Don't worry – Chef Philip Chua has the situation under control. As head chef of the only restaurant in Singapore to serve crocodile using western cooking methods, Chef Philip – nicknamed "Pip" and the restaurant's namesake – is not shy when it comes to introducing creative and unusual concoctions on his menu, which is filled with twists on Modern European fare.
For instance, the crocodile cocotte reflects elements of French cuisine (like flaky puff pastry, emmental and guyere cheese), but nestled in the cream sauce are chunks of tender crocodile meat. And the crocodile-loving doesn't stop here. The crocodile ribs are fair game (no pun intended) when compared with traditional winners in the ribs genre, such as pork and beef. Juicy and tender, these ribs are steamed with ginger for four hours, then coated in barbeque sauce and oven roasted, a process that makes for incredibly flavourful meat.
By no means is crocodile the focal point of menu. After working in the kitchens of multiple five-star restaurants, Philip now channels his culinary creativity in dishes like "escargot bourguignon" and "fruity fish fillet". At Table @ Pip's, escargot doesn't just come resting in bowls of parsley butter. Rather, Phllip's "escargot bourguignon" is served on a plate, with a half dozen oven-baked mushrooms each stuffed with escargot and garlic butter. The fruity fish fillet is another example of Philip's creativity: pan-fried dory fish comes served with warm apples, which taste a bit caramelized, along with lemon zest, blueberries, and butter sauce.
Although the creative dishes at Table @ Pip's isn't exactly home-cooking, the ambience of the restaurant is incredibly cosy, offering the local neighborhood vibe, with Philip greeting regulars and personally serving guests. After a meal at Pip's, you may find yourself running back to the crocodiles in Bukit Timah! (Dec 2011)