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.

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. =)

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 @ Wild Rocket // CLOSED

June 9, 2015 in Asian, Mod Sin

My Jap-foodie-GF and I decided to put our ‘streak of good luck with food’ to the test. We wanted to see if our luck with good food was only limited to Japanese cuisine. (^^lll) Haha. And with that, we were headed to Wild Rocket since both of us had Wild Rocket on our list of places-to-check-out. Talk about similar taste buds, eh? =) And so, reservation was made for 2 for a weekday evening. Do note that if one is going for the omakase menu, one would need to make the reservation by phone.

Wild Rocket is located within Hangout Hotel which is at the top of Mount Emily. Since we were feeling a little lazy, we took a cab from Plaza Singapura. Despite its close proximity, our cab fare came up to almost $10 cause of the windy route the cab had to take. Hmm…

Now… When we reached Hangout Hotel, we did not realise the entrance to Wild Rocket was within the hotel. You know how some restaurants occupy the first floor of the hotel but patrons would need to enter from the outside? So yah… We mistakenly walked round the hotel only to realise the entrance to Wild Rocket was from the hotel lobby. Oops. And even though we reached early (before the restaurant opened for dinner), we were able to make ourselves comfortable at the small but quirky-furnished hotel lobby. Ha.

And because we had made reservation for the omakase tasting menu, we were led to the chef counter. We were not given the menu (pages 1, 2) because by going with omakase, it meant we were leaving it to chef Willin! It’s also while chatting with the staff that we learnt that if one would like to have the omakase menu at the (normal) tables, one would need to come in a group of at least 4.

And with that, we started our dinner:-

1) Dish #1 (above) – And to kick start our dinner, chef Willin presented us with pomelo salad with tiger prawns and frozen coconut dressing. He went on to say this was Thai-inspired, and that this dish was also created and served to Princess of Thailand when she visited his restaurant. And for this, we were told to break the ‘ice cream’. A refreshing and nutty start to our meal.


2) Dish #2 (above) – And this was inspired by our local dish bak chor mee. Chef Willin described it perfectly when he said, “Fat of land meets fat of ocean”. Ha. Glass noodles cooked with pork fats topped with chopped tuna belly. My favourite of the night.

3) Dish #3 (above) – Chef Willin’s interpretation of our local dish nasi lemak. And this was amazing. Nasi lemak puree (which had the aroma of pandan leaves) with pan-seared Hokkaido scallop, anchovy chilli and puffed rice.

4) Dish #4 (above) – And what looked like our local dish char kway teow was not our stir-fried flat rice noodles. Chef Willin replaced the noodles with thinly sliced cuttlefish which gave the dish a very interesting texture. And we were told the dish was cooked with the best extra virgin olive oil. A staff gave me a dab of it to try, and it certainly was different.

5) Dish #5 (above) – And chef Willin shared with us of how he got inspired by seeing ‘Singapore Fried Noodle’ on the menu when he was in England, and how those did not even come close to the real Singapore fried noodle. Ha. So at Wild Rocket, this would be his version of taking ownership of the menu’s Singapore fried noodle. We were also told this was part of his SG50 project. Spaghettini cooked with lobster oil and prawn fats (I think I heard prawn shell too if I am not mistaken), this was not too bad. But what intrigued us were the plates. Apparently these plates were collected from chef Willin’s traveling. And instead of leaving them at home (since he shared he was barely at home), he brought these beautiful plates to use at the restaurant.

6) Dish #6 (above) – Breaded ball of Australian spanner crab and blue swimmer crab meats, placed on top of salted egg sauce.

7) Dish #7 (above) – And we were told the black cod was cooked in the same way as our herbal tea egg (茶叶蛋). Fish was infused in herbs & pu-erh tea leaves for 48 hours. Chef Willin told us to start with the egg first before moving on to the cod fish. And the quail egg was brilliant! One would expect it to be a hard-boiled egg, but no! When we put the entire egg into our mouths and took a bite, the yolk just oozed out. Or should I better say, burst out. Amazing.

8) Dessert #1 (above) – Pineapple-flavoured sorbet on pineapple pieces, sprinkled with chilli powder & soy sauce salt to celebrate the old way of eating pineapple. Oh yes, soy sauce salt. Wow.

9) Dessert #2 (above) – Chendol! With pandan infused panna cotta, gula melaka and graham biscuits. The staff also very graciously poured us each a cup of vintage sake which paired very well with the gula melaka.

10) Dessert #3 (above) – My Jap-foodie-GF and I were curious about their a-la carte menu and we decided to try more. We were given a tasting portion of the Wild Rocket strawberry cheesecake. I spied from other table that the usual portion of this dessert was served in a martini glass.

11) Dessert #4 (above) – Again, we were greedy and ordered more from the a-la carte menu. And this would be the tasting portion of gong tng Chinese peanut candy with peanut butter ice cream.

So yes, one would probably get 1 or 2 desserts for the omakase menu. My Jap-foodie-GF and I had 4 desserts because when we were to be served our desserts, we were still feeling a little hungry (or rather, greedy) and curious. So we ordered more. Ha. And it was a very nice gesture when the staff said he could do tasting portion for us when we were contemplating between 2 of the 3 desserts on the a-la carte menu. In fact, I really appreciated it that the staff did not recommend us to try the ‘pandan-infused panna cotta’ from the a-la carte menu because the chendol from our omakase menu had a small portion of the panna cotta too.

Will I recommend Wild Rocket? Definitely. Rather, it’s a “What are you still waiting for?” Lunch omakase ranges between $80 to $120 while dinner omakase ranges from $120 to $160 per person depending on the ingredients used for the meals. Our meal came up to $135 (before GST and service charge) per person. I am already thinking of heading back to try their a-la carte dishes since what was offered in our dinner omakase is different from what’s available on their a-la carte menu.

Speaking of which… I thought I should share this too. On the night we were having our dinner, chef Willin was also playing host to a group of friends who came to dine at his restaurant. I appreciate it that chef Willin still made the effort to introduce most of the dishes personally, rather than leaving it to his co-chef or waiting staff. And as we stood up to make our way out of the restaurant after having made payment, chef Willin even walked us out. Thumbs up!

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