The buzz: On the corner of Duxton Hill and Tanjong Pagar, Chef Ryan Clift’s molecular-leaning degustation restaurant continues to win hearts. Apart from their lofty Classic five-course and Gourmand 10-course tasting menus, they’ve recently introduced a new cocktail program that is heavily focused on scent.
The vibe: They’ve held their post at Tanjong Pagar for three years now, and we always get the same great experience every single time we drop by. The space is casual but carefully appointed—we love the green tiled accent wall at the consideredly messy bar, but it’s really the food and cocktails (and the attention to detail) you’re here for.
The food: Under the deft hands of chef Ryan and sous chef Ayo Adeyemi, there are several amuse bouche and palate cleansers before the Classic five-course ($170, or $275 with pairing) or Gourmand 10-course tasting menu ($270, or $430 with pairing) even begins, involving dishes like the fish and chips risotto, and the Toriyama beef with horseradish burrata. Everything is conceptual and presented in kooky vessels, but it’s all great.
The drinks: According to them, 80% of flavor comes from smell, which is exactly what this new Sensorium Menu is all about. Just like how the scent of crayons can easily invoke cherished childhood memories, this new cocktail program sets out to stir up memories and emotions based on smell… and booze. Crafted by head bartender Joe Schofield and in conjunction with International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. (IFF), the experience begins with a tray of different fragrance strips, each created around a particular memory and scent (and a corresponding cocktail, of course). Choose your drink based on your favorite scent (they’re all $22 a pop). For example, we really liked the crisp smell of burned wood for “Campfire”. That then translated to a satisfying concoction of marshmallow milk, burned syrup, ash and gin, topped with a stick of burned marshmallow. The other scent we loved was Leather, which became a lovely mix of whisky and Pedro Ximenez with a side of orange and vanilla flavors, served in a fancy leather bound canister. There are 10 other cocktails you can try, like Forest (made with sherry and mescal) and Orange (which is pretty much a Mimosa).