The Full Hevel Experience is a Spirited Journey into Fortified Wines and Contemporary European Cuisine

HEVEL Dining Room

CONTENT: Michelle Ng
IMAGE: PleasureCraft Group

Most wine bars prides themselves on their extensive selections of wines, but Hevel has taken a step further to showcase the beauty of fortified wines on their menu. Think along the lines of sherry, vermouth, madeira, port, and the like.

Complementing the Hevel Chef’s Menu (S$138++) is a Wine Pairing (S$88++), curated to harmonize and bring out the flavours of the tasting menu. Chef-owner Stefan has cooked alongside some of the greatest chefs, with stints at Spoon by Alain Ducasse, Terra, and Cure. Which is why the six course menu made up of individual and tapas dishes seems pretty run-of-the-mill at first glance, but the magic only starts when you have the first bite.

The first trio of appetisers comes with a Cashew & Banana that is a crunchy, creamy emulsion that reminds us of peanut butter, and a crunchy Tuna & Nori cracker. Each dish, seemingly standard, turns into an explosion of flavours and textures that simply leaves us wanting more. The trio of madeira, sherry and fortified wine whets our appetite, with sweet notes that brings us nicely to the next dish of custard egg. The steam custard egg felt like a nod to the Japanese chawanmushi or the Chinese steamed egg dish, topped with mussels for a burst of umami and fragrant spring onion oil.

Cured Mackerel

Up next is an aromatic Pinot Blanc Pensee, Amelie & Charles Sparr – a sweet and dry wine that allows the seafood dishes coming up next to shine. The marinated Mackerel was surprisingly refreshingly tangy, with a chili lime wash that lightened the fish dish. The Rye Soft Roll with smoked butter is another table favourite, with its soft, pillowy bread. We spotted a lot of Japanese inspirations in the dishes, with the a pillow-like Potato Hash topped with a thick layer of uni and leeks.

The highlight of the menu is a duck porridge made with barley and onion foam, paired with a floral Penfolds x Chateau Thienot Rose. You had an option of having the duck barley topped with a spoonful of creamy truffle, but we preferred it without as the truffle overpowered the meaty taste of the shredded duck confit.

Duck & Roasted Barley

And it wouldn’t make sense to not have any dessert wines at this restaurant, so the dessert comes with a glass of Graham’s Tawny Port 10 year old. The thick, syrupy wine was nutty with notes of fig pairs well with the Earl Grey Pudding, a light earl grey tea pudding topped with a shiso-sencha tulle biscuit.

Classic Martini

If you’re more of a cocktail person, the Cocktail Pairing (S$68) is equally exquisite with classic cocktails crafted with fortified wines for a sensorial journey. The four flights will start with a Cognac, Vermouth and Tonic made with a savory Mancino Secco for the trio of starters, before moving onto the Hevel Martini, a light and fruity blend of a house Vermouth blend, Sherry, and Never Never Triple Juniper. The mains pair well with a Vieux Carre, a sweet yet heavy cocktail of Michter’s Rye, Mancino Chinato, and Pierre Ferrand 1840 to bring out the meaty flavours. End the meal with some desserts and a Coffee Negroni with hints of savoury caffeinated beans.

Still hungry for more? Head back for Hevel’s exclusive Tasting Menu on 13 – 15 February 2024, which will see a romantic refresh for Valentine’s Day. The curated menu will feature Kingfish paired with blood orange & yuzu, Grilled octopus in an emulsion, and a Kiwami Wagyu Striploin steak, and is paired with a wine menu that boasts samplings of Penfolds x Theinot Brut Rose NV Champagne and Graham’s Tawny Port 10 Year Old.

Hevel, 1 Keong Saik Road, #01-04, Singapore 089109. Open from Wednesday – Saturdays only.