The Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar is situated in an old colonial house, located at Dempsey Hill‘s largest retail and food destination, COMO Dempsey. It is also home to two other restaurants located in the same block, Ippoh Tempura and Candlenut.
This establishment is the most recent venture of Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, with his involvement spanning across the menu, architectural design, restaurant concept and more.
The space was a wonder in itself. The colour scheme was mainly monochromatic, with subtle touches from the greenery to add a splash of colour.
The bar was an impressive sight to behold, with the liquor bottles taking centre stage and framed by ferns hanging off the edges of the shelf. The tables were furnished with tasteful, Parisian-inspired white rattan chairs and the restaurant stuck to the concept of modern, communal dining.
We started off our meal with one of their Caviar Creations, the Toasted Egg Yolk ($38), featuring two 63-degree eggs, sandwiched between thin pieces of toast, topped off with a generous dollop of crystal caviar.
This dish was one of the most memorable starters. The caviar was briny and had an almost melt-in-your-mouth feel. The molten egg yolks helped to cut down the natural saltiness of the caviar, amalgamating into a delicious, rich umami party for your taste buds.
My dining partner really loved the Yellowfin Tuna Tartare ($29) with avocado, ginger marinade and spicy pickled radish. The staff proceeded to drizzle the ginger sauce over the dish upon serving it to our table, and I loved how this step ensured that the tartare retained its shape and didn’t become too soggy.
A quick tip for those who order this, quickly mix the tartare up to ensure that the ginger marinade is fully incorporated into the raw fish and avocado. The end product was a gingery-zesty mixture of tuna and creamy avocado, with a slight kick of heat from the chilli oil, and added texture from the crisp radishes.
Next, we had a salad of Warm Shrimp, Avocado, Tomato and Champagne Vinegar Dressing ($25). The diced tomato reminded me of salsa fresca, and was the touch of Tex-Mex that the Chef wanted to add to the salad.
The shrimps were topped off with a beurre blanc sauce and were deliciously aromatic when paired with the crisp vegtables.
The Burrata, Meyer Lemon Jam, Basil with Ciabatta Bread ($24) was one of my personal favourites. The creamy cheese was paired beautifully with the tartness of the Meyer lemon jam.
The jam reminded me of a more subtle version of the Korean yuzu jam, with a naturally sweet, almost honey-like taste. Think marmalade and soft creamy cheese on crunchy ciabatta — a match made in heaven indeed.
Moving onto the mains, we were served the Spice Crusted Snapper in Sweet and Sour Broth ($39). The fish was extremely moist, and there was no hint of fishiness that most freshwater fish carried. The spice crust carried a nice heat from the pepper and rich nuttiness from the hazelnuts used.
The sweet and sour broth was an interesting feature of this dish, which was made from mushrooms and came with a medley of vegetables too.
We also had the Black Truffle and Fontina Cheese Pizza ($34), a signature dish of Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar. The pizza is spread with black truffle paste and the delightful fontina cheese brings the entire dish together.
You definitely can’t come to Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar without ordering this.
To round off our meal, we got the Warm Chocolate Cake ($14). Paired with vanilla ice cream and a sesame tulle, the rich molten chocolate was a nice balance of sweet and bitter, and did not leave us feeling too jelak after the meal.
The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar is a great place for special occasions, date nights and anniversaries. Serving up quality food in a tasteful French-inspired setting, I would definitely make a second trip back to try more of their other dishes.
Expected Damage: $40 – $80 per pax