[Closing] Chef Willin Low has announced that Wild Rocket will be serving its last dinner on the 31st of October, after being in operations for 13 years.
There is some special significance of Wild Rocket, considered one of the first few restaurants in Singapore to introduce Mod-Sin food, and also propelled him into “celebrity chef” status.
It was once listed in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
The closure is reported to be due to refurbishment works of Hangout Hotel, and uncertainly over the lease of the surrounding space.
But knowing Chef Willin Low, he is not one who will really rest, as he will likely open new restaurants overseas and take on more consultancy projects.
Here’s what he has to say, “I have always wanted to take Mod Sin flavours overseas & the opportunities have presented themselves this year firstly in Japan & then in Taiwan.
Several factors regarding the lease of our car park space next to Wild Rocket & the impending extensive renovation of Hangout Hotel created an opportunity for us to close Wild Rocket so I can concentrate on these new projects.
We will also be opening a second Relish in Cecil Street end of the year. We might keep some of the Wild Rocket magic in the new Relish (watch this space).
When I opened Wild Rocket in 2005, everyone on my team was 26 years old & below, today they are 39 years old, married, many with kids! What a privilege to have witness all that.
Thank you everyone, my team & all our guests for giving me the honour of living my dream this last 13 years and please continue to support our new dreams for the next 13 years!”
[Original Entry] After a short break, Wild Rocket by Chef Willin Low has returned, offering freshly-made pasta dishes.
In between, the lawyer-turn-chef Willin has reflected and rejuvenated with travels from Japan to the Northern Lights, to get further inspirations on both food and life.
He probably needed that rest, after being involved in many projects from urban contemporary local dishes with PO at Warehouse Hotel, home-grown Roxy Laksa at Timbre+ to curry puffs at petrol stations. Add the occasional appearances on television shows and movies.
Willin was kind of everywhere.
When asked why he would introduce pastas in his Mod-Sin restaurant Wild Rocket, ”Our Mod Sin pasta have been very well received so we thought how else to make it better. Since my sous chefs and I came from Italian restaurants background we thought, let’s do it.”
He added that he loved freshly made pasta, but it was hard to find that in Singapore even at some Italian restaurants.
”We are probably the only non-Italian restaurant making fresh pasta.”
You can experience the pasta from the ala carte menu ($29 – $30++), as part of the dinner four-course meal ($73++), or the Omakase meal ($128 for nine-course).
The 3 new signatures include Spanner Crab Ravioli & Daun Kesom Ravioli In Laksa Broth ($30), Thai Red Curry Duck Confit Fettuccine ($29), and Har Ji Spaghetti with Bottarga (cured fish roe), Prawns and Kaffir ($30). There would be some occasional specials, so you may like to check with the staff.
My favourite was the Thai Red Curry Duck Confit Fettuccine ($29). After a trip to Italy, I could attest that you almost cannot turn back after having so many types of freshly-made pasta – the bite, the chew, the mouthful is just different.
It managed to marry the richness, intensity and spiciness of this Thai dish well into the pasta, still full of flavours but not overly fiery. (Though some might still feel that notch of heat.)
I liked that there were Thai pea eggplants within, one of my favourite components in the Thai green curry, this time soft and easy on the bite.
Wild Rocket also has great affinity with Laksa. They always open the restaurant with a new Laksa dish, from Laksa Pesto Linguine to Laksa Uni Risotto.
This time, you get to experience Spanner Crab Ravioli & Daun Kesom Ravioli In Laksa Broth ($30). A tad pricey, but there are two types of hand-hand ravioli in a single dish – one with crab and prawns, the other with laksa pesto.
The broth was light yet lemak (coconuty-rich), as though as you are having a more delicate version of Roxy Laksa.
The other two pasta dishes that I tried, a Har Ji Spaghetti ($30) and Rendang Oxtail Pappardelle ($28) bordered on being more ordinary.
While inspired by the Hong Kong style shrimp egg roe noodles, the Har Ji Spaghetti felt ‘limp’, and the roe somehow couldn’t ‘lift’ up the taste as what I would have imagined.
Desserts can bring you back to childhood with Milo Dinosaur with Chocolate Tau Tew Tempeh Crunch Ice Cream ($16) and Pisang Cekodok Banana Kueh with Pineapple Sorbet & Salted Caramel ($16).
The Hangout Hotel, 10A Upper Wilkie Road, Singapore 228119
Tel: +65 6339 9448
Opening Hours: Lunch 12.00pm – 3.00pm Last Seating 2:00pm (Tues – Sat)
Dinner 6.30pm – 10.30pm Last Seating 9:30pm (Mon – Sat, Closed Sun)
Reserve Online Now – Wild Rocket