Tag Archives: pairing

The Drinking Market have a physical location now!


Hey peeps!

It’s been a long Long LONG LONG time since i’ve updated the space. Yes i know!

I do apologise for it:(

Now, that’s because we’ve been really busy setting-up the first every Brick & Motar shop by The Drinking Market!

A Thai Kitchen + Bar concept, we have finally launched our very first neighbourhood Thai Kitchen + Bar at the charming area of Katong.


Placing the emphasis as a neighbourhood Thai Kitchen + Bar, we made sure prices are set affordable and wallet-friendly!

Yes, all our items in the food menu are $10 or below and our prices are ALL nett!

With no Service Charge or GST, we aim to be one of the most wallet and people friendly location for all to be in!

grilled chic Raw prawns 10405673_531141653696218_8413931954838477217_n

Introducing you to our whole list of Authentic Thai Food prepared by our Thai Chefs who have been working in Singapore for the past 20 years and counting!

You can’t get more Thai then this mates!

Wanna know more about us?

Check us out on our Facebook link:


See you here real soon!


Add: 226 East Coast Road. Singapore 428923

Call us: 64408939

Opening Hours:

Tuesday – Sunday

12.30pm – 11.30pm

(Last order for food at 10.20pm)



Katnook Estate Wine Dinner @ Skyve Wine Bistro

No!! I haven’t been procrastinating!!

In fact, i have been really busy with meetings, consultancy, interviews, fell sick, etc.. etc… ok! No excuses! Back to what i was suppose to be doing. WRITE!!


I was really fortunate. Fortunate to be invited to this wine dinner early last week, together with Crystal Wines and Skyve wine bistro, we were all treated to a wonderful dinner with great wines and food, compliments from Katnook Estate and the artistic creation of flavours by Chef Jachin, brother of Celine, owner of Skyve Wine Bistro.

The brother & sister duo did made an impression on me, so much so that i went back the very same weekend to savour their brunch menu!

Burps! — oops!


Situated right in front of the Anglo Chinese School (Junior), Skyve is just like a quaint little “garden restaurant” that is hidden away from the hustling bustling city full of honks, exhaust fumes and stressful people walking all about.

Blessed with natural greenery surrounding the Bistro, Skyve’s ambience was perfect for a family brunch/lunch out in the day and a romantic setting with natural light passing through the large glass panels accompanied with the warm interior decorations within the restaurant for couples who plan to have a romantic night out. Most importantly, the whole set-up of the restaurant -as mentioned by Celine- was to give diners their privacy, not pushing to the limits of having too many tables and chairs that you could perhaps hear what’s the other couple’s “plans for the night” -~Cheeky!

sounds like a fairytale… but yeah, it’s true! TRUST ME, i was there during both the daytime, and also at night, i had nothing, but praises for the 20 month old bistro. No wonder they have so many regulars who comes almost every other day!

Back to the wine dinner. Glad that Celine enjoys wines, the pairing for the night was indeed the highlight! I’ve been to wine dinners, in fact many that really disappointed me. Not because either the wines or food was bad, it was just that the whole experience of pairing was off, and it kinda misrepresented both the wine and the food as a whole.

Let’s begin with the menu!Image

WAIT!! I have to say something very important! – Their bread was really really REALLY good! – Sorry, just needed to say that because some other restaurants, sadly serves cold bread that’s really uninteresting… Always remember, in a french setting, bread is often the first “dish” that is served to a customer, and it sets the expectations. A bad bread = to a bad first impression. So never forget the simplest things, it all makes a difference!

Katnook Founder’s Block Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Aromas of green apples, lemon, citrus fruits. Secondary notes of freshly cut grass and a hints of thyme. Beautiful acidity with apple notes and a slight hint of lime on the finish. Paired with our first course of Parma & Watermelon. Acidity of the wine cut through the richness of the Parma Ham while keeping the freshness that matched well with the watermelon, opening our appetite for the dinner ahead!

Katnook Estate Chardonnay 2011

A very old-world styled wine with notes of vanilla, oak, hazelnut and white mushrooms. On the palate, creamy and rich with a good touch of acidity and nuttiness. Paired with Escargot Bourgogne that was topped up with a rich garlic butter & herb sauce. Perfect pairing! Richness of the sauce was well balanced by the creaminess of the Chard while the fresh acidity in the wine flushes the flavours of the garlic and herbs, refreshing the palate for next course!

