Open Farm Community: Backyard dining

Hello my friends (and the same to whichever lurker is reading this sad pathetic blog)

Welcome to this, the 7th Sunday of the year - sign already that the days run away like wild horses over the hills. How are you this week? Tired? Empowered? What's your adjective? I'm feeling a little anxious, apprehensive at the turn of events and not too sure if I'll be able to stick my landing. Still though... gotta bounce.

But first, here's a quick run through of Open Farm Community's latest foray into an urban oasis of local inspired flavors with regional produce to boot. 10 entirely crisp and clean new dishes greet the menu, each and everyone of them drawing inspiration from the diverse and distinct DNA of Singaporean's favourite flavors.

The menu gets right to the point, no small talk, neither is there smooth pillow talk: starters congregate some racy flavors, cooked simply, but bringing forth an avalanche of spices in it's wake. Tightly crossed legs of Tempura Jurong Frog Legs ($26), for example, were gorgeously crumbed and perched over a homemade curry nursing a thick and sandy consistency due to the several root vegetables stewed down. A must have dish when you're visiting.

Another easy choice is the Garden Pea Soup ($22) - garden peas cooked at a quiet murmur till a deep rich vegetal spring density. It sounds and look creepily healthy, but it's wonderful. The jamon providing saline backing to the fresh concoction.
Roasted King Prawns, Garden Herb Gremolata, Compressed Spring Onion ($28)
Local Snake Bean, Abalone Mushroom, Fermented Sugar Cane Dressing (L), Garden Holy Basil Gnocchi, Pickled Okra, Lemongrass dressing (R)
Where mains are concerned, prices get a bit iffy, if I might add, a little hard to negotiate. If you're steered in that course, I would implore you to order the BBQ half chicken ($36) - that despite the humdrum of its description. Tender, melt-in your-mouth chicken smothered in a sweet and sour-balanced barbecue sauce. This comes padded with potato fondant and a classic sweet corn ragout which might lead to a tussle of forks over the table.

The other dish, Roasted Red Snapper ($32) expresses the intangible truth of OFC's prowess at handling fish. The hefty chunk cooked to perfect doneness through and through, while the calamansi and sesame cucumber salad provides a nice supplementary touch. 

The Red Grouper Burger ($30) pads the stomach, but I would deviate from the choice for the reason of disappointment. For some strange reason, the fish is first cubed and minced before being 'glued' back together, breaded and fried to derive a peculiar solid QQ texture to it's constitution. It is served with homemade tartare sauce spotted with gherkins (which I lost myself in) local iceberg lettuce between squid ink buns that died a horrendous death from over toasted. Alas! It was a brave attempt but I would give this odd interpretation a miss.

The space encourages hanging out with a glass. The dim-lit area and starkness of the glass-house atmosphere nudging furiously at the new garden-grown cocktail menu. And it is here that you will recognise the energy of the concept, a reverberating freshness in terms of concoctions that steer clear of the rigidness of the classics. My Mile and Smoke ($18) cleverly convenes smoky and peated whisky with a tangy chamomile-lemongrass inception. Masculine with touches of floral beauty. There's also the Torch Wood ($18) which would stop any banana-fiend in his/her tracks. The combination of nectar,  garden grown banana, lemon and rum is deeply satisfying in a dessert-ish sort of manner.

A solid good reason  to visit Open Farm Community is for their new dessert - Pandan and Banana custard, ginger biscuit, lemongrass sago, sugar cane sorbet ($18) - in a modest and simple way, it's VERY memorable. Three milk (condensed, evaporated and regular) infused sago spotted with lemongrass fragrance  is comforting to the touch and this disappears like a HEY!Presto! off the plate.

OFC's love for local doesn't end there. The new set lunch menu, Lunch with the Locals boasts a 100% local selection with mouth-watering options such as sambal kangkong risotto. Two courses start at $35, three at $42 and four at $52. Definitely a worthy reason to visit should you be one conscious about sustainability.

Open Farm Community
130 Minden Road
t: 6471 0306

Operating Hours:
Mon-Fri: 12pm - 3pm; 6pm - 10pm
Sat/Sun: 11am - 10pm

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