The newest venture by the Spa Esprit Group is taking flight quickly as seen by the mad rush of people to be amongst the first few to try out this place. Well I, just like a normal foodie out there, was hot on my heels to head down all the way to Dempsey to visit this “farm”. Yes, they do produce as much edible plants as they can in the backyard for their dishes. This venture is also a collaboration between Spa Esprit, Edible Garden City an Ryan Clift from The Tippling Club – these big names alone are enough to grab attention.
The 35 000 square feet of space occupied is quite amazing. From the main entrance, it feels like I’ve stepped into a garden, what with the vines of edible plants all around. You’ll pass through an alfresco area holding several tables, including a table tennis table. The area would be perfect for families to laze in for Sunday brunch, if not for the sweltering 34 degrees weather these days. The alfresco area leads to a small “hut” where the coffee roasters and baristas are. Good news for you if you’re a fan (just like me) of the roasts from Common Man Coffee Roasters. Then you will eventually reach the main indoor dining area, flanked by a bar and open kitchen of two sides and floor-to-ceiling windows on the other 2 sides of the restaurant. Absolutely dreamy.
On my first occasion there, I tried the brunch menu (available from 11am – 5.30pm on weekends). Having tried a truffle scrambled egg that turned out odd from a restaurant which shall not be named, I had a doubt about the one here, but that doubt faded the moment I tucked into a bite of their Truffle Scrambled Organic Egg with shimeji and portobello mushrooms, baby spinach and sourdough ($24). The truffle was well-infused and came in a generous portion in the eggs. The scrambled eggs were also creamy enough. I proclaim this to be my favorite scrambled eggs dish in Singapore ever, even though the mushrooms on the side were quite normal
However, both my friend and I thought that their Buttermilk Pancakes with creme patisserie, poached strawberries, ice cream ($22) was less value-for-money. The pancakes lacked sufficient fluff and were pretty average but were saved by the vanilla bean custard in between the pancake layers as well as the strawberry toppings. It’s a pity since it looks photogenic. I guess people will still order them anyway.
You have been advised: Don’t leave without trying their desserts. Their most talked-about dish here (from what I observed) is not any main course or brunch item but surprisingly their Lemon Tart with basil ice cream ($17), so there. Aesthetically speaking, it seems more like a mille feuille than a tart, but it was exactly the alternating layers of lemon filling and flaky, crisp puff pastry resembling a mille feuille which won me over. Being slightly sweet and neither overly sour nor dense, the lemon curd was perfect for my tastebuds. Basil ice cream came on the side and it made the dessert even more refreshing. Our meal ended on a pretty high note thanks to this.
No doubt that prices here are above that of your average weekend brunch dishes, as some might have lamented. Well to me, the ambiance and highlights of the meal more than made up for those prices. You’ve just got to pick the right items from the menu. If brunch is too overrated for you, opt for the lunch/dinner menu which features a range of seasonal pastas and main courses. Who’s up for another trip back here with me?
130E Minden Road
Mon – Fri 12pm to 3pm (Lunch), 6pm to 10pm (Dinner)
Sat, Sun & PH 11am to 10pm