restaurant, only to be let down by mediocre options from places like Wine Connection and Cold Storage—bottles that were hard to enjoy.
That's pretty much it! Please let us know if we missed anything and what's your favorite place to have a bottle of wine in Singapore!