Review: Open Farm Community is a Love Letter to Local Produce

Review: Open Farm Community is a Love Letter to Local Produce

This urban garden in Dempsey Hill sets the standard for farm-to-table dining

To dine at Open Farm Community, one of Singapore’s foremost locavore restaurants, is to witness the efforts of head chef Oliver Truesdale Jutras and Sous Chef Phoebe Oviedo. The husband-and-wife duo tend to the sprawling urban farm, built in collaboration with Edible Garden City, and turns regional produce, from locally sourced seafood to tomatoes from down the road, into picture-perfect plates befitting of its paradisiacal interiors. It's perhaps certain that unsustainable farming practices are a thing of the past, and that the future indeed, looks very delicious.

Oliver and Phoebe are seasoned veterans when it comes to cooking with the land. Before settling down in Singapore, the pair shocked diners with the globetrotting pop-up Stovetrotter, challenging their culinary expertise using only native ingredients for three years. Still, it took them two years to fully establish a supply chain of responsible produce from the region, as well as relationships with like-minded producers. This includes UglyFood, Ah Hua Kelong, Meod Farm, Hay Diaries and, in an unprecedented move, with local chicken (deemed lesser than their overseas counterparts) producers to evolve its quality.

Anyone who tries the Oxheart Tomato Salad ($20) will understand the pulsating crowds, particularly on weekends. Pull up the vibrant layers of red and golden and collect the other ingredients - ricotta, basil, wild honey and olive oil - along the way for a satisfyingly wholesome bite. Equally stunning is the Tiberias Golden Snapper Ceviche ($20), where Olivier takes a risky gamble marrying the pungent, earthy notes of buah keluak with piquant ginger flower and ultimately emerges victorious.

The Kin Yan Organic Mushroom Tortellini ($20) is, at first, indistinguishable from other excellent versions elsewhere, until Olivier informs me that the “bacon” slices were cure King Eryngii. (Yes, it's vegetarian.)

The best part of my meal was the Tiberias Barramundi ($36), with its white flaky flesh swathed in just enough smoked mussel butter. The seemingly simple accompaniment of a black rice seaweed crumble gave the overall dish a much-needed and wonderful bite. I wish I could’ve fitted in the aforementioned poultry in the Spatchcock Kampong Coquelet ($36) that intrigued me with Oliver's choice of tamarind glaze.

Expectations of Open Farm Community’s desserts run high with tropical fruits abound. The Dragonfruit Pavlova ($16) was an instant perk-me-up from the hearty meal with vibrant layers of pineapple curd and lemongrass meringue topped with a guava dragonfruit sorbet. Throw in organic wines curated by sister brand Drunken Farmer, and I was sold.

Website: www.openfarmcommunity.com

Address: 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819

Phone: +65 6471 0306

  • Related article: Review: Great Taste, No Waste, in Bangkok’s Affordable Farm Restaurant
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