Merchants – Just A Wine Place in Duxton

In celebration for a friend’s birthday, we decided to hold it at Merchants Wine Cellar so that we can have a bottle or two to celebrate. And the friend mentioned they have pretty reasonable, decent wine and food pairings. So I dropped by the restaurant in the afternoon to deposit the birthday cake only to be informed there is a cakeage charge of $2 per person if we want to consume there. I thought he was joking, but he was totally serious about it so okay, to save the trouble to consuming the cake elsewhere plus it’s a celebratory event, I accepted their proposition

The place was pretty big, and not too crowded which makes it a nice place to drink and hold conversations which you can still hear each other

And a huge selection of wines to choose from, which is mainly sourced from Australia and New Zealand

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Crunchy Fries $8

Fries with the inside just a little bit too mushy

Crunchy Chicken Wings $10

I like their wings, with the skin crispy and crunchy

Nacho Meatballs with Corn Chip $18

The meatballs were a little tough and too chewy for my liking, though the chips go pretty well with the sauce

Underwriter’s Pizza $18

Which is basically salami topping. I would have preferred the thin crusts a little more crispy

Ham & Pineapple $18

The salami pizza was better

Chilean Mussels Steamed with White Wine $18

Unfortunately, the toasts were better than the mussels. I thought the meat was rather bland

Grilled Rib Eye Steak and Crispy Potatoes $29

Ordered medium-rare, came back medium. The steak was under marinated and just failed to shine

And a picture of the rose cos well, it’s a wine place right?

Wine-wise, credits would probably go to the producer of the wines and us, who select the wines from the list so yes, the wines were pretty good. Food-wise, it is really not the best. But what I cannot agree is the application of cakeage here. I have heard of cakeage charges, but cos these are not uncommon overseas in celebrity chefs’ restaurants for fear of diners hogging the tables and also an insult to pastry chefs. So looking at this place, they are neither which is why even though I am trying to stay as objective writing this, I cannot come to an agreement with myself. And if the reason is cos we are hogging the chiller, well, I had requested the cake to be placed in the freezer. Honestly, at the best as I can trying to find a positive trait here, the only thing would be the servers that served our table were pretty friendly and the service was good. So, you can probably guess if I am going back there..

Merchants Wine Cellar

52-53 Duxton Road, 089516