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Open Farm Community’s Farm Feasts are meant for more than two

Using home-grown and regionally-sourced produce, the restaurant’s new tasting menu is a show of optimism on dining out in bigger groups in the future.

True to Open Farm Community’s ethos of dining together, Farm Feasts is a tasting menu that’s meant to be shared between tablemates. Made with regionally-sourced ingredients and vegetables grown in their garden, the four-course dinner could be the closest thing to a farm-to-table experience one gets in our city. 

Seated amongst the lush greenery at the back of the compound on a cool night, it’s easy to imagine yourself elsewhere. Apart from the pesky sandflies you might encounter, the Asian-influenced menu is a pleasure to partake in even if regulations state you can only have one dining partner. 

Pre-appetisers are vegetable-focused bites, which sometimes require a little nifty fingerwork, and is testament to the restaurant’s commitment of using as much self-grown produce as they can. Prepared, cooked and treated with various techniques, head chef Oliver Truesdale makes a very convincing argument for vegetables. 

While you’ll find slight variations in the vegetables used as it will depend on what the team can get their hands on or what’s in season, expect the flavour profiles to remain the same. One such dish that’ll be a mainstay is the sweet and tangy vegan Cauliflower Wings, chunks of cauliflower florets covered in fried batter that’s seasoned with a tamarind miso sauce, which has long been a favourite on the menu. 

Then there’s the charred corn, grown in their garden and split lengthwise into strips. Not much is needed to enjoy the vegetable’s natural sweetness and smokiness but Truesdale’s dip of a butter emulsion with green peppercorn, shimichi and olive oil gives it more complexity and creaminess. 

(Related: Singapore urban farmers proving that farm-to-table works)

Corn, in the form of masa, is also used to make chips that are served with a chai poh aioli, a combination we didn’t know we needed. For the multitude of flavours going on, the accompanying Amphoreus Malvasia 2018 (the second in the wine pairing set of three) from northeastern Italy is a fitting one. An orange natural wine with a character of its own, it is deceivingly sweet on the nose but has a kick of funk (reminiscent of blue cheese) at the end. 

Compared to the rousing flavours leading up to the climax, the main dish of a Grass-fed New Zealand Short Rib slathered with mole sauce accompanied with pickled, fried and caramelised onions might feel somewhat flat. Instead, it’s the accoutrements of house-made kimchi, a mix of short grain rice and seeds, and smashed pumpkin that make it memorable. 

There are, of course, options for pescatarians and vegans as well. For the former is a Tiberias Barramundi with smoked mussels cream and puffed black rice, and a vegan-friendly eggplant (from the garden) that’s stuffed with Karana jackfruit seasoned with a fermented black bean sauce. 

To cap off the meal is a Thai single-origin chocolate cake and ice cream but it’s the palate cleanser before that gets a unanimous commendation (where two counts as the majority). Subject to the fruits of the season, our small bowl of chilli mango sorbet left us thinking of warm nights on a tropical beach; a vision best shared among a group of family and friends when dining rules finally relax.

130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819. Tel: 6471 0306