Dinner @ Wild Rocket [Revisit] // CLOSED

October 9, 2018 in Asian, Mod Sin

With my meal at Wild Rocket, it certainly would seem I gone Mod-Sin crazy because it’s my 3rd Mod-Sin restaurant within 2 months. The other 2 restaurants being Restaurant Labyrinth and JL Studio. And the reason behind my visit to Wild Rocket was because they are closing permanently by end October. Now… I am not one who succumbs to dine at the restaurant just because they are closing. But I do like to have another meal if my previous meal at the restaurant was memorable or if the restaurant is high on my to-try list. And in the case for Wild Rocket, it’s the former.

The other pull factor was… When news of the closure came up, many started posting of their memorable dishes at Wild Rocket. In particular, Wild Rocket’s laksa pesto which almost everyone was gushing over. Since I didn’t have that dish in my 2015’s visit and I read that Wild Rocket’s menu would be showcasing current and past favourites (including the laksa pesto), I got my IGGF (InstaGram GirlFriend) to head down with me.

Reservation was made through a 3rd party website, Quandoo. And to secure our reservation, I was required to input my credit card details.

My IGGF and I arrived at the restaurant on a Friday night. But imagine our surprised shocked faces when the staff said our reservation couldn’t be found in the system. After a check against the email confirmation that I received from Quandoo, we realised I booked for Saturday instead of Friday. Oh, my, goodness. But thankfully they had a table for us. Phew.

My IGGF and I decided to go with the 9-courses from the menu (pages 1, 2). And with that, we started our 9-courses ($125) dinner with:-

1) Bread, Complimentary (above)

2) Dish #1 (above) – Bah chor mee; Tuna belly negi toro & glass noodles.


3) Dish #2 (above) – Giam chye ar; Duck & mustard green consomme with foie gras tortellini.

4) Dish #3 with options of:-

(A) Pomelo salad (above) – Thai pomelo salad with tiger prawns & frozen coconut dressing.

(B) Kaki fry (above) – Japanese oyster with tom kha gai coconut galangal sauce.

5) Dish #4 (above) – Char kway tiao; Thinly sliced cuttlefish noodles stir fried with kwong who hing sauce.


6) Dish #5 (above) – Salted egg crab; Spanner & blue swimmer crab with salted duck egg.

7) Dish #6 with options of:-

(A) Hokkien mee (above) – Fresh spaghettini, ebi miso, shio konbu & tiger prawns.

(B) Laksa pesto (above) – Laksa leaf pesto linguine, tiger prawns & quail egg. I’m sorry but this was… Average. We couldn’t quite understand the raves unless it’s no longer as what it was previously.

8) Dish #7 with options of:-

(A) Dish #7 (above) – Snapper amok; Red snapper Filipino laing braised taro leaves & Cambodian amok curry.


(B) Dish #8 (above) – Ter kar chor; Black vinegar iberico pork jowl with pickled cabbage & chestnut puree.


  

9) Dish #8 (above) – Lychee; Lychee sorbet with lychee martini gummy, ginger flower, elderflower.

10) Dish #9 (above) – Chendol; Pandan panna cotta, cocout ice-cream, gula melaka honey comb, azuki.

It was a nice dinner, although it wasn’t impressive enough for me to strongly recommend one to quickly snap up the remaining slots that’s left of October. With that said, I still have to give chef-owner Willin Low the due credit and respect; When he first opened Wild Rocket in 2005, it’s almost like he is the father-of-Mod-Sin-cuisine as he was the pioneer.

And should one miss Wild Rocket after it shut down in end October, one could still head over to Relish. Else, one could even have a taste of chef Willin’s Mod-Sin cuisine overseas. He’s opening a casual dining restaurant (Roketto) this December in Hokkaido, Japan, and a Southeast Asian noodle concept bar in Hualien, Taiwan.

WILD ROCKET
10A Upper Wilkie Road, Hangout Hotel, Level 1, Singapore
6339 9448, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tues– Sat : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 8
* Closed on Sun

Sweets @ L’ÉCLAIR

July 17, 2015 in European (cafe)

My girlfriend and I were in town settling some stuff (for our upcoming vacation) and had an empty slot for (early) dinner. That’s when I remember I wanted to check out L’ÉCLAIR after having read about them from The Sunday Times. And with that, my girlfriend and I were off.

L’ÉCLAIR is of walking distance from Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. And they are located within Singapore Shopping Centre, the building beside Park Mall. And the main entrance to the eclair boutique is facing the main road. One won’t be able to access from within Singapore Shopping Centre. We did not know and entered Singapore Shopping Centre. And when we asked the security guard, he pointed us in the right direction and said “The one with the black glass.” And my silly girlfriend tried to enter through the shop’s back door which would have brought us straight to their kitchen. Haha.

And heeding my girlfriend’s advise to provide value added-ness to my review. Haha. A little background update… L’ÉCLAIR is opened by Le Cordon Bleu graduates Sarah Tan and Michelle Looi. And citing an interview with Shiok!, the name ‘L’ÉCLAIR by Sarah Michelle’ came about because the ladies wanted a simple and elegant name, yet one that would pay tribute to their time in Paris since France was the place that gave them the inspiration to start this. In fact, it was Michelle who suddenly said “Why don’t we just call it ‘L’ÉCLAIR’?” as it was simple and meaningful. ‘Sarah Michelle’ came about because the ladies saw many pastry shops in Paris were simply named after their founding chefs.

So yes, their eclair boutique was a move that came about after their online business and doing pop-up cafes. They have a rotation of 10 different flavours, of which 4 are permanent.

And from the display shelf, we ordered:-


1) Banana & walnut, $8 (above) – Light banana cream, banana caramel glaze, walnut streusel.

