Been to Open Farm Community lately, mama? Their new menu features 90% local ingredients!
We’ve been devotees of farm-to-table dining spot Open Farm Community ever since it opened in summer 2015, but with a solid year under its belt the restaurant recently decided to take things up a notch, revamping its menu so that it now features ingredients that are up to 90% sourced from Singapore!
Given how tiny our Little Red Dot is (just try to go grocery shopping and see how much stuff you can find from Singers), this is a truly admirable and impressive feat that sets it apart from any other restaurant in Singapore. Many ingredients even come from their very own on-site garden. Throw in their fab play area, the fact that you’ve got chickens wandering the grounds and their oh-so yummy coffee and it’s also one of the most mama and kid-friendly spots on the island!
So what are some of our fave new menu items? You absolutely must start with the oh-so green Garden Pea Soup ($22), mama. Featuring knife beans from the garden, beautiful Spanish jamon (the chef is from Spain, and making the most of that 10% non-Singapore stuff), and sugar snap peas, it’s a dish that’s bright and not too salty. The peas also give it a lovely crunch, and it’s all perfectly sopped up with fresh pita bread on the side.
The slightly more adventurous should definitely go for the Tempura Frogs Legs ($26), which actually feature frogs fresh from Jurong. Paired with a delicious root vegetable curry, the dish has a delicious, buttery scent and comes with a nice spicy kick (a recurring them amongst the new dishes).
Another winner on the starters side is the Steak Tartar ($26), which puts an Asian twist on the French bistro classic with ginger chili marinade, a spring onion and coriander marinade (fresh from the garden, natch), and an absolutely delectable organic egg yolk. So orange! Definitely a spicy upgrade from what you might be expecting, mama.
On the main course front, the Holy Basil Gnocchi ($26) is another dish with an Asian influence that’s a total winner. Besides featuring a slew of fresh herbs and veggies from the garden, it’s got an absolutely lip-smacking coconut and lemongrass oil sauce along with hearty pickled okra. I found the dish velvety and rich, but also bright and balanced. And so green!
Seafood figures in to a number of mains, including Roasted Pink Red Snapper ($32) with charcoal barley that sits atop roselle ketchup. I found this dish the least inspiring of the lot – perhaps it was a little dry? – and a bit too fishy for my taste. On the other hand, I loved the Red Grouper Fish Burger ($30), which features a firm pattie nestled between toasted squid ink buns. It’s a huge mouthful – perfect for sharing, methinks – with lovely and surprising citrusy notes brought in by a pickled OFC cucumber.
I’m a huge dessert person, but I found this section the least memorable (though it’s awfully pretty to look at). The Pandan and Banana Custard with tapioca ($18) had a strangely bitter aftertaste (blame it on the ginger biscuit?). I much preferred the Sugar Cane and Lime Sorbet (sourced fresh from the garden), although a dessert menu without a chocolate option will always leave me scratching my head.
Open Farm Community may be on the pricier side, but this becomes more understandable when you consider the love and effort that goes into sourcing locally grown and produced ingredients. The value-minded should absolutely give their Lunch with the Locals set menu a try: starting at $35 for two courses ($42 for three, or $52 for four), it boasts 100% locally-sourced ingredients, like Sambal kangcong risotto (lemak curry foam FTW!) and Local quail breast and crispy confit leg glazed with passionfruit.
With a wonderfully wholesome kids’ menu, plus the aforementioned play areas and veggie garden that’s pretty perfect for a game of hide-and-seek, Open Farm Community is a fab spot for a family meal if you haven’t yet tried it, mama. It works equally well as a healthy power lunch spot that won’t put you in a food coma. Start 2017 on a healthy note and give it a try!
Opening hours: 12pm to 4pm, 6pm to 10pm (Mon-Fri); 11am to 4pm, 6pm to 10pm (Weekends and public holidays). Call for reservations.
Open Farm Community, 30E Minden Road, Singapore 248819, Tel: (+65) 6471 0306, www.openfarmcommunity.com