As I’ve mentioned previously, Castelo Concepts restaurants are, for me, little more than a safe bet. You know that the quality of ingredients will be decent, the menu (which is often enormous) is bound to have at least one or two things you’ll like, and it won’t cost you and arm and a leg. And yet you know not to expect anything Michelin star worthy. The group has been expanding rapidly recently, with plenty more tricks up their sleeve in the coming months. Having been seriously impressed by Missy Ho’s, which breaks away from the Castelo mould, I was eager to put the group’s newest restaurant, Wilbur’s, to the test.
Wilbur’s takes over the Wyndham Street space that was formerly Pepperoni’s, another Castelo restaurant. The interior, decked out with rustic wood, corrugated iron and cute pots of fresh herbs, made me feel as though I had walked into a garden shed, yet a very spacious and airy one that was instantly welcoming.
The restaurant promises to serve “burgers, burritos and lobsters”. The menu is kept very simple and broken up into these three sections, plus a couple of others such as starters, salads and ribs. Simply put, it’s unfussy comfort food to satisfy cravings.
We started with a serving of Wilbur’s ‘famous’ wings. How they are famous when Wilbur’s has only just arrived on the scene I do not know, but what I do know is that these crispy little wings were delicious, served with a yummy sweet chilli and fresh herb dip to give them a gratifying kick. I also loved how they were served in a dim sum basket, adding a cute Hong Kong touch.
Now, what I found a little strange was that under the heading ‘burritos’, which supposedly is one of the three things Wilbur’s specialises in, there was not a single burrito listed. Instead, there were tacos, nachos and fajitas. There was a veggie burrito on the set lunch menu, but nothing on the main menu. Was this an accidental slip when typing up the menu, or is ‘burritos’ being used here as a collective noun for Mexican dishes?
Therefore, despite craving a burrito, we opted for the pork tacos. These rather sizable tacos were layered with pork meat, a huge dollop of sour cream, salsa and far too much shredded lettuce, with some pleasing guacamole on the side. Flavour-wise, once I had added some chilli flakes, scraped off a lot of the sour cream and replaced it with guac, they weren’t too bad. But in almost every mouthful, we found an inedible piece of gristle (either bone, or cartilage, or something you would not want to swallow) that had to be removed, which somewhat dampened the whole experience.
We were pleased to see that under ‘burgers’ there were quite a number of different ones to choose from, of which we chose the Black Angus burger, adding some bacon and cheese (for an additional charge). It was a very decent sized burger that would not leave you hungry, but unfortunately the patty didn’t carry much flavour. We could tell that the beef was good quality and it was nicely cooked, but a little bit of seasoning wouldn’t have gone amiss. I was, however, very impressed by the chips, which were a perfect balance of crispy and fluffy, served with their skin still on, which is always a nice touch.
Since we’d eaten far too much greasy American food for a weekday lunch, we decided to skip dessert, even though both the ‘banana rama’ and the ‘cheesecake mush’ did try and entice me.
Service was fine, though not the friendliest, and our total bill came to $470 including a soft drink. I really enjoyed the setting and décor at Wilbur’s. In terms of the food, there are obviously one or two tweaks to iron out, so if they manage to do this, then I can definitely see this as a fun, comfortable place to hang out. It has literally just opened, so in time I see no reason why Wilbur’s can’t join my list of ‘safe’ restaurants to enjoy some hearty comfort food. I’d also be interested to see if some burritos make their way onto the menu!
G/F, 34 Wyndham Street
Tel: +852 2525 1439