Sunday, July 26, 2015

Experimental Global Cuisine at the Tippling Club - 8th Best Restaurant in Singapore.

To the darling and I, food should be fun above all else. We sometimes do feel that fine dining can be a bit too stifling, a bit pretentious. So we love coming across restaurants like the Tippling Club which doesn't take itself too seriously, and yet serves up food good enough to get the 8th best restaurant in Singapore spot on the Acqua Panna / San Pellegrino list.

Located right smack on Tanjong Pagar road, the open-kitchen restaurant with its adjoining bar is hip and trendy - none of the stuffy, starched napkins and thrice-ironed tablecloths you'd normally expect from fine dining establishments. That's totally fine with us, though; Gives us the chance to just enjoy the food without worrying about which fork to use next or whether we inadvertently commit any dining faux pas.

The Tippling Club Singapore

As is pretty much the norm, dinner prices are out of the reach of our limited dining budget, so we pay a visit during lunchtime for the much cheaper $43 (two-courses) or $58 (three-courses) set lunch. Not mentioned on the menu are a couple of "complimentary" amuse-bouche type snacks, starting with Chef's rendition of the Singapore Curry: Puffed rice (like unflavoured rice krispies) on a light, fluffy, airy curry paste. It's an interesting, yet altogether unfamiliar taste & texture combination.

The Tippling Club Singapore Singapore Curry

Second snack: Smoked and charred peppers with a soy wasabi dip. The black char is, of course, an illusion -- these slices of capsicum aren't actually burnt black. Rather it's in a very light, crispy batter (not unlike a good tempura), blackened perhaps by charcoal or some other food colouring. We liked this quite a bit, but the uneven sprinkling of salt combined with the very salty soy/miso-flavoured dip meant some nibbles were a lot saltier than others.

The Tippling Club Singapore Charcoal Roast Peppers

Before the actual food comes, we're given a palate-cleansing tomato, basil and olive oil ... concoction (for lack of a better word). It's cold, tangy, and very refreshing.

The Tippling Club Singapore Basil Olive Oil

On to the (main) food, then! The first appetizer is the Wagyu Beef Tartare with hazelnuts, mustard paper, truffled egg yolk and a crispy bread that's reminiscent of 油条 (you tiao, dough fritters). While we loved the plating, the presentation and the flavours, we thought that the egg yolk muddied the texture a little bit. In hindsight we might have eaten the beef with just the brioche and ignored the yolk.

The Tippling Club Singapore Beef Tartare

The Pan Seared Foie Gras is a $15 supplement, which we gladly paid because we almost always order foie gras if we see it on the menu. In this rendition the sweetness comes from peach puree (delicious, perfectly balanced with the fat from the liver) and slices of white peach (disappointingly mushy ... but then again we haven't been able to get a single nice, firm, sweet peach in this country up until now).

The Tippling Club Singapore Foie Gras

On the recommendation of the (particularly aloof) waiter, I order the Slow Roasted Mangalica Pork Collar with chanterelles and milk skin. Another imperfect dish: flavours were good, and I thought the milk skin was interesting, but the pork itself was so dry in some parts that I had to lather it liberally with the gravy to compensate.

The Tippling Club Singapore Mangalica Pork Collar

The inconsistency carries over to the Tarragon & Prawn Risotto. The balance of flavours, and the chunky prawns, crispy shrimp and prawn paper were absolutely spot on, but I was disappointed that the rice itself was a tad bit undercooked. It strikes me as a strangely rookie mistake to serve risotto whose rice grains are still a little hard / powdery in the center.

The Tippling Club Singapore Prawn Risotto

Anyways, all is forgiven with the desserts! The Cherry Ripe Souffle comes with a cherry-flavoured chocolate souffle - delicious fluffy cherry-chocolate mousse, and a eye-wateringly sour mini cherry sorbet magnum. I adore sour things so I totally loved it, but if you're not so big a fan then this might not be the best choice of dessert.

