|Tippling Club – menu and details|
Every time I go to Singapore, even if it’s just for a few days, I make it a point to try a new restaurant. Sometimes it’s fine dining like when I had lunch with a friend at Iggys in April or just fun dining when we splurged on a Japanese robatayaki meal at Akanoya last November. On our last trip a few weeks ago, we had dinner at the Tippling Club.
Tippling Club is a funky bunker in hip and happening Dempsey Hill. It’s basically a steel tent covered structure that looks like it could be packed up in a day. The interiors are simple, with a large counter dominating the whole room with lots of stools lined up. Right behind the counter is a large metal rack where liquor bottles hang from s-hooks like an art installation but which in fact is their actual working bar where their famous cocktail concoctions are prepared. Further down the middle are several open shelves filled with identical-looking labeled brown glass bottles filled with powders, spices and all sorts of ingredients. Towards the back is the bright open kitchen where British chef Ryan Clift sends out his experimental creations. On the other end of the bar is another large metal rack where more bottles hang from s-hooks. These ones are for members of the Tippling Society who purchase the liquor at a discounted price and then leave their bottles there for when they come over for a drink and join the monthly cocktail-paired tasting menu.
|Tippling Club Amuse-Bouches|
Tippling Club is open only for dinner (except for Saturdays where a reasonably-priced lunch menu is also served for S$55++). There are about tow dozen seats at the counter where the two tasting menus are served: the five-course Classic menu (S$145++ or S$230++) or the ten-course Gourmand menu (S$240++ or S$390++) – the first price for just the food and the second one when paired with cocktails and wines. We all chose the Classic non-pairing menu but switched the first course of Ocean trout with the Gourmand menu’s foie gras and apple. From their extensive wine list, we chose a Pinot noir, the 2008 Bouchard Pere et Fils, Beaune du Chateau, 1er cru (S$165) to accompany our meal. Before we started, J also chose a vodka martini that was served smoking from a classic glass – a sign of the food and drinks alchemy to come.
We started out with several amuse-bouches (tiny appetizers) that came one after another: the first came in a glass yogurt container and was a yellow-colored curry flavored mousse topped with dehydrated yogurt crystals and mint – it was served at room temperature and was an like a modern take on classic Indian flavors. Next up, and the most unforgettable starter of the meal, were two fried Spanish green peppers served on a slate with what looked like a raw egg-yolk and surprisingly, some metal tweezers. The crispy hot and slightly spicy pepper was to be dipped in the yellow wasabi-soy egg-yolk looking sauce. The flavor combination of the two was stunning and such a creative way to present a traditional Spanish dish and give it an Asian-inspired twist. Three other one-of-a-kind amuse-bouches followed (as you can see what was supposed to be a five-course menu is in fact, ten courses when all the tiny starters are added too): vichysoisse, cold potato soup, in a glass tube with some caviar on jelly, then there was the pickled quail egg on a bed of powder and finally, a tiny glass beaker filled with a clear liquid of tomato soup that was to be sipped using a basil-infused straw.
|Tippling Club Classic Five-course Tasting Menu|