2 Months ago at the Milan Expo, it was rather hot and i walked past a curious looking stall. Upon a closer look it was a display of various toppings and there was quite a que.
So what you do is you pay at the counter if my memory serves me right it was 5 Euros, and we can choose between white, milk or dark chocolate and they dip your choice of magnum flavor into the bubbling chocolate. Then you choose from the dozens of toppings. Nuts, marshmallows, sprinkles, cookies, brownies, you name it they got it! I think it’s a very good concept, but people will probably try it once since 5 Euros for an icream bar is a bit pricey though its a great experience!
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!!
Being Thai, i have never really felt an affection to “Touristy” Thai food. See the thing is, i never felt like i needed to pay astronomical amounts of money for a dish that i can pick up on the street for i dunno a few bucks and cooked by a nice old granny but ok.. My mother was watching tv and this restaurant was featured on a show so of course off we went. This little restaurant is actually a herbal upscale spa, with a little 10 table restaurant on the side. Palm Herbal Cuisine is the choice for Japanese expats and housewife’s judging from the Japanese menus available. Each dish was beautifully presented i must admit, although the taste was still rather authentic i preferred a more spicy intense taste. The only thing that will prevent me from returning to this place is purely pricing. Thai and Chinese people do not eat food separately, we usually do a sharing thing. Most of the time we order a plethora of appetizers, entrees or fruits which is placed in the middle of the table. If we are in a very formal setting the younger ones wait for the older persons to help themselves first, but luckily our family is very informal.
Tamarind Chilli paste with fried gourami fish and served with fresh veggies.
If you look closes, that’s morning glory thats like tied in a bundle, the white stuff i think is galangal, and the little big berries you se on top are different types of eggplants. The zig zaggy thing on top is thai winged beans, crunchy and tastes kinda like our string beans but alot milder. Tamarind is extremely sour and this now rather hard to find, it’s part royal cuisine and really traditional thai food.
This is really a family favorite, it’s fish cakes, it’s made from pounded fish mean and red curry paste with bits of string bean for color. Usually they serve it in big patties but at this restaurant they really made it dainty and pretty. Its usually eaten with a sweet chilli sauce with fresh cucumbers. For presentation they fried either basil or kale leaves on top for a crunchy veggie taste. The fishcakes taste rather mild, like fish balls with a more savory curry paste taste of all the herby roots in the paste. It’s fishy, spicy, chewy taste is a good contrast to the sweet and crunchy dip and eaten with hot rice it’s yummies!
This is called Plaaa Goong, usually when a dish is called a plaaa, it’s served not so cooked. Like a ceviche, usually this dish uses small prawns or shrimps to make it with a sweet red chilli paste (totally different from the ones used to make curry) with lemon grass, shallots and winged beans, but they used a giant river prawn (hence the price tag). The perfectly (Mattoom eggs) Boiled duck eggs with a runny yolk, the giant prawn was a perfect medium rare. Eaten with the blanced eggplant it was a nice balance of all the flavors. This shop has amazing presentation!
Kapi is a thai shrimp paste which is the basis for many of the thai chilli pastes that are used to accompany the dips eaten at the table. Not the paste for cooking the curries. Every household would have their own receipe of pounding the paste which would be the pride of the lady of the house. It is served with both fresh vegetables and veggies fried in an omelet style. It was always made luxurious with the addition of mackerel fish and mackerel fish only because the flavours complemented each other perfectly. Now at Palm Cuisine, it was nice but served in a central thai taste, more sweet. I prefer the fiery taste of the south, so it’s really a perception and preference but all in all it was a homey yummy dish.
Kaeng Kiew Waan Neua – Sweet green beef curry, eat it quick before the beef over cooks! Flavored with pea sized eggplants, which explodes in a bittery mouthful if you bite into it. This is was wonderful, creamy, spicy with a coconuty hit with the beef, yummy over hot hot rice. It is everyone’s dish which is always offered on the streets to thai haute cuisine. You can not miss this dish!
This is really just a dish that screams luxury. Chunks of crab stir fried with egg and spring onions, nothing else, just let the crab shine. And wow does the dish shine!!!
The whole world knows Tom Yam Goong, well this is a traditional recipe. One that uses tamerind instead of lime so it’s flavor and a more in depth dimensional taste to it, made with free range farm chickens, the only addition to it that scared me were unborn eggs. See the yolk? Yeah scary. I didn’t eat it , just tasted the soup which was WOW btw….
They had a choice of desserts in their cake care, so we chose 2. Notice how i like my strawberry and cream! Imagine sinking in one of those chairs. So comfy and cutesy!
Imagine, a ripe mango a delicate balance of sweet and sour. Delicious sticky rick and a freezing coconut cream ice cream. Wouldn’t you just sigh when you look at it? OMG right???
It was a beautiful meal, if you were going to spend a bunch of money on fancy poncy thai cuisine, i’d say come here, they do serve great traditional thai food. Service was excellent and chairs comfy and homey. I would recommend getting a reservation though!
Great little gem. I would give it a B, minimal looking place, nice decor very cosy and great service. A bit hard to find but a great place for lunch. Upon arrival we were greeting with a welcome cocktail. Boozy, fruity cold and refreshing.
They offer quite alot of choices for a set lunch. I like that, usually you get a 2 – 3 choice in most lunch sets, there’s quite a variety to suit every picky eater.
Complimentary: Mushroom espresso
I liked the creamy mushroomy goodness. Too bad it was an espresso cup i could have devoured a bowl!
I mopped up the soup with the warm hearty bread, i loved the garliky, herby butter.
Starter: Pan seared scallops, Truffle Vinaigrette, Pistachio Pesto & Arugula
I admit it was beautifully presented and looked too good for words. A pair of decent sized scallops came perfectly seared, alas, it appeared that the scallops were soaked in brine either to plump up or some weird cooking technique i’m not aware of but it made the scallops unbearably salty. I liked the pesto, bitterish, nutty it was a good contrast i’m just so sad it was salty.
Main Course: 16 hour braised US short rib, creamy polenta, mushroom and spinach. Melt in the mouth, rich and delicious. I would have preferred a thicker gravy since polenta is rather delicate in nature and maybe something crunchy for a different texture. I like bittery foods, so the spinach was a great addition. I would liked more of it but surprisingly the dish was rather fillling.
My Friends Main Course: Pan roasted striploin, sunchoke, greens, tomatoes, sherry vinegar.
It was the same dish on the cover of the menu! I really need to come back to taste this dish. It looks so so so yummy, smelt delicious, beautifully seared, and plump looking tomatoes. I love love the presentation.
Desserts: Mine was a Vanilla Panna Cotta, Morello Cheeries with Brandy and Cornflakes, and my friend had the banana loaf, caramelized banana, and vanilla ice cream. My friend said his dessert was perfect, mine was over powered by the sourness of the cherries. It was so sharp that i couldn’t finish my dessert. The panna cotta was yummy but too bad the topping killed it. I liked the crunchy of the cornflakes, and the coffee was excellent. I liked the luxury of 2 types of sugar, i felt that it was attention to detail. It was 39.90 per person for lunch. It’s a luxury lunch but in singapore i thought it was reasonable.