From the garden to your table
Singapore may be home to a number of homegrown and international restaurants, but there are only a few that fall into the farm-to-table category. Enter: Open Farm Community. Launched by the Spa Esprit Group in July this year, its main goal is not only to serve us sumptuous dishes but to also give us a deeper and more meaningful connection with our food.
With that, the restaurant is situated in the middle of a sprawling 35,000 sq ft lot surrounded by trees and vegetable gardens. On a regular basis, the farmers harvest the fruits, vegetables and herbs that are used by the chefs in their cooking.
The menu, which is designed by Chef Ryan Clift, uses a lot of these greens in offerings such as the Chilled Avocado and Ginger Soup with Poached Yabbies and Fresh Radish and the Fermented Carrot Tartare. In making these dishes, the chefs led by Executive Chef Daniele Sperindio would usually pick fresh herbs such as the coriander or mint leaves and would mix them with the rest of the ingredients to come up with healthy and flavourful starters.
This concept flows fluidly from starters to the mains, which include the Roasted Baby Chicken with braised leeks and marinade, and dressed with hazelnut and dark brown chicken jus, watercress salad and roasted US potatoes as well as the Coal-baked Barramundi with a generous serving of baba ganoush, topped with shredded cucumber, yogurt, herbs, mint dressing, chopped peanuts and curry oil. Ensuring that these and the rest of the mains are always prepared with the freshest and best produce, the chefs work closely from the suppliers in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Europe.
Whenever possible, the chefs would also make their food in-house and this is evident in the pastas they serve. A definite highlight of the menu, this section consists of Pumpkin and Pine Nut Tortelli with Local Yabbies and Minden Pesto, Potato Dumpling Gnocchi, Shredded Pork Sausage, Sun-dried Tomato Jus and Fresh Fennel as well as the Rigatoni, Local Mushrooms, Smoked Pancetta topped with Stilton and Balsamic Reduction. The pasta used in these are prepared daily by the chefs to ensure that the freshness shines through and complements the rest of the ingredients.
As with desserts, the chefs have also incorporated the use of fresh herbs to give these an elegant twist. The popular Hot and Cold Chocolate Cake, which consists of different textures of chocolate, comes with mint peppermint meringue to give it a different layer, while the Lemon Tart is made more refreshing with a dollop of homemade basil ice cream.
All these offerings definitely warrant a visit to Open Farm Community. When you do drop by, make sure you not only enjoy the delectable menu and take your time to explore its surroundings. If you’re lucky, you can also talk to the farmers and learn more about the food you eat.