Club Street Wine Room, opened by Andrew Walsh’s Cure Concepts, is a modern wine bar that is everything you didn’t expect, and more.
Club Street Wine Room can be intimidating at first glance. The first impression upon stepping into the snazzy modern wine bar is of a stuffy venue, the kind frequented (and run) by over-enthusiastic wine oenophiles all too eager to ram their wine knowledge down your throat.
Until you sit down.
One of the newest to join Singapore’s F&B fray, the tasteful minimalism and warm, friendly service of Andrew Walsh’s latest venture – he of Michelin-starred Cure, Butcher Boy, and Catfish – soon beckons you into a state of ease. Even the bottles of wine lined at the back bar seemingly wink back at you. Not that we’re too familiar with them – unlike far too many pretentious wine-focused drinking holes, Club Street Wine Room isn’t flamboyantly bombastic with its wine list. You’re not instantly threatened by the left bank Bordeauxes, rare Burgundies, ultra-vintage Champagnes, iconoclastic Super Tuscans, or cult Napa Valley unicorns and think about your bank balance.
Not that these are supermarket plonk either. Instead Club Street Wine Room has curated an eclectic exploratory selection of bottles that’s targeted at the adventurous wine connoisseur. “While we do have our Bordeaux and Burgundy wines, we’ve focused on building a wine list that’s fun and different from the usual,” Amir Solay, head sommelier and operations director of Club Street Wine Room, tells us.
And different it is. You’ll find expressions vinified from rare indigenous grapes – Portuguese Arinto and Viosinho in the Quinta do Javali Natural Art Series Orange 2019, Slovenian Rebula in the Goriska Rda Movia 2018, or Okuzgozu from Turkey in the Ancyra Kavaklidere 2018, among others.
Then there are those from winemaking regions off the beaten track – wines from Morocco, Lebanon, Israel, China, England, and Japan, just to name a few.
Or how about those that employ uncommon winemaking techniques? There’s an entire range of wines that have been aged in amphorae – an age-old method – such as the Amphorae Cartuxa 2016 from the Alentejo, Portugal-based winery, or even the Cullen 2017, a Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend from the Margaret River winery we didn’t know saw the insides of the clay vessel.
Then there’s the Natural Amphorae Anatolikos 2017 from Thrace that happens made from a blend of indigenous Greek grapes – Mavroudi Thrakis and Limnio – and aged in amphora. And is organic and vegan to boot.
Even more offbeat are the couple of wines that’s been aged underwater; the Vinas Maris Carchelo 2016 for example, a blend of Syrah, Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo that’s been matured for 12 months on the seabed at a depth of 40 meters.
When it comes to grub, chef-owner Andrew Walsh and head chef Ho Jun Yip shows admirable restraint with the tightly-curated selection food menu at Club Street Wine Room purposefully-built to let the wines shine.
The dishes are part Melbourne culinary chic with dashes of Cure’s innovative flourishes. The little bites are gastronomic fun; the delectable Hasselback Potato, brushed with black garlic and garnished with parmesan, for example, and the refined Woodfired Scallop & Prawn Vol au Vent Thermidor, bursting with creamy, briny flavours in each bite. Then there’s the Chickpea Panisse, a fabulous frittered baton that tastes very much like polenta, while the accompanying salsa verde offers herbal freshness as a counterpoint.
There are a couple of must-orders. AFC Andy’s Fried Chicken is everything a piece of battered fried chicken should be, and is so juicy and flavourful the optional Royal Baeri caviar would just be a pleasant distraction. And the main that is the Woodfired Whole Guinea Fowl & Pithivier Pie is absolute mastery of woodfired cookery. Expect scrumptiously moist and tender flesh from the game bird which was first confited and then tossed on the fire, imbuing it with a smoky kiss.
The best part of the Club Street Wine Room experience? The service. It is warm and convivial without being too intrusive. Even better, Solay and his team doesn’t feel the need to regurgitate wine facts into your face. Solay would happily share his knowledge of wines if you’re keen, but like all good sommeliers he comes with an uncanny knack of knowing when to back off when he knows you’re more interesting in drinking your wine than studying it.
Of course, an exceptional experience like this doesn’t come cheap; some bottles come with whopping price tags. But as an industry friend put it, it’s a price worth paying for.
If first impressions can sometimes turn out very wrong, Club Street Wine Room proves it.
Club Street Wine Room
Address 87 Club St, Singapore 069455 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 4pm to 10.30pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 12pm to 10.30pm Thursdays to Saturdays; 12pm to 8.30pm on Sundays; closed on Mondays
Tel (65) 6970 0190