Thursday, July 16, 2015

At the Chef's Table of Wild Rocket

With Wild Rocket's fresh new opening and change of menu, I rounded up the friends to sample its omakase menu. Partly, we've been stalking chef-owner Willin Low's instagram and after a few years, we could see and sense the development in his approach to cooking and maturity in terms of presenting the different flavors.

The old Wild Rocket's earlier laksa pesto linguine traumatized me so much that I never returned to the restaurant. :P The menu then was a sort of fusion that didn't work. I wasn't hot about its Wild Oats at Punggol Park and Relish either. Am still not bothered to arrange for meals at those two venues unless it's for pure convenience. But I reserved a truckload of hope for Wild Rocket. It took a while to organize this dinner since I had to be in a mood for meats, and to schmooze, even among faeriefolk. An omakase menu means I shouldn't be too fastidious about dietary preferences.


The dinner at the chef's table was spectacular. I have no idea what happened between the older and new restaurants, but a sabbatical and sake exploration in Japan definitely inspired the chef's creative juices. That's not to say the dishes have a Japanese influence. Not really. Except for the idea of umami. There's a new layer and depth to Willin Low's dishes that weren't present prior.

There is thought put into the crockery and sake vessels at the chef's table. Love the current selection. It was nice to see some colors to the usual white and glass. Beer selections were so limited, but complement the food. The heavier stouts and porters would drown out all umami. Decent whisky list. They have Japanese whisky but also Scotch. Yes! It was nice to end the meal with an easy dram of Lagavulin 16y.o. Also, don't miss out on its sake. Fabulous list of sake. Mmmm. Oh, it does get really noisy. So you either drink more sake and talk louder above the noise level, or be like me, wear ear plugs.

From left: Barramundi Liver Claypot Rice, Singapore Prawn Noodles,
and Thai Duck Curry Ice-Cream Salad

We were greedy and asked for more food. More than the usual eight courses for its omakase dinners. Additional mains of legs of quail and lamb eaten. We were fine with the portions. Small and perfect. Otherwise how to squeeze so much food into the stomach in three hours?! Favorite dishes of the night- there were three- Thai Duck Curry Ice-Cream Salad, Singapore Prawn Noodles and Barramundi Liver Claypot Rice. That claypot rice held liver sausages (lupcheong) too. Mmm. They were SO GOOD.

Spicy Char Kway Teow.
Without carbs.
The Char Kway Tiao without carbs was simply clever. Brilliant. I'll not reveal what it is. Read it somewhere else, or go check it out yourself. The dish came with chilli. Nice! I almost wanted cockles to eat it with. It was delicious.

The Beef Short-Ribs on Buah Keluak Mash was cool, but disappointing. Then again, I'm a buah keluak fiend, so....that dish had the black color, but no taste of buah keluak. Obviously I didn't care about the three desserts.The friends enjoyed them. Alcohol is always my dessert. Definitely not doing a la carte here. It has to be a meal at the chef's table or not at all.

If this is one interpretation of mod-Sin food, then yes, I'm proud of it. Ingredients are well-utilized and well-paired. Even prouder of home-grown talent. I think Wild Rocket has finally come into its own. Till its next major change.

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