Friday, May 23, 2014

Lunch at the much-hyped Tippling Club

Hey when it's time to talk business, the lion reaches into the deepest and darkest recesses of his uncanny mind hoping to alleviate what would normally be a "dry" (you'll get the drift if know him well) lunch with a promising dining experience. This time round, he did not have to go into a constipated mode. He simply thought that hey, one of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2014  would surely deliver the goods. Together with the good-natured Mr Stevie Wonder and Mr LHP among others, they ventured to

Yes, keep this image in mind cos there ain't even a whisper of the restaurant's name at the entrance. Well, maybe just an almost invisible hint of it at the glass window. Yup, like what a great Chinese sage used to say, "Observe humility. You'll never get anywhere shouting your name". Nowadays, it's the reverse it seems. Feted for its experimental and ultra-progressive cuisine, this restaurant can snottily choose to unveil itself only to people in the know. Enuff of the philosophical rubbish, it's time for food. 

No silly, this isn't part of the condiments. It's an arty cushion inspired by
basic ingredients in the kitchen to place your cutlery.
A single leaf in a glass - wabi-sabi refinement at the table.
After spending 5 years at its former lusher locale at Dempsey Hill, the restaurant
admirably tries to retain elements of green and wood in its decor at the busy
Tanjong Pagar district. It's one of the better restaurant ids that the lion has seen
in a while. Check out the colourful Jackson Pollock lookalikes on the walls.
The greys of the raw industrial chic look have become quite dull and drab
(not punning!); but it's still the boring trend du jour at most new cafes and
restaurants on the island. Glad this place deviates from that.
The lion got an adrenaline rush watching all the action (lots of serious faces)
happening in the open concept kitchen.
Thank you and you and you for the meal that we're about to partake... ...
Very cool here in the kitchen. No frenzied shouts or mad scramble for pots
and pans.
Since introducing the lunch menu, its locale in the Central Business District
translates to a packed lunch crowd. 
Ok we may commence... ...
One, two, three, four complimentary amuse-bouches in all that the lion enjoyed
for the lunch set. First up, a curry mouse topped with rice crispies
and curry leaves. This is inspired by the local Hainanese Curry Chicken dish.
Very mild though in spices and heat.
The lovely sheen on the glob of wasabi mayo... ...
Ahem... cheeky Mr LHP remarked that the charred bell peppers coated in
squid ink infused tempura batter looked like &*%.
It tasted better than it looked but nothing mind-boggling lah.
A palate cleanser of chilled tomato consomme sipped
through a straw of basil oil.
Yes, you can prolly guess at the appeal of this restaurant;
every dish was a visual treat.
Appetiser of Wagyu Tartare (+$15 supplement) had excellent marbling.
Mix the egg in.
Watercress Soup with 62 degree egg and truffle fondue.
Very unique way of presenting the nourishing Oriental broth usually lovingly
prepared by doting mums at home. Love Tippling Club's creamy version.
Appetiser of Celeriac with confit bascalao, garlic cream and parsley emulsion.
This was an interesting dish with very grassy flavours. This will please vegetarians
but the meat-loving lion thought it paled in comparison to the wagyu tartare.
Main of Lamb Rump with minted broad beans and rosemary jus.
Nicely pinked and tender at medium rare with slight gaminess.
Boston Lobster main (+$18 supplement) with new season vegetables, aromatic
herbs and pisto consomme. Clean flavours highlighting the freshness of the lobster.
But nothing memorable.
Textures of Milk Dessert: a brittle candy, a milky doughy blob scorched at the
top and milk sorbet.
Dessert of Mandarin: orange sorbet with pumpkin and crystallised pistachios.
Prolly the best dessert out of the three tasted.
The straightforward dessert of Cherry Souffle and mini Dark Chocolate
Magnum encasing a raspberry sorbet.
Petits Fours.
Over-priced coffee, skip this... ...
Some filming taking place ... ...
Helmed by the charismatic chef, Ryan Clift, the meal was overall surprisingly under-whelming (after all the hype) for all at the table. Visually strong but taste-wise just slightly above average fine-dining fare.  But perhaps some might disagree. 

Tippling Club
38 Tanjong Pagar Road
Singapore 088461
Tel: 6475 2217

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