*Katnook Estate Merlot 2006

Why an astrix beside the wine? Well, it’s because i personally felt that the 06′ Merlot was really showing well for the night! Aromas of prunes, dark fruits and violets, the flavours were subtle, yet complex. On the palate, smooth and light to medium-body, silky tannins with a long finish, Indeed a perfect wine to just sip along for the night. Surprisingly, the choice of pairing for the wine was to go along with a herb crusted sea bass & pineapple pomegranate salsa. One who is bias and follows the book would probably think how on earth would this pairing even complement each other. We were always taught white wine with fish or white meat, the most you would go is perhaps a light red such as a Pinot Noir. But you’ll be surprise how well the Merlot complemented the fish in this case. Professional and daring, Chef Jachin went ahead with the choice of fish to go along with the Merlot, he made it right on the spot! To my surprise, because the wine was so light and smooth, tannins were almost soft enough to go along with the fish, adding on to the dish, the salsa which had a little spice in it, lifted the whole experience of just having a plain fillet of fish with butter sauce. I reckon that that was the whole reason why it went so well together. Claps!!

Katnook Founder’s Block Shiraz 2011

Black pepper, capsicum, cumin, star arneis and hints of earthiness, the wine was big, full-bodied and rich. A good balance of acidity and tannins, this wine could perhaps be aged for another 10-15 years, if not, decant it for 2 hours to enjoy if you have to open now. Paired with the oxtail & maple glazed sweet potato. The tannins of the wine broke down the proteins and richness of the oxtail while adding some spice to the rich red-wine sauce that was accompanied with the meat. Ending off with a bite of Maple Glazed Sweet Potato, my whole palate was exploded with flavours! I loved this! The pairing of having a full-bodied wine with a rich red meat was just right for me!

Katnook Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Pepper, cigar, capsicum, mint, cocoa and dark fruits, the 08′ Cab Sauv was rich and full-bodied with a med-long finish. Paired with crispy Kurobuta pork cheeks & pommes puree. My honest opinion, probably not the best pairing compared to the previous few mentioned above. The flavours of the pork was really good, in fact the 12 hours sous-vide method that Chef Jachin used really enhanced the flavours of the pork cheeks, but sadly, the Cabernet Sauvignon was a little more full-bodied and rich, the flavours of the meat was slightly masked by the wine. Nevertheless, if you were to have them individually, they are really good dishes and wines on its own.

Katnook Estate wines are available at Crystal Wines, click HERE to view the prices.

Skyve Wine Bistro
No.10 Winstedt Road
Block E, #01-17
Open Daily: Monday to Sunday
(including Public Holidays)
10:00 am till late
(last order for food 10.30 pm)

Reserve:+65 6225 6690    Office:+65 6737 1975    Fax:+65 6737 1976


Malat tasting @ Buyan Restaurant- Part 1

Good afternoon and i hope you’re enjoying your Saturday morning!

Today’s topic would be on Malat Winery, a family-owned winery based in Kremstal in the Niederosterreich region of Austria.

-NIEDEROSTERREICH- is Austria’s largest wine growing region with many sub-regions making exceptional wines.


Michael Malat, the 9th Generation of wine maker from Weingut Malat took over from his dad, Gerald Malat in 2008 after working at many important wineries in France, New Zealand, California and Argentina.


Do you know?

 “Austria is situated at the same latitude (between 47-48 degree north) as the famous Burgundy region in France? Austria is one of the World’s ideal cool climate wine regions that produce both fresh and complex white wines and spicy, elegant reds!”

A few days back, the Sommeliers and trade professionals in Singapore were in for a treat when we had the opportunity to taste some 20 wines, both red and whites from the Malat family dating back to the late 90s! Like the previous posts, I won’t be squeezing all the tasting notes into one article, but splitting into two parts. Let’s start with the Whites-Rieslings!

Riesling? That’s probably one of the questions you probably might be asking me, but yes, I’m not typing it wrong, we’re not talking about Gruner Vetliner today, but Rieslings!

Starting with the youngest 2011 to the 1998 vintage, Michael mentioned that the purpose of tasting it from the youngest to the oldest vintage is because the complexity of the wines would be more apparent as we move into the older vintages, we followed suit and it did!



