Last Updated: November 5, 2016
Open Farm Community is a relatively new concept on Minden Road, right next to Dempsey Hill. It is a joint collaboration between The Spa Esprit Group, celebrity chef Ryan Clift from Tippling Club and award-winning food garden specialists, Edible Garden.
Open Farm Community is more than just a regular restaurant, it aims to act as a platform for everyone to get more in touch with the food they eat, to understand how they are grown and what exactly goes into our plate.
The edible garden inside Open Farm Community allows for more interaction and learning while observing the good folks from Edible Garden farming. I find this concept extremely intriguing, especially in a time like ours where we have almost forgotten the respect that farmers deserve to bring food to the table.
Other than that, Open Farm Community encourages group activities by having a playground for the children to play in while the adults indulge in cocktails and coffees. There is an al fresco sitting area outside the coffee bar, complete with a table tennis table and right around the corner is a space dedicated to lawn bowling.
Open Farm Community boasts of an interior that is almost glasshouse like, letting in ample of light and illuminating the entire space such that it brightens up anyone who walks into the space. Little pots of plants are placed on the table and that makes for a refreshing decoration and appropriate prop for snapping pictures.
I’m always in awe of an open concept kitchen because it’s stripping the whole cooking process bare by allowing diners to have a look at how their food is prepared. Chef Ryan promises only the best quality in the dishes as he uses seasonal ingredients and focuses on sourcing them locally.
CaipriOFCa made of vodka, lime and mint ($18). Heading the bar is Kamil Foltan, also the head bartender of Tippling Club, so yes, you’re in safe hands. This is a refreshing mix of the bare essentials and you won’t ever go wrong with it.
OFC Garden Cup made of Hendricks Gin, cucumber, lime juice, apple juice and mint ($20). Served in an adorable mini tin, this sweet and tangy cocktail definitely refreshens one.
Smashing Good Thyme made of Bacardi Rum, fresh limes, green peas, yellow chartreuse and thymes ($18). Much like its name, it really did excite my palate. I’m not one who fancies a sweet cocktail so this was exactly all I wanted.
It has a mellow herbal taste from the thyme, which adds aroma and depth to its flavour, complete with a slight sour kick from the fresh limes. Oh and did I mention how the herbs are taken from their own edible garden?
Sauteed Local Clams With Crispy Bread ($18). The clams are fresh and locks in the essence of the lemon meuniere sauce, which is buttery and definitely comforting. Couldn’t stop myself from having spoonfuls of the sauce.
Coal Baked Omelette with Smoked Haddock, Tarragon and Grain Mustard Mornay ($24). The eggs used here are organic and it has an extremely runny texture that combines well with the layer of mustard mornay sauce (a bechamel sauce with shredded and grated cheese) to give an decadently creamy flavour.
The smoked haddock is savoury and tender, a refreshing alternative to the usual ham in egg omelettes, which can get rather chunky. This entire omelette is packed with flavour and filled with velvety goodness that is so hard to resist.
Rigatoni with Local Mushrooms, Smoked Pancetta and Topped with Stilton and Balsamic Reduction ($26). I’d like to first declare of my love for all the ingredients used in this pasta dish- I mean it’s blue cheese and pancetta we are talking about.
The locally grown mushrooms form the sauce base for the pasta, giving it a slight creamy texture that is aromatic and topped with stilton cheese that is oh-so-pungent in the most pleasurable manner ever. The creaminess and decadence is off set by the balsamic reduction that provides a slight sweetness and tang.
The smoked pancetta just gives the extra aroma and punch of flavour to this dish and combines together to give this pasta all the love it deserves. Definitely unique and you bet I’d come back for more.
Mud Crab Pappardelle with Thai Curry Sauce, Crunchy Yellow Squash, Coconut, Crispy Shallot and Thai Basil ($28). The pappardelle is tossed evenly in a special blend of sauce that incorporates Thai curry. There is a rich and creamy coconut taste with a hint of spiciness.
The crab meat is sweet and soft, blending well with the herbs to give a East meets West kinda dish.
Smoked Duck Cappelletti with Baby Spinach, Dark Brown Chicken & Thyme Tea ($26). The presentation and the combination of flavours definitely piqued my interest. The dark brown chicken and thyme tea is exceedingly light and comforting while remaining savoury at the same time.
It complements the smoked duck cappelletti, which is rich in flavour. The fillings are condensed yet tender, albeit mush-like, unlike the usual shredded and dry duck meat. I like this variation and feel that there is more complexity in its flavour and texture when served this way.
Charred S.A. Lamb Rump with Garden Peas, Bacon, Lettuce, Mint, Whipped Mash and Rosemary Thyme Jus ($32). The lamb rump is sous vide cooked before being pan seared and sliced, giving it a tender and chewy texture. Think medium rare steak and you’re on the right track.
There isn’t the usual gaminess that lamb has and for a minute there I really thought I was chewing on beef. The whipped mash is aromatic and savoury from the bacon pieces and there is a slight sweetness from the green peas and rosemary thyme jus.
Cauliflower with Yoghurt and Southern Wood Dressing ($14). The vegetables sides are a new introduction to the menu and they are definitely worth a try. The cauliflower is roasted in the coal oven with a medley of spices, including cumin and garlic.
Almost curry-like, it is paired well with the yoghurt dressing that gives a refreshing touch to it.
Sweet Corn with Smoked Paprika Powder ($14). Sweet corn, baby corn and popcorn, corn in all sorts of form you could think of. The sweet corn is first poached then roasted with smoked paprika powder, giving it fragrantly charred burst of flavour while the popcorn is sweet and salty, almost sea salt caramel-like.
Coal Baked Barramundi with Cucumber Coleslaw, Roasted Eggplant and a Fresh Mint Dressing ($26). This barramundi is almost middle eastern and Greek-like with the baba ganoush, yoghurt and mint dressing and it’s totally working.
The barramundi is extremely tender and deliquesces. The baba ganoush adds an extra layer of flavour and combines well with the slightly tangy serving of yoghurt and mint dressing. The cucumber coleslaw is refreshing and crunchy, giving more textures to the dish.
Orange Meringue Pie With Citrus Salsa ($17). One of their signature desserts, it is made up of a sable blend base with toasted pine nuts that is crunchy and sweet, complementing the slightly zesty and sweet orange and thyme, topped with a soft meringue.
I like how it doesn’t bite the tongue like other citrusy tarts, rather, the flavours remain very well-balanced. The freeze dried salsa might prove to be more on the sour side but it combines well with the pie.
Lemon Tart with Basil Ice Cream ($17). Think pesto but in a luscious ice cream form atop a crumbly tart. The sable biscuits pairs well with the zesty lemon curd and creamy chantilly to give layers of sweetness and tang.
Complete with a velvety and refreshing dollop of basil ice cream and lavished with basil chia seeds seasoned with lemon and basil oils this is definitely a tart that’s worth the calories.
Open Farm Community gives more than just delectable seasonal fare that is boldly creative, it ensures that the entire experience is a holistic one and that is exactly what sets Open Farm Community apart from the others. So yes, I’d recommend going down for a meal and a jolly time.
Expected Damage: $40 – $60 per pax