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WHERE TO EAT: Tippling Club Singapore

Chef-owner Ryan Clift of Tippling Club specialises in avant-garde gastronomy, and plates out creatively conceptualised dishes with the help of new assistant head chef Ayodeji Adeyemi.

Tomato and basil lava lamp gazpacho, one of Ryan Clift’s many signature snacks and palate cleansers.

It took years for curious customers to finally become somewhat accustomed to Ryan Clift’s avant-garde culinary chops. However, the creative head chef manages to surprise us once again — he has clearly spent hours in his lab-kitchen, probably as busy as popcorn on a skillet, trying to perfect his craft.

Clift’s first Singapore baby Tippling Club, which was birthed at Dempsey Hill nearly a decade ago, moved to the more accessible Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood and has most recently changed up its dining offerings — don’t worry, dishes are still as innovative and “ultra-progressive” as ever.

The award-winning restaurant also brought in a fresh pair of hands and eyes in the form of new assistant head chef Ayodeji Adeyemi, to help curate the visually pleasing and delicious new menu.

Clift says: “I work with a talented bunch at Tippling Club, and now with the assistance of [Adeyemi] at the helm, we will continue to push the culinary boundaries and create an ever-evolving dining experience.”

The boundary-pushing cookery-sorcery is best experienced through Tippling Club’s two new degustation dinner menus: the Classic menu (S$170++ for five courses; S$275++ with pairing) and the Gourmand menu (S$270++ for ten courses; S$430++ with pairing).

In a relaxed bistro-like space with piles of tiles, recycled wood and refined materials, we enjoyed our entrée, which was the refreshing snow crab with bergamot orange, kombu jelly, and black radish. The sea-inspired presentation was elevated with a glass of Ozeki Junmai sparkling sake.

Another dish that tickled our tongues and fancy included the creamy and smooth foie gras, beautifully piped to look like a necklace, topped with gems of white peach and dates served over spiced gaufrette. The right mix of sweet and savoury was achieved in this modern nutty and fruity number. Meats options include a wild turbot and lobster dish, and lamb. For cheese lovers, there’s a daily cheesy creation from the pastry kitchen before one makes room for desserts.

However, in true Tippling Club-tradition, arrays of sweet pre-desserts kept coming our way before we could dig into our final two courses. Three bite-size yummy morsels were served separately, including cheesecake compacted into the proportion of pills, which came in a personalised prescription bottle, as well as some tasty fried pork covered in cocoa — an unusual but clear marriage made in toothsome heaven.

Clift clearly continues his streak of modern culinary artistry and hopefully through his partnership with Adeyemi, whose portfolio includes the UK’s The Hinds Head and Singapore’s tapas bar Esquina, there will be more mind-blowing gastronomy to come.

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