It feels like a walk through British colonial times as I stepped into this sprawling two-storey black and white bungalow in Seletar Park Lane, formerly the residential area of RAF Base Commander and other senior offices.
A new lease of life has been injected into this area with the establishment of the Summerhouse, an integrated multi-concept destination made up of the Summerhouse Dining Room and Balcony Bar, Wildseed cafe and complementary facilities such as an edible garden, florist and coffee roaster.
Given such remarkable surroundings, it would be easy to surmise that the food is perhaps of secondary importance. Not so. As the name of the place evokes a strong connection back to nature, expect some nature-inspired, farms-to-table cuisine whipped up by the Chef Florian Rider who has a wealth of experience at Michelin-started restaurants including La Belle Époque in Germany and Alma by Juan Amador in Singapore
Although we did not catch the food from Summerhouse this time, we tried some sandwiches and desserts from Wildseed Cafe & Bar where ambience is more casual and laid-back. I gleaned in delight when I noticed traces of Middle-Eastern/Meditteranean influences in the dish as that is one of my favourite cuisine. Think falafel, hummus, etc.
In fact, the Pork and Kraut ($15) was good too because the cured and later smoked pork collar achieved the right degree of saltiness and balance with the tangy purple cabbage. The taste reminded me of the German Saukeraut except that there's no pork knuckle this time.
Bar snacks such as deep fried hollandaise balls ($12) and Super Thin Curly Chips ($11/$17) served as tasty nibbles for lazy days and long nights but the star was the assorted beverages concocted by Mixologist Yadhaven Santheran. I am not a good drinker but I thoroughly enjoyed the Marsala Chai Sour; freshly brew Marsala Chai with Almond Milk, Vanilla liqueur and Jack Daniel's. It's sweet and creamy like a Teh Tarik but extra fragrant with the boost from the liquor. It's the only warm brew on the menu but the scent could probably be the most alluring and potent of all.
Right now, most people seems to be flocking here mainly for cakes that are whipped up by 1-Group pastry chef Jasmin Chew. Like the savoury food, the desserts are very much inspired by the herbs and plants from the Edible Garden. Examples are the Pea Flower coconut muffin or Honey Lemon Rosemary Tart.
While they can easily satisfy the sweet tooth, what I would order again when I'm back is the Kaya Toast because it's so delicious and you can't find it elsewhere. Kaya, butter, coconut, gula melaka, 62.5 degree sous vide egg.....basically a Local Kaya breakfast stuffed in a sour dough pocket. How can this be not tasty? And it's very convenient to eat too.
The Pancakes is a homey dish drizzled with maple syrup and topped with house-made butter. Delicious but still not as special as the Kaya Toast in my opinion.
With such sweltering hot weather all year round in Singapore, I won't say dining here is a celebration of summer. But if you are looking for a funky little backyard garden that is not too crowded yet, this is the next big space to watch.
This is an invited tasting
Wildseed Café & Bar
3 Park Lane Singapore 798387
Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 7pm (Bar 4pm to 10pm)
Saturday to Sunday: 9am to 7pm (Bar 4pm to 11pm)