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Clubs Tanjong Pagar
The Vintage Room
Lovely French drinking lounge marred by poor service

This venue has closed. 

The latest Duxton Hill concept from Deliciae – taking over the hospitality group’s defunct Le Petit Cancale space (their other venues nearby include L’Entrecote next door and Sabio just down the hill) – The Vintage Room offers more Old World French charm in the form of a stylish 1920s lounge, courtesy of their design partners The Stripe Collective (who have handled the décor for all of Deliciae’s projects).

The emphasis here is on the beverages, with a strong list of wines (26 labels, from $14/glass or $329/bottle) and champagnes (19 in total, from $16/glass or $650/bottle). There’s also a cocktail menu designed by mixologist Yazik Sedik (of 83 on Club Street – yes, also in the Deliciae family), with several solid options. The Old Fashion ($14) comes punchy and potent, while the range of coconut-based ‘Vintage’ cocktails ($15) proved to be a hit (particularly with the ladies).

Less successful, however, are the much-trumpeted mojitos ($14; $10 every Tuesday), which come in five flavours: apple, cucumber, lychee, strawberry and ginger. We found these rather weak and syrupy, rather than giving up hints of their promised fruit.

There’s food to help line your stomach as well, with several platters and sharing plates on offer. If you’re hungry for a meal, try starting with a platter of smoked fishes and marinated seafood ($38) – a mix of smoked salmon, trout, haddock, herring and anchovies in varying degrees of salt and funkiness. If you’re not an adventurous taster, you’re perhaps better off ordering the value-for- money salmon platter ($13), which packs a comparable amount of fish, but is perhaps a little more palatable for the unaccustomed.

Other food options come in tiny portions: the cocotte of duck rillettes ($16) is easily finished in a couple bites – we could have done with more than two slices of Poilane bread (the dough is brought in frozen from France), which accompanies the super tender meat. Skip the bland ‘vintage’ rillettes of smoked salmon ($14) as well; instead, proceed to order dessert. The salty butter caramel lava cake ($15) is good, if a bit pricey. The small oozing column of cake and gooeyness is served alongside a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, making each spoonful sinful and delicious.

Unfortunately, it was neither the drinks nor the food that ultimately defined our experience at The Vintage Room – on two separate occasions, we were severely let down by the service. Several cardinal sins were committed: both times, servers refused to note down our food and drink orders (we even mentioned that maybe they should, given our long orders) – and sure enough, numerous items were forgotten. Food arrived long before drinks did, and in one unforgivable instance, dessert (with ice cream already melting) was served before all of our savoury items had even arrived. When our long overdue plate of tartines arrived shortly after, the server refused to refund the dish, despite the fact that we were clearly already on dessert at that point.

Some of this can undoubtedly be chalked up to opening stutters. And indeed, these aren’t the best of times for the service industry in Singapore, with restaurants finding it increasingly difficult to find and keep quality front-of-house floor staff to match the rising levels of fancy décor, expensive addresses and gourmet food options.

To the manager’s credit, he attempted to lighten the sour moods by providing a round of drinks – we appreciate the gesture, but let’s hope he follows up giving his staff some proper training. NH 

Drinks from $12, food from $9

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Venue name: The Vintage Room (THIS VENUE HAS CLOSED)
Address: 37 Duxton Hill
Opening hours: Tue-Thu 5pm-midnight, Fri 3pm-1am, Sat 5pm-1am
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