Hubs and I were lazing about in front of the teley on a sunny, Saturday afternoon, when suddenly one of my cravings struck.
"I really feel like having a good driiiink," I whinged.
"Me toooo," hubs chimed back, much to my delight.
It's been rumoured that when women share significant amounts of times together, their bodies become so in tune that they experience a phenomenon called menstrual synchronization. My hubs and I, on the other hand, spend so much time together that we've developed abdomenstrual synchronization. Symptoms of this include similar hunger patterns and severe cravings at the most inopportune time for things that are:
a) exceptionally unhealthy (i.e. chips, bacon, chocolate, chips, alcohol, chips, cauliflower, when deep fried)
b) not easily accessible (i.e not purchasable at Great World, the mall ten feet from where we live)
c) all of the above
And by inopportune times, I mean, when we're lying in bed at one in the morning or when we're having an unsatisfactory meal somewhere and forlornly wishing we were delving into a pile of chips instead.
We decided to be proactive and right the situation by venturing to the Tippling Club at Dempsey. It's an award winning establishment and lauded as one of the world's best bars, so we figured it would definitely be the place to wet our whistle.
The restaurant was sneakily hidden amongst some shrubbery towards the back of Dempsey. It took us a bit of google-mapping, aimless traipsing around, and direction asking before we found it located down some steps. Excitement quickly turned into disappointment once we opened the door and were faced with an old and dated interior. For an establishment so highly acclaimed, I half expected Persian rugs and chairs lined with gold. Instead, the windows lining the sides of the restaurants were made with flimsy plastic sheets, making us feel like we were in a tent. I certainly would not want to pay $415++ (the price of Tippling Club's ten course tasting menu with drink pairing) to feel like I'm camping. Maaaaybe glamping. Maaaybe. But certainly not camping! Pooh pooh to that, I say!
We sat down at the bar and decided to drown our disappointment in some drinkeys. I requested for a drink with gin and champagne, but the bartender said it wasn't available on the menu and refused to customize one for me. Now I'm not spoiled or stuck up, but for a world class bar, I was surprised at how rigid and unaccommodating they were! I ended up settling with the Last Word, a concoction of gin, maraschino, green chartreuse and pressed lemon while hubs got Water Drops on Burning Rocks, a mixture of cognac, kummel, chartreuse, citrus and pineapple.
Hubs took a sip of his beverage and shot me a look. I immediately knew what those puppy dog eyes were sayin'. They pleaded, "Cut's drinks are sooo much better. Why can't we be there instead??" I took a sip of mine and nodded forlornly, my misty eyes replying, "Yes. Yes, they are. But what to do?" Being the adults we are, we could only suck it up (pun! pun! Ok. I'll stop doing that) and move on to the food menu in hopes of some better luck.
Tippling Club is best known for its tasting menu, but we weren't in the mood for a ten course tummy expander so we settled on some bar snacks instead.
"Ooooh, I want fries!" I demanded.
"There are no fries," hubs replied.
"There it is! There it is!" I said, pointing to the menu.
"Um, it says polenta fries. Not potato fries."
"Whaaaa?" I yelped. My heart was so set on french fries that my eyes just saw PO and naturally assumed the word ended in TATO, not LENTA. "I want my potatoes, not cornmeal! Harrumph!"
Nevertheless, we decided to give it a go, and within ten minutes both of us were sat chomping away on polenta fries and cooing at how good it was. The crunchiness on the outside gave way to a lovely, fluffy, truffly interior. It definitely didn't beat fries, but it was a nice change.
I nearly died from excitement when I spotted Fried haloumi on the menu. This yumazing cheese defies all laws of nature, as it's the only cheese (or one of the only cheeses) that can be FRIED. Yes, fried. My favourite method of cooking. In fact, the frying of the cheese was probably more magical than all the other molecular gastronomical fluff going on in the kitchen. Tippling Club's haloumi was cooked perfectly and the rosemary salt added a nice touch.
Our last dish to arrive was the Smoked bacon croquetas. The taste of smoky bacon permeated the little, crunchy potato balls and enveloped my mouth as I bit into it. They tasted even better after having garlic mousse (not pictured) lathered all over it. Aye caruuumba!
I don't think we're equipped to give an all rounded assessment of Tippling Club's food, considering we didn't have their tasting menu. We did quite a few neck arches and head turns to try and and catch a glimpse of what other people were eating. I must say that the tasting menu did look rather fancy and theatrical, I even spotted some pipets and forceps here and there. Hubs and I did like their bar snacks, so I'm assuming their tasting menu could only be better! Drinks, on the other hand, were forgettable. I've heard that the Tippling Club is moving locations (Good choice, Ryan Clift!), so we may consider revisiting then.
8D Dempsey Rd