In the past 2-3 years, Duxton Road (and Hill) has gone from being a semi-seedy area filled with Karaoke bars, cheap thrills and tacky costumes to being one of Singapore’s hippest areas, especially when it comes to wining at dining (read our guide to Wine and Dine Gems of Duxton here) .
Whilst I was very sad to see one of my favourite cafes, The Pigeonhole close down earlier this year, it’s replacement with Merchants has definitely been cause to rejoice for many reasons.
Merchants is a very cool and unique concept. And here is why:
1) Great wine at prices that won’t make you gasp
Unlike most bars that seem to charge at least $15 for a glass or $50 for a bottle of decent wine, Merchants has a stellar selection hundreds of boutique wine bottles, most of which costing around $30-$50. As for their specials and wines by the glass, these change weekly as they have winemakers in town seemingly every week. This is also means that if you time it right you’ll get to meet the winemakers and improve your knowledge every time you stop in for a tipple.
2) Helping out the little guy
The word ’boutique’ is somewhat overused in the wine industry. Many so-called ’boutique’ wineries will have a ‘small’ annual production of around 500,000 bottles per year. Merchants on the other hand, genuinely works with small-time winemakers whose production is closer to the 10,000s. Most of it is barely exported and Merchants is pretty much the only place in Asia you’ll find it. Thumbs up!
3) Pretty decent grub
On the food front, definitely don’t expect fine dining or molecular gastronomy. What you will get however is a solid selection of food options to pair nicely with your wine, such as the platter shown above ($38). If you are however looking for something more substantial, they have a good selection of comfort foods like soups, salads and sandwiches. However, my choice would be the Jumbo Hot Dog ($14). Nine inches of pork (or veal!) sausage in a yummy flatbread sandwich with mustard, onions and ketchup.
As wine consumption grows in Singapore, I am so happy to see places like Merchants open up. They’re casual, calm and don’t bother with the extra fluff. Just great, reasonably priced food and wine to enjoy in the beautiful setting that is Duxton.
Written by The City Nomad
On this occasion our visit was compliments of Merchants of Wine