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Media Tasting Notes

Welcome to Wild Child Pizzette, the latest pizzeria and bar concept by The Cicheti Group.

Built on a decade-old promise and dough-making philosophy, The Cicheti Group’s latest opening defies all conventions of a traditional Neapolitan pizzeria with big swings—on smaller canvases—at modern tastes.

Before we get started

Here are some things we thought you should know

01.

Based on a decade-old promise

When the first Cicheti was being dreamed up in 2013, chef co-owner Lim Yew Aun was coming out of his role as a pizzaiolo at L’Operetta and wanted to set up a pizzeria, but his cousin and restaurateur Liling Ong was convinced that the first-time F&B business operators needed to cut their teeth and pay their dues before they could launch a specialised concept successfully.

The pair went on to open a safer and more approachable trattoria concept we now know as Cicheti at Kandahar Street—where they’ve slowly but surely gained a reputation for their traditional style Neapolitan style pizzas, perfecting their dough-making philosophy—with a promise from Liling to Aun thast one day, when they’re ready, he will have his pizzeria.

02.

The Journey Here

Since opening Cicheti 2013, the cousin duo went on to become a trio, inoculating top sommelier Ronald Kamiyama into its leadership as business partner, who’s responsible for curating the ever-evolving, thoughtful beverage programmes for each concept under the group with illuminating wine discoveries and horrible dad jokes.

Cicheti went on to serve as the blueprint for future concepts as the group expanded, each offering their own distinctive perspectives—with a shared homespun appreciation—on Italian cuisine. 2019 saw the opening of Bar Cicheti, Singapore’s first pasta and natural-slanted wine bar; followed by Caffe Cicheti in 2020, a modern-day osteria peddling fresh, bright flavours found up and down the coasts of Italy with highly quaffable wines.

03.

The Wild Factor

The “Wild” in Wild Child serves as a reference for the concept being a platform for Aun, Ronald and Liling to explore and creatively express their respective passions and roles that they’ve assumed in the group over the years.

Aun, being the heartland boy who’s devoted to perfecting the art of Neapolitan style pizzas; Ronald, a sommelier who’s accumulated a penchant and rare insight into the world of natural, organic, biodynamic and sustainably made wines; and Liling, an intrepid entrepreneur with a creative streak and the restaurateur responsible for fleshing out every detail of the concept-at-large to the litte touches of what diners experience and love about each Cicheti concept.

04.

Take a closer look

And so as you sit through the tasting ahead, we invite you to take a closer look at not just what, but how each pillar—from how the dough is made, to the wines you won’t find on our list, to the design ideas and the collaborators behind the experience—has been thoughtfully assembled into what you will be experiencing today. Wild Child has been almost a decade in the making, but it is the building block of a brand that was created to grow and scale.

Looks like

Minimal Japanese Modernism

Situated along a winding row of shophouses on Circular Road, leave every expectation of what a pizzeria might begin to look like behind a pair of tatami-style lattice sliding doors. Slide open to reveal an interior wrapped in a crisply detailed cloak of white Japanese oak from wall to wall. Black terrazzo flooring grounds the pale wood composition, while wooden ceiling baffles add a clean, complementary character. Sharp, clean lines carve out a bar counter that extends into a semi-open kitchen, where an authentic wood-fired oven specially shipped in from Naples peeks out at the dining area as it burns brightly all day long.

Inspired by

The bad boys of pizza and pop art

The visual identity for Wild Child pays homage to the energetic and carefree icons of Keith Haring, an American pop art icon of the 80s widely credited for putting street art on the global map. Drawing parallels between Haring and chef Aun's unconventional rise to fame and pursuit of their craft despite the odds, Ong commissioned local art collective Ripple Root to translate this across key touchpoints, including a custom series of raw porcelain sconces with the designs etched on by local ceramics studio ves.studio that add a distinct character to the warm glow against the walls.

