Diners who may find themselves hit with high corkage fees
Diners who prefer to bring their own wine may find themselves hit with high corkage fees
Corkage fees for diners who bring their own wines to restaurants has hovered at about $25 to $40 for years, with some upmarket eateries charging about $50.
But these days, some restaurants are charging as much as $100 a bottle. This includes new restaurant Bacchanalia at the Masonic Club in Coleman Street, which opened last month.
The restaurant could not respond by press time when asked the rationale behind its charges, one of the highest in Singapore. Wines there range in price from about $70 to $5,000 a bottle.
Wine corkage refers to the fee that restaurants, which sell and serve wines and alcoholic beverages, charge diners who bring their own bottles of wine to be consumed on the premises. The act of bringing one's own bottles is commonly known as BYOB or BYO, which is an acronym that stands for "bring your own bottle", or simply "bring your own".
"We have not charged corkage since we opened in 1998... Our selling point is our food, and we offer wine as a service to our customers, that is why we do not charge corkage."
MR HO KIN FUNG, general manager of Jade Palace Seafood Restaurant, on the establishment's free corkage service
BYOB FOR FREE
JADE PALACE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
What: No corkage fees even though it has a wine list of more than 150 labels.
Where: Forum The Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road, B1-13, tel: 6732-6628
Open: 11am to 3pm, 6 to 10pm, daily
CRYSTAL JADE PALACE RESTAURANT
What: The fine-dining Cantonese restaurant offers 350 wines from all over the world. There is no charge for the first two bottles of wine. Thereafter, corkage is priced at $20 a bottle. Other Crystal Jade outlets with the same policy include Crystal Jade Golden Palace and Crystal Jade Dining In.
Where: Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road, 04-19, tel: 6735-2388
Open: 11.30am to 2.30pm (weekdays), 11am to 2.45pm (Saturdays), 10.30am to 2.45pm (Sundays). 6 to 10.30pm, daily
BEDROCK BAR & GRILL
What: The grill does not charge corkage fees on Mondays for up to four bottles of wine. Thereafter, as well as on other days, corkage costs $30 a bottle.
Where: Pan Pacific Serviced Suites, 96 Somerset Road, 01-05, tel: 6238-0054
Open: Noon to 2.30pm, 6 to 10.30pm, (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays
THE DISGRUNTLED CHEF
What: The European restaurant has free corkage on Tuesdays. On other days, corkage is priced at $35 a bottle for reds and whites; $50 a bottle for sparkling wines and champagne.
Where: 26B Dempsey Road, tel: 6476-5305
Open: Noon to 2.30pm (Tuesdays to Saturdays), noon to 2.30pm (Sundays), 6 to 10.30pm (Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays), 6 to 11.30pm (Fridays and Saturdays)
What: Corkage fee at $50 a bottle, but waived if the diner purchases a bottle from Iggy's. It offers a selection of 2,500 wines, mostly from Burgundy. About 10 per cent of the wines on the list are priced below $100 a bottle.
Where: Hilton Singapore, 581 Orchard Road, tel: 6732-2234
Open: Noon to 1.30pm (weekdays), 7 to 9.30pm (Mondays to Saturdays). Closed on Sundays and selected public holidays.
What: The upmarket French restaurant has an extensive wine list with more than 2,000 references. It charges $80 a bottle for corkage. The fee is waived if diners purchase a bottle from the restaurant. About 15 per cent of its wines are priced below $200.
Where: Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, 02-16, tel: 6733-2225
Open: Noon to 2pm, 7 to 9.30pm (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays
LUKE'S OYSTER BAR & CHOP HOUSE
What: Corkage for one bottle is waived when one bottle is purchased from the restaurant. Diners can bring a maximum of two 750ml bottles of wine a table. Corkage is charged at $65 a bottle. Bottles larger than 750ml will be charged according to volume.
Where: 20 Gemmill Lane, tel: 6221-4468
Open: Noon to midnight (Mondays to Saturdays)
What: The restaurant offers a one-for-one policy on BYO wines. Corkage is charged at $35 a bottle if no wine is purchased at the restaurant.
Where: 20 Teck Lim Road, tel: 6224-3933 (no reservations)
Open: 6pm to midnight (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays