Last Updated: August 21, 2020
**Apologies Tipsy Wolves has just shut their operations on 28 June 2019.
Western food at hawker centres and coffee shops are always more affordable. They are coupled with the usual choices of chicken chop, pork cutlet and pasta. However, The Tipsy Wolves at Jalan Besar differentiate themselves from the rest by providing unique and fancy Western fare at the very affordable price points.
I love burgers so when I heard that they made their own buns, it warranted a visit from me.
I am no burger connoisseur, but I love them enough to have had enjoyed many. Hence, I was the most excited for the Beef Burger & Fries (S$11.90), which was the second most expensive item on the menu other than their steak.
The burger was a towering sight to behold with crisp curly fries on the side. As I took off the top bun, I was delighted to see two long strips of bacon laying atop the thick beef patty. The patty itself was well-charred on the edges. They blow-torched the slice of cheddar cheese for it to nicely melt and envelop the patty.
As I bit into the burger, I could not hide my disappointment. In fact, I ate them layer by layer to narrow down what exactly went wrong. While I applaud their efforts in their homemade buns, I felt that it was too dense. It was also slightly dry and crumbly, which reminded me of stale bread.
The 180g patty itself was hefty and generous but tasted just alright. The centre was barely cooked to medium-rare. It was a lil’ tough, probably attributed to the fact that they used 70% lean chuck. I did like the chewy bacon which added a touch of savouriness to the burger, with the fresh vegetables that added a nice crunch to cut through the heaviness.
The in-house chipotle sauce also aided in elevating the flavours of the burger. It was slightly spicy and tangy with smoky undertones, which I really enjoyed. The curly fries were also piping hot and crisp, which was a plus point.
Now wanting to judge them based off one dish, I tried out the Grilled Pork Belly (S$10.90) without high expectations. Wow, to say this impressed me is an understatement. That’s how good it was.
The pork belly itself was glistening, brushed with a mixture of spice caramel and burnt noisette. Aloysius, one of the three owners of The Tipsy Wolves, shared with me how they brine every slab of pork belly for four hours before they sous vide it for 16 hours.
It was thick but literally melted in my mouth as I ate it. They nailed the fat-to-lean meat ratio. Whilst the fatty portion was so soft, I liked how the lean part of the meat still retained a nice bite. The meat itself was succulent and flavourful from its own juices. This gave a nice contrast with the sweet caramelised glaze, that helped to cut through any lingering jelak-ness.
It was paired with butter-cooked wong bok and roasted potatoes. I liked how the wong bok was a nice balance of natural sweetness with a touch of richness from the butter. The roasted potatoes were also well-seasoned, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. This is definitely a dish I would travel down to have again.
With my hopes raised, I tried the Grilled Chicken Breast (S$8.90). The chicken breast, similarly, was brined for three hours, then sous vide for another three hours. Looking at the huge chunk of meat, I was slightly sceptical of whether it would be succulent and tasty.
My worries were definitely unfounded. It was so juicy and tender, I found myself questioning whether was it really chicken breast I was having. The meat itself was very flavourful and they also seared the chicken skin for a nice and crisp golden-brown top for an enjoyable crunch.
The accompanying carrot puree at the bottom was delightful even on its own. Velvety smooth and rich, it enhanced the entire flavour profile of the dish. It was slightly buttery with a subtly sweet carrot taste, which was so appetising that I completely polished the plate clean of it.
This was so good that we ordered another serving. For some reason, the second order we got had a significantly smaller piece of chicken breast, but it tasted just as good.
The last dish we got was their Crayfish Laksa Pasta (S$10.90). They served it with two substantial crayfish halves, which made this an extremely affordable seafood option.
They pride themselves in not using any laksa paste but making the sauce with just coconut milk and laksa leaves. It was rich and creamy, with a viscous consistency that clung to the pasta well. However, I felt like it lacked the depth of herbs, although it did pack a punch in terms of spiciness. The pasta itself was also slightly overcooked and soggy for my liking, which made the dish heavy on the palate.
The crayfish meat itself was easily removed from its shell, a sign of freshness. They were springy with a subtle natural sweetness that went well with the sauce. I appreciated the addition of fishcakes, which made it feel more reminiscent of actual laksa. They were generous with the number of fishcakes added, which provided more dimension to the dish with its chewy texture.
The Tipsy Wolves indeed offers non-conventional Western food at pretty conventional prices. They take pride in their different cooking techniques and making most of their ingredients from scratch. While they are some hits and misses, their offerings, in general, are of standard and worth trying out.
In my opinion, the grilled items are a winner here. If you are in the area, why not give them a try and let us know what you think.
Expected damage: S$8.90 – S$11.90 per pax
Our Rating: 4 / 5
The Tipsy Wolves
30 Foch Road, Bistro 8, #01-02, Singapore 209276
30 Foch Road, Bistro 8, #01-02, Singapore 209276