Open Farm Community

December 27, 2015 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Open Farm Community
130E Minden Road

http://www.openfarmcommunity.com/


Fresh, Innovative Dishes, Using Locally Sourced Ingredients

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 10
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 6
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $55 per person.


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The Spa Esprit Group has positioned itself as a premier lifestyle brand in Singapore, with its diverse portfolio comprising 17 distinct brands. The Open Farm Community is one such brand, an initiative to reconnect the community to nature via sustainable local farming. Founded in July 2015, Open Farm Community is a 35,000 square feet urban farmland, horticultural hub, and restaurant, a celebration of local farmers, creative chefs, and delicious seasonal fare. The goal; helping Singaporeans to understand the modern eco-system and make the connection between farm and plate.

Ambience at Open Farm Community is fantastic. Situated along the outskirts of the Dempsey Hill area, along Minden Road, Open Farm Community is surrounded by lush greenery. You'll feel transported to the countryside, a calm, relaxing oasis, perfect for long, lingering meals. Ample seating options abound within the spacious area, choose from relaxing booths at the terrace, comfortable seats at the small al-fresco outdoor dining area, or modern, functional seats indoors under a light feature resembling twinkling stars. The eclectic mix of furniture, from metal to plastic, to wood, lend a rustic, homely feel. Do note that outdoor seating is prone to visits by insects, this is after all, a farm.

Service at Open Farm Community could be so much better. To be honest, we had excellent service from several of the staff, they were friendly, attentive, professional, and efficient at fulfilling requests, or clearing empty / dirty tables. They could also provide basic descriptions of ingredients in dishes, and how it's made. However, this was let down by examples of poor service from other staff, we had 1 instance of a staff totally ignoring our request and walking away. Water is not proactively topped up. They also charged us an advance reservation fee of SGD $50, only to discover when we arrived that there was no record of our booking. These mistakes mar the fine dining status of Open Farm Community, making the experience bitter sweet.

Food at Open Farm Community is Modern European Fusion, focusing on modern French and Italian cuisine, with some touches of Asian flavour. Naturally, all dishes contain some ingredients grown here on the farm, super fresh, with a distinctive difference in taste! Generally, I find food here to be fresh, tasty, containing a few key flavours that complement each other. Plates are beautifully designed works of art, it looks good, and tastes good! For a fine dining restaurant, portions at Open Farm Community are large, rather substantial for individuals, and suitable for sharing. Prices are considered affordable for a fine dining establishment, and value for money because the food is so fresh! Budget about SGD $55 per person for a proper meal here.


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Open Farm Community Signage


Map


Open Farm Community Restaurant Exterior


Open Farm Community Restaurant Interior


Kitchen


Bar


Lights


Mandala Garden


Terrace


Event Lawn


Farm 01


Farm 02


Neverland Play Area


Partition Wall


Plant Box


Sculptures 01


Sculptures 02


Seating Outdoors


Seating Indoors


Seats 01


Seats 02


Seats 03


Seats 04


Table Tennis Area





Even the water comes flavoured with orange slices, which gives it a slight hint of citrus taste! The Avocado Mango Smoothie (SGD $10) is a smooth, thick, blend of ripe mango, creamy avocado, lemon juice, honey, ginger, and chia seeds. The addition of ginger lends a touch of spice, which tingles the palate! The Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie (SGD $10) is a blend of juicy, refreshing watermelon juice, sweet strawberries, and thick yoghurt. The result is pleasing, neither too thick nor too sweet, well balanced and thirst quenching!

Water Jugs


Avocado Mango Smoothie


Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie



The OFC Pimms Cocktail (SGD $16) is created with herbs and vegetables from the farm here! Featuring a blend of Pimm's No. 1 Cup fruit liqueur, fizzy ginger ale, strawberry, cucumber, lemon juice, lemon zest, and mint leaves, this beverage is cooling and refreshing. Great thirst quencher for warm summer days!

OFC Pimms Cocktail 01


OFC Pimms Cocktail 02



The Beer Suntory Premium Half & Half (SGD $19) is a smooth, malty blend of Suntory Premium Malt Draft and Suntory Premium Dark Malt Draft. The dark amber ale has a creamy medium-full body with a sweet flavour that has litle bitterness, and tastes of malt, grain, caramel, and nuts.

