Jiu Zhuang at Dempsey
Initially, Rachist and I were apprehensive as the walk along the dimly lit boardwalk seemed to lead to more darkness. We were relieved to see bright lights as we got closer to Jiu Zhuang.Indoor Bar at Jiu Zhuang
I felt as if I had travelled back in time when I stepped into Jiu Zhuang, a cosy bar that's conducive for conversations with friends as you indulge in your tipple.
The decor at Jiu Zhuang was inspired by Shanghai during the 1920s. Featuring traditional Chinese paintings, rosewood furniture, retro posters, colourful silk lanterns and Old Shanghai jazzy tunes playing in the background, Jiu Zhuang was a change from the modern bars we'd been visiting.
The huge rosewood cabinet behind the bar counter showcased a wide collection of premium spirits.Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky
As I was still discovering Whisky, I wanted to try a Single Malt Scotch that I hadn't drunk before. The friendly female bartender was pretty attentive and made a recommendation based on my flavour preferences. Since I liked smoky, smooth and slightly sweet Whisky, she recommended that I try the Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt.Auchentoshan Three Wood
I loved the golden bronze colour of the whisky and its' fruity and nutty flavour. Smooth without a strong burn or excessive smokiness, it left a sweet and oaky aftertaste. A Must-Try if you love Single Malts!Gin & Tonic
Rachist wanted something refreshing, so she opted for Gin and Tonic, comprising Hendricks Gin and Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water. Slightly sweet and floral with the cooling flavour of cucumber, I think this would be a great drink to sip by the pool or beach on a hot day.Jiu Zhuang Xiao Long Bao @ S$ 12 infused with Single Malt Whisky
Even though we were really full from dinner, two items from the food menu caught our attention and we had to try them. Actually, three items caught my eye but we only had room for two that evening.
I poked a hole into the thin dumpling skin of Jiu Zhuang's Xiao Long Bao. The flavourful broth that had been infused with the smokiness of whisky filled my spoon. The minced pork filling was tender and had also absorbed some of the flavours of the whisky. This is a Must-Try!Salted Egg Custard Bun @ S$ 8
We couldn't resist having the Salted Egg Custard Buns for dessert. The bun were green from the colour of natural Pandan juice that had been used to flavour the dough.
The salted egg custard was a little too sweet for my taste though Rachist seemed to love it. The texture of the steamed bun was soft and fluffy with a fragrant hint of pandan. Worth a try if you like a sweeter salted egg custard bun.Jiu Zhuang Double Boiled Soup @ S$ 18 wanton dumplings with dried scallops in superior broth & premium Nu Er Hong
The third item that caught my eye lingered in my mind. A few days later, I convinced another group of friends to adjourn to Jiu Zhuang after dinner. Even though we'd just had a substantial dinner, my friends got curious after I kept raving about the Whisky Xiao Long Bao and decided to order some to try. I wanted to try the Double Boiled Soup with premium Nu Er Hong (a type of Chinese wine that's made of glutinous rice and wheat) so we ordered a few. When the soup arrived, we sampled some of the broth on its own first before mixing the entire cup of Nu Er Hong into the soup. Though the soup was rich and tasty on its own, it tasted even better with the wine. The flavour became more well-rounded with a hint of wheat. The wantons were firm to the bite and tasty from the sweetness of the minced pork and the umami-richness of dried scallops. The Double Boiled Soup with Wantons and Nu Er Hong is a Must-Try!Glenmorangie The Nectar d'Or
During my second visit, I wanted to pair a whisky with the Xiao Long Bao. I was recommended Glenmorangie's The Nectar D'Or. Sweet and smooth with a hint of smokiness, this is also a Must-Try!Shui Jing Fang Well Bay Bai Jiu @ S$ 25
If you're adventurous or into Chinese Baijiu (white wine), you might like to give the Shui Jing Fang Well Bay Baijiu a try. I was curious and wanted to try some even though the bartender warned me that this wine was largely met with negative reviews by guests who weren't used to the flavour and odour. Hmm, really? I had to try to see what the aversion was about. The wine seemed interesting as it was brewed at an award winning distillery that also happens to be the oldest in China. The tasting notes indicated that it had a sour plum nose with a lingering fruity aroma. It was also supposed to taste rather sharp with a complex bitter sweetness and end with a minty after-taste. However, when it was served none of us could appreciate this drink as it was rather odorous and somehow reminded me of Stinking Bishop cheese.Drinks Menu with the Dining Menu beneath it
I'll be a little less adventurous and maybe try a Nu Er Hong the next time I'm in the mood to drink Chinese wine.
When we'd paid our bills, we were each given a cup of hot Chinese Tea to help sober us up for our journey home. Nice touch, Jiu Zhuang! :)
PS: I'd forgotten to note down the prices of my whisky. I guess this calls for another visit just for research purposes. ;)Jiu Zhuang 酒庄 6C & 6D Dempsey Road, (behind John Erdos) Singapore 247664 Reservations: +65 6471 1711 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Opening Hours Monday to Saturday & Public Holidays: 5 pm to 1 am Closed on Sunday