Tippling Club – Chef Ryan Clift’s Creations Still Playful & Unexpected
The Tippling Club which had been around Dempsey Hill for 5 years, first caught my attention when it was ranked on The Miele Guide Asia’s Top 20, right behind Les Amis and Restaurant Andre in 2013. That put it on my ‘want-to-try’ list. (Updated: Tippling Club is ranked No 36 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015)
Chef-Owner Ryan Clift has moved the Tippling Club to a more accessible Tanjong Pagar Road, across 3 shophouses on 34, 36, and 38 (near the Korean BBQ shops).
The space is inviting, you walk straight into the floor bar for an after-work cocktail called “Low Profile Fashion Choices” – so me.
Though the main feature is when you turn right into a dining room built around an open kitchen, where you can feel the adrenalin behind the kitchen, while still enjoying the creations in a part-casual, part-intimate setting.
Tippling Club’s main highlight (other than the charismatic chef) is the food, serving tasting menus such as the Classic Menu (six courses for S$160++) or Gourmand Menu (12 courses for S$265++). Two or three course lunch sets will also be available at the new Tanjong Pagar location.
For those unfamiliar with Chef Ryan Clift’s food, it has been described as “modern gastronomy”, “ever-evolving”, “cutting-edge” and “avant-garde”. If I may, in simpler terms – playful and unexpected. But do not ever use the word “molecular” on him, he hates that word.
Case in point. A Curry Espuma encapsulated in a small bottle, inspired by local Hainanese chicken curry; its signature amuse bouche are a pair of black charred bell peppers dipped in soy; a beef tendon looking like keropok cracker; tomato water placed in test tubes drank by straw, and cheese cakes looking like pills placed in prescription bottles. (I left some of the pictures out because you should experience it yourself rather than give the fun away.)
Some would say it is pretentious; some would cheer with ecstasy. One man meat’s is another’s poison.
I thoroughly enjoyed some of the creations, namely the Omelette with Smoked Eel and Caviar which has a perfect blend of the various ingredients, Razor Clams with purple garlic and parsley root; the Venison with an Onion Nettle which some of us call “the best onion ring in the world”.
Good news bad news. We loved some parts of the menu that we craved for more, but it didn’t feel enough. The Tippling Club is some parts dramatic, some parts exceptional.
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 Reserve now
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