The Tippling Club Singapore Cherry Ripe Souffle

Pear Tart 2015 is a delightful play on the senses. You get two slices of (real) pear, and a mock pear sitting on a bed of crushed puff pastry. Well maybe it can't even really be called a mock pear. It's a mound of caramel ice cream / gelee encased by green gel made to look like a pear. We like this a lot - it's playful, it's delightful, but most importantly still tastes delicious.

The Tippling Club Singapore Pear Tart

The meal ends with assorted petit fours - the most notable of which was a rectangle of sweet tofu. Which totally worked and was totally delicious!

The Tippling Club Singapore Petit Fours

Overall, we come away with mixed feelings. While some of the dishes were very imaginative, and the food was overall very good, we were a bit let down by the few shortcomings here and there. Whether it's dry pork, crappy peach or undercooked rice, we felt these were mistakes that a restaurant of this calibre simply shouldn't be making.

Perhaps we could chalk it up to just a 'bad day in the office' for whichever chef cooked up our food?

The Tippling Club is on 38 Tanjong Pagar Road and is open for lunch and dinner on weekdays, and dinner only on Saturday. Reservations recommended. Non-halal.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Foochew Chinese Red Wine Chicken with Mee Sua (红糟酒面线) Recipe

Serving for 2

2 tablespoons of Sesame Oil
50g of sliced Old Ginger
300g Chicken
500ml of Foochew Red Glutinous Rice Wine 红糟酒
1 tablespoons of Foochew Red Glutinous Rice Wine 红糟酒 Residual (Optional)
500ml of Water
50g of sliced Shiitake Mushrooms
50g of sliced Black Fungus

  1. Heat pan on medium high heat and fry Old Ginger until fragrant.
  2. Place the Chicken and top with Foochew Red Glutinous Rice Wine 红糟酒 Residual.Pan dry until fragrant, then add in Water, Foochew Red Glutinous Rice Wine 红糟酒 and mix well.
  3. Cover & bring it to a boil then simmer for 40mins.
  4. Add in the Shiitake Mushrooms & Black Fungus, continue simmering for 5mins.
  5. Serve hot with Mee Sua.

Recipe of homemade Foochew Red Glutinous Rice Wine 红糟酒

Recipe of Dry Foochew Chinese Red Wine Chicken Recipe

Click here for our blog page Cooking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Monday, July 13, 2015

Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen has landed in Singapore's MBS!

In today's age of Facebook, YouTube and Cable TV, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of famous, well-known chefs. Celebrity Chefs, as it were. And the most famous of them all (by some margin) is undoubtedly Gordon Ramsay. He doesn't have the most Michelin Stars (that honour goes to Monsieur Joël_Robuchon) or the best individual restaurant (his flagship Restaurant Gordon Ramsay doesn't even appear on S.Pellegrino/Acqua Panna's Top 50); Rather he is famous because he is the most media savvy. Even the non-foodies among us would have watched snippets of his many TV shows - Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen, for example - or chuckled at a "this beef is so raw that it's eating the salad!" meme.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore

Well, after years of waiting, Ramsay has finally set up shop in Singapore - with his new Bread Street Kitchen restaurant in the MBS Shoppes! Naturally there are a great many people eager to try out his cooking: there's a two-month wait list for dinner at the moment. Of course, the darling and I have equally eager mouths so we're stoked to have finally had our chance last night!

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore

First up: A word about the pricing. Although Bread Street Kitchen is Ramsay's casual, family-friendly brand in his empire, this isn't a cheap restaurant. Starters are $18-$28, mains $26-$90 and desserts $15-$30, so a three-course dinner will, on average, set you back $75 and up per head. I would argue that it isn't expensive, though - in Singapore that description is reserved for the dozens of restaurants serving $200, $300, and $450 meals.

