Month: June 2009

Tippling Club

I might actually be among the last foodies, and food bloggers, in town to try Tippling Club. While I’ve known about this ultra-modern gastrobar since it opened a year ago, my darling wife S and I had not, until recently, been inspired to visit this somewhat controversial restaurant. I say “controversial” because any time that it came up in conversation among foodie friends, spirited debates would inevitably ensue. Some friends argued that the food was self-indulgent, far too expensive for what it was, and that the structure in which the restaurant is housed is little more than an air conditioned lean-to. Other friends said that Chef Ryan Clift, formerly of Melbourne’s Vue du Monde, was one of the most talented chefs working in Singapore today. They held fast that while the food had its highs and lows, the highs were higher than those of any other chef in town.

The one thing that all of my friends did agree on was that the combined food and cocktail menu was a little too expensive and not really necessary. Yes, we all appreciate the hard work and skill put in by award-winning mixologist Matthew Bax, the other luminary sharing centre stage with Chef Ryan. And I, especially, love a fabulously well-made cocktail as an apertif or digestif, i.e. before or after my meal. But we all agreed that we’d like to eat our food paired with nothing more than a nice bottle of wine or two — and not with a different cocktail paired with each and every course.

Kayumanis Ubud and Le Meridien Bangkok

My work is both challenging and rewarding, often exhausting but at the same time inspiring. Because of the projects I handle and the clients that my company has the pleasure of working with, my wife S (who is also my business partner), my colleagues and I are often required to bounce around the region. Sometimes, we’ll be required to be on site for up to a few weeks, but most often our trips are short. We try, as much as possible, to get the most work done in as little time as possible. That means, when going for meetings in neighboring countries (like Indonesia, Malaysia or Thailand), we sometimes fly in and out on the same day. Other times, we’ll be stringing together a series of overnighters. One night in one place, and the next in a different city or country. My most hectic work trip in recent memory was a nutty race across Japan during which a colleague and I had meetings with hoteliers in 12 different cities in just 14 days.

Recently, S and I had to do a spot of work in both Bangkok and Bali. We decided to see if we could squeeze everything into just 3 days, 1 in Bangkok and following 2 in Bali. Partly because of the kind of work we do, and also because of a personal interest in the hospitality industry, we’re always keen to check out new and/or exciting properties when travelling.