The Wine & Gourmet Friends – an Asian-tapas wine bistro, was brought together by friends as a dedication to friends and a celebration of friendship! Located in Chinatown’s stylish enclave of restaurants and bars, The Wine & Gourmet Friends occupies the ground floor of a conservation shop-house on Bukit Pasoh Road. A similar concept is in the vicinity, Wine & Chef at Keong Saik Road.
Akin to stepping into a home, we were warmly received by the staff into a 56-seater space, decked out with wide, wooden tables and comfy banquet seats. The space boasts a walk-in wine cellar which holds over 300 different styles of wine from over 80 Old and New World wine producers. Eighty percent of these are EXCLUSIVE to The Wine & Gourmet Friends.
When deciding on a bottle, you have two options – William Seah, the owner and resident wine guru, to recommend something to match the food, or, you can saunter in and peruse the vast collection before pulling something off the shelf to drink in or take away. With prices ranging from $25 to $1,888, William reassures, “We are able to acquire even higher valued wines to meet our customers’ needs.”
Chef Wilson Ang has over 11 years of experience under his apron and honed his skills at a myriad of stellar boutique dining establishments. Working together with Pastry Chef Gus Wang, who is also a partner at The Wine & Gourmet Friends. Their creations are expressions of a food philosophy that has evolved over many years in the kitchen.
Prawn & Seafood Bite (Hei Zho) ($12)
Many of the dishes served at the bistro are skillful adaptations of dishes that Chef Wilson and Chef Gus grew up with. Hei Zho, a traditional deep-fried prawn roll, is elevated in this rendition of the dish. Prepared with minced pork belly (hormone and antibiotic free), diced sea prawns, turnip and cuttlefish paste for bite and as a binder, these rolls are deep fried to a crisp, then topped with a refreshing sweet and sour homemade achar (Peranakan spicy pickled vegetables). Because chef put more prawns in the Hei Zho, it makes the texture more springy.
Wine Pairing: BODEGAS BRETON Loriñon Crianza Rioja DOCa (Northern Spain) ($35)
Tasting Notes: Notes of raspberry and violets, and hints of cocoa, vanilla and toasted oak. Medium to full-bodied wine, yet soft tannins and ripe fruit freshness.
Foie Gras Lotus Leaf Rice ($18)
Perfectly seasoned and seared foie gras lies atop a bed of lotus leaf rice, fragrant with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, porcini and shiitake mushrooms, and Chinese X.O. sausage. Lotus chips add a satisfying crunch. Traditionally made with glutinous rice, Calrose rice provides fullness to this dish without overwhelming the stomach. Very nice, can see this working as a snack.
Wine Pairing: ARC DU RHÔNE Côtes du Rhône-Villages AOC (Northern Rhone Valley, France) ($42)
Tasting Notes: Lusciously fruit-driven nose of dark berries, cherries & hints of spices. Medium-bodied wine with dense flavours & silky tannins.
Roast Pork Belly ($24)
Chef used Australian Bangalow sweet pork to prepare this dish, the layer of crisp crackling skin makes this dish so remarkable. It was served with a side salad and a dusting of smoky kaffir lime leaf powder for depth.
Wine Pairing: SNAKE + HERRING “Dirty Boots” Cabernet Sauvignon (Margaret River, Western Australia) ($49)
Tasting Notes: Nose-filled blackcurrants and blackberries layered with notes of dried tea-leaves and herbs, over hints of cedar and toast. Full-bodied wine with rich yet smooth tannins, vibrant with firm structure and lingering finish.
Lamb Trio ($30)
This plate consists of lamb kofta – tender minced lamb, with mixed herbs and spices such as ras el hanout and harissa, and wrapped around a lemongrass stalk; lamb rendang and rosemary grilled lamb rack. Chilled quinoa salad and cucumber raita are perfect accompaniments.
The rosemary grilled lamb won me over, it lends a layer of herbal spicy flavour to the natural smoky savoury sweet taste of the meat.
Wine Pairing: SANTA SOFIA Antichello Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG (Veneto, Northeast Italy) ($79)
Tasting Notes: Intense nose of dried plum and prune, cinnamon and cocoa, and hints of tobacco, toast and oak. Full-bodied wine with rich tannins, dense texture and very lasting finish.
Black Pepper Crab Noodle ($18)
The picture of the Black Pepper Crab Noodle doesn’t just look good, but tastes good also. A base of nutty wholegrain noodle, is drenched in black pepper sauce made with Sarawak black peppercorns and a rich seafood broth, topped with a plump soft-shell crab and blue swimmer crabmeat, as well as beansprouts and crispy shallots. Hearty and filling dish, highly recommended.
Wine Pairing: The Cloud Factory Pinot Noir (Marlborough, South Island New Zealand) ($38)
Tasting Notes: Lively bright nose of cranberries, redcurrants and lingonberries. Medium-bodied with soft tannins and a refreshing, soft texture.
Teh “C” ($8)
Lavender Early Grey ice cream, popping candy and crunchy chocolate pearls. The ice-cream was very creamy, it wrapped up our dinner nicely.
Wine Pairing: Burlesque White Zinfandel Rosé (USA) ($35)
Tasting Notes: Fresh, lively nose of strawberries, cherries and red berries. Light to medium-bodied with soft tannins and a refreshing, soft texture.
Promotion & Discount
Customers may look forward to the following promotions and discounts at The Wine & Gourmet Friends:
- Monday Mussels Madness: Enjoy 50% off Laksa Mussels (u.p. $18)
- Tuesday Bottomless Wine: $38 per person
- Wednesday Beer Buffet: $38 per person
- Thursday Ladies Only 1-for-1 House Pours
- Saturday Wine & Spirit Sharing Hour (4pm – 5pm) – a wine appreciation and knowledge sharing session conducted by the team
- Sunday ‘Bring Your Own Food’ (a minimum purchase of 1 bottle/ 4 persons is required)
If you believe that friendships are forged and flourish over good wines and heart-warming food, please bring your friends and loved ones to The Wine & Gourmet Friends. You will enjoy your experience here, the comfortable laid-back ambience and friendly knowledgeable service and hearty portions of delicious food.
The Wine & Gourmet Friends
48 Bukit Pasoh Road Singapore 089859
Tel: +65 6224 1982
Monday to Saturday 1200 to 2300 | Sunday 1200 to 2100
- Northeast and North-South Line – Outram Park Station (NE3/EW16)
- Before the Pinnacle @ Duxton along Neil Road 61, 166, 197
- Pearl’s Center along Eu Tong Seng 54, 124, 143, 147, 166, 190, 851, 970, CT8, CT18, CT28
- Opp Pearl’s Center along New Bridge Road 2, 12, 33, 54, 63, 124, 143, 147, 190, 851, 961, 961C, 970, CT8, CT18, CT28
*Disclaimer: This was a media invite.