Sounds like

Hip hop's defining age

Taking cues from Haring's well-documented love affair with the burgeoning hip-hop scene of New York City in the eighties, a sublime curation of old-school hip-hop influences all the way from New York to Japan put together by music maverick Mr. Has was the final touch to pull the entire concept together. Together with the help of long time collaborators, Ong had managed to bring to life an experiential sweet spot for Wild Child that marries the sleek planarity of minimal Japanese modernism and American-cool aesthetic of Keith Haring's exuberant art and influences.

Do the math

10 inches, 4 slices, more choices

As its name suggests, Wild Child centres its food menu around Neapolitan style pizzette. Typically used to reference smaller sized pizzas, each pizzetta in Wild Child measures right up to a snug 10 inches. With four simple ingredients of 00 flour, water, salt and yeast, the heart and soul of each pizzetta is baked on a slow-fermented, Neapolitan style crust that starts with a traditional Italian pre-yeast Biga and undergoes two stages of fermentation that takes no less than 60 hours each time. The dough-making philosophy is one that has been almost a decade spent perfecting at Cicheti, and lends itself to a crust that—with mere minutes blasted in the wood-fired oven—seals in a unique flavour, imparting an irresistibly moist, light and airy texture that yields to a bite that's chewy yet crisp, all at once.

The real thirst trap

Quaffable but teachable

A quaffable beverage programme of natural wines, anicent nihonshu and funky craft beers is also full of teachable moments. Wine lovers can look forward to fun surprises at every turn. Order a glass of something Bubbly, Macerated, White, or Red; or a bottle from enlightening categories such as Italy’s lesser-known Native varietals to bottle-fermented Bubbly varietals. Or simply take a leap of faith with Sommakase wine flights that leaves it entirely up to the sommelier.

An ancient treat

Sake for the masses

A selection of ancient nihonshu reads like page straight out of Kamiyama's wine bible—favouring traits such as indigenous and organic rice strains; or ancient cultivation methods such as native yeasts and self-cultivated kōji—all prized for their high polish rates. A regular Robin Hood, Kamiyama intends to bring sakes you typically only find in high end restaurants for the masses to enjoy.

Guzzle on this

Just drink your beer

In line with a beverage programme of good times guzzlers that can easily be enjoyed after work or nursed late into the night, while never seeming out of a slice of pizzetta in hand, a menu of six craft beers—one of each style and each from a different brewery from around the word—keeps the experience fuss-free and hopheads humble.  

Some "light" reading

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Tasting Menu

$14.50

Cauliflower

Middle Eastern flavours have always popped up on the menus of Cicheti concepts through the years, much thanks to the Arab influences on Italian cuisine, by way of the Medditeranean – especially in the cooking of Sicily and to lesser extent, Naples. Here is a simple roasted cauliflower dish that is charred beautifully, served with coriander, mint and a fistful of chopped pistachios on a bed of creamy labneh, Israeli’s answer to Greek yoghurt. An obvious starter for a carb-heavy meal ahead.

Pair it with

Poggerino, Aurora Rosato, IT

Light and fresh, floral and with elements of fruit, herbs and spices – a great way to start off a meal and has nice acid to cut through the creamy labneh. this is a pleasant and playful 100% Sangiovese Rosé grown organically from Chianti Classico vineyards. The wine undergoes brief skin contact and is aged in stainless steel. The owner, Piero Lanza, is almost fanatical in his attention to caring for the vineyard holistically, in rhythm with the seasons, and as custodian for its natural biodiversity and richness. This results in healthy grapes with the highest degree of concentration and ripeness, perfectly reflective of their unique Tuscan terroir.

Teetotaler's choice

Melati Spritz

A Singapore brand and Asia’s first non-alcoholic aperitif inspired by traditional Asian remedies, it is made with 26 healing fruits, spices and botanicals from Southeast Asia that we use to create a spritz. A refreshing way to start that shares the same elements of fruit, herbs and spices as the Rosato.