2011 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  aromas of honey, caramel, pineapple and pear

Palate: Oily and hints of pear and fresh minerality as the wine aerate through the mouth, ending with a mid – long finish

2010 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  a little tighter on the nose as compared to the 11’ vintage. Hints of floral, lychee, pineapples with minerals were significant.

Palate: Oily and a tat more acidic. Getting more floral and mineral notes compared to the fruits

2008 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  white flower, pineapple and peach

Palate: Oily and richer on the palate, hints of petroleum, ending with a mid finish

 2007 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  more complex on the first nose, minerals, hints of dried leaves, pineapples

Palate: Oily and hints of pineapple. Fresh with a good balance of acidity and structure.

2005 Riesling das Beste

Nose: a tat more savory on the nose, fresh white mushrooms, more floral then fruits. Honey-liked nose.

Palate: Oily and hints of pear and fresh apples after some aeration in the mouth, mid-long finish

 2002 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  candy, osmanthus and honey

Palate: fresh acidity with a well rounded structure. Long finish

1999 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  a little more complex, notes of pineapple, pear and apples with white flowers and hint of petroleum.

Palate: Oily and notes of apple and minerals were apparent. mid to low acidity

 1998 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  perfumy, smoky, scented mushrooms, aromas of honey, caramel, butterscotch, pineapple and pear

Palate: Fresh and lively, full of minerality with hints of pear and apple as the wine aerate through the mouth, ending with a long finish – good to keep for another 10 years

“… Austrian Riesling became for me a happy middle-ground between the dry Alsace Rieslings and the semi-sweet German Kabinetts.” – Dr NK Yong, Singapore Business Times | Wine Columnist





Paul Jaboulet Aine Masterclass – Part 2


Hi TDMers!

I know it’s been really warm these few days and today’s sun is getting into my skin! Probably not a great time to be enjoying a red instead of the ever so refreshing Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio!

Nevertheless, i’m keeping to my promise of writing down Part 2 of the Paul Jaboulet Aine Masterclass at the Buyan Restaurant! For those of you who have missed Part 1 of the topic, click HERE to view the post!


Today, we’ll be chatting a little more about the reds in Rhone Valley, on that note, perhaps it’s good to introduce to you a little background on the grape varietals in Rhone. For more info on the varietals, please click on the link HERE.



2010 Cotes du Rhone Parallele 45

Grape Varietal: 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah

Colour: Deep red ruby colour

Nose: hints of spices, star arneis, and dark red prunes

Taste: Well structured with soft and elegant tannins, mid- full bodied.

2009 Gigondas Rouge – Pierre Aiguille

Grape Varietal: 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre

Colour: Deep ruby colour

Nose: hints of earthinesss, spices, ripe red fruits

Taste: a wine with flavours opening all around the palate, high levels of tannins and acidity, preferably to keep for another 5 – 8 years

2008 Chateauneuf du pape Rouge – Les Cedres

Grape Varietal: 70% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre

Colour: Deep red ruby colour

Nose: a little more distinctive on the nose compared to its peers of reds from Paul Jaboulet. Very ripe fruits with notes of Chiku, old wooden cigar boxes

Taste: A very powerful wine with a long and spicy finish, capable of pairing with a red meat (preferably w/o sauce)

2009 Cotes Rotie Rouge – Les Jumelles

Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah

Colour: Ruby colour deep purple hues

Nose: hints of spices, earthiness, dark cherries and violets

Taste: soft and velvety, good acidity and tannin structure, potential to age the wine for another 5 years before tasting.

2009 Cornas Rouge – Les Grandes Terrasses

Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah

Colour: Deep red ruby colour

Nose: ripe strawberries, hints of earthiness, cigar box and a touch of liquorice

Taste: full bodied and tannic wine, perfect for meats that are rich in proteins


2009 Crozes Hermitage Rouge – Domaine de Thalabert

Grape Varietal: 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah

Colour: Bright red ruby colour

Nose: tight on the nose, requires a little more decanting, intense dark cherries, violets, ripe prunes, old leather and animal notes

Taste: a full-bodied wine with a powerful tannin structure, juicy and salivating, mid-long finish

2009 Hermitage Rouge – La Petite Chapelle

Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah (old vines of 40-60years_

Colour: Deep back cherry colour

Nose: dark cherry fruits, intense sweet spices, ripe fruits, violets

Taste: high level of acidity, intense spice flavours, full bodied

2007 Hermitage Rouge – La Chapelle

Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah (Old vines, 40-60 years)

