You can’t but envy Faizal Zainudin.
For three consecutive years – 2016, 2017 & 2018 – the Singaporean was one of four sommeliers working at the 150-capacity Mouton-Cadet Club & Wine Bar during the annual Cannes Film Festival.
Celebrities would pop in for a drink, lunch or dinner.
Faizal poured wines to – including – Will Smith, Fan Bing Bing, Eva Green and Robert de Niro.
‘I was lucky. I met someone in Singapore running the programme for the Wine Bar. That was how I got the assignment.’
Before that, in 2014, French-speaking Faizal worked two months in Paris at le Rivolux, a popular Bohemian café resto at 16 rue de Rivoli.
Today, Faizal is Sommelier of Butcher’s Block, the smart level 2 restaurant at the Raffles that is next door to their iconic Long Bar. Prior to joining the hotel, he was sommelier and assistant manager at Le Bistrot du Sommelier in Singapore for some four years.
Although back in his home country, Faizal remains very much under French influence.
The Raffles, owned by Qataris, is managed by France and one of the world’s largest hotel management groups, namely Accor.
The 33-year-young wine professional holds Level 2 certification from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is responsible for the wine list at Butcher’s Block.
Recently, the restaurant introduced Somm’s Table.
Every Wednesday and Thursday – 6 to 7pm – guests who opt for the Somm’s Table experience will be seated at the special Sommelier’s Table. Here, they enjoy a curated flight of wines from a featured winery.
The exclusive and, literally, high table accommodates up to 5 guests (that being the legal maximum because of Covid) and is surrounded by the wine library. It is both a gustatory and sensorial experience.
Faizal, naturally, will be in attendance to share the stories behind the featured wines. To enhance the experience, he will also recommend dishes from Butcher’s Block BBQ menu. Being the exemplary sommelier he is, Faizal will take into consideration the preferences of the guests in order to best match the wines with the food.
This first edition of Somm’s Table (started in the last week of November) ends 17 December 2020.
You will enjoy four can’t-put-down cuvées from Champagne Billecart-Salmon. The quartet of wines is priced at $118++ per guest.
Subsequent editions of Somm’s Table will showcase different wineries specially selected by Faizal and Stephane Soret, Director of Wines at Raffles Hotel Singapore.
Pairings Recommended by Faizal Zainudin