Saturday, February 29, 2020

Restaurant review: Open Farm Community, Singapore


When we dine out at a restaurant, it is very important to me that the kids have a good time. I usually prefer breezy open-concept restaurants and cafes which provide ample space (or even better, indoor or outdoor play structures to keep the kids constructively occupied). Kids being kids, I’m practical enough not to expect them to sit inside a small cramped restaurant, be still and behave themselves the entire time we are there 😆 (in the event that ever happens, I would definitely be suspicious about their wellbeing!). I’ve already mentioned how I feel about electronic gadgets as a distraction during mealtimes and drawing/coloring/puzzles offers limited appeal to my twins when it is forced upon them so my only alternative is to look for places that suit both us adults and the kids alike.

Open Farm Community (OFC) is a first-of-its-kind dining concept in Singapore. The open-concept restaurant focuses on locally sourced, seasonal and innovative dishes. The charming restaurant located on Minden road right next to Dempsey Hill sits on a 35,000 sq ft verdant green land and aims to unite local farmers, creative chefs and an innovative spirit to bring the community closer to nature.


This restaurant had been on my radar for quite some time. After our plans kept getting postponed due to some reason or the other, we finally managed to visit during the Chinese New Year long weekend (when the wretched coronavirus had not yet started wreaking global havoc!). 

First impressions - the restaurant is shrouded in greenery. At the entrance is a sandpit with simple play structures like mini bridges and a slide plus a garden swing in the adjacent area which made my kids very happy indeed. Even before entering the restaurant, brownie points from me for having a designated kids play area! 



Outside, there is plenty of garden space, including an alfresco terrace bedecked with cushy furniture and a ping pong table.


I highly recommend you take a stroll in the edible garden. I took great delight in showing my kids the wonderful fresh produce. We spotted sapota/chikoo, banana and papaya among others. They thoroughly enjoyed walking through the lush greenery commenting on how pretty it looked. 






There is an area for lawn bowling as well. 


The building is reminiscent of a greenhouse with its floor-to-ceiling glass-paneled windows allowing plenty of natural light to stream in. The interiors are simple and dominated by earthy colors like browns and greens. The wooden pillars, eclectic mix of chairs, fairy lights on the ceiling and plant centerpieces add interesting touches to the décor. 


While you enjoy the food, you can see the chefs in action thanks to the semi-open kitchen concept.

The menu isn't very extensive but there is something for everyone. There are 5-6 starters and mains each, a bunch of sides and a few desserts. The vegetarian selection is quite limited  (especially in the mains category) and if I had any criticism, I would say that adding more plant-based dishes which would appeal to both meat-lovers and vegetarians ought to be a serious consideration by the management.

I liked the type of cutlery, the simple presentation of the dishes and found the portion-size to be decent. 

We happened to have had uncomfortably heavy meals in a row the previous two days (you know Chinese New Year bingeing and all 😛) so we were looking to order a couple of preferably light dishes to share. Here is the lineup of the beverages and dishes we ordered,

Cappuccino 
I always start my day with coffee (without it my brain does not function). This cappuccino looked good (job well done barista!), was frothy and comforting. The sugar was served separately so I could adjust it to my liking. 


Beetroot juice 
This deep magenta colored juice was ordered by my husband (while mumbling something about detoxifying the system 😆) had the prominent flavor of ginger so it was a little spicy. It tasted a bit too "healthy" for my liking! 

Thumbs up for the reusable straw 👍


Coconut celery juice
This drink was not very sweet. You could taste the celery and coconut water. A nice refreshing drink for the kind of weather we have here. My kids liked it as well. 


House-baked focaccia
Fresh bread served with roasted garlic, salt and an infused butter. This was so simple yet such a great dish. Everyone loved it including the kids. The roasted garlic flavor was to die for!


Oxtail tomato and cucumber salad 
This dish looked fresh, minimalistic and appetizing. I loved the combination of the basil, crunchy cucumbers and different types of tomatoes. 

Light and refreshing! 


Cauliflower wings 
This was unexpectedly good! The cauliflower was coated in a tempura-style batter and lightly fried. Then it was coated in a moreish sauce and topped with crunchy sesame seeds and spring onion greens. Sweet, sticky, slightly spicy - this dish not only had great texture but flavor as well. This was my favourite of the lot. 

Recommended!


As time elapsed, more and more people started coming in and I could see that there were a good mix of locals and expats. Even though the restaurant was pretty crowded, our orders arrived fairly quickly. The kids were playing outside till then and were also fawning over the dogs that were brought along by other diners. 

We enjoyed a nice light brunch as a family and it was a lazy and relaxed morning well-spent. 

I will be back again for sure to sample the desserts!

Summary of our visit
Open farm community is a nice place to enjoy a relaxed brunch or lunch. The restaurant is located in a lovely locality and has a natural rustic feel to it. There is plenty of outdoor space for kids including a swing and play structures and a lovely edible garden to explore. The crowd is an interesting mix of expats and locals. Expect to see plenty of pets (always a highlight for my kids!). The restaurant has a casual vibe casual vibe, quick and efficient service and a decent selection of items (not much for vegetarians though). The food is presented well, has satisfactory portion size and tastes good. Expected damage can range from $40-60 per head. The restaurant is easily accessible by car (it has a small parking lot) but can’t say the same for public transport. This place can get crowded especially on weekends so making a reservation is highly recommended.

I'd suggest this restaurant for couples, families and casual gatherings. 


My rating for this restaurant is,





Open Farm Community
130E Minden Road
Singapore 248819

Restaurant opening hours:
Mon-Fri: 12nn-4pm | 6pm-11pm
Last orders: 2:30pm & 9:30pm
Sat & Fri: 11am-5pm | 6pm-11pm
Last orders: 3:30pm & 9:30pm

Book a table online here

Tel: +65 6471 0306

Cheers,
Megha


This is NOT a sponsored post or invited review

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