Chef Willin Low has proven that not only does he have staying power in the restaurant business, but also that Mod-Sin is a viable, sustainable cuisine style that is gaining an authenticity to call its own. Having called the Hangout@ Mt. Emily hostel home for 13 years, Wild Rocket has defied all naysayers with its patrons willingly making the trek up to its residential locale. Guests can choose from the a la carte menu; sets of five, seven, or nine courses; or the omakase menu.
We start with the Trio of Mushroom Ravioli in Mushroom Truffle & Shiitake Consomme, which brings to mind the shiitake soup that my mother used to cook. The heady aroma, toothsome ravioli parcels stuffed with shiitake, oyster and button mushrooms, and soulful intense broth that seems to go on and on – it’s really powerful stuff and a great start to lunch.
Moving on, our Seafood Crustacean Oil Spaghettini with Tiger Prawn, the star dish at Wild Rocket, is a safe but delicious choice. The mains of Kelong Red Snapper Sayur Lodeh and Black Vinegar Iberico Pork Jowl “Ter Kar Chor” are both successes. Complementing the perfectly cooked fish is the robust vegetable-based coconut-scented curry, which has a spicy kick. The Iberico pork jowl dish, compared to its inspiration, has been barbecued. It’s served with a balanced and mellow black vinegar sauce, and the accompanying chestnut puree is a pleasing counterpoint.
All the desserts look attractive but it is the twist on a traditional Teochew dessert that calls for further inspection. The Orh Nee Yam Paste with Pumpkin Persimmon Ice Cream & Candied Lard, with its pipings of yam paste and scoops of ice cream prettily arranged, is a more refined take that may have all the elements but doesn’t deliver the same amount of satisfaction as the original.
Wild Rocket’s cuisine has evolved over the years into one that is not about trends, but about good food with strong, familiar flavours in a modern guise. We could embrace this and just think of it as local food. That would mean a coming of age.