Singapore

Relish, Singapore


It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a post here. I’ve thought of a few excuses, but at the end of the day, I’ve just been plain lazy. I’ll make this quick since there isn’t all that much to talk about. I recently went to Relish, along Bukit Timah road. I was actually hoping to hit Bar Bar Black Sheep for burgers but the place was closed, and having gotten into the mindset that I will be putting a meat patty stuck between 2 slices of bread into my mouth, I had to satisfy that craving. Relish popped up as the closest available option. Incidentally, Relish is owned by Willin Low, who runs Wild Rocket.

Let me just say, first and foremost, that I lived off burgers in college. Exam at 8am? No time for dinner? Drive through Macdonalds. Feel like giving myself a treat? Drive through In-n-Out(Best ‘fast food’ burger imo). Everything,  from the hole in the wall joint that serves burgers cooked with oil that has been recycled and reused daily since the 1960’s, to the Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller burgers served with a little drizzle of truffle oil, just to you know, elevate the burrrr-gher(french pronunciation), I love.  I’ve never really had unreasonably high expectations for my burgers, which makes me a little uneasy when I eat ‘high-end’ burgers. Trying to deconstruct the individual components of a burger and figure out how it tastes on your tongue is like trying to piece together the ramblings of a retard- theyre not meant to be understood, and you end up looking like an idiot. Considering the fact that I just pre-maturely insulted myself, do take this post with a pinch of salt, I’m no burger connoisseur.

Mushroom Soup

We start off with a reasonably simple mushroom soup. Thick, creamy, very intensely flavoured, with good chunks of diced mushroom in the soup itself. I appreciate that the diced mushroom added a little texture to the dish, but there was also smaller bits of mushroom strewn all over the place that made it a little grainy, I thought they could have pureed it a little better. And despite the soup being very hearty, it did get a little heavy towards the end. Okay

Blue Cheese Beef Burger with Rucola, Poached pear and Walnut Butter

This is apparently one of the most popular burgers served at Relish, and it definitely looked the most interesting. The blue cheese component of the dish was actually embedded within the beef patty, which makes sense because the creamy-ness of the cheese contributed to the perceived juicy-ness of the meat patty. Surprisingly though, the blue cheese taste was not as strong as I thought it would be, even less so than some of the cheddar cheese slices I’ve had on other regular hamburgers. The meat was a little overcooked for my liking (I requested Medium-rare), but still packed good flavour. The umami filled patty was balanced beautifully by the poached pear, the sweetness of the pear toned the richness down a notch, but it didnt overpower the palate and the burger remained primarily savoury. Very well played Willin Low.

What really threw the whole burger off was the inclusion of the walnut butter. The butter was just a whisper of nuttiness in the background, chasing the main attraction- the patty, at least for the first few bites. But after I was halfway through the burger, walnut was all I tasted. The only big flaw in an otherwise, good burger. Okay

On a side note, I ordered a side of guacamole to go with the burger and fries, and not only was the guac severely underseasoned, it was ice cold, literally- the core of the guac was still ice. Not good

Bonus photo: In-n-out 4×4 burger: 4 patties, 4 slices of cheese. Greed is definitely good

Singapore

Wild Rocket, Singapore

Tempura Chilli Crab

This is such a good idea, that could have been executed a little better. The tempura batter was a little too soggy when it arrived and wasn’t as crisp as I would have liked. There were no issues with the chilli sauce, however, it was slightly thicker than the regular sauce used in chilli crab, which is good because thats what the dish called for. Okay

Kueh Pi tee

I don’t remember much about this, but it had a lot of mushrooms, and a dollop of creme fraiche (I think), interesting. Okay

Crab Salad

The crab used was very sweet, but there was a severe lack of acid in the salad, and it tasted somewhat bland. Bad

Consomme with Fish

Fish was very nicely cooked, melt in your mouth tender, but consomme was tasteless. Okay

Salmon Carpaccio

I loved this dish in concept, I loved the idea of breaking an egg over the salmon, but this dish was so severely underseasoned, that we were rationing the few tiny spheres of caviar to spread among the dish, because they were the only component of the dish that actually brought a salty component to your palate. Bad

Paste with shrimp

I dont remember much about this dish either, but I found it pretty dry. Okay

Ragu

Very meaty and satisfying, full of umami and very well seasoned, plus I was very grateful that there wasn’t too much sauce on the plate. Good

Grilled fish with chye poh

Once again, a perfectly cooked fish, had a nice color on the outside, but had a moist interior. I loved that chye poh was used to flavour the dish, it balanced out the delicate flavours of the dish brilliantly. Good

Fish with curry sauce

I’m not going to pretend like I remember what this dish tasted like.

Lightly grilled wagyu

This was actually perfectly cooked in my opinion,  simply seasoned with a little salt and pepper. Good

Molten Chocolate cake

Wasn’t anything to shout about, but that is a gigantic scoop of ice cream.

Coffee + Condensed milk Tart with ice cream

This isn’t a combination that was new to me, it had all the familiar nuances, but it was presented in a new form. The coffee had a pretty strong kick, and the condensed milk kept the sweetness of the dish subtle and never overpowering. Very Good

I have to say, first and foremost, that I have a lot of respect for Willin Low, the head chef at Wild Rocket. In fact, I have a lot of respect for any self taught chef that runs a restaurant. When chefs go through formal culinary training, they are often told that there are certain rules that cannot be broken, then there are those who go out and break those rules; the thing is, self taught chefs are often unaware that these rules exist to begin with, this makes them think outside the box. From the meal I had at Wild Rocket, I was happy that the dishes were familiar, yet new to me as the same time; the word ‘fusion’ has a very bad rep in many peoples minds, mainly because so many people do it badly. There are problems with execution for some of the dishes served at Wild Rocket, but the ideas behind the dishes are flawless. I do believe that there is an avenue for high end Singaporean cuisine, and Wild Rocket looks to be moving in that direction, for very reasonable prices. Wild Rocket is definitely worth trying out if you’re looking for something fresh, with a touch of Singaporean flair.