Rebel Rebel, one of the latest wine bars to open up in Singapore, looks to change your way of looking at – and enjoying – good wine.
Stepping into Rebel Rebel, one of the newest wine bars to open up in Singapore, is like stepping into the home of a wine fanatic. One of the first things you’d notice as you enter is that the walls are adorned with photographs of winemakers, presumably of the artisans whose work you’re about to taste.
Yet for a space that promises “mutiny in every glass”, Rebel Rebel looks and feels positively genteel and bourgeois. Its very walls – complete with shelves loaded with a dizzying array of rare and beautiful bottles – exude a colonial vibe you’d expect from the usual drinking holes catered to wine-loving upper crust. Or maybe we’ve gotten too used to the grungy “bad boy vibes” of WINE RVLT?
“Mutiny in every glass”.
Thankfully its wine list delivers on the promise. You’re looking at a selection of wines from artisanal winemakers across the world pushing a small-batch, handcrafted agenda. Some may be minimal interventionists and others family-owned biodynamic producers, but each of them look at expressing as much terroir in their wines as they possibly can. Rebel Rebel aims to tell their stories.
You’re looking at a well-curated range of over 200 wines that sprawls from accessible plonk to unicorn drops garnered from across the known winemaking world. Prices range from under $100, all the way to over $200. More affordable options include those from Rhone’s Domaine de la Patience and Bourgogne’s Chapuis Freres, but those less price sensitive can explore grower champagnes such as those from Hartogne-Taillet and Jacques Lasssaigne, or the highly-lauded Barolos from Giacomo Fenocchio.
Unicorns include a rather rare selection from Yamanashi, Japan’s Beau Paysage, but for truly special occasions, one may even consider the Francois Lamarche La Grand Rue (which clocks in at S$1,200++).
The good news is Rebel Rebel offers by the glass at least two whites, two reds, a champagne, and even one rosé or skin contact wine at any one time. These are rotated on a weekly basis, and thus perfect for adventurous oenophiles intent on wine palate disruption.
Textures on each plate.
As for eats, Rebel Rebel’s kitchen is helmed by Chef Deborah Yeo. Previously of Burnt Ends, Chef Deborah pulls inspiration from all over for her small and rather eclectic menu.
A good way to start off is with the Sourdough, which is best eaten with the unctuously creamy Pork Fat. The whipped fat gets texture and crunch from toasted farro and barley, and along with the bread is lovely washed down with most white wines. There’s Prawn too, which comes as a shrimp and uni paste on brown butter toast. It is essentially a luxe version of a combination of Chinese shrimp toast and an otah sandwich.
Chef Deborah clearly loves her interplay of textures, and Octopus is proof. Chewy diced octopus, crunchy shallots and crispy fried bits tossed with herbs and sundried tomato make for a fun mouthful. Tasty too is the Quail, the small game bird perfectly roasted, quartered, and served with a tabbouleh salad.
But the highlight of the menu for us is Pig’s Head. This dish renders all the yummy and fatty bits from the roasted pig that’s then served as a tagliatelle. If there’s ever a Western take on the local favourite bak chor mee, this is it.
“In Singapore’s increasingly dynamic culinary landscape, it’s never been more important to continue to push boundaries with refreshing concepts that offer diners a truly unique experience. It’s an honour to make my mark on Rebel Rebel and treat the wine connoisseur to fresh, unexpected flavours for their adventurous palate,” Rebel Rebel’s Chef Deborah Yeo explains.
Vive la révolution.
No doubt Rebel Rebel aims to upend conventional ideas about wine with what they do. You’ll definitely taste the passion of the winemakers in your wine glass, for certain. We’re just not sure if that equates to an uprising in the world of wine. The hope here is that people – aside from having a great time – are genuinely interested in the stories behind each wine, and to learn about the people who make these wines. That’s a lot to wish for.
Yet rebellions are – as a famous science fiction franchise once opined – built on hope, after all.
Address 14 Bukit Pasoh Road Singapore 089828 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 5pm to 11pm Tuesdays to Saturdays; closed on Sundays and Mondays
Tel (65) 9431 7040