Wildseed Cafe & Bar – Comfort Food in Singapore’s Gorgeous Countryside
Formerly known as Seletar Airbase, The Oval @ Singapore Aerospace Park features an 11-hectare cluster of gazetted conservation bungalows. This historic area is being brought alive again, with the establishments of instagrammable cafes and restaurants exuding a nostalgic vibe of the English countryside. Sitting on 3 Park Lane is a 45,000 square feet, 80 year old, 2-storey conservation bungalow which is home to the Royal Air Force’s Tech Wing Commander previously. It is where The Summerhouse stands invitingly at the moment.
The Summerhouse is an integrated multi-concept destination comprising The Summerhouse Dining Room and Balcony Bar located on the upper storey, and Wildseed Cafe and Bar on the ground level. Also located on the grounds are complementary facilities such as an edible garden, florist, landscaped gardens and a coffee roaster featuring key partners.
Owner-Chef Florian Ridder is previously from 1-Michelin-star Piment and 3-Michelin-star La Belle Epoque in Germany, as well as, the 1-Michelin-star Alma by Juan Amador in Singapore. He subscribes to the principles of permaculture, which he describes as the setting up of a “self-sustaining system that needs as little interaction as possible.” Among the principles of permaculture is the idea that every element in the garden should serve a variety of functions and purposes. You’ll see many of the garnishes used in the restaurant and cafe being harvested from the in-house edible garden, bringing a carefully curated range of ingredients of unrivalled freshness and provenance to the table.
We were treated to an afternoon of gourmet sandwiches, delightful pastries and desserts. Pork & Krauts ($15) consists of pulled pork, cabbage, cucumber salad, nuts and yoghurt sauce smacked between two sandwich patties. Pork collar is cured, smoked and slow-cooked till soft before being shredded. The mix of contrasting textures, with the crunch from fresh cucumbers, and its refreshing flavours, were enjoyable.
The Moroccan ($18) contains braised beef brisket, eggplant stew, feta cheese, sautéed local pak choi, hummus and sesame. The beef brisket is braised for 72 hours with coriander, chilli padi, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and star anise to give it a unique yet palatable taste. Being braised for such long hours also ensured diners get succulent, juicy, pull-apart tender meat that’s well-infused with robust flavours.
Our favourite sandwich is surprisingly the vegetarian option – Independent Uruguay ($15) – featuring carrot pesto, feta cheese, pickled beetroot, falafel, Kranji lettuce, yoghurt sauce and rye bread. Carrots are steamed till mushy, and its flesh is then cooked with garlic, chilli padi and tomato reduction to give the sandwich a fresh sweetness. The falafel is made in-house with deep-fried ground chick-peas, green peas and an assortment of herbs. We mistook these for meatballs initially, as the texture and flavours were very well done.
If you prefer building your own sandwich, go for the DIY Sandwich & Salad Platters ($50 for 2 pax, $65 for 3 pax, $85 for 4 pax and $150 for 8 pax). Select from pulled pork, braised beef brisket and poached barramundi for proteins and continue crafting your sandwich with falafel, cabbage salad, pickled beetroot, carrot pesto, eggplant stew, feta cheese, Kranji lettuce, Cameron Highlands tomato, garden herb salad, sweet onions, cucumber salad, nuts, old-school butter and sautéed pak choi. As for sauces, you can either get hummus, wild chilli sauce or yoghurt sauce. We had the platter for 4. Time to get creative and have fun while building your own sandwich with your desired ingredients!
Cakes for that particular Friday afternoon included Honey Lemon Rosemary Tart, Ginger Flower Banana Loaf, Citronella Passionfruit Cheesecake and Pea Flower Coconut Muffin. Each portion costs $6.50. A bite of the banana loaf brought us to heaven. Traditionally baked banana loaf had a twist of ginger-infused toffee sauce drizzled all over, and topped with dehydrated candied rojak flowers. This is one of the best banana loaf we’ve ever tried – light, moist, with a tinge of sweetness that wasn’t overwhelming. Superb!
Don’t forget to top your weekend brunch off with Wildseed Cafe’s Signature Cocktails such as the Beetroot Hibiscus Sling ($21). It is an invigorating blend of Grey Goose vodka, beetroot, hibiscus, Rosella Cherry Brandy and Chambered liqueur. You can also stick to the usual coffee selections, with coffee beans roasted by Nomad The Gallant Coffee Roaster.
Besides lazing weekend mornings away at The Summerhouse, you can also pop by in the evenings on weekdays to unwind at Wildseed Bar. There is a good selection of exotic gin, cocktails, garden martinis, premium spirits, bottled craft beers, ciders, beers on tap and house pours. We had mocktails – Summer Punch ($10) and Pomegranate Fruitoska ($10) instead. The former consists of pineapple juice, coconut water, frozen mangoes and frozen lychees. It was sweet, and perfect to cool one down under the scorching weather. The latter is a mix of pomegranate juice, frozen strawberries, mint leaves and agave nectar. It’s quite rejuvenating and awakens one on a sleepy afternoon.
Pair your drinks with bar bites such as the Triple Cooked Sweet Potato Fries ($11/$17) and Super Thin Curly Chips ($11/$17). Sweet potato fries are well-soaked with passionfruit and earl grey butter such that it gives a subtle tea aroma, with unique yet addictive flavours. Curly chips, on the other hand, are crispy and goes well with ketchup and the special soy sauce seaweed mayonnaise.
With its alluring heritage and architecture, and a span of tranquil greenery, you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Wildseed Cafe and Bar. Singapore’s not very big, unlike Europe where you can just take a 20 minutes walk somewhere and find solitude, but with the launch of Wildseed, you can now take some time to relax and take in the countryside charm. It’s a perfect place to catch up with friends and family over the weekend too. We’re already making plans to return, especially for the ginger flower banana loaf!
Note: This is an invited tasting.
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