2) Tahitian vanilla & pecans, $8 (above) – Vanilla cream, white chocolate vanilla glaze, caramelised pecans.

3) Mango passionfruit, $8 (above) – Mango and passionfruit cream, dried mango bits.

4) 66% dark chocolate, $8 (above) – Mexique 66% dark chocolate cream, cocoa glaze, cocoa streusel.

5) Ispahan, $8.50 (above) – Light rose cream, lychees, fresh raspberries.


6) Chicken & bacon pie, $12 (above) – Served with house salad. The only savoury item on the menu, this was good!

Despite not being familiar with eclairs (since we don’t really eat these), we could tell taste that the eclairs were pretty good. My girlfriend and I were discussing about how straight forward eclairs are; One would need to nail the choux pastry before piping and glazing it with the various flavours. To which, we later concluded while it sounds straight forward, it really isn’t as a great eclair should be fresh, evenly tubular, hollow (before filling), crisp on the outside, heavy with filling and uniformly glazed. Yup, I got that from google-ing!

So while it sounds expensive to be paying at least $7.50 for each, it’s because L’ÉCLAIR uses high quality ingredients such as imported French butter, quality chocolate, etc. Will I recommend L’ÉCLAIR? I will if one is looking for quality eclair. But cause I am starting to watch my diet (oh yes, gotta be strict with my ‘eat clean’ diet), I probably wouldn’t. Unless I am craving for quality eclairs, of course. =)

L’ÉCLAIR BY SARAH MICHELLE
190 Clemenceau Avenue, Singapore Shopping Centre, #01-28, Singapore
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Fri : 11:00 – 20:00
Ambience: 7
Sat : 11:00 – 21:00
Value: 6
Sun : 11:00 – 18:00
Service: 6
* Closed on Mon
  

Dinner @ Concetto

October 19, 2014 in Italian

An outing with my soon-to-be-married couple friend was due and the female (also my girlfriend) wanted somewhere affordable and at a restaurant that’s not too shabby. As such, I thought of Concetto.

Taken from their website, Concetto is the brainchild of two people who discovered the need to provide quality fare at affordable prices. After Saveur, Concette was their second restaurant but offering Italian cuisine. And I must say, they have succeeded in their branding. When one wants quality yet affordable cuisine, one would think of either Saveur and Concetto. Which also explained why the dinner venue was settled as Concetto.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4), we ordered:-


1) Seafood soup, $8.90 (above) – A rich shellfish broth with a selection of luscious seafood. The presentation did not look too impressive, but this was not too bad. The groom-to-be was worried the soup would tasty fishy, but this was no where near that. Instead, it was rich and flavourful.

2) Concetto pasta, $6.90 (above) – Chilled capellini tossed in lobster oil & seaweed; served with crab & shrimp tartare, finished with lobster foam & ikura. It did not exactly impress but this was okie for its price tag.


3) Pork ravioli, $11.90 (above) – Sphere-shaped pasta filled with minced pork belly & smoked scarmozza cheese; served with pernod fennel cream sauce, aged parma ham & onion confit. The filling within was marinated very well. Very tasty. However, the dough was a little thick. And at the corners where the dough was pressed together, it was a little uncooked.

4) Squid ink risotto, $11.90 (above) – Arborio rice cooked in shellfish broth, butter & squid ink; served with squid brunoise, pan-seared squid & crispy rice cracker.


5) Cod, $22.90 (above) – Pan-seared cod; served with clams & white wine broth; fennel salad & puff pastry. Did not really like this. The various elements (cod, puff pasty and salad) did not manage to come together as a dish. And the broth somehow tasted like our Chinese’s salted vegetable soup instead.

6) Pistachio panna cotta, $6.90 (above) – Pistachio-flavoured cooked cream served with pistachio crumble & salted pistachio.

7) Grapefruit dome, $7.90 (above) – A dome of orange and grapefruit; served with lemon meringue, grapefruit confit, honey mint sorbet and grand marnier. This was a little bitter since grapefruit was the main object for this dish.

8) Tiramisu, $10.90 (above) – A la-minute composed; homemade sponge, mascarpone cream, tanariva chocolate mousse. Looked impressive on the plate, but I did not really like Concette’s deconstructed rendition of tiramisu. That taste of coffee was missing.

Generally, Concetto makes a good place for an almost-there-fine-dining experience. The dishes offered at Concetto are what one would most likely see in fine-dining restaurants. But offered at wallet-friendly prices at Concetto. Which also explained why reservation is a must.

My friends reached at 6.15pm on a weekend evening without knowing that I had made reservation for 7pm. And he was told the next available slot for walk-in was at 9pm! So yes, thankfully I made a reservation on their website (which beeds to be done at least 3 hours in advance). And it was great that we were promptly allocated a table even though we were almost 30 minutes early.

However, it’ll be good to request for a table on the upper tier. The restaurant has two levels, and we smelled after our dinner as we say at the lower tier which wS just beside the open-concept kitchen.

But it’s a personal preference that I rather dine elsewhere as I do not mind paying slightly more for better executed food. While Concetto gives a good deal where one need not dig too deep into their wallets / purses, some of the dishes seem to be misses because Concetto is restricted by the budget in order to keep their dishes affordable.

So it’s really a personal choice. Good deal or value for money. Good deal is where one scores something at a very good price (that’s known in advance) while value for money is where one can gets more than what one expect. While, at least that’s how I define the two terms. =)

CONCETTO BY SAVEUR
2 Handy Road, The Cathay, #01-11/12, Singapore
6735 1141, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 21:30
Ambience: 7
Value: 7
Service: 7