I’m no food snob. I believe that food and drinks are meant to be enjoyed in the company of people you appreciate. Dining out is a major social activity for me and I absolutely live to eat. I confess I spend way too much of my leisure time dining with friends and with this in mind, I’d rather find ways to derive maximum enjoyment from our time spent imbibing my favourite spirits and chowing down on good food than be stressed about judgement from not “knowing” enough about what’s on my dining table. For this reason, as a regular person, not a food critic, not a food writer and lacking a refined palate, I appreciate places like The Wall at 76 Tanjong Pagar Road.
Warm brick walls that give The Wall it’s name
This whisky and sumiyaki bar may have 300 different whiskies available, with 120 types of whisky available by glass, but it is unpretentious and doesn’t need you to know exactly what type of whisky you like. At The Wall, you get to discover whiskies through different whisky flights, which all go so well with the selection of sumiyaki (charcoal grilled Japanese skewers) available.
The perfect way to enjoy an evening of whisky and light bites – with a whisky flight and sumiyaki at The Wall
What’s a Whisky Flight?
In case like me, you’re also new to this whole whisky appreciation thing…
A whisky flight is basically a few different whiskies in small pours. This allows you to taste a variety of whiskies and discover ones you love most.
I love how accessible The Wall makes whisky appreciation for a newbie like me. I love the taste of whisky, but I’m not “in the know” about them, so its such a wonderful experience to be able to taste different kinds and see what appeals to me most.
The Wall offers a few different whisky flights. Their entry level East Meets West is available at $37. There are also other whisky flights to explore as well such as the Smoke and Peat, if a peaty, smokey, saltish whisky tickles your fancy, or progress on to the Adventure Part 1 and Adventure Part 2 whisky flights to explore a couple of rare whiskies.
I was introduced to the East Meets West flight which included the following whisky small pours – two from “the West” and two from “the East”:
- Auchentoshan Three Wood from Scotland ($25/glass)
- Les Moissons from France ($18/glass)
- Yamazaki Distiller Reserve from Japan ($20/glass)
- Kavalan Single Malt from Taiwan ($18/glass)
Charcoal grilled chicken skewers fresh from the kitchen to perfectly compliment my whisky flight
I enjoyed all four varieties served in the East Meets West flight especially when paired with delicious sumiyaki served hot from the kitchen. (FYI: If you’ve purchased a whisky flight, get a set of four skewers at just $12 instead of $24.)
If the common man’s yakitori from Tori-Q is the best you’ve had (I shamelessly admit that my tastebuds love Tori-Q), you’ll be completely blown away by the hand-made sumiyaki from The Wall. This is some major next, next, next level charcoal grilled chicken skewers we’re talking about.
The sumiyaki is fresh and delightful
I really look my time to savour the four skewers:
- Tebasaki or chicken wing ($5)
- Kashiwa or chicken thigh ($6)
- Tsukune or chicken meatball with egg yolk and teriyaki sauce ($6)
- Negima or chicken thigh and leek ($6)
All four skewers were tender and fresh, but the tsukune is clearly the breakout star over here. The chicken meatball is amazingly juicy (if you’re expecting a dry crumbly meatball, you will not find that here) made with cartilage, which gives it an interesting crunch, and refreshing yuzu peel. I’m probably not the only one to point this out and that’s because it’s that good.
I am no expert, but I am told it’s hard to come by a whisky bar with a complementary well-planned small bites menu (that’s made to pair amazingly with whisky) in Singapore and this is exactly what sets The Wall apart from other whisky bars. Other than sumiyaki, there are some other small bites that I fell in love with.
Eihire Grilled Skate Fin makes an excellent bar snack
The Eihire Grilled Skate Fin ($15) is one of those bar snacks you don’t expect yourself to be addicted to, but end up munching on the whole night. The Wall has dehydrated the skate fin and served it with a spicy mayonnaise. It has a chewy texture (similar to dried barbecue pork or dried cuttlefish) and is nice and sweet.
Piiman Niku (or Japanese Capsicum with Minced Chicken)
Piiman Niku ($6) is a skewer made with Japanese green peppers, stuffed with tender and juicy minced chicken with cartilage and yuzu peel. (Sounds like they’ve found a winning combination here.) Not a fan of heat? No worries, the capsicum is barely spicy.
Surumi Ika was worth the calories
I also had the opportunity to munch on the Surumi Ika ($18). This is a pretty popular Japanese side dish, one that I enjoy a lot, especially when the Japanese squid isn’t overcooked. What I had at The Wall was utterly delectable with beautiful texture, just a little chewy without being rubbery, and grilled with butter and shoyu sauce, making it nice and savoury. It’s accompanied by mayo, but tastes excellent on its own… of course, it was also great with whisky.
Miso Nasu was small but packed a flavourful punch
Don’t underestimate the small portion of Miso Nasu ($6). The Wall has grilled Japanese egg plant with butter and then topped it off with a rich miso sauce made with minced chicken, and here comes the alcohol – mirin and sake. This was one of my favourite dishes of the night.
The food is amazing and the whiskies are abundant at The Wall. Getting inebriated is a real concern here, because eating and throwing away your inhibitions about drinking lots of whisky is so easy here.
The Wall offers two different experiences. On the first level, it’s a bar counter that’s great for mingling and people watching on any random night out. If you prefer a bit more privacy, you can request to wine (I mean… whisky) and dine at the quieter, more private second level with a minimum spending of $100/pax. Not that hard if you ask me… A whisky flight paired with sumiyaki, several bites to share and a glass or two later, you’re close to, if you haven’t already hit, the $100/pax minimum spend. But that’s probably all it takes for a great night out – just add some great company and you’re set. No extensive whisky knowledge needed!
76 Tanjong Pagar Road,
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 5:00pm to 1:00am