The Wildseed Bar: Where the kitchen takes one step closer to nature.

At Wildseed bar, one floor below the rustic Summerhouse dining room in Seletar, you're already exposed to the elements of nature. We suppose a strong gust of wind during a major downpour would soak those chiffon skirt endings or the still humidity in the air just before the storm hits, will render you listless and grumpy. But, fortunately for us, none of that today. The cascading sun radiating warm golden rays of sunshine across the magenta hued skies. If there was a perfect time to be nursing a cocktail, it would be now. And for that reason, I held on to my Grapefruit Negroni ($18) with fervour; it's absolute bitterness hugging the taste buds with warm familiarity.

The Wildseed Bar has recently revamped its menu to incorporate more nature-inspired elements, with a stronger relation to the sprawling garden at its foot, and locally sourced produce. The cocktails reflect the same conviction. One of my favourite being the Sunkiss ($18) - whimsical pulses conveyed through raspberry liquor - chambered, cointreau, fresh orange, cream and rosella; the overall mix tasting like a cross between a red velvet cake and strawberry milkshake. Sounds delightful? It is.

All the magic happens at sundown, the sun casting its extravagant gold blanket over the bar bites and drinks. It's easy to get smitten. And I did so with the Grilled Mushrooms ($8), the humble looking bowl may not be the most picturesque, but trust me when I declare no calories lost here. Grilled golden abalone mushrooms from local farm Kin Yan Farm are seasoned with sesame oil, soy sauce, kecap manis and sprinkled with black and white sesame.  I inhaled it quickly and shifted my focus briefly onto the Grilled Garlic and Cheese Bread ($8) before doing a forceful U-turn. It's that good.

The latter reminds me of Filipino Bread Rolls, Pandesal, albeit stuffed with cream cheese filling and lightly grilled with garlic butter for a slight glisten which gets snowed on by shaved Parmesan. I usually declare war on carbs, hence this bread starter didn't quite seize my attention.

Instead, the Truffle Fries with Truffle Mayonnaise and Parmesan ($12) which starts with thick cut curly fries still yielding fluffy centers beneath golden walls are layered with house made truffle mayonnaise chopped olives, grated Parmesan and a sharp shower of chives to send it on its way. Filled with massive flavours and a promise of no bottles of truffle oil harmed in the process, the table of us attacked this ferociously and in mere minutes, this went back to the kitchen, very empty.

The best main dish that I tried was the Tajima Wagyu Burger ($28, you have the option to splurge another $3 of blue cheese), sandwiched between a toasted cheese bun which imparts major savoury notes on its own. A thick patty of Tajima Wagyu has been treated to a lovely sear, it's full-bodied flavours not bullied, with an easy combination of garlic butter, cornichons, tomato sauce tainted with a hint of sambal. It makes sense and I devoured it in ardently.

Grilled Asparagus ($12) may seem a bit uninspiring but it's lifted by orange and lemon peel. True comfort food like the Yuzu Mac and Cheese with Sous Vide Egg ($12) lulls you into the rhythm of eating it; this throws in the occasional unsuspecting punch of yuzu to keep you staring at the plate with pleasure. The real MVPs are the bits of crispy nori and bacon over the overrated #eggporn that is the sous-vide egg which gets lost in translation when the creamy jargon is mixed in.

Of the meat courses, the most underwhelming is the Harissa Baby Back Ribs ($28), the overnight brining counting for nothing when the ribs fall victim to the furiousity of open flames that rendered it overdone and dry. Instead, I attacked the Grilled Tajima Wagyu Bolar Blade ($28 for 200g) shamelessly. Cooked to perfection, you might want to pull in the capabilities of the homemade sambal mayonnaise or preserved lemon and orange butter. The merry dance of smoky grill marks and salt flakes detaining me.

If you're one to enjoy being in natural setting, The Wildseed Bar has all the elements to impress. Come Friday evenings, the live band belts out melodic tunes that you'll want to practise lifting your glasses in sync to. The kitchen serves out complex food, leagues beyond regular cafe fare, but not ostentatiously mannered. It's the kind of cooking you both want to admire for its integrity, and eat.

The Wildseed Bar
3 Park Lane
t: 6262 1063 (fyi, they don't accept reservations, so just rock up!)

Operating Hours:
Mon - Thurs and Sundays: 5pm - 11pm
Fri, Sat: 5pm - 1am

No comments: