Al­co­hol pair­ing din­ners you don’t want to miss

Two ca­sual wine bar and restau­rants em­pha­sise the en­joy­ment of vino among friends – in very dif­fer­ent flavours.

Epicure - - CONTENTS -

SOMM AND CO-FOUNDER

Gas­ton Bur­gundy Bistro & Wine Bar: 29-year-old Bur­gundy na­tive Ge­of­frey Dau­relle, most re­cently from Wine Uni­verse.

The Wine & Gourmet Friends: Vet­eran som­me­lier and wine ed­u­ca­tor Wil­liam Seah, who’s been on the scene since 2004.

WHAT TO DRINK

Around 40 per­cent of wines at Gas­ton are spe­cially sourced Bourgignon from $10/glass, with a good mix of every­day and pres­tige bot­tles. Mainly French, and some Ital­ian.

The Wine & Gourmet Friends of­fers wines from over 80 Old and New World pro­duc­ers, priced from $25 to $1,888, of which 80 per­cent are ex­clu­sive to them.

WHAT TO EAT

Gas­ton’s es­car­got de Bur­gundy ($15/6pc), one of the best ren­di­tions in town, is en­cased in pas­try shell. Re­gional spe­cial­i­ties like jam­bon per­sillé (pars­ley ham, $14), poached eggs in red wine and lar­dons ($13), and steamed trout with Alig­oté wine sauce ($28) are worth re­turn­ing for.

The small but punchy Asian menu at The Wine & Gourmet Friends in­cludes foie gras lo­tus leaf rice ($18) and roast pork belly ($24), served with smoky kaf­fir lime leaf pow­der. Pair the lat­ter with Snake + Her­ring Dirty Boots Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, which is vi­brant and fruity.

THE AM­BI­ENCE

Gas­ton is decked out like a vine­yard cot­tage in Bur­gundy, with touches like wood palet pan­elling, mini clos (vine­yard stone wall) and gravel floor in the walk-in cel­lar. Comfy wicker chairs meet Per­anakan tiled ta­bles for a lo­cal touch.

As the name sug­gests The Wine & Gourmet Friends is great for gath­er­ings. A no-frills wood-ac­cented 56-seater space fea­tures wide ta­bles and ban­quet seats op­po­site an open kitchen. A walk-in wine cel­lar show­cases wine for re­tail and drink­ing, with a ca­sual vibe for dis­cov­er­ing wines.

HAV­ING FUN

Styled with a beret and waist­coat, Dau­relle is the per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of the spirit of ‘gas­ton’ or host. Whether bandy­ing his mother’s recipes or urg­ing a Chartreuse di­ges­tif af­ter a fill­ing meal, he’s a fount of in­for­ma­tion about Bur­gundy.

Look out for daily spe­cials at The Wine & Gourmet Friends, such as bot­tom­less wine on Tues­days. On Sun­days when the kitchen closes, you can BYOF (bring your own food), with pur­chase of a bot­tle for ev­ery four guests.

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