$18.50

Bikini

Originating from Catalan as a sexier, tapas style ham and cheese sandwich, we’ve taken the snackable format and replaced the bread with one we make using our slow-fermented pizza dough for that extra tang and texture. We fill it with a slow-braised grass-fed beef cheek marmalade along with layers of taleggio and provolone that melts upon toasted for a sexy time in your mouth.

$17 for 200g; $31 for 400g

Kurobuta

Pork bellies have been rolled up and roasted to a crisp, crackling skin all across Italy but of course chef Aun’s take on the porchetta has siew yoke written all over it. We use Kurotuba pork for its prized clean, fatty meat and the quality really shines through here. The skin is rubbed with a secret blend of spices and the crackling is insane. We house-ferment our own giardiniera (Italian way of saying pickled vegetables) that is acidic enough to cut through the rich, fatty mouthfeel and serve it with Crack Oil, chef Aun’s housemade chilli oil which goes with literally everything (pro tip: use as dip for uneaten pizza crust) and is so good we listed it on the menu.

$21

Crispy Fried Margherita

A playful but elevated take on the traditional Margherita pizza that has all the components but brings a fun texture. We dunk the pizza dough into a deep fryer for a crispy crust before topping it with creamy clouds of stracciatella, sweet bursts of semi-dried San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil and thick shavings of aged parmigiana.

Pair it with

Garage Project – Pilsner

A classic pairing for the Napoli pizza fritta in Naples itself is a beer, and the Garage Project “BEER” Pilsner is Ronald’s favourite. A Czech style-Pilsner brewed using Pilsner malt, Saaz hops and Czech yeast, it is clean and crisp and goes down smoothly with the fried pizza crust and creamy Stracciatella.

Teetotaler's choice

Heaps Normal XPA

With less than 0.5% abv, this would be categorised as an alcohol free beer, one that has the elements of a tasty Pale Ale and would fit the classic pairing profile of the Napoli pizza fritta.

$18.50

Cavolo Nero

You’d think a kale has no place on a pizza but here is one where we put the Tuscan kale front and centre, teasing its deep and earthy sweetness with bright bursts of lemon and pickled onions. Together they offer the perfect contrast needed to counter the sharp, intense flavours of bagna cauda and garlic confit.

Pair it with

Motoshibori, Akishika Shuzo, Osaka

Junmai Yamahai Muroka Nama Moto. Polished 70%

Akishika Shuzo was founded in Osaka prefecture in 1886 and under the present 6th generation Kuramoto (Brewery Owner). This tiny brewery is creating some of Japan’s most exceptional and finest sake. Hiroaki Oku is both Kuramoto and also Toji (Master Brewer) at Akishika and his dedication and skill in creating quality sake shows in every bottle. A pure rice sake (Junmai) made using organically grown Omachi rice and the traditional Yamahai method (yeast starter), where natural lactobacillus from the air is allowed to join the moto (a starter mash made with kōji rice, steamed rice, yeast and water to kick start the fermentation) and create the needed lactic acid. This traditional method takes about 30 days to develop, and the result is a sake full of character. The combination of citrus, sweet and umami complements the citrus and earthy sweetnes of the Cavolo Nero

Teetotaler's choice

Kimino Sparkling Yuzu

Super refreshing and fizzy sparkling yuzu juice made with hand-picked Yuzu from Shikoku Island, Hyogo mountain water and organic sugar cane. Perfect to cut through all that cheese.

