There’s nothing quite like yogurt sake and muesli to start your morning off right! Or evening, if you happen to be dining at Chef Ryan Clift’s Tippling Club in Singapore. Opened in 2008, the British chef’s experimental restaurant and cocktail den puts pairings at the fore of its 30-course “menu gourmand,” an experience Clift says “leaves our customers wondering what the hell just happened, but in a good way.”
The path to producing that disorienting, enthralling experience begins with a “massive amount of communication” between Clift’s liquid and kitchen crews, who most often work simultaneously on a dish and cocktail concept. “I always start with one ingredient, and this is also our same approach for the bar,” says Clift, who hammers out possible complementary flavors, textures, serving temperatures, and aromas before a workable concept emerges. “Once we have all this down on paper, we start testing the concept in individual components and then finally all together. That’s when it can become soul destroying and frustrating—that’s when we realize we have created a masterpiece or a monster that needs work, more work!”
Foie Gras Muesli with Kodakara Peak
Foie Gras Muesli
Kodakara Peak: Yogurt Sake, Apple Eau de Vie, Apple Gomme Syrup, and Lemon Juice
For Clift’s Foie Gras Muesli and its accompanying Kodakara Peak cocktail by Bartender Zachary De Git, the origins were uncharacteristically spontaneous. At a special Japanese dinner, Clift paired Tatenokawa’s sake- and yogurt-based liqueur with a dessert. The pairing worked, but one of the guests commented that he also would love to pour the creamy liqueur over cereal for breakfast. “Straight away, I thought of a savory foie dish … and a very simple but decadent yogurt sake drink to pair,” says Clift.
The resulting dish combines foie purée, apple candy, yogurt mousse, cocoa nibs, candied oats, dehydrated apple, and apple blossoms. Echoing the dish’s yogurt and apple elements, Connor de Git’s Kodakara Peak weaves together Kodakara Chokaison yogurt sake, Christian Drouin Blanche de Normandie eau de vie, house-made apple gomme syrup, and apple blossoms. “Tasting the yogurt sake reminded everyone of having breakfast so, paired with oats, a natural flavor combination that came to mind was apple,” says Clift. “The apple eau de vie was clean and crisp and cut through the yogurt without getting lost, and the apple gomme was there to round out all the flavors.”
Smooth, refreshing, and immensely drinkable any time of day, Connor de Git’s cocktail is the ideal partner to Clift’s creamy foie and yogurt mousse. At a relatively low 8 percent ABV, the signature sake delivers more in the way of flavor and creamy mouthfeel than booze. It’s just the kind of gentle wake up your palate needs to dive into a meal at Tippling Club—or begin your day with a seductive ode to yogurt and cereal.