What: Umi + Vino Seafood Wine Bar
Where: #01-18 Marina Square, Emporium Shokuhin
Opening hours: 11.30am – 10pm
Japanese whisky, particularly those with age statements, are in such absurd demand right now that getting a hold of a bottle through retail is laughably challenging. Which is why we’ll pounce on any bar that has a decent selection of the aged stuff, and one such watering hole is Umi + Vino.
Part of the massive Emporium Shokuhin dining concept, that covers everything from wagyu to gyoza alongside its sizeable live seafood and aged beef market, Umi + Vino is a seafood and wine bar for people who enjoy both those things together. You’ll find the usual suspects on such a menu — seafood platters, fresh oysters, red and white wines from major growers — but it does also hold a number of real gems. Namely, Yamazaki 18 Years, Hibiki 21 Years “Mount Fuji” Limited Edition, Nikka Taketsuru 21 Years and Yoichi 10 Years, to name a few.
No Japanese drinking establishment will be complete without sake, and because of the Emporium’s ties with the Ehime prefecture, there is a section just for sake from that region (which is known for making slightly sweeter styles), as well as sake from other prefectures.
Rather surprisingly, Umi + Vino also stocks some lesser known but superb Scottish single malts. You can find bottles of Bunnahabhain 25 Years and Glenglassaugh 1978 35 Years Madeira Wood Finish here as well as Tomintoul 16 Years and Benriach 20 Years by the glass.
Seafood and wine have been paired together since the beginning of discerning palates so Umi + Vino’s concept is far from original (its name is derived from Japanese for ocean plus Italian for wine). But its liquid menu is commendably more adventurous and well worth experimenting with the next time you’re hankering for a finned feast.
In three words: Surprising whisky finds