The first time I walked into Merchant’s at Joo Chiat, I was greeted by a super sunny cheerful Aussie bloke who was more than happy to kickstart our Sunday morning with an impromptu wine tasting session. And thanks to him, I suddenly lost my repulsion for Rosé and discovered how delightfully charming a good Rosé could be.
As light as an airy strawberry shortcake, finishing off with a crisp feel, the Murdoch James Rosé might just be the bridge to get us robust-red lovers to Rosé heaven.
Serving as a platform for small, independent wineries from Australia and New Zealand, Merchants is a great place to get your stash of boutique wines, try uncommon varietals and just enjoy the passion of boutique wine-makers.
So with plans to purchase some vino at the end of our meal, we decided to get back to the original plan of brunch.
And what could be more aussie than a Bacon and Egg Roll? Just like how we stuff our faces with greasy prata after a night out partying, it’s quite common for aussies to stuff their faces with bacon and egg rolls for brekkie. I learnt that at my friend’s wedding in Australia, where it seemed like next to the neverending bubbly of the night before, the most eagerly anticipated activity was the bacon and egg hangover cure the next morning.
So, at Merchants you have a ciabatta roll filled with crispy bacon, fried eggs and the best part – chilli jam and oodles of caramelized onion. Portion is just right for a small eater, so if you’re hankering for a big brunch, you’ll definitely need to top up with other items.
Like the House Baked Beans. Which are definitely homemade, injected with lots of herby flavour and probably the best thing to go with your sandwich.
I was recommended the house favourite, the ATM Salad – Avocado, Tomato, Mozzarella salad. Sounded healthy and I was hoping for a generous amount of avocado, but really, it was just a smidgen on which the mozzarella and tomato rested. The Mozzarella too had a more Haloumi-like chewy texture, I was expecting a smooth buffalo mozzarella consistency. In any case, not my favourite.
We went back another evening, this time for happy hours and some bites, and were happy with the Mixed Cheeses and Charcuterie Platter. They focus on artisanal Kapiti cheese from New Zealand, we had smoky Havarti cheese and a rich, aged cheddar, together with some parma ham and salami. Seeing as how we were more interested in the vino, this platter sufficed as a good accompaniment.
Still, I had to give the Crunchy Chicken Wings a try, and yes, they were pretty good. Definitely crispy skin, with steaming hot, succulent flesh beneath.
At the end of the day, Merchants shines for what it’s focused on – a cosy, welcoming ambience for people looking for wines that aren’t part of the mainstream set. You can try these boutique wines, 1-for-1, with glasses starting at around $13 during their happy hours, which are from Mondays-Thursdays, 3-7pm.
Address: 443 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427656
Contact: 64400892 or email@example.com