Beppe de Vito of Il Lido Group (Aura, Osteria Art, Braci) is swopping plates for drams at his latest opening, Room For More, a casual whisky lounge for the intrepid tippler in the leafy Dempsey Hill area. We ask the chef-restaurateur – who took to whisky despite it not being part of Italian culture – about his latest venture.
SINGAPOREANS KNOW THEIR WHISKIES – AND THEIR WHISKY BARS. WHAT WILL SET ROOM FOR MORE APART?
There are many preconceptions of traditional whisky bars being ultra-exclusive places that welcome only a certain group of connoisseurs, and are quite safe with their whisky offerings. I wanted to create a space for those looking for a casual environment to unwind in. I also try to keep prices accessible for exploration.
SO WHAT’S YOUR CRITERIA WHEN SELECTING WHISKIES FOR THE BAR?
Along with quality and character, I think proper whisky appreciation is about versatility and variety. While we offer classics from Scotland, we’ve also brought in whiskies from less popular provinces, like the Slyrs Bavarian Single Malt from Germany, and rare bottles from lost distilleries like the Port Ellen Special Release 35 YO and the Karuizawa 1984. I want the experience to be an adventure.
DO YOU WORRY PEOPLE WON’T BE ADVENTUROUS ENOUGH?
Not at all. I think this is exactly what people have been waiting for. Tipplers are adventurous by nature and, given the right environment and encouragement, will be keen to explore. I want to give customers the space and confidence to delve further into whisky appreciation and discover ones they didn’t know existed. This is why the majority of our selections are available by the shot, so we can tickle their curiosity.
HOW DO YOU ENJOY YOUR WHISKY?
Level 3, 40C Harding Road.