I used to regularly drink on weekday nights when I worked in town, but since I moved out of the civic and commercial district for work, it takes something special to lure me back for a weeknight out. Ginett, however, provides the perfect reason for me to head down to the city centre. On top of its unique array of dishes from sharing platters to absolutely fantastic desserts, their wine selection and prices are an absolute steal! Will I be back? Yes!
Yet Ginett is more than a wine bar—it is also an all-day dining venue that serves:
- Buffet/takeaway breakfasts;
- Weekend brunches until 4 pm;
- Decently-priced two-course set lunches ($18++);
- Cocktails and beers (bottled, draft and craft); and
- Dinner/bar bites till late (last orders are at 10.30 pm Sundays to Thursdays and an hour later during the weekend)
You won’t miss Ginett when you walk down Middle Road. Sited on the first floor of the recently-renovated Hotel G Singapore (known previously as BIG Hotel Singapore), you will probably gawk at its high ceilings, dimly-lit interior, and the hundreds of wine glasses that adorn its bar.
Ginett’s wine menu is extensive, with at least 70 different wines and champagnes directly imported from France. Pair that with unbelievable prices ($6 onwards for a glass of red, white, rose or champagne; bottles start from $30) and knowledgeable wait staff, and it’s only a matter of time that Ginett becomes the new go-to place for wine-lovers and those looking for a cosy dining spot.
On my recent weeknight visit, I order some wine and a 1-metre long cheese board to start ($54++; serves 3 to 4). Word of advice: Servings are generous, so this board might be more suitable for even bigger groups. Groups of up to four people might want to order the smaller G-board instead ($30 ++; three cheese and cold cuts) and save space for dessert. Your mileage might vary with some of the stronger-smelling cheeses, but there should be enough variety to satisfy everyone.
Ginett’s dinner menu (click here) should already cover most bases, but make sure to ask for the daily specials if you’re keen for a little more variety. My dining companion and I did, and that’s how we ended with a moreish Seafood Salad ($18++). I’m used to restaurants churning out a perfunctory platter of limp leaves to placate the odd healthy eater or two, so Ginett’s hearty portions of shrimps, mussels, clams, cuttlefish and other assorted greens is a pleasant surprise. The salad is a substantial starter that’s able to stand independently of its accompanying vinaigrette.
The Sweet Potato Fries ($8++) and Deep Fried Calamari ($9++) were standard bar bites, and if I had known, I might have ordered something a little less conventional, such as Devilled Egg (prepared with smoked salmon and avocado, $$9++) or Hot Chili Fries ($9++).
One of my biggest bugbears is when a dish is not only mediocre, but comes with a similarly uninspiring price tag. Free Range Organic Rotisserie Chicken ($12/18/24 for ¼, ½, or Whole, respectively) is one such dish. While the half-chicken we got was juicy and firm to the bite, its small size and flat taste meant that other protein options on the menu probably provided better value (consider the Grilled Baked Octopus, $19++; Baked Salmon Back, $18++; or the Tuna Tartare, $21++ instead). To be fair, my dining companion and I enjoyed the smooth and buttery mashed potatoes that accompanied the dish.
The Australian Angus Tenderloin (250g, $39++) was competently done. You have a choice of a side (creamy spinach, mesclun salad, mashed potatoes, ratatouille, mushroom fricassée, or potato wedges) and a sauce (béarnaise, pepper, or blue cheese) to go with your protein, but we were too full to entertain another side and went with three sauces instead. It was a serendipitous decision—the piquant béarnaise sauce went particularly well with the meat.
But Ginett shines unequivocally when it comes to its desserts—we were impressed with all four desserts that we sampled:
Baba au Rhum ($12++) is a yeast cake saturated in rum-infused syrup, and boy, was there a lot of rum in this one! Because of their sweetness and firm texture, the blueberries, grapes and strawberry slices are inspired additions to the alcohol-laden crumbly cake. You might want to moderate your alcohol intake if you’re interested in this rather heavy dessert.
It is not always easy to find a Crème Brûlée ($8) with strong vanilla notes and a crust that is not too cloying. Ginett’s rendition fulfils both criteria and makes a strong case for taking up your daily caloric allowance.
Ginett has been considerate with its Molten Chocolate Cake ($13++). Served mug-cake style, you won’t have to worry about getting just the right proportions of warm, oozing chocolate (70% Valrhona Guanaja) with the requisite scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
The Tarik Tarik Tart ($8++) is a nod by Ginett’s chef to local flavours. The tart crumbles nicely, but the star here is really the smooth and frothy teh tarik cream. With this unique proof-of-concept executed nicely, how about a bandung tart next?
Will I return? It’s an obvious answer, Yes! Ginett has hit upon a winning formula with its attractively-priced drinks, central location, and inviting interiors. The venue’s spacious enough for large groups (think 10-12 people), yet cosy enough for a couple looking to connect over a post-dinner tipple. Just make sure you leave space for desserts!
Thank you, Ginett Restaurant and Wine Bar, for the invitation.
Ginett Restaurant and Wine Bar
Hotel G Singapore
200 Middle Road
Tel: 6809 7989
7 am till late daily (last orders at 10.30 pm from Sundays to Thursdays and 11.30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays)