Located in the basement of newly-revamped Palais Renaissance is Table 33, a sake bar that’s a shrine dedicated to the rice-based alcoholic beverage.
There has been much change at upscale Orchard Road mall Palais Renaissance, which just emerged from an extensive refurbishment. Aside from an even swankier look than before? There are new tenants as well. New F&B-focused establishments include caviar-focused restaurant Caviar, contemporary gastrobar Binary, seafood bistro Estuary, and French creperie French Fold, among many others.
But one of Palais Renaissance’s newest tenants is actually a fresh concept from an old stalwart. Located in the mall basement is sake bar Table 33, opened by the same folks behind long-time anchor Ishinomaki Grill & Sake, as well as Ki Teppan & Rogama (the new open-concept bar is conveniently tucked between both Japanese restaurants).
Table 33 is the brainchild of Ishinomaki Grill & Sake’s co-founder Janice Chi. It’s also the result of adversity. Her restaurant manager had left suddenly, forcing her to learn about sake on the fly. But she would soon fall in love with the Japanese rice-based alcoholic beverage. “As I learnt more about sake, I realised it’s a fascinating world as there is so much care and respect behind the crafting of each sake,” Chi shared.
During the pandemic, Chi had to undergo a knee operation. She didn’t want to stay away from her business, but her staff refused to allow her to work either. They would seat her in one corner of the restaurant, at – you guessed it – ‘Table 33’ in Ishinomaki where she would observe operations. And study sake at the same time.
“The team took care of me, brought me food, drinks and updated me consistently while I sat at Table 33,” Chi recalled.
Hence Table 33 was born. Literally. The space where the sake bar now stands includes the table where she spent much of her operation-induced infirmity. And Janice Chi herself? Her sake studies at the restaurant landed her the prestigious Master Sake Sommelier title, awarded by Sake Sommelier Academy of London.
The bar currently offer over 180 sakes from pretty much every sake making prefecture in Japan. What’s particularly unique about Table 33 is that the bar has its own ageing cellar. Here Chi lays down various sakes to mature over time; she believes time helps to mellow out and improve their flavours.
Chi is also a proponent of hot sake, so expect to see a goodly number of quality sake in its menu meant to be drunk hot. “There is this misconception that hot sake is only for cheap sakes. Enjoying sakes that are warmed up helps to enhance their umami notes and elevate the appreciation,” she insists.
She’s also a big fan of sake and food pairings. Expect dishes such as Hokkaido Salmon Jerky, Renkon Chips with Grated Cheese, or Braised Gyutan in Special Sauce, all part of special Japanese bar snack menu specially curated for Table 33 by co-founder of Ishinomaki Grill & Sake and Ki Teppan & Rogama, Chef Chi Pin Han.
Prefer something else other than sake? The bar offers over 25 champagnes by the glass, more than 20 different Japanese whiskies, and even pours Suntory’s The Premium Malt’s Master’s Dream, a rare edition very few bars and restaurants are granted to serve.
So whether you’re looking for interesting sake and food pairings, quality hot sake, or simply a fun chat with a master sake sommelier over some unusual aged sakes, Table 33 at Palais Renaissance has all that and more.
Address 390 Orchard Road, Palais Renaissance,#B1-11, Singapore 238871 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 11.30am to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm daily
Tel (65) 6466 0014