As it is, choosing a bottle of wine can be a difficult task, particularly so for the uninitiated. But Bar Uva, named after ‘grape’ in Spanish, is a vino-focused watering hole that hopes to make selecting and sipping much easier.
The bar is opened by the same people behind popular local spots Nutmeg and Clove and Tess Bar and Kitchen, which means that the team certainly knows a thing or two about satisfying the thirsty crowd. Wine consultant (and industry veteran) Chris Kwek has also been enlisted to fill the 150-strong list with an accessible yet inclusive range of labels – Old and New World, and everything else between.
“A wine bar shouldn’t be a place for you to make difficult choices,” shares managing partner Colin Chia. And it all starts with a cosy interior, decked simply in honey-hues banquette and wood-toned fixtures. Friendly waitstaff and a wall of hanging wine bottles (available for purchase) greet you when entering the space.
Flip through the menu, and it opens with a helpful chart that breaks down various grape varietals – a perfect starting point for beginners. Oenophiles can skip straight to the rest of the pages to select their favourite bottle. But we’d much rather leave the choice to the Bar Uva team (almost everything is well-priced under $100), and focus on selecting the mains.
Raise a toast with the lively and rounded Baron-Fuenté traditional brut champagne ($98), which pairs well with almonds, glazed in Marsala wine, and tossed with dried cranberries ($5); or slippery oysters ($16 for three) crowned with tomato sherry jelly and smoked caviar.
Other plates come imbued with char and smoke, thanks to the Josper oven. King prawns are spiced with n’duja ($21) and tender pork jowl ($18) is glazed with yakiniku sauce and togarashi. Between the greasy, spicy bites, sip on the light and fruity Dominique Morel Fleurie ($78).
Also enjoyable is the bowl squid ink spaghetti ($42), lavished with dashes of shao xing wine and meaty legs of king crab; tender maple-glazed chicken resting atop spice granola ($36), and lamb shoulder served with a side of roasted grapes ($34). A tasty tip: grab slices of sourdough ($5) and dunk them into leftover sauces to mop the plate clean.