[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 黄大人]
If your idea of a night well spent is mostly wine, wine, and more wine, the latest addition to the wine bar scene right smack in Puteri Harbour will undoubtedly get your drink on. For non-drinkers looking for bar bites fulfilling enough to pass off as dinner, these small plates are tasty on its own even when not paired with a few alcoholic drinks. Who needs alcohol when you have food! Okay if we were you, we will go for the food AND the booze. What’s more, the area is surrounded by tons of lush greenery in the marina area, allowing us to enjoy a nice sip and meal over a scenic view.
Check out the newly opened 7 Grapes Wine & Tapas, the brainchild of Shuren and his wife Dhalya, taking over what used to be Rouge at Puteri Harbour. Dhalya runs 7 Grapes full time while Shuren still works with Fullerton Hotel in Singapore. We know we’ll be in good hands here, as the couple commands decades of experience in F&B management, food catering and menu engineering within the hotels and hospitality industry, which lend a hand in their selection of moderately priced Old and New World varieties, ranging from RM100 to RM400.
7 Grapes prides itself as a bar for both novice and experienced wine drinkers and is our best bet for now if we’re looking for a crash course on wine. If complicated vino jargon puts you off, fret not as wine is demystified in this walk-in cellar, with whites are divided into “smooth”, “fruity” and “sharp”, while reds are split into “calm”, “light” and so forth…
• Smooth and Delicate
• Fruity Aroma
• Sharp and Crisp
• Calm Drinking
• Light & Bright
• Heavy Element
The philosophy here at 7 Grapes is that everyone should be able to appreciate fine wine minus the pretentious atmosphere, and we couldn’t agree more. PLUS, retail wine prices served in a restaurant setting is what 7 Grapes is all about, making this a great spot to drink vino and watch the world go by on the marina. We decided to sit outside for dinner for the natural breeze and a more bustling ambience.
Caesar Salad | Wild Mushroom Soup | Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
Our first experience in 7 Grapes was initiated with some apple-infused cocktails before a bevy of authentically-adjusted tapas fare for our local palates took over, starting with the simple but satisfying Caesar Salad. The homemade dressing and the generous amount of cheese on top were worthy of mention, and so were the soups on offer. Made by blending four types of mushrooms together, we love the sweet, savoury layers of flavour and the soft gritty texture of countless palatable bits of fungus in the rich and satisfying Wild Mushroom Soup; while the Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup wasn’t heavy on cream but with good tomato flavour and body nonetheless. A fitting recipe to enjoy on a cold January day!
Lemongrass Chicken Skewer | Prawn Crostini | Bacon-wrapped Asparagus Spears
Helmed by Chef Ben, Chef Shark and Chef Burn, the ingenious use of the fibrous stalks of lemongrass to double perfectly as skewers. while imparting a mild lemongrass aroma to the meat makes this tender Lemongrass Chicken Skewer the perfect starter! Don’t forget to squeeze a bit of lemon over it for some much-needed zest!
The Prawn Crostini was quite delightful as well, thanks to the aromatic fennel and zesty mayo that uplifted the taste but the layers of streaky, smokey-sweet bacon creating a thick and juicy meat roll that holds the pair of fresh, crisp asparagus together makes this delicious Bacon-wrapped Asparagus Spears starter perfect for any special occasion and were gobbled up in a flash!
Crab Cake | Stuffed Calamari | Deviled Chicken Drumlets | Loaded Nachos
If you are like us who loves crab but hate to pick out the delicate slivers of meat from the shells, then this Crab Cake is for just you (and us). The breaded crust was thick enough to offer more contrast in textures and some crisp, with subtle layers of spiciness and sweetness from the crust outside and the moist flower crab meat inside.
We were equally impressed with how the chefs managed to turn something so simple to one that’s evidently a grade above the rest. The Stuffed Calamari gave us the best of both worlds – the chewiness from frying, and the smoky flavour infusion from grilling! What can we say? This succulent squid dish was literally packed with surprises inside out!.
We were also super excited when both the Deviled Chicken Drumlets and Loaded Nachos came to our table. The cheese, salsa and beans were all heaped onto a pile of nacho chips, topped with beef which had a rendang-like texture but tasted surprisingly good and was super sinful. On the other hand, the fried crispy breaded drumlets were tender although the wings weren’t as spicy as we’d hoped, the sweet and tangy sauce really did come through and fused together very well with the savouriness of the chicken.
Braised Beef (Red Wine Reductions)
Holy cow!!! It was love at first bite when the Braised Beef Red Wine Reductions was served, as our mouthful with a mix of creamy soft textures. Braised in liquid over several hours, this typically tough cut of meat is transformed into the tenderest, fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth beef we have ever tasted, and the small quantity made the burst of flavour very enjoyable without being overbearing.
Seafood Linguine | BBQ-style Pork Ribs (Spicy BBQ Sauce)
Bathed in a slightly spicy homemade tomato sauce seasoned with white wine, this mouth-watering and comforting plate of Seafood Linguine comes with a generous mix of plump scallops, prawns, clams and mussels. A drizzle of white wine gave the dish a hearty punch of flavour, freshness and the right balance without being too heavy, making the spaghetti enjoyable to the last strand, just the way pasta should be.
On the other hand, the BBQ-style Pork Ribs was so rich in flavour, but only because of the homemade BBQ sauce that was brushed on them before they were baked. The sweetness of the BBQ sauce balanced the meat very well, with the exterior of the pork tasted somewhat like “bak kwa” whereas the inner flesh was grilled to perfection while retaining its tender texture.
Say cheese, as there are few things in the world that pair as perfectly as wine and cheese, hence the perfect complement to any satisfying meal is this Cheese Platter combination of mild and stronger cheeses. The Brie was creamy with a thin rind that didn’t detract too much from the soft cheese interior, while the Parmesan has a hard, gritty texture but is fruity and nutty in taste. For most of us, the Blue Cheese was both a wonderful sensory experience as well as a gut-filling one!
While we love their wine selection, we heart the tapas menu here, even more, so grab a few friends, pull up a pew and chat the night away while working your way through these excellent value bottles.
All in all, 7 Grapes is our new personal favourite hangout when we’re in need of chilled out vibes, decent wine and something yummy to eat. For first time visitors to this bar, chill out place of choice of local JB folks and visitors, just remember to keep a lookout for this giant mural of hanging grapes and the unit number LG-07, and everything else would be self-explanatory!
7 Grapes Wine & Tapas
📍 LG-07, Lower Ground Floor, Puteri Harbour, Persiaran Puteri Selatan, 79000 Iskandar Puteri, Johor
📞 +607-553 9294
🕙 11.30am – 1.00am
🍽️ NON HALAL