Beer Suntory Premium Half & Half (SGD $19)



The dishes here are heavy on the use of vegetables and herbs, and may surely change your mind even if you don't like these... really fresh, completely delicious. Not often that I enjoy eating salad, this is one of the more noteworthy places!

Meal


Meal Again



Seldom have I enjoyed a salad as much as I enjoyed the Warm Salad Of Broccoli, Pine Nuts, Sugar Snap Peas Topped With Crumbled Feta And Minden Mint (SGD $19)! Really fresh, with a range of textures; crunchy, juicy, chewy, rough, soft, creamy; along with flavours that work so well together, natural sweetness, savoury, salty, minty, smoky, nutty, sharp, and earthy. I swear I could just eat bowls of this! Highly recommended!

Warm Salad Of Broccoli, Pine Nuts, Sugar Snap Peas Topped With Crumbled Feta And Minden Mint 01


Warm Salad Of Broccoli, Pine Nuts, Sugar Snap Peas Topped With Crumbled Feta And Minden Mint 02


Warm Salad Of Broccoli, Pine Nuts, Sugar Snap Peas Topped With Crumbled Feta And Minden Mint 03



The Chilled Avocado & Ginger Soup With Poached Yabbies & Fresh Radish, Pita Bread (SGD $22) is a refreshing, tasty appetizer soup / broth. The fluffy, warm, soft pita bread makes for delightful dipping into the creamy, medium-thick, rich, chilled avocado and ginger soup / broth, which is sweet and floral in taste. Within are chunks of creamy avocado, red radish slices, and poached shrimp yabbies, which lend a sweet, meaty crustacean flavour to the dish. Good!

Chilled Avocado & Ginger Soup With Poached Yabbies & Fresh Radish, Pita Bread (SGD $22)


Pita Bread


Chilled Avocado & Ginger Soup With Poached Yabbies & Fresh Radish 01


Chilled Avocado & Ginger Soup With Poached Yabbies & Fresh Radish 02



Loved the freshness of the Sweet Corn With Smoked Paprika Butter, Popcorn & Chimichurri (SGD $15), with its crunchy sweet corn on the cob that is juicy, and has a hint of smoky spice from the paprika butter. The sweet and crunchy caramelised popcorn lends an interesting contrast to texture, but I felt the tangy chimichurri distracted from the overall taste of the dish. Love the presentation though, the skin is used for plating, and blends nicely with the curvature of the plate itself! Good!

Sweet Corn With Smoked Paprika Butter, Popcorn & Chimichurri 01


Sweet Corn With Smoked Paprika Butter, Popcorn & Chimichurri 02


Sweet Corn With Smoked Paprika Butter, Popcorn & Chimichurri 03



The Coal-Baked Omelette With Smoked Haddock, Tarragon & Grain Mustard Mornay (SGD $25) is listed as a starter / appetizer, but is large enough in portion size to be a main course on its own! The light and fluffy egg omelette hides chunks of smoked haddock fish within, whose smoky, salty taste helps enhance the flavour of the dish. The tarragon herbs lends a bright freshness, while the grain mustard mornay sauce is creamy, yet not cloying or heavy. Among the best egg omelette dishes I've had. Highly recommended!

Coal-Baked Omelette With Smoked Haddock, Tarragon & Grain Mustard Mornay 01


Coal-Baked Omelette With Smoked Haddock, Tarragon & Grain Mustard Mornay 02


Coal-Baked Omelette With Smoked Haddock, Tarragon & Grain Mustard Mornay 03



The Potato Dumpling Gnocchi, Shredded Pork Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomato Jus & Fresh Fennel (SGD $27) features small knobs of hand formed potato gnocchi, with a soft, slightly chewy texture, topped with fresh fennel and sauteed white onion. Served with a meaty, savoury salty shredded pork sausage. The bed of sun-dried tomato jus is bright, thick like a stew / paste, with a delicate sweetness. Personally, I felt the taste was quite good, but somehow doesn't harmonise as beautifully as it should. Would have liked the tomato jus to be more intense, and the pork sausage a tad more salty.