Colour: Deep bright red ruby colour

Nose: perfumy with hints of spices, herbacious, dried flowers, woody, dark fruits

Taste: mid-full bodied, silky tannins and a long finish


2010 Muscat Beaumes de Venice – Le Chant des Griolles

Grape Varietal: 100% Muscat

Colour: golden-straw colour

Nose: pear, apple, pineapple, peach, sweet candy and hints of honey

Taste: fresh and sweet, finishes with notes of candy and honey



For more information of the wines and purchasing options, please contact The SIngapore Straits Wine Company at:


The Straits Wine Company
Website: www.straitswine.com

Contact Number: +65 65936333

E-mail: info@sswc.com.sg

* Special Thanks goes to Indra Kumar (Buyan) and Ian Lim (SSWC) for making this Masterclass possible!

Paul Jaboulet Aine Masterclass – Part 1


Today, the sommeliers and trade professionals in Singapore were in for a treat over at Buyan Restaurant.


Together with the Straits Wine Company and the Sommelier Association of Singapore, Jean Luc Chapel, Sommelier and Brand Ambassador for Paul Jaboulet Aine conducted a Masterclass, showcasing 13 different wines ranging from the whites to the reds and then the sweet. Also, moving on from the Northern part of Rhone Valley to the southern part of Chateauneuf du pape.


Some of the wines tasted were indeed far above just good. To certain extend, i’ve not seen anything bad that comes from Paul Jaboulet Aine.

For me to list everything down may cause this post to be a really really… really long one, nevertheless, i’ve decided to break down this post into two parts. The very first portion of the tasting notes would include a brief background about Paul Jaboulet Aine alongside the whites that were showcased in today’s masterclass. Following on, i will be posting the reds and a sweet wine from Paul Jaboulet in part two of my post.

So if you’ve got any queries or questions, do feel free to email me at – thedrinkingmarket@gmail.com and i will try my very best to answer your questions.

Paul Jaboulet Aine has been more then a reputable winery for over two centuries, their passion for the Rhone Valley is clearly seen in their continuous efforts to improve consistency and excellence in wine-making. On top of making excellent wines, they have also been constantly practising sustainable agriculture and are moving towards being organic. A dynamic winery which prides itself on it’s vines, wine-making and people, Paul Jaboulet Aine is definitely one of the most reputable houses in the circle of fine wines.



2011 Cote du Rhone Blanc – Parallele 45

Grape Variety: 50% Grenache blanc, 20% Marsanne, 20% Viogner, 10% Bourboulenc

Colour: Pale Yellow with greenish hues

Nose: Aromatic notes of fresh white flowers, apple, pear, hints of apricots

Palate: refreshing and lively on the palate with hints of minerals and fresh acidity

2011 Crozes Hermitage Blanc – Domaine Mule Blanche

Grape Variety: 50% Rousanne, 50% Marsanne

Colour: Pale Yellow

Nose: Fresh white flowers (cyrstanthemum, lilies), honey & nectar

Palate: well-balanced and fresh on the palate with hints of honey. Off-dry, good to pair with seafood.


2008 Hermitage Le Chevalier de Sterimberg

Grape Variety: 65% Marsanne, 235% Rousanne

Colour: Pale Yellow and brightly tinted

Nose: requires a little more breathing/ decanting and notes ripe apple, pear, danish pastry, apricots, caramel and honey

Palate: well-rounded structure with a fresh acidity and finesse. recommends to keep for another 5-10 years

2010 Condrieu Domaine des Grands Amandiers

Grape Variety: 100% Viogner

Colour: Pale Yellow-white with greenish hues

Nose: Notes of fresh white flowers (lilies, jasmine), pear, hints of apricots and lychee

Palate: freshness and notes of minerals covers the wine with a balanced acidity and a long finish. A grew wine to pair with seafood and grilled asparagus.

For more information of the wines and purchasing options, please contact The SIngapore Straits Wine Company at:


The Straits Wine Company
Website: www.straitswine.com

Contact Number: +65 65936333

E-mail: info@sswc.com.sg

* Special Thanks goes to Indra Kumar (Buyan) and Ian Lim (SSWC) for making this Masterclass possible!


Wine Bazaar and Masterclass!

