Tag Archives: Boat Quay

Mag’s Wine Kitchen

Pan-fried beef tenderloin with veal jus

From many of the cooking shows on TV, there seems to be a few basic principles of running a successful restaurant. Keep the menu limited, and do what you do well, use only the best ingredients, don’t forget your front of house and love your what you do.

Mag’s Wine Kitchen ticks all these boxes – with a smiley stamp and a gold star on each of them for good measure. Which is probably why it’s still around 15 years after it first opened its doors in 1996.

Creamy artichoke soup

Nestled in the quieter part of bustling Boat Quay, you walk in to this charming French bistro and are greeted by either Mag  herself, who has an uncanny knack of remembering faces and names, or Seth, her maitre d who has been there since Mag’s opened.

The kitchen is open for all to see, the menu small and focused on using the best seasonal ingredients that Mag travels to acquire – we once visited to have fresh umi – Japanese sea urchin that she had just purchased from a trip there, on top of chawanmushi – steamed egg custard – delicious.

Kurobuta pork chop with pineapple salsa

D and I visited during the Christmas period for a quiet lunch and had the two course set from the menu of the day. I had the artichoke soup and the beef tenderloin with a veal jus and D had the beef carpaccio and the kurobuta pork chop with a pineapple salsa.

The soup was fresh and light while creamy and warming at the same time, and the beef – oh my goodness – the most tender and tasty piece of meat I’ve had in a long time, perfectly cooked medium rare, perfectly seasoned and accompanied with velvety mash and roasted vegetables.

Wagyu beef carpaccio

D’s wagyu carpaccio came served wafer thin, with parmesan shavings and rocket and the kurobuta pork came with what tasted like a hoisin glaze and the meat was tender and moist – not an easy task for such a large cut of pork.

Mag’s also has an terrific wine selection to complement all her food, or if you just want to go in for a drink. What more could you ask for ?

Mag’s Wine Kitchen
86 Circular Road
Tel: 64383836

Lunch Monday to Friday – 12noon to 2pm
Dinner Monday to Friday – 6pm to 10pm

Saturday 6pm to 10pm only (Closed for lunch)
Closed on Sunday

Mag’s Wine Kitchen

Behind the hustle and bustle of Boat Quay, on Circular Road, is Mag’s Wine Kitchen.  Run by Mag, the woman who never forgets a name or face, this tiny wine bar/kitchen is another little gem of a find in Singapore.  The fact that it’s still around more than ten years after it has opened, I think, is also testimony to how good it is, in the city where food and eating is a national pastime and choices abound.

Walking in to Mags is like walking in to someone’s house.  The place is small – it only seats maybe 25 people – with the kitchen in full view at the back of the room.  The menu on the chalkboard is simple – never more than 5-6 starters and mains with usually a very limited special (we once enjoyed fresh umi from a dive trip that Mag just came back from – lightly steamed chawanmushi style).  Mag buys her produce from Huber’s, so you know what’s coming is going to be good from the get go.

And she very wisely keeps it simple, letting the produce speak for itself.  Last night I had wagyu beef tataki, flash seared on the outside, raw in the middle, wafer thin so that it melted in your mouth, simply dressed with a light vinaigrette and finely chopped chives with a delicate salad of cress and alfalfa.  D had the foie gras terrine – a generous block of creamy foie gras.  The boys had the lamb rack, which rendered them speechless while they tucked in.

I opted for a cheese platter – I have to say that I do not love everything so French – the three cheeses were … I can only describe them as “ripe” where I felt the acid strip the lining from the inside of my mouth.  A true cheese lover would probably have waxed lyrical about it but for me, the plate was left largely untouched.

Not to complain as they had a Masi Amarone 2006 for me to enjoy while I watched the boys tuck into their lamb.

Mag’s Wine Kitchen
86 Circular Road
Singapore 049438
General: 6438-3836

Monday to Friday
12noon to 2pm
Monday to Friday
6pm to 10pm

6pm to 10pm only
(Closed for lunch)

Closed on Sunday

a bit of Tex Mex in boat quay

A quick post to note that if you ever are around Boat Quay and fancy some Tex Mex food, check out Dallas Bar and Restaurant.  We only tried the bar food which is pretty standard – BBQ chicken wings, corn and crab fritters (which were crisp and not too greasy at all) and nachos, but we ordered the beef fajitas on the recommendation of the owner, Jason, a fellow Australian, which were just fabulous – tender and juicy beef strips where you can add as much or as little of refried beans, guacamole, sour cream and caramelised onion as you liked, on a warm flour tortillas.  Delicious !  If you want to eat, it’s much cooler upstairs and I did spot baby back ribs on the menu…
Dallas Restaurant & Bar
31 Boat Quay, Singapore 049820
Tel: +65 6532 2131