Tippling Club, Singapore 2014
"Are you dining with us this evening? Don't sit out here in the heat, get inside!". Those are the words from Ryan Clift (owner and chef) to us when we're sitting outside his restaurant Tippling Club. As per usual, we've arrived early for our reservation; normally not a problem— but since our time in Singapore is limited, we've squeezed in a lunch— and it's definitively hot in Singapore at lunchtime (and we didn't want to arrive in "summer-wear" to an as talked about restaurant as Tippling Club).
Tippling club is a trendy and hip restaurant and bar with the energetic Australian chef Ryan Clift behind the concepts and creations. It has recently relocated to a more centralised location (in the midst of Chinatown). Straight up though, Ryan makes us feel welcome and happy to be here. We're seated at the bar overlooking the kitchen. There's definitively a nice vibe going on here.
We're quickly given a chicken & curry mousse. It has texture and packs a lot of flavour. It's fun and energetic. Even though it's only a pre-starter, it says a lot about the type of restaurant Tippling club aspires to be. It's creative, without being pretentious. This is a hard balance— but Tippling Club sets out great from the get-go.
The charred peppers with soya miso mousse clearly gets the taste buds going, distinct and sharp flavour. Bold! The basil gazpacho is a great palette cleanser— and the fact that it's served in a "test-tube" once again shows the "fun" side of Tippling Club, which has (wrongly) been coined as working in the field of "molecular gastronomy"— but we don't get this feeling, this is simply guided food in a creative way.
The lunch menu has a lot of great items, and we love the punchy flavours in everything. It's a great joy seeing the kitchen staff compile the dishes in front of us. As the risotto-dish is plated, one of the chefs lightly "strikes" the plate to make the risotto "jump", and in that process the plate shatters into pieces. This leaves a a rather surprised chef (and an added event to the lunch for us). A new one is however quickly prepared (most ingredients are vacuum-packed and handled just when they need to be).
The menu is ended with two great deserts, where the dish with textures of cardamom and blood orange steals the show. As we're both big lovers of texture in food, every bite is filled with dried/caramelised and crunchy bites together with ice cream & foam; it makes every bite a delight.
We would hang out at Tippling club a lot if we lived in Singapore. Fun and energetic food, that packs a punch. Great experimental cocktails and a great vibe. This is the best lunch menu we've had and a fantastic start to our time in Singapore.