Le Bon Funk

The hype: With natural wines finding a natural fit with Singapore’s trend-obsessed F&B scene, it’s only a matter of time before stalwarts like The Lo & Behold Group come up with their own concept centering on this category of vino. Le Bon Funk (meaning “the good funk” as a cheeky nod towards how people often find natural wines funky tasting) is the group’s first such concept.

The vibe: You’ll find refined textures of brass and terrazzo set against raw yet sophisticated furnishings like corkwood and rattan, the work of famed local design studio Foreign Policy. Expect a cool warmth that beckons you to stay long and comfy in your chair. There’s a mix of high stool and banquette seating to cater to both those looking for full meals and those here just for drinks and bites.

The food: If you’ve only come for the wines, be glad that your expectations are about to be exceeded thanks to an amazing dinner menu of communal plates by Japanese-Canadian Chef-Owner Keirin Buck, formerly from Burnt Ends. Just like the wines, the food offering here has a focus on fresh ingredients and natural techniques such as fermentation and charcuterie. For instance, his signature sourdough bread is naturally leavened and made fresh daily.

While the menu changes regularly because of Buck’s approach, there are some signature items you can rely on that showcases his form of cuisine well. There’s the Cedar Jelly and Foie Gras Toast ($18), where foie gras cured in Cognac is freezed and flash grated onto cedar jelly placed atop a fermented homemade brioche. It’s a creation so sublime and well balanced in texture and taste that we were hankering for more the moment we cleaned the plate.

For something heftier, Buck offers the Rabbit Boudin Blanc and Carrot ($24), a simple-looking but deftly executed dish. Here, rabbit sausage is glazed with chicken liver and pork reduction, and wrapped in a collagen casing before being aged in a chamber on-site. Served with rabbit jus reduction and a side of carrot puree, the usually mild tasting meat is now made satisfyingly flavorsome and multidimensional. In the dessert section, the Celery Custard and Buckwheat ($10) also leverages Buck’s ability to turn the conventional unconventional through complementary textures. Novelty aside, the use of celery here works wonders, especially as each accompanying scoop of creamy custard is lent a satisfying crunch from the crispy buckwheat crumble generously sprinkled on top.

If you’re just looking for bites to go with the wines, the unassuming marinated olives, spiced almonds, house made charcuterie, and sourdough bread (served with butter so good you can eat it on its own), are all great accompaniments that will surprise and delight.

The drinks: Natural wine lovers will naturally find plenty to enjoy here. There’s an extensive and ever-changing list of natural reds and whites to choose from depending on supply, plus a small selection of beer-wine hybrids for those who enjoy both category of drinks. All wines only go by the bottle, but there’ll be a choice vino or two going by the glass depending on how Head Sommelier Josée Yeomans assesses the crowd that evening. You’ll unlikely find a familiar label here, but thankfully, Yeomans is one amicable sommelier who is more than happy to share about her collection with you.

When it comes to the wines, Le Bon Funk sets itself apart even from other natural wine spots like Wine RVLT and Open Farm Community (both great establishments) thanks to Yeomans’ sourcing strategy. She learns about both winemaker and wine before deciding, and watches over the delivery chain to ensure the wines make it to our shores the way she wants it.

Why you’ll be back: If you enjoy natural wines and casual fine fare served in a bustling, warm setting, it’s a no brainer that you’ll enjoy this place again and again. There aren’t many of its kind in Singapore and Le Bon Funk has set a standard difficult to replicate.