Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wildly Civilised

Brunch - like high tea, the word conjures up images of excess and indulgence, and hours of slow grazing. Perfect for Sundays and birthdays. On the spur of the moment, HM had reserved a table at Wild Rocket, one of these hip restaurants that foodies have been raving about, for Sunday brunch, and roped in ES and KKN for the celebrations. Would the restaurant live up to its hype?

The restaurant is situated on the ground floor of cosy Hangout Hotel (yes, that's right, the hotel where the Singapore Idol finalists were cloistered). Incidentally, the drive up Mount Emily, courtesy of
ES' limousine service (thank you, ES!), was an illuminating one; I had no idea that the vicinity was so full of rustic nooks and corners. The restaurant's decor was modern, with just a whiff of retro. With lots of light coming in from the glass frontage, it was a pleasant enough space for brunch.

foccacia and olive oil

While we waited for our food, and KKN, to appear, we were kept occupied by the foccacia which was delightful. It was so light it resembled sponge cake in texture.

pan seared tuna and rocket salad

grilled tofu and baby spinach salad

We opted for two appetisers to share. Of the two, ES preferred the grilled tofu and baby spinach salad, for its soy-based Japanese inspired dressing, while HM and I both liked the tuna salad.

my laksa pesto linguini with tiger prawns and quail's egg

HM's wild rocket burger

ES' willoughby bangers and mash

KKN's scrambled eggs and beef sausages

Of the mains, while the sausages were good, the two that stood out for me were the linguini and the burger. The laksa pesto was actually spicy, not just token heat, and the sweet tiger prawns played off the sauce very well. The burger was even better, the patty being very very juicy.

Then came the desserts.

pandan panna cotta

coconut ice with gula melaka (left) and strawberry cheesecake with maple walnut icre cream(right)

Four of us shared three desserts. The pandan panna cotta was interesting although not everyone's cup of tea. As for the strawberry cheesecake, true cheesecake lovers will love it, but since none of us are hardcore fans, we found it a little too cloying. The big hit was the coconut ice cream with its traditional taste partner - simple but effective.

the damage

All in all, it was an enjoyable brunch. The setting was comfortable. The food was well executed, and at its best when kept simple. Prices were affordable. Correspondingly, the portions were relatively small which, depending on one's preference, could be both boon or bane. Smaller portions mean one can mix and match courses. However, as HM would say, such restraint doesn't a good brunch make. In that sense, Wild Rocket is almost too low key, compared to a place like P.S. Cafe which offers a much more full-on full-blown brunch experience. Still, at least it didn't pretend to be oh so cool, a plus point in my book.



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