The Wicked Garlic Hot
A simple hawker store that serves Italian Cuisine just walking distance away from the central bus stop, and MyVillage.
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User rating summary from: 2 user(s)
Was passing by Serangoon Garden when I hit upon this new establishment in a road side kopitiam. I saw an European chef in the hot, cramped kitchen of Wicked Garlic, which was probably the main factor convincing me to try out the food. Chef branding works. As of this writing, Wicked Garlic has been open for a month, so still fairly new. It seems to be a trend now, to bring up-class cuisine to the lower class masses. Various French restaurants have done well to cater more affordable prices at the expense of ambience and service, and wicked garlic is attempting a similar foray with Italian cuisine.
We ordered the Quattro Formaggi pizza, pizza with 4 cheeses, ($10.70) and the Risotto Al Nero Di Seppia, or simply known as squid ink risotto, ($9.70). My honest feedback is that the flavours of both dishes were not rich enough. With 4 different cheeses on the pizza, including goat cheese, you'd expect a very strong formaggio bite in the pizza, but it was more the taste of 'disappointment'. The tomato base was also pretty bland, with not enough tomatoes and herbs slaughtered in the production of this pizza. Squid Ink risotto again, same issue in not having a flavourful, hearty base stock and just an overall 'meh' after-taste. Italian cuisine needs that powerful 'OOMPH', which is lacking here. For a place called Wicked Garlic, you'd expect more garlic essence to be used in the dishes, but the food generally reminded me of cooking at an old folk's home; less salt, less additives, but also not too bland lest the retired folks start flinging food at each other in revolt. Really playing on the safe side here, but it doesn't appeal to me.
I'd also like if there were more meaty dishes on the menu as it was all mostly carbs like risotto, pasta and pizza that didn't have much mix of meats on them other than 1 ham. You can't go wrong with adding meat to Italian dishes.
On a positive note, the Tiramisu was pretty good although the biscuit at the bottom had a bit too much coffee that it was soggy and runny. Well, some people do like it that way.
I liked that they came to ask our feedback after the meal (which I gave), and hope they do improve flavouring. I understand at those prices it is hard to really get quality ingredients, but the trick is in making low cost ingredients taste good if you want to succeed in this 'masstige' segment. Good effort at this pricing though.
A local hawker price for pasta that is good
While meeting a few friends for a sanity injection session ala chill out, I was recommended to a store on a hawker front that I never knew existed until recently. Apparently it is a rather new store that offers pasta, pizzas, and certain desserts like Tiramisu.
Feeling a little hesitant since I have had experience of pasta that costs about 7 dollars per plate and did not quite stand out, I decided to go for a simple pasta carbonara. It took a short wait before the pasta reached my table, and since it is an open air establishment, it was warm but not unbearably so.
When the pasta came to me, it looked quite interesting. Had an egg right in the centre, and the usual cream sauce with bacon slices all around the plate, as well as a piece of herb just above the egg. Taste wise though, it was definitely much better tasting, and had a more richer flavour. I knew egg yolks have been used in Chilli Ban Mee before, but never quite had something like this in a pasta, let alone one that costed me about 7 bucks. The owner of the stall was also nice, very friendly and approachable.
So next time you come around into Serangoon Gardens and have a craving for some pasta and pizza, try this joint out. The pizza and dessert was said to be pretty good too, but I might try those on a separate occasion!