Dempsey Hill is certainly a trek from the main road, but therein lies its charm. I personally don’t mind the walk in (and out), even if it means I have to add a few minutes to my commute, as I get to soak in the lush greenery.
Adding to the numerous cafes in the area is The Pantry, a family-friendly spot where kids can run free and adults can catch up on their lives with friends.
The café features play areas for the lil’ ones as well as event spaces for family bonding activities throughout the year. Unfortunately, as we’re still currently in Phase 2, the playground is closed and there are only a handful of workshops that are allowed to go on.
However, due to the café’s spacious home, the kids still have ample room to frolic while waiting for their food to arrive, which also serves as an ideal break for parents to catch up over a refreshing cocktail or a nice hot cuppa.
The dishes here are ‘accessible, down-to-earth’ and great for sharing between parents and their kids. You’ll be greeted with both small bites and mains that are simple and delicious—it’s something everyone in the family will love.
One of the more popular dishes is their Chicken Karaage (S$12) that’s seasoned with togarashi (a Japanese powdered spice) and served with lime and an aioli. While most fried chicken bites can prove to be too greasy, these were far from it; they were succulent on the inside, and utterly crisp and savoury on the outside.
I was informed that kids love this, in particular, and I can totally understand why—you’ll want to order more portions of this as well if you’re planning to share this between more than two people.
Another well-loved sharing appetiser is their Baba Ganoush (S$12). The hummus is homemade and topped with falafel that’s also lovingly made in-house. I’ve tried falafel elsewhere, and most times, it can be too dry and brittle.
These, however, were soft and slightly moist. The flecks of paprika made the hummus so much more palatable, and you can’t miss out on the fluffy pita bread.
Their Grain Bowl (S$20) may look deceptively small in size, but it’s loaded with wholesome ingredients such as broccoli, pumpkin, avocado, chickpeas, carrots, radishes, pomegranate, farro (a type of grain), and rocket leaves to keep you satiated.
It’s also served warm, which might seem odd at first, but completely made sense when I took my first bite. There’s a hint of pepperiness to it, and I asked where it came from. It’s a special seasoning that the chef uses, which I wasn’t privy to.
However, this vitamin-dense dish grew on me, and I can safely say, it’s one of the healthier options I wouldn’t mind ordering again.
If you’re looking for something with more protein or something to share, the Moroccan Roasted Half Chicken (S$22) is a good bet. I know the struggle with roasted chicken is that it can sometimes turn out dry, but this bird is cooked sous vide, making it impeccably succulent and tender.
Again, the chef has put his special spice touch to the chicken, and I had no problem polishing it off—in spite of all the dishes I’d already been served.
Alternatively, you could opt for their hearty The Pantry Burger (S$24). The buns were satisfyingly buttery and the meat was cooked to perfect medium doneness. The Angus beef patty was juicy and well-seasoned, so there was very little to gripe about.
I also appreciated that the burger still held together, even after cutting it into smaller portions—which means that sharing it with your kids won’t prove to be a mess!
You must save space for dessert here, starting with their Apple Crumble Cookie Slice (S$12). The accompanying maple walnut ice cream was absolutely delicious on its own but made even better when eaten with a spoonful of the fluffy cake.
It was a meld of sweet and salty, which is great news for those who aren’t keen on saccharine treats.
Speaking of treats, I’m confident that the kids will be instantly drawn to their Rocky Road Brownie (S$12). The texture of the brownie straddled the sweet spot right between fudgy and airy; it’s something you’ll want to experience for yourself to truly understand and appreciate this unique mouthfeel.
It also wasn’t cloying, which is always a cause for celebration when it comes to rich chocolatey desserts. You and your family will have no issues finishing this, I’m sure.
Given The Pantry’s picturesque setting, it’s certainly a place that you’ll want to spend a leisurely afternoon with the family. Also, the price point’s affordable, and there’s ample seating space both indoors and outdoors.
If you’re looking for a new café to check out and support, The Pantry is a good place to start!
Expected Damage: S$30 – S$40 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
16A Dempsey Road, Singapore 247695
16A Dempsey Road, Singapore 247695