We love our food. But how often are we consciously connected to the origins of them – when they were still a part of nature? Bridging the gap between urban communities and nature is Open Farm Community (OFC) – the new kid on the block at Dempsey Hill. Here is where you’ll get to experience a celebration of local farmers, creative chefs, and delicious seasonal fare.
OFC is an exciting new collaboration between The Spa Esprit Group, celebrity chef Ryan Clift and award-winning food garden specialists Edible Garden City. Sprawling over 35,000 square feet on the edge of Minden Road, this revolutionary experiential space is a green mix of urban farmland right in the heart of Singapore, and a horticultural hub. It is established with the goal to help Singaporeans make a deeper and more meaningful connection with food and farming.
The highlights of OFC include a garden space sprouting with a wide assortment of fresh herbs, a coffee bar, fresh juice and cocktail bar, as well as educational breakout spaces alongside group activities such as lawn bowling and table tennis.
Cynthia Chua, Founder of Spa Esprit has long been an advocate of deepening Singaporeans’ relationship with food. OFC, she says, has been a labour of love that has taken three years of extensive work-shopping, study, and travelling around the world, speaking with farming and food experts to perfect.
“Our vision is to bring to life, the impact of urban farming in Singapore, and in doing so, strengthen our understanding and respect for food and its origins. Our children, in particular, have been too segregated from nature. OFC is an ideological and physical reaction to this,” explained Cynthia.
“We want to provide a platform where families can come together and explore the many facets of food together through art, tours of the vegetable and fruit orchards, talks, gardening workshops, and of course, eating. Their layered experiences will also strengthen inter-generational relationships through quality time spent together,” added Cynthia. “We want the local farming and food culture to be testbeds that encourage social interaction, forge social ties and even facilitate new social connections. In this way, OFC acts as a catalyst to inspire the entire community and improve our relationship with food. And, of course, we always want to ensure that laughter and fun will always be part of the journey!”
In the open-concept kitchen and restaurant, Chef Ryan focuses on locally sourced, seasonal and innovative dishes. Every month, curated farmer’s markets allow guests to deepen the pleasures of simple, freshly harvested ingredients that is both nourishing and a visual feast.
Fermented carrot ‘tartare’ (SGD24) – Baby carrot is fermented in a nukabed (mix of roasted Rice bran, kombu, salt, miso etc., fermented for a period of time). Ground carrot topped with barne organic egg yolk served with a selection of seasonings and dressings such as shallots, chives, capers, gherkins, herbs, gochujang (Korean fermented chilli paste), and warm oven baked crystal break with curry oil.
Seared tuna with green papaya and jicama salad, fresh coconut and dashi vinegar (SGD26) – Sustainable tuna from south Australia. Served with Julienne salad of green papaya, Jicama (Mexican potato or Mexican yam) and fresh grated coconut, seasoned with Dashi vinaigrette (kombu, bonito flakes, rice vinegar), topped with mix of Nori and wakame seaweeds, sesame seeds, sesame powder and fresh coriander.
Chilled avocado and ginger soup with poached yabbies and fresh radish (SGD20) – The base of the soup is a Thai Tom Kha broth made of galangal, lime leaf, coriander etc, mixed with avocado puree and coconut milk. Served tableside into a bowl with diced avocado, shallot, red radish, poached yabbies (freshwater crayfish from Malaysia) and herbs. Warm pita bread served on the side.
Coal baked barramundi with cucumber coleslaw, roasted eggplant & a fresh mint dressing (SGD26) – Barramundi pan seared, with generous serving of baba ganoush (middle eastern dip a Levantinedish of roasted eggplantmixed with onions, yogurt, curry, oil and various seasonings), topped with a mix of shredded cucumber, yogurt and herbs, mint dressing, chopped peanuts, curry oil.
Roasted baby chicken, braised leeks with hazelnut butter & wild watercress salad (SGD28) – Brined baby chicken, legs confit and breast pan seared, braised leek with sour marinade, served with hazelnut and dark brown chicken jus, watercress salad, half roasted US potatoes.
Strozzapreti with 48 hour barolo braised oxtail, parmesan wafers & wild thyme (SGD26) – Strozzapreti (an elongated form of cavatelli), black angus Oxtail marinated in Barolo red wine for 48hr then braised with mirepoix, served as a “chunky” ragout, tomato base and baby spinach served with Parmesan crisps.
Squid ink taglierini with ‘inferno’ sauce, calamari, asparagus & chilli padi (SGD26) – Black ink Tagliatelle made with squid ink, served in an Inferno sauce of sliced calamari, asparagus and chilli padi tomato base, topped with deep fried calamari tentacles.
Hot and cold chocolate cake with chocolate sorbet and mint meringue (SGD17) – Textures of chocolate; steamed chocolate sponge cake (warm), frozen microwaved cake, chocolate curd, bitter chocolate tuille, bitter chocolate sorbet and peppermint.
Caramelized mango with textures of coconut (SGD17) – Mango caramelized with icing sugar, served with tapioca pearls flavored with coconut, coconut sorbet and coconut meringue.