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jiaksimipng
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Categories : Singaporean | Fusion | Restaurant | Seafood

Being one of the ten restaurants that had made it to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2016, Wild Rocket sits at the 38th position on the list amongst other restaurants in various parts of Asia. Wild Rocket is started by Chef Willin Low, who used to practice law before his foray into the F&B industry in 2005. Nestled in the tranquil environment of Hangout Hotel, Wild Rocket is within walking distance from Little India MRT, though it is a steep climb up a hill. In 2014, the space was renovated to what it looks like today, exuding a clean, Japanese-inspired vibe that is classy, comfortable yet without being pretentious or over the top. For lunch hours on weekdays (which was the time we had made our visit), diners can choose from the ala-carte menu, the 3-course set lunch menu ($38++) or the Omakase menu (between $120++ to $160++), while the 3-course set lunch menu would be replaced with a 4-course set dinner menu ($75++) in the evening.

 
First to arrive at the table would be the bread service, where we were served house-made Brioche with an accompanying olive oil to dip in. Baked in-house, the Brioche may seem just a tad dry initially, but it turns out to be fluffy afterwards as the bread simply disintegrates into smaller pieces instead of clumping up so there is pretty much close to zero effort to chew. The consistency of the bread might be done intentionally so that it does not turn too mushy if dipped into the olive oil, which is pretty fragrant and flavourful. For those who prefer their bread to go with butter, they do also offer salted butter on request.

 
For my starter, I have decided to go for the Giam Chye Mustard Leaf Duck Consommé with Duck Confit Cubes, which is Wild Rocket’s take on the Chinese Salted Vegetable Soup that is served with daikon, tomatoes and duck confit cubes. I am one who does not really fancy Chinese soups, but this was one that got me going for more. While seemingly light to drink, the soup was immensely flavourful especially for how clear it was; never a moment too oily. Duck Confit cubes were spectacular; felt pretty smoky and savoury at the same time and definitely gave a good flavour contrast to the soup. Indeed, a great starter to the meal ahead.

 
My dining partner picked the Barramundi Carpaccio with Orange Shallot Oil. A harmonious marriage of the Chinese Yu Sheng into Carpaccio, the fish was amazingly fresh and drizzled with orange shallot oil for a little tanginess going hand-in-hand with the shallot was fragrant of its roasty flavour; that flavour you would have expected from the same shallots you add into a piping hot bowl of Porridge. It’s really that comforting.

 
Picking from the selection of mains, my choice was the Iberico Pork Char Siew with Shanghai Kao Cai & Quinoa (supplement $8++). The instructions to enjoy this dish was as follows; peel off the rice paper over the bowl, then squeeze the Calamansi to release the juices over the dish. Digging into the Iberico Pork Char Siew first, the tenderness of the slab of pork was mind-blowing; a really soft, tender, juicy slab of pork where you can pull the streaks of flesh effortlessly with a fork. Coated with a layer of sauce that exudes a smoky sweetness, the pork itself really stood to the occasion basking in the limelight for how stellar the execution was, making every bite an ironic moment because it’s just so good to have, but every bite that was taken would mean one bite less afterwards. The Quinoa was decent, but the Kao Cai was umami which helped to lift the flavours of the Quinoa while the lone Shiitake mushroom at the side also deserves a little mention for that subtle sweetness that sets it apart from the usual Chinese dried mushrooms that we are used to having. It is told to us that this dish is their take on the “Tau Yu Bak”, and the rice paper served alongside is intended to be the replacement of the bread that usually comes along as a carb; the wait staff however advice patrons against eating the rice paper as the texture of a half-steamed rice paper is not something everybody might fancy, but it is known that some patrons still do eat it.

 
Unlike the Iberico Pork Char Siew, the Baked Halibut with Curry Hollandaise (supplement $6++) would really hit those who prefer softer flavours. Twice-baked; once just by itself and the second time with the Curry Hollandaise on, the Halibut achieved flakiness without losing moisture within. Since the Curry Hollandaise is baked along with the fish rather than being simply drizzled over the top, the Curry Hollandaise actually “sticks” on the fish instead, which definitely helped to lock in the flavours of the sauce above the fish. The Curry Hollandaise helps add a hint of curry fragrance into the dish, and alongside with the root vegetables did seem like Wild Rocket’s twist on Fish Curry. While the root vegetables on the side seemed to be devoid of excessive seasoning, they were still flavourful from their natural flavours; possibly an intended move to bring out the unadulterated, natural flavours and sweetness of the root vegetables with no distractions.