In any case, price is a matter of opinion, which is often affected by whether the food is worth it. The complimentary bread basket doesn't disappoint, with crisp bread-sticks and an interesting white bread with what tastes like ikan bilis (anchovy) crust. I loved the fishy saltiness; the darling not so much. Served with a generous slab of French President salted butter.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Bread and Butter

Our first starter - Seared Scallops with carrot puree, treacle cured bacon, apple and celery cress ($24). We agreed that the scallops could have been a little bigger, but that might perhaps then have bumped up the price. The scallops themselves were seared perfectly and were tender, succulent and sweet. We also very much liked the carrot puree and other accompaniments that were flavoured just right to complement, but not overpower, the delicate taste of the scallop.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Seared Scallops

We also very much enjoyed the Spicy Tuna Tartare with chilli, garlic, sesame oil and wonton crisps ($19). A very oriental / asian inspired dish. We liked the flavours - clean and refreshing. If we had to nitpick - the wonton skin wasn't drained properly and was therefore a little too oily. Oh, and "spicy" to the angmoh palate still means "no chilli taste leh" to ours.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Tuna Tartare

Service in the restaurant is pretty par for the course (compared to other middle-upper-ranged restaurants in town). Wait staff are pleasant and decently knowledgeable about the menu items, and know how to set the table for sharing without needing any prompting. Moving on to the main courses, then!

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Main Courses

The Traditional Fish and Chips with crushed peas and tartar sauce comes highly recommended, so we decided to give it a try. Given this restaurant's credentials we think the $26 price tag is remarkably good value. Portion size could perhaps be a bit larger - the bigger eaters among you might not find this enough to fill your tummy. Taste-wise it's just competent, though. Yes, the chips are crispy (bordering on too crispy, even), and yes the fish was moist and juicy, but one big downer for us was how soggy the entire battered bottom had become.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Fish and Chips

I mean, a picture tells a thousand words, so we'll let you be the judge. Is this normal for Fish & Chips?

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Fish and Chips

On the server's recommendation we also tried the Shepherd's Pie with braised lamb, onions, carrots, potato puree and brioche garlic crumbs ($38). I absolutely loved this pie! There's chunks and chunks of succulent, juicy braised lamb with the most delicious flavours. It's not a perfect dish: It's a tad salty and I was hoping for a better 'crust' on the mashed potato, but overall I would totally come back just to eat this again.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Shepherds Pie

For desserts, we go for the Monkey Shoulder Cranachan cheesecake with roasted balsamic strawberries ($18). Cranachan? Yup, it's the first time we've ever heard of it too. Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert made out of whipped cream, honey and whisky (Monkey Shoulder whisky in this case). So essentially what we have here is a whisky-laced, light & frothy whipped cream cheese dessert with lightly roasted strawberries. Pretty yums!

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Cranachan Cheesecake

We also had the Treacle Tart with creme fraiche ice cream ($18). The heavy, dense and syrupy-tasting treacle tart is complemented well by the slightly sour scoop of creme fraiche ice cream. All things considered we enjoyed this dessert just a little more than the cheesecake.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Treacle Tart

If you've been keeping count - that's $168 for two after service charge and taxes. I will say that we were satisfied with the dinner overall. Food isn't as gourmet or inventive or presented as nicely as what you'd get in his fine dining outlets like Petrus in Knightsbridge, but this ain't that kind of restaurant *.

Bread Street Kitchen is in MBS'es Shoppes area - on the Bay Level, L1-81 (the opposite corner from the ice skating rink / food court). Reservations by Telephone Highly recommended (+65 6688 5665) because they take ages to reply by email. Non-halal.

* Totally random unrelated reference to Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Blueberry Gateaux Cake Recipe

This cake is extremely simple to bake. Just 3 recipes. It's simple yet extremely refreshing & light.

Blueberry Compote. For recipe Click here! Use only half a recipe.

Vanilla Sponge Cake Recipe. For recipe Click here!

Vanilla Fresh Cream Froasting. For recipe Click here!

We love this recipe. It's a keeper.


Overall Feedback: Moist, Light, Refreshing, Not Sweet. Lovely cake to have for a special occassion. Less cream on the sides and more Blueberry Compote!

Click here for our blog page Baking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~