Swiss V-ZUG Commands Amazing Flavours at V Restaurant
One thing’s for sure—Ryan Clift can cook. The chef-owner of Tanjong Pagar’s Tippling Club and global ambassador of household kitchen appliances Swiss leader, V-ZUG has recently opened V Restaurant in the heart of bustling shopping district Orchard, Scott’s Square. The food is superb and will only cost you a fraction of the Christian Louboutin stilettos you’ve been eyeing on.
If you’re not familiar with premium house appliances purveyor V-ZUG, just imagine it to be the IWC or Patek Philippe equivalent of the watch world. Last year, they debuted their first Singapore exhibition and advisory centre, Zugorama at Scotts Square, offering interested parties the most comprehensive customer experience (you can imagine) in a space that exhibits their latest range. Regular demonstrations and cookery courses are hosted on the side as well. To kick off the fresh new year, the gourmet academy has spilled across dividers and manifested in a lofty, sun-lit restaurant overlooking the endless ruckus of Orchard Road’s major cross junction. At night, beneath sweeping Angsana trees, ladies rest their tired shopping feet and the stylish gather for elaborate dinners washed down with a glass of full-bodied wine.
Head Chef Lee Jing Peng is Tippling Club Alumni and he has joined forces with culinary director Ryan Clift to create a menu that doles out the modish, prettily plated stuff reinforced by flashy flavour combinations. This is a place that will induce dé jà vu; a throwback to Clift’s innovative and avant-garde culinary techniques when he first started Tippling Club, albeit with more heft and substantiality.
The languid snack safari begins with a hug mug of ‘laksa’, an aerated emulsion of spiced gravy enlivened with a small mound of tau pok crackers, shredded dried coconut and laksa leaves. Those who have sworn off carbs will come to love this; otherwise, it’s an empty shell that needs a touch of carbs to soothe the beast of salty overtures. Then there’s the fluffy pillow of air baguette spliced with umami from manchego cheese and truffle salt and finally, cones holding mini puffs of chicharron drizzled by a refined hand with apple vinegar to pique the appetite.
Just when you think you might have made the mistake of settling in something a little too pompous that will require you to retire to the food court later for a humble popiah, the kitchen throws out something a little more sizeable. “Where’s the carpaccio?” exclaims my companion. The black and white marbled square in the middle of your plate is it. Seaweed crackers dusted in genial shades of green and dollops of wasabi mayo jam together with Pythagorean precision bring to mind Japanese influences. It exhibits a certain chef-like impulse yet appeals to the mindset of hungry campers.
Crank the nostalgia hard when the soup is presented. We’re talking ‘duvet day’ pedigree here with Mrs Potter’s Leek and Potato Soup. The spiralling curls of steam with the tilt of the soup pot scream comfort, a quality further fostered by the aroma of herbs and starch wafting by. The greens here function well as a side-kick; the parsley ‘glass’ shards and crispy kale go seamlessly with spoonfuls of hot soup. When asked what my last meal on earth to be, this regularly comes to mind.
While a pale rose organic garnacha from Ochoto barrels is poured into delicate Zalto wine globes, I await eagerly for the next course. The Prawn risotto is joyful and unpushy—seafood stock plumped grains frolick with pickled ginger and saffron aioli. Nasturtium is pegged to the picturesque arrangement with purposeful intent, providing spiciness. Whatever you do, scrape the bottom of the bowl—and leave no regrets behind.
The guinea fowl with mushrooms, truffle powder and fermented spinach will put your ‘less is more’ chef’s intent to rest. You’ve got culinary finesse, contemporary practices and textural complexity in one dish in haunting symphony, lest the mushroom stems which are clumsy cuts that botch the otherwise perfect cook on the bird. It falls off tenderly, leaving you speechless.
The dessert is the salve to your wounds. Chocolate souffle puffed out in pride is studded with freeze-dried raspberries. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also a complicated feat that’s technically more challenging than it appears. It benefits from the addition of Swiss etter zuger kirsch cherry brandy which warrants the chocolate dessert better than sex (depending on your partner). You might want to keep your grunts in check with this one.
The menu reads modern European with playful whimsical touches of Tippling Club in its founding days. It’s familiar yet refreshing in new found terrain. V restaurant may have you confused for convenience (locality in mind) as opposed to the complexity of flavours, however, rest assured that they’ve nailed understated luxe (cinched further by stylish flatware and glassware), and you might find yourself returning sooner than expected.
6 courses ($135++)/$230++ (with wine pairing), 10 courses ($180++)/ $350++ (with wine pairing)