 
With four desserts on the menu to choose from, we have decided to go for the Trio of Flowers and Strawberry Cheesecake (supplement $2++). Between the two, the Trio of Flowers would fit well for those who prefer lighter desserts; coming with Osmantnus & Chrysanthemum Granita, the flowery flavours work as a good palate cleanser for a flavour-intensive main. Together with the Elderflower Jelly sitting beneath the granita, it adds a tasteful sourness that provides for a flavour contrast with the granita, making the dessert a truly refreshing after-meal treat. For those who crave for something more conventional-sounding, the Strawberry Cheesecake is actually Wild Rocket’s signature dessert. Served deconstructed with layers of cream cheese, digestive biscuits and macerated strawberries, they were bound together with a Maple Walnut ice cream that introduces a mildly sweet, yet nutty flavour to the dessert. Despite how normal it might sound, this is probably one of the best renditions of a cheesecake out there; Wild Rocket had made their own twists to the elements that make up the dish, hence the flavours are really balanced and uplifting that one will never get sick of. Truly living up to the name of signature indeed.

For more photos and the full review, head over to jiaksimipng in the link below:
https://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/wild-rocket-upper-wilkie-road/

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Giam Chye Mustard Leaf Duck Consommé,Baked Halibut with Curry Hollandaise,Strawberry Cheesecake,Iberico Pork Char Siew with Shanghai Kao Cai & Quinoa
 
Table Wait Time: 20 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $54(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 5  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 5  |  
Price
 5

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Categories : Bakery | Café

 
Crown Bakery and Cafe is yet another cafe that had recently opened in the area, though it is located a distance away from where most are situated. Being a bakery, there is an emphasis on breads; Crown Bakery offers a variety of flavoured loaves such as the Hainanese Chicken Bread; bread flavoured with chicken soup boiled from chicken bones and skinless thigh, garlic, ginger, shallots and lemongrass which tastes really identical to chicken rice. Apart from the loaves that are baked in-house, they also do serve a small selection of brunch grub, as well as desserts too.

 
One of my dining partners wanted to try their Brioche, which we settled for the Shizouka Matcha Brioche. Light and fluffy, the Brioche was perfumed with a strong green tea aroma which gave it a fragrant bitter flavour that is signature of green tea. Makes for a good light bite for the tea-time treat, and would definitely be a hit amongst Matcha lovers.

 
Crown Breakfast is a big breakfast platter that consists of bacon, cheese sausage, sauteed mushrooms, mesculun salad, braised oxtail, tomato and a Crown Puff Pastry that features an egg in the middle. Most of them were pretty decent, but the more impressive items would be the tomato; juicy and bursting with tanginess, the sauteed mushrooms which was flavourful yet juicy, braised oxtail that was really tender and came off from the bone and did not taste too gamey and not forgetting the Crown Puff Pastry where the egg was flowy and the puff pastry was flaky and crisp.

 
A rather innovative dish, the Earl Grey Pear Bread Pudding could be however rather controversial to some. Earl Grey fans would definitely love it for it is thoroughly soaked in earl grey aroma, with the bread pudding soft and custardy and a crusty top. In between lies the poached pear; soft yet retained its crunch. The first few mouthfuls can be rather awkward tasting, but this is one dessert that takes a while to get used to. Eventually my shameless self got the better of me as I ended up taking almost the entire portion of it that belongs to my dining partner.

 
For more photos and the full review, please visit: https://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/crown-bakery-cafe-crown-centre/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Earl Grey Pear Bread Pudding,Shizouka Matcha Brioche
 
Table Wait Time: 15 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $12(Breakfast)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Good food, long wait. Smile Mar 10, 2015   (Related Review)
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Categories : Western Variety | Asian Variety | Café | Restaurant

 
Replacing Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice, Paddy Hills opened to much hype bringing cafehoppers in the west yet another option to dine at. Cafe by day and restaurant bar at night, Paddy Hills serves brunch fare as well as a variety of mains in the afternoon, whereas the kitchen would churn out sharing plates and tapas-style offerings at night. Taking inspiration from Australian cafés, the interior takes the industrial approach, but at the same time also pretty homely and relaxing and food items are also plated in a way that’s rarely seen in the local cafe scene.