$19

Trio Formaggio

Old is spun into gold with this three-cheese deviation from the traditional four cheese classic that swaps out the funkiness of gorgonzola with taleggio’s mild, fruity tang, while caramelised onions lend an irresistible sweetness to every bite

Pair it with

2019 Katla, Picquette, Riesling

If skin contact is the new pét-nat in the world of natural wines, then Piquette is what’s natural wine lovers will not shut up about real soon. Piquette is technically not wine, as it’s not made from fermented grapes; instead, it’s made by adding water to grape pomace (the leftover skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit) and fermenting what’s left of the sugars, and is a centuries-old method is known to have been enjoyed by vineyard workers and family members, using countless numbers of grapes that winemakers are left with after bottling their traditional wines. It is characterised by an exciting jolt of fizz and a lower ABV, perfect for any occasion. Here we have an unfiltered, skin macerated, diluted and re-fermented German Riesling.

Teetotaler's choice

NON 2 - Caramelised Pear & Kombu

A lightly carbonated non-alcoholic wine, similar to that of cider or fruity beer. The fresh fruit and umami from the kombu lends well to the flavours from the Caovlo Nero. Australian Packham pears are treated with different methods to create a complex profile that creates a big rounded pear taste. Kombu from Hokkaido, Japan allows for a minerality profile that elevates both salinity and the rich, torched fruit notes. Black tea, aromatics and spices which produces a complexity and structure.

$19

Spiniata Calabrese

A feisty number named after a spicy salame from Calabria characterised by its fiery pepperoncino flavour. Topped with fennel seeds on a bed of fior di latte, the salami is blasted in the wood-fired oven till crisped at the edges, its intense heat sparing no subtlety with a heavy-handed drizzle of Sichuan chilli honey

Pair it with

Le Bars Romain, Tavel, FR

An organic rosè from Tavel, a wine-growing AOC in the southern Rhône wine region of France that only produces rose wines. The blend of Grenache and Syrah is produced using both direct presses and short carbonic macerations, and intriguingly enough could pass off as a delicate light-bodied red. The Rhone Valley Grenache pairs well with the spicy salami and tomato flavours on this Spianata Calabrese. We're currently pouring a magnum bottle of the 2020 vitnage as part of our rotation of wine selection by the glass, which customers can order based on type and taste preference, allowing us to offer a constantly updated curation that allows for discovery with each visit rather than fixed house labels.

This works too

Domaine Les Enfants Sauvages, Enfant Sauvage, Côtes Catalanes, FR

With Les Enfants Sauvages directly translated to Wild Child - this was a no brainer pairing. For Carolin and Nikolaus, who owns 8 hectares of vines near Fitou, the name was a tribute to Jim Morrison and The Doors. The duo behind the wines drew inspiration from The Doors’ song “Wild Child”—about finding salvation in the wild state of nature—and they took the French translation for their name. The grapes are grown without the use of synthetic chemicals, with remedies instead limited to plants like camomile and nettle. Each vine gets individual attention, with leaves, shoots and even sometimes grapes removed, all by hand, to maintain their health. In fact, the only modern equipment used in the process is at the winemaking stage itself, but only as a means of encouraging natural processes to occur. Here, the red fruits from the Grenache with savoury and spices notes from Carignan and Mourvèdre blend pairs well with the spicy salami and tomato flavours on the Spianata Calabrese, with a plucky acidity and a finish that makes it hard for one to say when.

Teetotaler's choice

Jus De Raisin

Unfermented grape juice with Cabernet Franc from Domaine de la Chevalerie’s winery, then iced and topped with soda. Nothing like a purple drink to cut through the heat.

$13

Pecan Tart

Freshly baked every morning, a brown sugar-bourbon pecan filling rich with complex praline flavours without being cloyingly sweet is firmly encased into a perfectly flaky and buttery shortcrust pastry shell, sliced to order, and topped with a seriously boozy whisky gelato and drizzles of caramel and bourbon sauce.

Pair it with

Benromach Organic

Why stop at whisky gelato and bourbon sauce? Here’s hoping you get back to the office in one piece - the world's first certified organic single malt Scotch whisky from Speyside since 2006. Made from organic barley and matured in new barrels out of American oak from sustainable forests.

Teetotaler's choice

How about a coffee?

Pairing of the year.