WGS 2009: An evening with wd-50 @ Tippling Club, Dempsey
When we heard that Chef Wylie Dufresne of wd-50 in New York would be visiting Singapore for the World Gourmet Summit, we decided to sign up for the dinner along with a few other friends. Dinner was priced at S$280++ and required pre-payment. It was a big expense but I was assured by Nibble & Scribble who had eaten at his restaurant in New York that it was definitely a worthwhile experience but we should go with an open mind. Besides we had faith in the crew at the Tippling Club (hosts to wd-50 for WGS 2009).
The miniature bagel was actually bagel-flavoured ice cream. I loved the rich flavour of the ice cream which reminded me of a warm bagel except this was cold! It was a mind-boggling and thrilling experience. The smoked salmon threads were mildly flavoured and had an airy texture that reminded me of lightly toasted shrimp floss. The crispy cream cheese was just a little too mildly flavoured for my preference but I loved the way the flake of cream cheese melted on the tongue.
After stumbling across this gem of a photo montage that detailed the birth of this dish, I have reached a greater appreciation for the effort and the thought process that went into its creation. What I wouldn't give to experience once again, the sensation of the crisp and firm coat of the bagel ice-cream disintegrating on the warm tongue and giving way to the coolness of the ice-cream that amazingly had the flavour of freshly-baked bagels. This is definitely a Must-Try!
The Foie Gras terrine melted on my tongue like a slab of cool butter on a hot grill. It was rich yet almost light in texture. The buttery flavour of the Foie Gras was orgasmic! My party of six was mostly silent with appreciation save for the occasional moan that this had to be one of the best Foie Gras terrines ever. Even one of the girls who is usually not a huge fan of Foie Gras gushed when she told us that this was different and how she loved the rich flavour without any hint of organ meat.
The tart passionfruit puree whetted our palates our appetities and lent an interesting element to the slightly grassy and honey-sweet green granules. I loved the crunch that the Chinese Celery Sand offered, it was like biting into herby-tasting Demerara Sugar. Nice! It's no wonder Wylie has been awarded a Michelin star amongst many other accolades.
If there was one song I could dedicate to the Foie Gras, it would be Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of my Head". I know where I'm headed if I get the opportunity to visit New York. This is most definitely a MUST-TRY!
The gleaming streaks of egg yolk spread atop sprinkled coarse granules of sea salt and ground pepper were certainly not cooked fully but were deliciously fudge-like with salty and spicy accents. The eggs went perfectly with the crispy, paper-thin strips of Canadian Bacon that looked like a dry jerky on the outside but were in fact, fairly juicy when bitten into.
When Chef Ryan Clift and crew came by to serve us the dish, he explained that the legs had been placed into a hyperbaric chamber to compress the flesh allowing for easy removal from the shell. A hyperbaric chamber? Sheesh! That's where they stick divers who have the "bends" (decompression sickness). This is serious stuff! After all this effort, I had a newfound respect for the oft discarded lobster legs. The legs were tender and extremely tasty. Perhaps the pressure exerted in the hyperbaric chamber had contributed towards intensifying its flavour, much like how pressure applied onto melon helps to compress the juices and enhance its taste. The banana kimchee was a slightly sweet complement while the fried lily bulbs added a crunchy appeal to the dish.
I now understand why this dessert won Pastry Chef Alex Stupak "The Most Innovative Dessert" award in 2008, why he is so highly regarded in his field as one of the Top 10 Dessert Chefs in America (2008) and why he is said to be one of the top dessert chefs in the world.
Operating Hours: Lunch - Thursdays to Saturdays: 12pm to 2.30pm Dinner - Tuesdays to Saturdays: 6pm to 10pm Bar/Tapas - Tuesdays to Saturdays: 6pm to 12am