A wild Pierre Png might appear behind the bar at his new restaurant Tipsy Flamingo

He's not on the menu though, sorry.

Karen Lui | August 22, 2021, 05:31 PM

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Singaporean actor Pierre Png and his wife, Andrea De Cruz, opened their restaurant-bar, Tipsy Flamingo, to the public at Raffles City Shopping Centre on August 20.

Despite entertaining guests even before we arrived at 6:30pm at the grand opening on August 19, the celebrity couple remained energetic and warm when they sat down for a quick interview with us.

Undeterred by the pandemic

In response to whether they felt intimidated by the risks of opening an F&B establishment during a pandemic, De Cruz said they felt encouraged, knowing that the government is helping small businesses in order to restart the F&B scene.

She added that as long as they adhere to safe distancing measures and continue regular testing, "there's no better time to do it now when [most of] the population is already vaccinated."

"Precisely because it is so gloomy, that's why we need something fun," Png said. The artiste also emphasised the importance of working with the government to re-innovate new ways to continue serving diners.

The couple's previous restaurant-bar, 301 Bar & Kitchen at HomeTeamNS, shut after four years of operation due to the pandemic, and eventually became a quarantine site.

Png first met Derek Ong, the co-founder of the Tipsy Collective (the restaurant's parent company), at the opening night of Lady Wu, an attic bar in Boat Quay two to three years ago.

He loved Lady Wu so much that he told Ong to "bear [him] in mind" if he decides to open another outlet." And they chose the most challenging time to actually do it!" the actor said with a laugh.

Almost a Peranakan concept

One of the perks of having a Peranakan husband is the opportunity to pick up her mother-in-law's knowledge and skills. Hence, their initial plan was to serve Peranakan cuisine, De Cruz disclosed.

When De Cruz floated the idea of potentially opening a Peranakan-themed venue with Tipsy called the Tipsy Baba or Tipsy Nyonya, Png said that the Tipsy Baba would be fun, while Ong, who joined us mid-way through the interview chuckled.

De Cruz and Png. Photo by Karen Lui.

Involvement in Tipsy Flamingo

As a lover of anything related to interior design, De Cruz shared that she had collaborated with David Gan, the other co-founder of the Tipsy Collective (not the celebrity hairdresser), as well as the designer who had done the other Tipsy outlets, to come up with the design for Tipsy Flamingo.

Png, on the other hand, came up with his own alcoholic concoction called the Steady Pom P-P.

When asked about how he planned to juggle acting with the new F&B business, Png replied that "they go hand in hand" as the restaurant has "a wide variety of alcohol" and "a kitchen that's ever-ready to cook [his] favourite food" to help relieve post-work fatigue.

De Cruz interjected with a laugh that the truth is that he has "a good wife and good partners" for him to rely on while he is away for filming.

Menu highlights

We got to the dishes after the interview, and they had gone cold during our absence from our table in the alfresco area.

The first dish was the Fried Ravioli with Parmigiana, which is a tapa with a gooey creamy Parmigiano Reggiano cheese filling.

Tipsy Flamingo offers 10 tapas in total, including the Fried Ravioli, that are sold at a price of two for S$18.

Fried Ravioli with Parmigiana. Photo by Karen Lui.

Note that these are tasting portions—you'll get a bigger serving if you dine-in.

The Ebi Katsu Sando is breaded king prawn in spicy mentaiko mixed with cabbage and tobiko. The spicy mentaiko adds just a hint of spice to the breaded prawn while the cabbage adds a nice crunch to each bite. The bread felt a bit dry, most likely because we had left it out for a while.

Here's what the full serving of the Ebi Katsu Sando (S$18) looks like:

Ebi Katsu Sando (full portion). Photo by Karen Lui.

The first main we tried was the Baked Miso Codfish with Pumpkin Foam, Fried Broccoli Lollipop and Pimento Vinaigrette.

Baked Miso Codfish. Photo by Karen Lui.

Besides being a "must try" in the menu, it also came recommended by De Cruz during the interview. We liked the fish as it was soft with an added sweetness from the miso marinade and/or the pimento vinaigrette.

