Because: cocktails + food = fun
Claim to fame: Pairing well-crafted cocktails with a skillfully prepared tasting menu
Reason to go: It’s not everyday you find a high-end restaurant that doesn’t take itself too seriously
To look out for: State of the art cooking gadgets cranking out ethereal creations
Singapore’s enfant terrible of avant-garde cooking, Ryan Clift, has no intention of playing by everybody else’s rules. And that’s just why we love this UK-born, Marco-Pierre White alum and former head chef at Melbourne’s Vue de Monde whose passion for cocktail slinging is only surpassed by his collection of high-tech cooking gadgets.
It’s a straight-forward approach, Clift has done away with such trivialities as menus, instead he offers two prix-fixe options; Classic and Gourmand, the latter, as the name suggests, being more extensive. His kitchen is a madcap lab where this renegade chef pulls off culinary feats with an impressive array of sophisticated equipment, including a sound wave sonifyer, a distiller and an evaporator. Clift’s take on mom’s cauliflower is slicked with cheese sauce, miraculously infused with sound waves, and topped with a trio of fungi; porcini, shimeji and black truffle. Asian aromas waft from a tom yum mousse with crisp curry leaves and textures of coriander and freshly grated coconut. So called “umami wagyu”, aka A4 Toriyama beef, is a marbled wonder served alongside Japanese Momotaro tomato, pickled Jerusalem artichoke, Hokkaido burrata infused with horseradish and a sheet of briny kombu-cured wagyu. Razor clam broth with milk-braised purple brittany garlic is a fixture on the Gourmand menu, its flavors linger on the palate like a wave of milky-soothing sea foam. This cuisine could be all about technique, yet each course is carefully created to underscore the essence of the ingredients, sometimes amped up with a smidgen of Asian exoticism.
We give Tippling Club bonus points for putting the Tom Waits tune Singapore on their website, it’s an obvious nod to this establishment’s sense of humor and irreverence. Their cocktail menu is designed to wake distant childhood memories through the medium of aromas, as such they have collaborated with International Flavours & Fragrances, a company known for their innovation of sensory experiences. Located in Tanjong Pagar, the restaurant occupies a traditional shop house, the green-swathed space features a lounge, a dining room boasting a marble-topped counter, and an upstairs private dining area.