Compare Jessi Singh's new Flinders Lane wine bar, Mrs Singh, to his restaurant Daughter in Law around the corner, and you'd be forgiven for thinking they're similar.
Both have vivid palettes, velvet upholstery and serve lunchtime thalis with a multitude of curries, flatbreads and pickles. You'll spot repeats of snacks like gol gappa (dubbed "balls of happiness"), oysters with green mango pickle butter and scallop ceviche with coconut and chilli.
But, according to Singh, the thalis at Daughter in Law proved so popular they were written into Mrs Singh's lease conditions below 101 Collins, and this iteration has a far greater wine focus.
A small, well-stocked bottle shop opens an hour before service until close. Sommelier Dheeraj Bhatia, last seen at Est. in Sydney, can advise what to buy and knows his 270-strong wine list inside-out (ask him what half bottles are available). From Thursday to Saturday, he pushes a gold champagne trolley with bubbles by the glass.
Here, weekday lunches also consist of two curries, pappadums and rice for $10 (upgrade to three with salad and pickles for $15). There are new bar snacks, like a Maine-style lobster roll with curried crisps, Chinese-influence duck paratha pancakes and vindaloo momo pork or vegie dumplings.
While Daughter in Law offers naan pizzas, the inherited pizza oven at Mrs Singh delivers slices of New York-style pie (pepperoni, margherita or fungi) served with a glass of wine for $15 after 10pm, Thursday to Saturday.
There's also an $85 off-menu "car dining" option, where staff run a platter of enough tandoori, salads and kulcha flatbreads to feed a few to your vehicle – the idea is to scoff it in park on Flinders Lane, a habit that's common in India at a lower price tag.
Mrs Singh is open lunch Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm, dinner daily 5pm-late at 88 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, mrssingh.com.au.