Five Michelin-starred venues with kickass drinks programmes


Planning to visit some Michelin star winners soon? Here are five of them that’s got our stamp of approval where drinks are concerned.

A couple of months back Michelin released its list of winners for Michelin Guide Singapore, strewing its awards at almost forty restaurants across the country that sent starry-eyed gourmands rushing to make reservations especially at those newly-minted venues.

But here’s our problem with their list. While Michelin has outlined specific assessment criteria it uses when evaluating potential awardees, all of it revolves around the quality of the food presented by the venue and nothing in relation to their drinks programme. Indeed, none of the five publicly acknowledged criteria used for judging – quality of products, mastery of flavour and cooking techniques, personality of the chef in his cuisine, value for money, and consistency between visits – take into account the drinks list to really give a sense of a complete, holistic appreciation of the experience one may find at these venues.

In a moment of righteous indignation we put together a list of five Michelin winners that we thought had a stellar cocktail or wine list that truly makes them worthy of their stars. Go there for their food or their drinks; either way you are unlikely to be disappointed.


CUT by Wolfgang Puck.

Three time one Michelin-star awardee CUT by Wolfgang Puck – it’s won every year since Singapore’s inaugural edition in 2016 – is better known by steak aficionados for its range of American, Australian and Japanese beef steaks seared over hardwood and charcoal, but the list of wine and cocktail offerings at the Singapore outpost of the famous steakhouse chain is no slouch either.

Its sprawling cocktail list takes a while to go through; the gin-based section alone has over 20 entries, and can easily rival the one from gin-focused grand lobby bar Atlas. You may be a little abashed to order this at the bar, but we recommend Rough Love, made with Tanqueray No. Ten, Champagne, and shiso umeshu.

Its wine list transverses the world; we’d recommend you peruse from its American offerings – as expected from its American roots, CUT by Wolfgang Puck has one of the biggest selections of wines from the United States you can find in Singapore, including an eye-popping range from cult producer Screaming Eagle.

CUT by Wolfgang Puck | #B1-71, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972 | 5.30pm to 10pm Sundays to Thursdays; 5.30pm to 11pm Fridays and Saturdays | 6688-8517.


Braci.

A Michelin star for two consecutive years, modern Italian restaurant Braci – owned by renowned restaurateur Beppe de Vito – has garnered a following for its creative take on classic Italian favourites using seasonal premium ingredients and cutting-edge culinary techniques. But what some diners may not know is that there’s actually a rooftop bar right on top of the shophouse too with a rather commanding view of the Singapore river.

Even better, Braci’s bar offers a similarly progressive cocktail menu with interesting variation on cocktail classics. Perfect as an aperitivo for intimate sundown drinks are the G & Tea, a take on the gin and tonic complete with a lemon ginger tea bag that continues to infuse flavour into the drink as the evening progresses, as well as the similarly floral Forbidden Fruit that uses chamomile-infused tequila as a spirit base.

Braci | 52 Boat Quay, #05-01/#06-01, Singapore 049841 | 12pm to 2pm and 5pm to 12mn Tuesdays to Thursdays; 5pm to 12mn on Fridays and Saturdays; closed on Sundays | 6866-1933.


Iggy’s.

Two-time Michelin star winner Iggy’s – it landed its first star in 2017 – is a pioneering culinary institution that is particularly highly-regarded among the fine dining circle for its comprehensive and extensive wine programme to accompany its contemporary East-meets-West food menu.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be too surprising; owner-restaurateur and sommelier Ignatius Chan is a well-known oenophile with a particular love for wines from Bourgogne, so you can expect to partake from an extensive 25,000-bottle list from the French wine producing region and showcasing some of the most iconic appellations no less.

If your wallets are of slightly more humble stock, a more affordable option is to dine at their gastrobar – an intimate bar area with a different food and drinks menu – where you can still find a decent (and decently-priced!) range of Bourgogne wines, and by the glass to boot. Prices here ranging from $19++ to 69++ per glass for appellations ranging down much of the Côte d’Or.

Iggy’s | 581 Orchard Road, Level 3 Hilton Singapore, Singapore 238883 | 12pm to 13.30pm on Tuesday to Saturday for lunch; 7pm to 9.30pm from Tuesday to Saturdays for dinner; closed on Sundays | 6732-2234 / 8188-3200.


Nouri.

Newly minted with one Michelin star, chef-owner Ivan Brehm’s Nouri – part of the F&B and hospitality empire that is Unlisted Collection – focuses on the idea of “crossroads cooking”, which takes culinary influences from across the world and putting them together in a way that nourishes the mind and soul.

Its bar programme, recently introduced in June, follows a similar philosophy. Restaurant and beverage manager Matthew Chan – an award-winning sommelier, certified sake sommelier, and bartender all rolled into one – has put together a tiny cocktail list of four drinks that will surprise and delight. Chan expects to expand his cocktail offerings over the next few months, but make sure you try A Toast To Good Health, a Japanese-inspired tipple concocted with gin, dry ginjo sake, house made lime cordial and a tincture made from o-toso (spiced medicinal sake), or the rather Korean A Vow From Eternity, made with cognac, baekse-ju (a Korean alcoholic beverage fermented from glutinous rice), blood orange liqueur, and sujeonggwa syrup.

If cocktails aren’t your thing, Chan has also assembled a tightly-curated list of sakes and wines – 90% of the latter being organic, biodynamic and natural wines with an emphasis on rose and orange wines – that go rather perfectly with snacks from the bar supper menu.

Nouri | 72 Amoy St, Singapore 069891 | 11.30am to 3pm and 6pm to 12mn on Tuesdays to Fridays; 6pm to 12mn on Mondays and Saturdays; closed on Sundays | 6221-4148.


Ma Cuisine.

Awarded its first Michelin star barely half a year since bursting into existence,  Ma Cuisine proved with its win that there’s actually room for yet another wine-focused French gastrobar in Singapore’s crowded F&B scene.

We reckon the Michelin inspectors – if wine programming was part of the criteria – would have been rather impressed with Ma Cuisine’s wine cellar, which boasts some 3,000 bottles of 600 labels to pair with its classic French fare. Many of those hail from prestigious and rare appellations featuring the diverse terroir from especially across the French winemaking world, too. The selection ranges from discovering everyday drinking wines to special-occasion indulgences such as the highly sought-after Hermitage “L’Ermite Blanc” 2012 Maison Chapoutier or Sauternes 1958 Château d’Yquem.

Also extraordinary is its selection of rare vintage port, if you’re a fan of the Portuguese fortified wine. You’ll find some dating all the way back to the 1940s.

It’s the perfect place if you love to splurge on wine.

Ma Cuisine | 38 Craig Rd, Singapore 089676 (Google Maps link) | 5pm to 12pm Mondays to Saturdays, closed on Sundays | 6224 1838.