Verre, the French word for 'glass', is a former wine bar that has re-launched as Verre Modern Bistro & Wine Bar, boasting a full-fledged restaurant dining experience in a sleek 70-year-old warehouse space that incorporates the thematic use of glass in its design. Headed by Consultant Chef Masashi Horiuchi, a Japanese native with over 20 years of experience at Michelin restaurants across Europe, the kitchen dishes out refined plates of contemporary French cuisine crafted to match the establishment's impressive wine list.
To start the meal, opt for the creamy and rich Chicken Liver Parfait ($24) which comes with a thin layer of mandarin orange accented jelly. This was paired with a dry, citrusy Paringa Estate Riesling 2012 ($19.50/glass) which cleansed the palate nicely with its acidity.
An absolute moost-try here is my personal favourite Half Lobster Salad ($38) featuring succulent Maine lobster cooked in court-bouillon before being laid atop a bed of crisp mixed greens and luscious guacamole. This stunning appetiser begged for a Chardonnay. And got one! Moohehe. A sip of Sticks Chardonnay 2013 ($18/glass) from Australia's Yarra Valley offered peach and lemon notes with a good body of freshness which did not overpower the lobster.
And while waiting for the main course, why not keep any itchy mouths satisfied with the Tarte Flambe Forest ($22)? Moohehe. This pseudo-pizza creation had a nice savoury appeal with toppings like button mushrooms, gruyere cheese and caramelised onions.
To hold its hand, the perfumed Marcel Deiss Gewurtraminer 2012 ($18/glass), a bio dynamic white from Alsace (same region where tarte flambé originates), offered exotic lychee and spice aromas and a pure, concentrated sip.
The next wine to appear in the glass was a fresh and moderately rich Italian Massalino Dolcetto D Alba 2013 ($18). Presented alongside it was the Black Garlic Soup ($19), a flavoursome concoction of black garlic, garlic and onions cooked in white wine and quality chicken stock. It was comfortingly bold with a slight tinge of sweetness from the black garlic which actually went nicely with the bit of bitterness in the wine. I felt the soup's robust structure matched that of the wine although personally I preferred it with the Gerwurztraminer which seemed to bring out a floral side from the pairing.
For a wonderful medley of gentle textures on one plate, try the Pan-Seared Scallop with Sweet Corn ($38). Imagine soft scallops with a seared crust topped with kombu with truffle oil and surrounded with a puree of Hokkaido corn (Chef Masashi does an excellent corn soup by the way!), parmesan tuille and foam. Take a sip of the Latour Giraud Meursault 1er cru Boucheres 2011 ($38/glass), a premiere cru Chardonnay from the sub-region of Burgundy's Cote de Beaune. This wine has a nice structure with a good clean finish to elevate the scallops.
Mooving on to meatier stuff, the Suckling Pig ($42) comes not only with a piece of slow-roasted suckling pig but also tender pork confit. Double oink oink! Moohehe. Spices used in the cooking of the pork duo married nicely with the approachable Grand Village Bordeaux 2012 ($18/glass), which has decent fruit.
Fans of the cow or rather dead cow (moohehe), can indulge in the Fillet of Wagyu Beef ($62). A thick cut of Australian wagyu tenderloin gets adorned with crispy garlic bread crumbs, and accompanied by truffle-spiked fries and a scrumptious forest ketchup, which is made in-house. Stepping up to this rich meaty steak is the equally big Italian Massolino Barolo 2010 ($32/glass). Its tannins meld nicely with the steak's protein while its bouquet of red fruit, floral and spices matched the different components of the dish. Pretty classic!
By the time desserts arrived, I was hoping the restaurant would have a special wheel burrow service to moove a cow bursting at its tripes. But alas. Moohehe. Anyway, thankfully desserts were a refreshing affair.
The Jasmine Tea Verrine ($16; foreground in the above photo) was a delightful assembly of jasmine tea granite, calamansi jelly, marmite crumble and milk sherbert. Accompanying it was the Carmes de Rieussec Sauternes 2011 ($22)- rich, honeyed notes with figs and nuts, offering a luscious mouthfeel. I thought that the Sauternes was a tad heavy for this dessert though.
The next dessert of Apple Mille-Feuille ($16; middle in the above photo) should please Steve Jobs. There were batons of green apple, apple sorbet, apple compote and caramelised apple. Apple! Apple! Apple! Moohehe. The fresh and sweet Caprili Moscadello Di Montalcino DOC ($15/glass) would be ideal.
But if one prefers to end the meal with a small dessert (and that is not a bad idea after a big, full meal) perhaps with coffee or tea, the classic Canele ($4) works.
Overall, I find the food here delectable with a refined touch and attention to details. Food and wine preferences are personal and subjective but Verre Modern Bistro & Wine Bar's offerings are a pretty good place to start discovering your own.
Thank you Verre Modern Bistro & Wine Bar and Gastro-Sense for the invitation.
8 Rodyk Street
Tel: 6509 1917
Opens: Monday to Thursday, 4pm to 12 midnight
Friday and Saturday, 4pm to 1am
Sunday, 4pm to 11pm
Chew On This: Sip from 30 wines available by the glass! Using Coravin, which enables wines to be extracted from the bottle without removing the cork, wines are kept fresh longer.