 
For a side, we decided to go for the Cauliflower Fritters ($12); air-fried Cauliflower florets sprinkled with paprika salt and masala yogurt at the side. A dish that sounds relatively similar to the Aburi Broccoli Salad served at Sin Lee Foods, this is yet another dish that is bound to convert veggie haters to veggie lovers. Fried cauliflower was crisp and well-seasoned in paprika salt for the right amount of saltiness. Dip each floret into the masala yogurt and it gives a sweet tang to the vegetable. Really addictive because I was having it non-stop, while one of my dining partners instantly got converted to a cauliflower fan being one who does not touch cauliflower at all. Despite being a side, this was the last dish to arrive before the Berry Ricotta Hotcake; ain't sides suppose to arrive the table first?

 
I went with two other dining partners, and two of us decided to share a serving of Hash Hash ($24); a baked egg dish served with chorizo, sautéed mushrooms, baby potatoes, beef shank, polenta chips and shaved fennel with two slices of toast at the side. While it looked pretty manageable at first look, we realized there was so many ingredients loaded in it that we eventually found it overwhelming and ditched a few pieces of beef because we could not finish it. Think of it as beef stew, with tender beef that comes with beef which is not too gamey, loaded with an egg yolk to burst, sautéed halved baby potatoes with mushrooms and tiny cubes of chorizo. It gets overwhelming because of the dip gets more savoury over time, but the whole dish feels really well put together with a bit of everything; earthy flavours of mushrooms, the excitement of burst eggs and savouriness from chorizo and beef coming as one. Perhaps mixing the Hash Hash would help as the different condiments felt as though they were on their own respective side of the dish. Toast was also pretty impressive; crusty with enough tension to pull, speckled with walnuts for a crunch.

 
My dining partner ordered the Squid Ink Tagliatelle ($23). While the Squid Ink was really thick and creamy; strong in its savoury flavour, it feels a tad heavy after a while and he had difficulty trying to finish the remaining half off. Seared Scallops were fresh, while the Ikura helped in keeping the dish refreshing by injecting a umami flavour with each bite when it bursts.

 
While we were hanging around the comfortable seats after our meal, one of our friend coincidentally came by to try out the Berry Ricotta Hotcake ($19) which was served only after 45mins after he ordered. Served with blueberry sugar, mascarpone, pine nuts and a myriad of berries, the presentation sort of reminded us of a similar dish served at Stranger’s Reunion and Top Paddock in Australia. It was pretty luxurious; the hotcake was supposedly more cake-like, fluffy in between but surprisingly crisp on the outside; pretty interesting. The batter is also pre-mixed with maple syrup as it seems, so it has its own tinge of sweetness without having to drown it in any syrup. Mascarpone added a dimension of tartness and small hint of saltiness to it, which matched the sweetness well. Again though it gets overwhelming halfway through; perhaps the sweetness was a bit overkill, and the berries were somewhat warmed up by the hotcake so it gave the dish a weird temperature contrast.

 
Paddy Hills uses coffee blends that are specially roasted for them from Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee; a 99-1 blend which has chocolate and caramel notes and Spark which has berry-like notes. I ordered a 2oz White ($4) which I had initially expected to be really strong but despite its fruity body, did not turn out acidic nor leave an aftertaste.

 
For more photos and the full review, please visit: https://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/paddy-hills-south-buona-vista-road/

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Berry Ricotta Hotcake,Cauliflower Fritters,Squid Ink Tagliatelle
 
Table Wait Time: 45 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $32(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Good food, long wait. Smile Mar 10, 2015   
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Categories : Western Variety | Asian Variety | Café | Restaurant

 
Replacing Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice, Paddy Hills opened to much hype bringing cafehoppers in the west yet another option to dine at. Cafe by day and restaurant bar at night, Paddy Hills serves brunch fare as well as a variety of mains in the afternoon, whereas the kitchen would churn out sharing plates and tapas-style offerings at night. Taking inspiration from Australian cafés, the interior takes the industrial approach, but at the same time also pretty homely and relaxing and food items are also plated in a way that’s rarely seen in the local cafe scene.

