6 Asian wine bars for great natural wines and delicious food
Wines that are natural, biodynamic or organically produced, high on environmental sustainability, with low intervention – meaning less chemicals or physical processes such as filtration – are on-trend, and for good reason.
Cloudy, sometimes funky and oh-so-unpredictable, these wines often have the old-school oenophiles in a tizzy and sometimes taste more like kombucha than classic vino – but if you approach them with an open palate and even treat them as a discussion point, we guarantee you’ll have an interesting evening.
Check out our pick of six great wine bars across Asia serving natural wines.
La Cabane a Vin, Hong Kong, China
This is rustic and cosy, with over 20 labels by the glass to pair with some seriously good food.
Its seasonal menu offers modern Chinese and French plates, with specials such as fondue and oysters, plus great cheese and charcuterie, too.
There are no airs and graces here, and the servers are happy to recommend things to your taste or mood.
La Cabane is a relaxed, intimate space for an introduction to natural wines, or for natural wine lovers to indulge at ease.
There’s also access to the cellar on demand, where you can choose from more than 400 wines.
B/F, 97 Hollywood Road, Central
Monday to Saturday, noon-9pm
Wet, Bangkok, Thailand
Michelin-starred chef Gaggan Anand may be best known for his award-winning Bangkok restaurant serving progressive Indian cuisine, but his latest project, Wet wine bar, is not to be missed.
Partnering with sommelier Vladimir Kojic, Wet offers a range of mostly natural wines that are easy on the wallet and the palate.
Delicious Gaggan dishes with cheeky names are served alongside the wines, from small bites to larger curries.
The ambience is laid back, yet hip with lots of exposed brick, wooden beams and neon lighting, making it the perfect spot to begin, end or maybe stay the night.
68/9 Soi Langsuan, Phloen Chit Road, Lumphini
Monday to Saturday, 4:30pm-2am
Sitka Eatinghouse & Wine Bar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
With a fresh modern Asian menu and the country’s largest selection of natural wines, Sitka is the neighbourhood secret – the go-to place for those in the know.
The tuna tataki with pickled blood plum pairs well with a natural gruner veltliner, while the foie and confit duck dumplings are perfect with an amber wine.
Only on Fridays, chef-owner Christian Recomio’s second, fine-dining restaurant, Sitka Studio, is open for dinner, where he serves a contemporary tasting menu driven by local produce and global trends, with natural wine pairings and a sweet soundtrack.
8-5 Jalan Batai, Damansara Heights
Le Bon Funk, Singapore
With its tongue-in-cheek jibe on the perception of natural wines, this sexy wine bar has all the makings for an impressive night out.
The food is fine, the decor elegant and the ambience casual. Sommelier and restaurant manager Josee Yeomans sources an immensely palatable range of boutique vino to complement Canadian chef-owner Keirin Buck’s stellar cuisine.
Don’t leave without trying the beef tongue gribiche sammy, tripe cavatelli and crudités.
29 Club Street
Tuesday to Saturday, 5.30pm-midnight
Vinism+, Shanghai, China
A convivial atmosphere, large selection of wines by the glass, and the freshest oysters makes Vinism+ a great neighbourhood bar at which to unwind.
On the menu, succulent seafood platters and charcuterie sit alongside comfort food such as oxtail soup and lamb ragu pasta.
The team is passionate and knowledgeable, something founder Owen Shen, who ran wine training programmes for many years, wanted to ensure to make natural wine more accessible and exciting.
Now part of the Oysterlicious Restaurant Group China, Vinism+ is poised to expand that legacy for a new breed of diners and drinkers to explore.
57 Dong Zhuanbang Lu
Daily, 5pm-11pm, later during weekends
Gout de Jaune, Tokyo, Japan
Serving natural wines only from France’s lauded Jura region – meaning a list that is exclusive, limited and in high-demand, this tiny, unassuming Roppongi wine bar takes the experience a notch higher by pairing these exquisite wines with Japanese comfort food.
The spread includes gyoza, duck soba, katsu sando, ramen with chicken and collagen, steamed oysters in vin jaune and even bear meat hotpot, based on what’s available each season.
Be warned, there are only 13 seats and the bar fills up fast.
2 Chome – 19-4 Akasaka, Minato City
From Hong Kong’s cosy La Cabane a Vin, Bangkok’s laid-back Wet to Le Bon Funk in Singapore, check out our pick of the region’s popular natural wine haunts