Wine Bazaar and Masterclass!

Dear all!

As a form of appreciation to all our readers, Kitchenette at Goldhill Plaza will be hosting a Wine Bazaar and Masterclass on the 1st and 2nd of June 2013! (Sat and Sunday)

With a series of French wines ranging from ONLY $20, these is definitely a steal!! Oh yes, they’re all nett price!

For the wine connoisseurs or diners who are interested to learn more about French wines, we will also be hosting a masterclass “Classical French 101” for only $12nett per person! You will be tasting not one, not two, but SIX different wines from France!

So join us this June and explore the World of wines with our moderators:

Mr Aby Tan
Sommelier of the Year 2001, 2002 and 2003
World Gourmet Summit – Wall of Fame (Sommelier)

Mr Steven Chan CSW
WSET level 3, Certified
Current WSET Diploma Student

Reservations for Masterclass, email:

Weekends hangout – Annam Vietnamese Cuisine

Hi mates, sorry if i’ve gone MIA for a couple of days, i was really busy with the Audi Fashion Festival that’s happening in Singapore on the 15th- 19th May 2013.

By the way, despite my hectic schedule, i took some time off to visit Annam Vietnamese Restaurant at Shaw Centre, a collaboration between the Les Amis Group and Chef Nam.


It was like coming back home for me, especially so when i was an ex-employee of the Les Amis Group. The kind welcome, blessings and hospitality greeted me at the very moment i was strolling along the stretch of restaurants by the group.

I remember, back in 2011, when i was still working for the Les Amis Group as a Sommelier, we saw how Chef Nam and his team set-up a quaint little restaurant in between the then, La Strada, now Caveau Wine+Bar and Bistro du Vin, the knocking and drilling to the setting-up of the wine list and menu, today Annam, or more would recognise NamNam Noodle Bar, a sister company (more casual) in the city is one of the many household names in the food and beverage industry.

Enough of talking, lets get down into the food. After looking through the Menu, i decided on the Fried Catfish with Turmeric, Galangal, Dill, Vermicelli ($18), as explained by Chef Nam, a common Hanoi dish with a twist. In Hanoi, apparently more oil is used and the dish could present itself as a much oiler cuisine, but due to the local’s palate and our need to be “healthy” (supposedly), Chef Nam decided to use a less oily approach to the dish. On top that, instead of the pan-seared fish, Chef Nam, understands that the local prefers something crispier, thus, the Catfish is battered and fried to golden brown. I would say that if you’re in for some colour, texture. flavour and presentation, this dish wins your heart! A very healthy dish indeed, the finely chopped-vegetables reminds you of the hardwork and patience, the presentation tells you how much attention and sincerity goes into this dish. Costing just $18, i feel that it is indeed a wallet-friendly and affordable price i’ll pay.

judging from the impression, the whole dish feels like the “Lei Cha”, a traditional Hakka dish popular amongst the Chinese in Mainland China or more commonly seen in the Southern China. Just only that Chef nam uses noodles instead of rice and adds-on the fish and crackers.


Ending off my meal, i was treated to my favourite Vietnamese coffee that i used to order every other day when i was working with the Group, i can’t imagine that the mangeress still remembers that i love it so much!

All in all, i feel that Chef Nam has got it right, there’s a reason why he is so well celebrated in the Industry and people respect him for who he is. As a restauranteur, I personally do!

A good chat with the Director of Restaurant, Royston Soo and Chef Nam himself over meal was indeed memorable, i wish i was right back working with the group. People who are humble, who are real and take actions seriously.

Thank you Chef and your team! You have wow-ed me again!

Oh! By the way, i heard from Chef Nam that “NamNam Noodle Bar” will be opening their 3rd outlet in Suntec City soon! A much bigger space as compared to the current two at Wheelock and Raffles City respectively, so stay tune!








Annam Vietnamese Cuisine

1 Scotts Road,
Shaw Centre #02-11 Singapore 228208
T: 6735 6656 F: 6735 6676
Lunch: 12 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. (Last order)
Dinner: 6.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. (Last order)

NamNam Noodle Bar

Raffles City

252 North Bridge Road, #B1-46/47,
Raffles City Shopping Centre, Singapore 179103
t: 6336 0500

Wheelock Place

501 Orchard Road #B2-02,
Wheelock Place, Singapore 238880
t: 6735 1488