Wild Rocket is renowned for breaking new ground by modernizing Singaporean cuisine (or mod-Sin as coined by its founding chef-owner who's perhaps more well-known for being a lawyer in his previous life). The style and techniques of plating and cooking are decidedly western, but infused with a good dose of local flavours and ingredients familiar to an Asian palate.
Located at the top of Mt Emily off Selegie Road, and on the fringes of the Orchard Road shopping belt, Wild Rocket is an oasis of tranquility far from the madding crowd. The restaurant's serene zen-ness is fortuitous, because it's a nightmare to get to, with parking space constrained, and the road up Wilkie Road so ridiculously narrow it's difficult to imagine 2 cars traversing the 2-way road without swiping each other. The Hubs was properly annoyed with the location by the time we got to the restaurant.
If new to the restaurant, the 4-Course Set Dinner ($75) makes for a diet-and-wallet-friendly sampling of Wild Rocket's offerings, with each course halved from its ala carte size.
A recommended option as the 1st course was the Beef Carpaccio topped with sesame ginger puree. The beef was fresh and delicate, which complement the restrained finesse of the sesame-d ginger paste. If I had a gripe, it would be that the beef was sliced a smidge too thick instead of paper-thin like most carpaccio. I like my carpaccio cut so fine it practically melts-in-the-mouth, instead of chunky and more akin to the texture of beef tartare.
An elegant take on the Chinese salted veg duck soup, the Duck Consomme, specked with mustard leaf cubes and duck confit lardons, was exquisite. Absolutely incredible broth, that was, very unfortunately, slightly marred by the hint of game detected in the aftertaste of the duck confit.
Carbs dominated the 2nd course, and you'll do well to order the signature Laksa Pesto Linguine (+ $3) supplemented with a beautifully caramelised grilled king prawn and half a boiled quail's egg. The linguine was smashing, an explosion of heady and potent flavours that was well worth the added cost. I'd return just for this.
The carb dishes are clearly where Wild Rocket shines. Another remarkable dish was the Krapow Minced Pork Bee Tai Mak accented with Thai basil and onsen egg. Be sure to prick the egg and smear it all over, for a rich saucy slick through. I'll also make a revisit just for this.
For the 3rd course, we liked the Baked Halibut burnished with buah keluak pesto and roasted brussel sprouts, fine beans and tomato. The buak keluak was blended with belachan for a pungent-salty spice, which enlivened the smoky char of the fish and vegetables.
We didn't quite like the beef course, a 48 Hour Short Rib with king oyster mushrooms with truffle sabayon, which was like an orchestra without a conductor. It wasn't harmonious, even if each component was, on its own, well executed. Just be sure to keep them separated, they sing better on their own.
Amongst the final course of desserts, the Hubs took to the Wild Rocket Strawberry Cheesecake, deconstructed for a contemporary touch, but delicious nonetheless.
I preferred the Teh Tarik Panna Cotta with black pearls, smooth like a baby's bottom and robust with the bittersweet creaminess of pulled milk tea.
Complimentary onion rolls, freshly baked, fluffy and redolent of fried onions, were paired with a superb extra virgin olive oil dip.
Hangout @ Mt Emily
10A Upper Wilkie Road
Tel: 6339 9448
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 12noon to 3pm for lunch; 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner
Closed on Sundays