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#580

THE WIZARD OF OZ

23 Feb 2018 By

Operation Dagger’s Luke Whearty Has Conjured Up a Beguiling New Cocktail Menu Inspired By His Recent Travels.

There’s a lot to be said for travels; you can believe the old canard that it broadens the mind, refreshes the soul or that it widens your circle of friends. In Luke Whearty’s case, his recent trips – back home to Melbourne and Cyprus as well – certainly inspired him to create one of his most generous and genuinely fun menus for Operation Dagger.

Operation Dagger amuse bouche

The Amuse Bouche tells you where his journey has taken him, and where it’s gonna take you. You start with this chunk of sea cucumber on a soupçon of liquid sea cucumber, and you’re off to the coast. The journey will end along the coast as well – and it’s a good start.

Operation Dagger cocktail Oyster Ice Cream

The Oyster Ice Cream (S$25++) isn’t an ice cream per se, and don’t be put off by the idea of oysters in a drink. This creamy cocktail was inspired by a recent trip to Brae in Melbourne – one of Whearty’s favourite restaurants – which serves an oyster dessert. He has an equally balanced take here with distilled matcha and citrus cream, topped with an oyster leaf (is an actual plant) that’s edible. The flavours are layered and the mouthfill is light and lithe. Have one certainly, and move on to other adventures.

Operation Dagger 1718 Cyprus Hill

Now we’re talking. 1718 Cyprus Tree is a spirit-forward libation with jasmine, pickled fig leaf and mandarin juniper makes up this curiously-named cocktail. Whearty went to Cyprus, back to the exact house where his grandmother used to live, but he had mixed up the address – it was either number 17 or 18. Geddit? No mistake about this though, you could easily find your way around a few of them.

[ We Spoke to Luke Whearty About Life Behind Bars ]

Operation Dagger Fromage

This Fromage (S$14++) goes with the 1718 Cyprus Hill. It’s a tasty, foamy sheep’s milk cheese with fig leaf and tarragon, to be slurped up by breadsticks. You can have the omakase if you’re not familiar with Dagger’s ‘Dangerous Drinking Water’: The 3 Course is $95 with three cocktails and a selection of bar food. There’s also the 5 Course at $150 – let them do the thinking for you.

Operation Dagger cocktail Caramelo Koala

The Caramelo Koala (S$25++) has eucalyptus – a major part of a marsupial’s diet. Add caramel tea, cacao and an olive (with caramel inside), and I had found my favourite cocktail of the night.The caramel is pervasive but has a light layered touch, and the echo of the cacao at the end is a passport stamp to an enriching journey.

If you’ve chosen the omakase, your trip will end with a shot of gassy coconut as a palate cleanser, a concoction that has to be imbibed immediately before it dissipates.

Though one may not be aware, the menu at Dagger undergoes regular changes, but it’s not always announced. However, expect Whearty to refresh the selections every three months, mostly as a challenge to himself and his crew. Keep an eye out for the range of fermented ‘natural’ wines as well, especially the passionfruit.

And though all travellers must cross borders and disappear into the horizon, I certainly hope this current range of cocktails will make a much longer pitstop.

Operation Dagger, 7 Ann Siang Hill, #B1-01.

Like this? This Bar’s Cocktail Menu Also Uses Culinary Techniques

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