Rodyk Street has blossomed. Once a magnet for late-night revellers, the street has now turned into a scenic riverside spot thanks to the recent law passed that restricts public alcohol consumption, and amping up the romance quotient is newly revamped Verre Modern Bistro and Wine Bar.
Formerly a wine bar, the 70-year-old heritage warehouse has been transformed into a brightly-lit modern bistro and bar serious about serving up fine wines alongside good food. So serious, that the restaurant displays its goods in plain sight. A ceiling-high walk in glass cellar is the first thing to catch your eye when walking through the restaurant doors, where diners get a clear view of the extensive vinos that span across over 750 labels, mainly from the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions. There’s no place for the typical house pour list here either; Verre uses the coravin wine dispensing system so over 30 labels are offered as wines by-the-glass, and the list rotates constantly.
To go along with the wines, Verre has brought in a new consultant chef, Masashi Horiuchi, formerly from two Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in London, UK. If Horiuchi looks familiar, it’s because the Japan-born chef also oversees Shelter in the Woods over at Greenwood Avenue, and here is where he serves up the rustic Shelter flavours with more refined presentations.
This comes through in dishes like the chicken liver parfait, which comes presented in a neat little jar with dehydrated Australian mandarins on the side for a sweet crunch, and a half lobster salad served in a pretty bell jar. Horiuchi also does a more elegant take on hearty classics like suckling pig here – the suckling pig is first slow-roasted, then braised in a melange of spices like garlic orange peel, cinnamon and star anise, served with pork confit for textural contrast and some pickled red onions on the side. Wines like an intense Paul Pillot Bourgogne Rouge 2012 and a medium-bodied Chateau Grand Village Bordeaux 2012 bursting with notes of cherry go well with these dishes.
But what we love best is how even sweet wines are taken seriously here, and have specific desserts-pairing as recommended by the sommelier. The lush vanilla custard and crisp caramelised pastry layers of a deconstructed apple mille-feuille pair beautifully with a full-bodied Italian moscadello, while the light flavours of a jasmine tea granite with calamansi foam and jelly is paired with a bold Carmes de Rieussec Sauternes that has lovely notes of pear and peach.
MASTERMINDS BEHIND THE SCENES
Renny Heng, founder of Wine Culture, consulting chef Masashi Horiuchi, and Saravana Gengappan, restaurant manager and sommelier.
Seafood Papillote, Suckling Pig, Pan-seared Scallop with Sweet Corn
Verre Modern Bistro & Wine Bar
8 Rodyk Street