Potato Dumpling Gnocchi, Shredded Pork Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomato Jus & Fresh Fennel 01


Potato Dumpling Gnocchi, Shredded Pork Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomato Jus & Fresh Fennel 02


Potato Dumpling Gnocchi, Shredded Pork Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomato Jus & Fresh Fennel 03



The sauce for the Roasted Baby Chicken, Braised Leeks With Hazelnut Butter & Wild Watercress Salad (SGD $27) was too salty, but otherwise, the dish itself was tasty. The tender chicken meat comes clean off the bone, the leeks are fresh and crunch softly when bit. The wild watercress salad lends a brightness, cutting through the savoury salty flavour. Surprisingly, the hazelnuts are sweet, almost caramelised on the outside. Has the potential to be a much better dish.

Roasted Baby Chicken, Braised Leeks With Hazelnut Butter & Wild Watercress Salad 01


Roasted Baby Chicken, Braised Leeks With Hazelnut Butter & Wild Watercress Salad 02


Roasted Baby Chicken, Braised Leeks With Hazelnut Butter & Wild Watercress Salad 03



Was excited when I saw the Mangalica Pork Collar, Asian Barbecue Glaze, Corn & Speck Ragout With Pickled Cucumber (SGD $35), as mangalica pork is considered a premium meat, like wagyu. True to form, the pork was very succulent and tender, with a nice savoury sweet smoky flavour from the barbecue glaze, save for 1 part which was unusually tough. But the best part about the dish was the corn and speck ragout, almost similar to a Native American succotash, bright juicy sweet corn kernels, tender baby corn, crunchy bean sprouts, salty bacon, in a savoury, slightly spicy gravy. The crisp pork crackling on top was a nice touch! Great dish, very tasty!

Mangalica Pork Collar, Asian Barbecue Glaze, Corn & Speck Ragout With Pickled Cucumber 01


Mangalica Pork Collar, Asian Barbecue Glaze, Corn & Speck Ragout With Pickled Cucumber 02


Mangalica Pork Collar, Asian Barbecue Glaze, Corn & Speck Ragout With Pickled Cucumber 03



Loved the tender, flaky, white fish flesh of the Coal Baked Barramundi Fish With Cucumber Coleslaw, Roasted Eggplant & Fresh Mint Dressing (SGD $29), which is sweet, clean, and fresh in taste. The skin is half soft and half crisp, which confused me though. Served on a bed of earthy mashed chickpeas, garnished with fresh and bright cucumber coleslaw, twirled like pasta noodles! The dish is finished with smoky roasted eggplant / aubergine chips, and a mint dressing. Highly recommended!

Coal Baked Barramundi Fish With Cucumber Coleslaw, Roasted Eggplant & Fresh Mint Dressing 01 (SGD $29)


Coal Baked Barramundi Fish With Cucumber Coleslaw, Roasted Eggplant & Fresh Mint Dressing 02


Coal Baked Barramundi Fish With Cucumber Coleslaw, Roasted Eggplant & Fresh Mint Dressing 03



The house signature dessert is the Lemon Tart With Basil Ice-Cream (SGD $17). Resembling a classic French mille-feuille in presentation, with 3 layers of crisp, flaky puff pastry, the filling within comprises light chantilly cream and a zesty lemon curd. Bright on the palate, with a sweet sour taste, the dish is finished with kiwi fruit gel, and a unique, grassy, floral basil leaf infused ice cream. A very good dessert!

Lemon Tart With Basil Ice-Cream 01


Lemon Tart With Basil Ice-Cream 02


Lemon Tart With Basil Ice-Cream 03



Loved the Caramelised Mango With Textures Of Coconut (SGD $17), which features large slices of sweet mango, lightly caramelised, in a sweet, floral coconut milk and tapioca / sago balls broth, garnished with coconut meringue slabs, topped with fresh herbs, and a scoop of coconut ice cream. The sweetness of the dish is nice, without being cloying, fruity and juicy at once. The different textures of coconut make this a delight to the palate, and I found myself going back for spoon after spoon. Excellent dessert! Highly recommended!

Caramelised Mango With Textures Of Coconut 01


Caramelised Mango With Textures Of Coconut 02


Caramelised Mango With Textures Of Coconut 03



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