Open Farm Community is Spa Esprit’s innovative foray into combining locally sourced ingredients, an edible garden and creative cuisine, all on a 35,000 sq ft piece of green land that houses not only a garden where the restaurant harvests it’s own herbs and greens from, but also a coffee bar and a children’s playground. If you’re lucky, you might spot the resident roosters and newly introduced bunnies roaming the grounds!
A collaboration between Spa Esprit and award winning Edible Gardens, Open Farm Community champions urban farming, sustainability, recycling and aims to bring people closer to nature. New to the restaurant, chefs Oliver and Phoebe bring a fresh infusion of creative ideas to the table with smartly conceptualised plates that progress from strength to strength throughout our meal.
Whilst waiting for our food to come, we were taken very good care of by new manager and resident sommelier Phil, who introduced us to some very refreshing natural wines.
To start, The Fried Cauliflower “Wings” ($16) is so good you won’t be missing the meat in these “wings”. Each crunchy cauliflower floret is encased in a thin and crisp batter slicked in a sweet and tangy miso togarashi glaze that absolutely detonated our hunger for the impending delights to come.
Open Farm Community’s dedication to showcasing local as well as regional produce and celebrating seasonability has produced surprisingly delicious results. I didn’t think this Thai Asparagus Salad ($18) was going to tickle my fancy, but it absolutely blew me away with its freshness and vibrancy of flavours. The organic asparagus from a farm cooperative in Thailand was sweetly succulent, complemented by the rich creaminess of brown butter emulsion and a ricotta-esque housemade cashew “cheese”, whilst the shards of crispy kale and hazelnut added a welcome crunch with each mouthful.
I loved the punchy acidic notes from the green mango aguachile and pomelo fruit coating the Citrus Cured Hamachi ($20). If the fish were sliced thinner, it would have been perfect.
Highlighting their farm to kitchen ethos is this beautiful Steamed Tiberias Barramundi ($30), straight from Tiberias Harvest fish farm off the coast of Pulau Ubin and onto diners’ plates. Lightly flavoured with a moreish dashi butter, the freshness and natural sweetness of the fish was allowed to shine. The garnishes aren’t an after thought either, with an addictive furikake-esque puffed black rice, peas and pea shoots really lifting the dish texturally. The only element I found that I could have done without was the slightly starchy manioc(cassava).
With the Slow Cooked Cheeks ($32), so visually arresting was the tower of corn and beef that it was an immediate pleasure to the senses and my tongue was happy even before I ate it. The pure sweetness of the triumvirate of grilled baby corn, silken corn puree and crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside corn croquette was supremely comforting to say the least, pairing beautifully with the fork-tender beef cheeks. The only thing I wished for would perhaps have been more sauce over the meat.
Reminding me very much so of pumpkin pie, the Thai Milk Tea Tart’s ($16) sleek and smooth form certainly delivered on taste as well, with a full-bodied (but not overbearingly so) taste of Thai milk tea cradled in buttery pie crust. The cinnamon ice cream complemented the hero of the dish nicely, delivering cool and creamy notes of autumn spice with each bite. Well executed fusion without the confusion.
She put the Lime In The Coconut ($16), and we drank ‘em bot’ up. Shards of meringue leaning lazily against creamy, whipped coconut semifreddo, and mouth puckering kaffir lime granita lounging insouciantly atop and at the bottom of the bowl, will evoke memories of your last tropical beach holiday – slouched in a hammock under the palms on a sunny day whilst azure waves gently lap up on pristine white sand.
By day, the glass-paneled restaurant’s interior is flooded with natural light, perfect for a casual brunch with a glass of wine or one of their very refreshing South East Asian-centric cocktails. By night, the cool evening breeze and lush greenery makes dinner outdoors on the patio most soothing. Either way, a most enjoyable dining experience will be had at Open Farm Community.
Open Farm Community
130E Minden Road
Mon to Fri: 12:00 AM – 4:00 PM, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Sat to Sun: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Contact: +65 6471 0306
*** This was a hosted tasting. ***