 
For a side, we decided to go for the Cauliflower Fritters ($12); air-fried Cauliflower florets sprinkled with paprika salt and masala yogurt at the side. A dish that sounds relatively similar to the Aburi Broccoli Salad served at Sin Lee Foods, this is yet another dish that is bound to convert veggie haters to veggie lovers. Fried cauliflower was crisp and well-seasoned in paprika salt for the right amount of saltiness. Dip each floret into the masala yogurt and it gives a sweet tang to the vegetable. Really addictive because I was having it non-stop, while one of my dining partners instantly got converted to a cauliflower fan being one who does not touch cauliflower at all. Despite being a side, this was the last dish to arrive before the Berry Ricotta Hotcake; ain't sides suppose to arrive the table first?

 
I went with two other dining partners, and two of us decided to share a serving of Hash Hash ($24); a baked egg dish served with chorizo, sautéed mushrooms, baby potatoes, beef shank, polenta chips and shaved fennel with two slices of toast at the side. While it looked pretty manageable at first look, we realized there was so many ingredients loaded in it that we eventually found it overwhelming and ditched a few pieces of beef because we could not finish it. Think of it as beef stew, with tender beef that comes with beef which is not too gamey, loaded with an egg yolk to burst, sautéed halved baby potatoes with mushrooms and tiny cubes of chorizo. It gets overwhelming because of the dip gets more savoury over time, but the whole dish feels really well put together with a bit of everything; earthy flavours of mushrooms, the excitement of burst eggs and savouriness from chorizo and beef coming as one. Perhaps mixing the Hash Hash would help as the different condiments felt as though they were on their own respective side of the dish. Toast was also pretty impressive; crusty with enough tension to pull, speckled with walnuts for a crunch.

 
My dining partner ordered the Squid Ink Tagliatelle ($23). While the Squid Ink was really thick and creamy; strong in its savoury flavour, it feels a tad heavy after a while and he had difficulty trying to finish the remaining half off. Seared Scallops were fresh, while the Ikura helped in keeping the dish refreshing by injecting a umami flavour with each bite when it bursts.

 
While we were hanging around the comfortable seats after our meal, one of our friend coincidentally came by to try out the Berry Ricotta Hotcake ($19) which was served only after 45mins after he ordered. Served with blueberry sugar, mascarpone, pine nuts and a myriad of berries, the presentation sort of reminded us of a similar dish served at Stranger’s Reunion and Top Paddock in Australia. It was pretty luxurious; the hotcake was supposedly more cake-like, fluffy in between but surprisingly crisp on the outside; pretty interesting. The batter is also pre-mixed with maple syrup as it seems, so it has its own tinge of sweetness without having to drown it in any syrup. Mascarpone added a dimension of tartness and small hint of saltiness to it, which matched the sweetness well. Again though it gets overwhelming halfway through; perhaps the sweetness was a bit overkill, and the berries were somewhat warmed up by the hotcake so it gave the dish a weird temperature contrast.

 
Paddy Hills uses coffee blends that are specially roasted for them from Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee; a 99-1 blend which has chocolate and caramel notes and Spark which has berry-like notes. I ordered a 2oz White ($4) which I had initially expected to be really strong but despite its fruity body, did not turn out acidic nor leave an aftertaste.

 
For more photos and the full review, please visit: https://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/paddy-hills-south-buona-vista-road/

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Berry Ricotta Hotcake,Cauliflower Fritters,Squid Ink Tagliatelle
 
Table Wait Time: 45 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $32(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Ice-Cream with a view! Smile Jan 13, 2015   
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Categories : Multi-Cuisine | Ice Cream and Gelato | Pasta

 
Not many might have heard of The Punggol Settlement, which is situated at Punggol Point Road not too far away from Punggol Road End. Being part of the Punggol Promenade district, it is a place for F&B and recreational activities at the Punggol Beach area. Amongst the few F&B places opened for business at The Punggol Settlement is Wayne’s Chill-Out, an ice-cream parlour situated at the second level with an al-fresco dining area facing the sea. Apart from ice-cream, they also serve hot food such as Lasagne and Pizza.

 
We were here for an after-meal dessert, so we decided to order a waffle with two scoops of ice-cream ($12.50), which we went for Coconut and Cookies & Cream. Crisp with a moist interior, the waffles were made with a classic batter involving eggs and butter, which was savoury and fragrant. Coconut Ice-Cream was mild, cooling and refreshing; good to have on a hot and humid afternoon, especially with small chunks of coconut flesh within while the Cookies and Cream was chunky with lots of cookie bits to chew on.

 
For more photos and the full review, please visit: https://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/waynes-chill-out-the-punggol-settlement/

 
Table Wait Time: 10 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $13(Tea)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 2

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