Open Farm Community looked gorgeous when we arrived, framed by the deep-blue hue cast by the setting sun. There’s this magical feeling as the subtle lighting comes into play, rendering the surrounding tall trees a shimmer.
Open Farm Community, the brainchild of the Spa Esprit Group, and occupying 35,000 sq. ft. of prime greenland in the heart of the city, right next to the UNESCO World Heritage Botanic Gardens, is a program to encourage local framing; and created a fun, green and gastronomic destination in the process. The concept of Open Farm Community is to provide a platform where families can come together, and explore and enjoy fresh and creative dining, complemented by art activities, tours of the vegetable and fruit orchards, talks, and gardening workshops. There’s a kid’s playground under an ancient giant tree; as well as a table-tennis table in the al fresco lounge area.
Needless to say, the sprawling land around the restaurant is planted with herbs, vegetables and fruits, as well as and quirky sculptures.
The decor of the restaurant is comfort-chic, with film-director’s chairs, bespoke ceiling lights, see-through glass panelling, a long wooden communal dining table; and things are brightly coloured.
A large jar of fresh herbs is placed at each table for guests to supplement their dishes.
The open kitchen comes under the hand of British-born Chef-owner Ryan Clift who had done stints at Claridges, London and Vue de Monde, Melbourne, and is famed for his avant-garde gastronomic fine-dining establishment Tippling Club. At Open Farm Community, Chef Ryan focuses on locally sourced, seasonal and innovative dishes, with a comprehensive and engaging menu that demands deep deliberation. The cooking shows Chef Ryan’s hands at work – unusual ingredients, complex combinations and fine-dining plating.
Amuse bouche of charred leaves with a honey soy dip.
Grilled halloumi (a Cypriot semi-hard, unripened brined cheese) with basil and bread.
Sweet Corn with smoked paprika butter,popcorn & chimichurri bread.
Smoked duck cappelletti with baby spinach, dark brown chicken & thyme tea, with the herbal tea poured table-side.
Taglierini with fresh clams & garlic sauce, parsley shad and lemon butter.
Potato dumpling gnocchi, shredded pork sausage, sun dried tomato jus & fresh fennel.
Mangalica pork collar, asian bbq glaze, corn & speck ragout with pickled cucumber. The crackling is sinfully delicious.
The 2 desserts we ordered are awesome in taste and aesthetics: Caramelised mango with textures of coconut.
Lemon tart with basil ice cream, cleverly crafted.
The wine selection is equally impressive, but what’s innovative is the draft wine, wine that comes straight from vineyards in eco-friendly kegs and served on tap. The Vjara Barbera d’Asti from Piedmont, Italy was very smooth and palatable, and good value at S$14 per glass.
The January weather was kind, and aided by the giant blowers, it was a breezy and fun evening dining out in the open. I like the concept of Open Farm Community; it’s rare to venture into such green space right in the heart of the city; the edible garden is a indeed joy.
Open Farm Community
130E Minden Road
Phone: +65 64710306