Evidently we’re still on our VivoCity carpark mission, because we found ourselves here again on Saturday to finally give Wood a try. Wood’s selling point is that they cook everything over wood or charcoal, to give a distinctive aroma and flavour. I’m all for charred and smoky accents in my food, but I thought that although this place boasts a very interesting concept and has a great amount of potential, it was actually slightly let down by the actual execution of the dishes.
They have a set lunch that’s also available on weekends - $28 for 2 courses, and $35 for three. Because I also wanted to try the smoked foie gras pizza, and A wanted the smoked salmon and buffalo mozzarella salad, we opted for just one set and ordered the other 2 dishes a la carte.
While the flavour of the smoked salmon was definitely impressive, A found that it didn’t actually go with the mozzarella, as the textures were too similar and didn’t really complement each other. The mozzarella also was a bit on the watery side and not as creamy as some of the better buffalo mozzarellas we’ve had. The roasted asparagus soup was good, with the smoky flavours quite evident, but be warned that the asparagus flavour is quite strong, so it’s not for non-asparagus fans.
The smoked foie gras pizza was paired with rocket, grapes and a sweet balsamic dressing. This wasn’t too bad – again I liked the fact that you could definitely taste the fact that the foie gras had been smoked, and it went well with the grapes and sweet dressing, but because A isn’t a foie gras fan, I think once is enough for this dish.
I was looking forward to their house-aged ribeye, as it was promisingly described as generously salted and grilled over their wood of the day (or something). Unfortunately, which the smoky and charred flavour was faultless, it was overdone – a clear medium as opposed to my requested medium rare, so it was way too dry and chewy.
Surprisingly, dessert was a highlight – the chocolate and earl grey crème brulee was very well done, with a distinct yet not overpowering hint of bergamot from the earl grey tea, and a perfectly caramelised top.
Interestingly, when you go to Wood’s official website, you’ll notice that it’s actually under the Caffe Bar umbrella – that casual eatery tucked within Parkway Parade. I suppose they’re aiming for a more sophisticated crowd and dining experience, so they’re not openly publicising the affiliation.
For a Saturday afternoon in an otherwise bustling VivoCity, Wood was rather quiet. When we arrived we were one of only two tables, but a few more tables arrived during the course of our meal. Still, I’m not sure that 6 tables for Saturday lunch, during the GSS, can sustain them in the long run. They suffer from a combination of poor feng shui, being located at the furthest end of one wing, and having a rather imposing frontage that gives the impression that it’s more poncey that it actually is. They could do a publicity blitz to position themselves as more accessible to regular diners.
This place is okay but nowhere near what I expected from a specialty restaurant (especially one with such a fancy frontage).
I wouldn’t mind coming back, but it’s not someplace I’d specifically go to for the food.
I’d probably recommend it if you want semi-fancy food but don’t feel like getting too dressed up. Or maybe if you’re in Vivo City and everyplace else is too crowded.
Wood Restaurant & Bar
#01-53 VivoCity (Lobby F)
Lunch: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm
Dinner: Sun – Thurs 6 pm to 10 pm; Fri – Sat 6 pm to 10.30 pm