The word “surprising” aptly summarizes our Tippling Club experience. Everything on the menu had an irreverent twist to it.
Right from the beginning, our notion of how delectable food should look was subverted. For starters, we were presented with two charred, twig-like looking objects and the first thought that hit us was, “Hey, is this overcooked?”. Upon assurance of the waitstaff, we used the tweezers and gingerly picked up the twigs. Alas, juicy bell peppers were revealed after the crisp, charcoal exterior crumbled in our mouths.
Being a sucker for seafood, the creamy Razor Clams with Purple Garlic and Parsley Root, presented in an avocado-lookalike bowl won us over. This dish was comfort food, and it was perfect that the cream did not overpower the freshness of the clams. Speaking of strange vessels, in the next instant, we were presented with a test tube and were told to take a shot of Tomato Water through the straw of basil oil. Fascinating.
But the fascination does not stop there. Inspired by chicken curry, the Curry Espuma was a delightful surprise. The curry was whipped into a thick paste, and garnished with condiments that had the texture of styrofoam, which entered our mouths as a warm implosion of flavour with hints of curry by the spoonful.
The only gripe we had was with the Beetroot with Oxtail, Horseradish and Sorrel juice, as the richness of the oxtail was not adequately brought out by the beetroot which overpowered the dish. The Pigeon Breast with Celery, Goats curd and Preserved Lemon did not sit well with us either, as we found the pigeon breast a tad dry and not as moist or succulent as we hoped it would be. Presentation-wise for the mains, however, was once again, sublime.
A couple of main courses later, we finally reached the dessert stretch which hit all the right notes. Starting with the Textured Milk – a brilliant mix of sheep’s milk ice cream and frothy coconut milk sago, arranged like a zen, pyramidal fortress, with touches of green foilage embellishing the dish.
Following that, we were presented with a mini-ball that had the texture of the moon, Blood Peach Meteorite contained peach sorbet which oozed into our mouths when the black crater was cracked. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Ka-pow, the efferverscent Fizz Bomb was not only good to look at, it popped in our mouths to reveal an eclectic mix of strawberry and passion fruit.
Forgot to take your meds? Tippling Club offers a good substitute – Cheese Prescription, where a handful of fiesty cheese tablets are placed in a pill bottle.
Next, we were presented with what looked like a dry sponge. Oh boy, were we in for yet another surprise when we bit into the White Chocolate Frozen Air with Gluhwein – which had quite literally, the texture of air. It disappeared into nothingness the moment it hit the roofs of our mouths. We have not tasted anything as ephmeral as this before, and will definitely come back for seconds.
Chef Ryan Clift likes to innovate and improve the existing menu in his in-house, ultra-modern R&D kitchen, so do not expect to be presented the same dishes as we had above. Deftly varying texture and shape, everything on the menu had a playful, eccentric twist to it. What particularly stood out for us were the desserts at Tippling Club which were mindblowingly brilliant. Any meal would not be complete without alcohol, and we were happy to find out Tippling Club’s bartenders could whip up a mean cocktail too.
Tippling Club is critically acclaimed, and had been recently awarded the 23rd spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014. Accolades aside, the Tippling Club’s new home at Tanjong Pagar is vibrant and welcoming.
The recent move from Dempsey Hill to Tanjong Pagar gave Tippling Club an additional boost in visibility, so be sure to make reservations to avoid disappointment. They are slated to open an exclusive dining area, featuring a $30,000 chandelier, which will accomodate a party of 10.
This tasting was done independently.
38 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088461, Tel: +65 6475 2217
Opening Hours: Lunch 12-3pm (Mon-Fri), Dinner 6pm-11pm (Mon-Sat), Bar 12pm-12am (Mon-Sat), Closed Sun