Modern cuisine is something people imagine to be just like on tv. Alot of smoke, and foams and nitrogen, and anti freeze, and weird kitchen concoctions that look like an abstract painting. I think it all comes down to taste. In Bangkok the best i’ve ever tasted and is still high in my dictionary is none other than Chef Gaggan. Until recently i came to Singapore and finally got to have the lunch at Tippling Club. I would say there are some similarities in their cuisine, the beautiful fusion of different cultures and their genius touch. Other than that the food is wildly different. Chef Ryan should really be considered as the best Modernist cuisine in Singapore.
Starting off the experience was the first amuse bouche:
Its the Chefs interpretation of the local curry. A cute small jar with what looks like a custardy colored foam with some puffed rice arrives with a small spoon. My dad, the Honkie very suspicious of “Gweilo” foods, especially weird foods with foams poked it with his spoon and said “What food are we having again?” (He’s the double boiled black chicken type of dad) I was inspecting my “foam” when i heard him scraping his own jar. The “foam” had the delicate touch of a great tasting curry, more yellow curry with a hint of the coconut cream. The savory, sweet, creamy was perfectly balanced and then you get the crunch of the puffed rice. Seriously. It set the bar intensely high.
And then this arrivied:
Exactly my thoughts, what is that burnt thing? Apparently it’s a chilli in some kind of a coating which is yes according to our eye is burnt, tar, charcoal etc. The blob is a soy sauce wasabi mayo if i’m not mistaken. The tree of us exchanged looks and gingerly used the tongs to have a taste. Thought flash…. It should taste burnt, bitter, yucky. But it wasnt! I dont know why, it’s all dark all the way through. Really, all black and inside was like a chilli pepper, roasty and savory and soft, the mayo was a tad too salty for me so we used really little of the dip. My dad kept saying, but it’s burnt but it’s burnt!!! I really really want to know how the (*^&%^*$)%$) did chef ryan manage it!!! A stroke of genius and skill!!!
Our palate cleanser was a tomato water and basil and olive oil. Tastes like tomato, basil and olive oil, it was refreshing and cute. I think this one was more of a beauty for the eyes. I think the oils were in the double layered shot glass already i jsut recall them pouring it infront of us and the green and yellow droplets were floating around everywhere. Very lovely presentation.
Now on to the first course! Yabbies, cucumber gazpacho and pan cristal.
I actually forgot that gazpacho was a cold soup. Well i didn’t really forget i was more concentrating on the yabbie part which is like a large shrimp. I figured my dad thought it was more like a salad, with big shrimp and green goo as a sauce. The yabbies were fresh, and nicely flavored, i think the cucumber gazpacho must have had some bell pepper in helping with the body. It didn’t have that nasty cucumber greeny smell you sometimes get with cucumber. It was refreshing with a hint of sour and a nice smooth texture. Dad didn’t complain. At all.
Mum’s was the steak tartare. The presentation was exquisite, really nice, i can’t taste the truffles tho (truffled egg yolk) but to me the really tough part of making a tartare is getting the condiments and seasonings right. It’s hard. So far there has been only 2 steak tartare where me and my mom didn’t adjust the seasonings, one is Chez Pape in Bangkok and one is Paris. Here is the third. It was so perfectly balanced, spicy, sweet and meaty goodness with the mustardy tasting crispy baguette. Seriously one of the best tartare ever!!!
Now this dish looks like a work of art. The veal shavings was frozen, the hot potato balls were piping hot and cheesy and crunchy, with a salty savory squid ink underneath. It was a interesting mouth feel with the hot and cold, savory and floury cheesy hotness. Yum. The salty and soury capers added a nice touch to the dish and the carrots and nice sweet freshness. Beautiful dish.
I like my lamb medium rare and soft now tough and chewy. IT was juice, bloody with a delicious velvety mash to go with it. The rosemary and mint jus was not overpowering and helped elevate the taste. The mini peas were a nice popping texture in the mouth. I like how the food arrived hot, some places with the wait and the thin slices, it arrives cold and i hate that. Can’t find a problem with this place. Seriously.
Upon reading the menu and we are from Thailand what would you think? Salt water Barramuni, green curry puree, aubergine caviar, compressed celery and tom kha veloute. Like green curry and tom kha together?? Are you sick in the head? In thailand there are two very different dishes, the green curry is made from a green curry paste and fried with a coconut cream then you add your thai eggplants etc etc. It’s a sweet, spicy heavy curry to be eaten with rice or rice noodles. Tom Kha is like a delicate coconut cream soup with hints of galangal and sour and spice but delicate. It’s kinda like bryan adams vs kiss.
Fish was perfectly cooked, piping hot and juice with a crispy skin. You can taste the sweet tangy green curry somewhere and the foamy Tom Kha i presume was soury which is probably like a lemon with your fish. Even my dad said it was delicious. Really, Green Curry and Tom Kha in the same dish. Perfection!
Now for the showcase, well all of the were showcases but i would give it to the dish where it would seem so simple, yet card to cook perfectly but to leave such a footprint in your memory.
The chicken was like a soft delicate tofu with a bite, the foie gras added such richness and decadence to the dish, making this ordinary chicken worthy a place alongside a tomahawk steak. The richness of the mushroom and the weird chocalate looking and taste feel like sauce really hit a home run. My dad said it was the best tasting chicken he’s ever tasted. It really was.
And it’s not even over!!!!!!!!!!!! Now on to dessert!
Confit Mandarin and Olive oil Cheese Cake with carmelised yogurt and thyme. It’s soo weird, but in a good way, it was like eating a frozen cheese cake, the sour, sweet creamy was a great balance. I didn’t get to taste the white sheet thingy but i’m sure it was lovely. It’s like a healthy beautiful deconstructed cheesecake of some sort. Sooo goood.
Personally, i’m not a fan of pistachio, sometimes i feel like it tastes like amaretto, but it came with a mini magnum, and the souffle was piping hot and beautifully risen, it didn’t collapse too. Nice combo again, hot and cold. My dad loved it, he loves the amaretto taste.
The only part i didn’t like or it wasnt bad, cute playful presentation on Chef’s part. The cornflake box was personally printed with the shop and his name on it. So funny!
See the big T instead of a K? hahahaha funny!!! Maybe because it was called strawberries and cream, i expected like a cheesecake or strawberries with cream. It was more like a breakfast cereal, i liked the hint of goats cheese which was a nice touch in contradiction with the freeze dried strawberries which was ohhh soo sour!! So aybe that’s why i felt that it was a bit weird….
We were all full and stuffed by the end of the meal and we had come petit fours with our coffee… Again beautifully presented, and rich chocolate and ganaches…
The bill came to 270 sg dollars – roughly 6750 baht, which is really pricey for Thai standards even for a dinner, but really it was worth every every penny. I loved that he had the same concept as Chef Gaggan – Avant Garde cuisine and affordable pricing. I mean you could save up and come enjoy without missing your home mortgage even if you were still a first jobber. Both my parents were happy and laughing and saying we need to bring our sister here. That’s high praise for a conservative daddy who’s actually eaten more haute cuisine than i ever had. Seriously if you had one meal in Singapore, hightail it to Tippling Club!!