Here's what the full serving of the Baked Miso Codfish (S$34) looks like:

Baked Miso Codfish (full portion). Photo by Karen Lui.

The second main on the menu was the Fried Beef Rib with Mesclun and Gremolata.

The idea of a fried steak might be surprising, but it turned out to be surprisingly tender. The meat tasted good on its own but there's also gremolata sauce if you prefer more flavour and texture.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Unlike the tasting portion, the full serving of the Fried Beef Rib (S$60 for 650g) looked huge. Those with small appetites may want to share it.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The last main we were served was the Dry Laksa, comprising thick beehoon topped with prawn and otah bits.

Contrary to its name, it was actually not that dry. The texture resembles that of a wet Hokkien mee with each strand coated in the Laksa sauce.

Dry laksa. Photo by Karen Lui.

Unlike the tasting portion, the regular serving size of the Dry Laksa (S$23) features a giant freshwater prawn instead of a regular prawn. You can also top up S$5 to upgrade it to a Canadian lobster.

Dry laksa. Photo by Karen Lui.

The Dry Laksa is among the local hawker favourites with "a Tipsy spin" put on it. Png informed us that they don't like to use the word "fusion" with reference to these dishes.

The dessert, Tipsy's Burnt Cheesecake (S$10 for a full slice), rounded off the tasting menu.

Served with a scoop of ice cream (we got honeycomb ice cream), the bitterness of the burnt layer cuts through the creaminess of the cheesecake.

Tipsy's Burnt Cheesecake. Photo by Karen Lui.

Cocktail lovers can check out Png's Steady Pom P-P (S$18), which is exclusively available at Tipsy Flamingo.

Made with gin, Limoncello, Figgard Amaretto, honey, and peach bitters, the refreshing drink leans on the sweeter side for an alcoholic beverage.

Photo by Karen Lui.

From now until the end of 2021, 50 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of the Steady Pom P-P will go towards the Cycling Without Age charity, of which De Cruz is the ambassador for.

The first beneficiary of Tipsy Flamingo, Cycling without Age is a charity that takes seniors and less-able people out on trishaw rides, which allows them to engage with the communities outside their homes more actively and promotes cross-generational interaction.

Facade and alfresco area

Located on the first floor of Raffles City Shopping Centre, you access the restaurant via its own entrance that is outside the mall, near the traffic light opposite CHIJMES.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The restaurant has both an indoor and alfreso dining area with a total seating capacity of around 80 to 85 pax.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The alfreso area overlooks the intersection and the Carlton Hotel.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Indoor dining area

Photo by Karen Lui.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Check out the statement wall with a neon light slogan, as well as visual references to pre-existing Tipsy outlets.

Photo by Karen Lui.

During our conversation, De Cruz excitedly brought our attention to the swimming pool-like section, occupied by tables and chairs instead of water.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Access the pool via the steps flanked by hand rails resembling those of a pool. The pool parapet also doubles as a bench seat for diners.

Seats at the bar are also available in front of the pool if you're swinging by for a drink.

De Cruz and Png confirmed that the latter will make appearances behind the bar, so don't be too surprised if you catch a familiar face on one of your visits to the restaurant.

In front of the pool entrance are two cabanas, complete with light blue curtains, for a private dining experience.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Like the other Tipsy venues, Tipsy Flamingo has a stage (albeit a small one) for musicians to showcase their skills and entertain diners.

De Cruz revealed that once live entertainment is permitted again, some musicians that diners can look forward to are homegrown duo Jack and Rai and soloist Joanna Dong.

Before we concluded our quick chat with the couple, Png let us in on a little secret — there are many bathroom singers amongst his artiste colleagues who are too shy to sing in public.

"Now that they know I own this place, I am going to make sure they come here and I'm going to get them to sing," Png remarked gleefully.

When we if he could give us the names of potential candidates, Png replied that fellow Mediacorp artiste Desmond Tan is "ever ready" to sing a song or two. Cool.

Tipsy Flamingo

Address: 252 North Bridge Road, Raffles City Shopping Centre #01-17A, Singapore 179103

Opening hours: 12pm to 10:30pm, daily.

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Top images by Karen Lui.