Entering the cozy shophouse that is the proud address of the new The Wall in Tanjong Pagar, one is greeted by red brick walls, heavy-timbered ceiling and mellow lighting. The establishment has an inviting and very strong Brooklyn vibe – similar to the warehouses turned commercial spaces that one typically finds in the said New York City borough.
With its uncomplicated but attractive look, The Wall is not your typical whiskey bar. Although there are quite a few of such establishments in Singapore, The Wall aims to demystify the usually intimidating nature of whiskey appreciation and turn it into something equally appealing to yuppies.
I was recently invited over to The Wall for a tasting not knowing really what to expect. A bar to me normally functions as a watering hole so the presence of a full sumiyaki menu threw me off. I was intrigued.
One of the best deals to be had at The Wall is the whiskey flight, which starts from just $37 per person. I had the East Meets West whiskey flight and this allowed me to taste some whiskeys from both Asia and Europe in varying complexities and flavors. For an additional $12, the whiskey flight can be paired with specially selected sumiyaki that can serve to enhance the taste bud with each sip.
I started off with the Auchentoshan Three Wood, distinctly sweet and which carried a fruity finish brought about by ingredients such as blackcurrant, brown sugar, orange and plum. Overall, it was an apt and easy drink to start with. It went nicely with the Tebasaki (Chicken Wings), with the salty/garlicky aroma enhanced by the drink.
This was followed with the Les Moissons. In comparison to the whiskey that preceded it, the Les Moissons had a smooth and woody flavor. I thought this provided for an interesting contrast to the sumiyaki paired with it – the tender Kashiwa (Chicken Thigh) which came coated with wasabi.
The Yamazaki Distiller Reserve is perhaps the whiskey that I am most familiar with. The spicy aftertaste was a reminder of the Yamazakis that I had before it. The drink was also noticeably stronger than the first two and served as an apt progression for the whiskey flight. This was paired with the Tsukune, a dish which I thought I knew but creatively modified here by the chef. The Wall’s version had the ground chicken meat interspersed with generous bits of cartilage which are small enough to chew on. This gave the tsukune a crunch that is previously unheard of.
Last drink for the whiskey flight was the Taiwanese Kavalan Single Malt – again with a smoky and spicy finish but with an added hint of vanilla and tropical fruits. This was paired with Negima (Chicken Thigh with Leeks) which brought with it an added fragrance.
Besides the whiskey flight, I also got to try the other light bites at The Wall. The Piman Niku ($6) is essentially an extension of the Tsukune with capsicum skin as wrapping.
I quite liked the Hotate Bacon ($9) – with what was already a series of plump scallops wrapped in even juicier and fatty bacon.
I loved how the Surumi Ika ($18) was grilled to perfection without any carcinogenic charred bits at all. I was told the grilling is done at high heat but only lasts for 5 seconds. The result was an absolutely tender and perfectly chewy meat – something that is typically difficult to achieve for squid.
I ended the meal with a serving of Warabi Mochi ($10) for desserts. Compared to the sumiyaki, I thought the sweet ending I had was not as memorable.
Although a whiskey bar would normally be thought of as an evening venue, I was also pleasantly surprised to see that The Wall offers lunch sets which start from a reasonable $13. A Yakitori Donburi which goes with 4 sticks of yakitori goes for $17 per person.
76 Tanjong Pagar Road
Tel: (65) 6225 7988