Revisiting Farm-to-Table at Open Farm Community


The farm-to-table concept might not be new, but yet it is not widely practised in Singapore. I have heard of it several times before and personally found it an interesting idea. Imagine growing herbs and plants for your personal consumption and being in charge of what you put into your body.

It is this very reason that I am smitten with Open Farm Community (OFC). Set up in July 2015 under a collaboration between Spa Espirt Group and Edible Garden City, OFC is one of the first few restaurants in Singapore to wholly embrace the farm-to-table dining concept. It’s heartening to know that two years on, the restaurant is still going on strong with a new head chef, Oliver Truesdale-Jutras, to helm it.

Lovely interior of OFC

Head chef Oliver Truesdale-Jutras attempts to breathe new life into the menu whilst keeping true to the locavore experience OFC is known for. Most of the primary ingredients used are still sourced locally, as OFC’s own urban garden would not be able to produce enough for the restaurant.

Before the meal, we had a Fuchs und Hase Pat Nat 2015. Recommended by Wine and Operations Manager Philippe Chin – who is also new to the restaurant, this Austrian sparkling wine has a rather unique taste. Similar to cider without the acidity of it, the natural wine was rather light and unlike any wine I have tried before.

Fuchs und Hase Pet Nat

Our appetiser was Fried Cauliflower “Wings” (S$12), a healthy take on the sinfully delicious Korean fried chicken. The texture of the “wings” – which, of course, was cauliflower, rather than chicken – was slightly soft on the exterior yet crunchy on the inside. It helped that the original texture of cauliflower is condensed, making this dish rather palatable indeed.

Fried Cauliflower “Wings”

One very intriguing dish is General Tao’s Toad (S$12) from Jurong. Yup, we were even told where the frog legs came from. Truth be told, this was my first time trying frog meat. The white flesh somewhat resembles fish and I had a field day deveining the meat. The homemade kungpao sauce in this dish tasted similar to the dressing used in the Cauliflower Wings. Would I go try frog porridge after this? Probably not, but at least I can say I have tried frogs legs – from Jurong, no less –  done up in a different style.

General Tao’s Toad

A dish that reminded me of carpaccio, the Citrus Cured Hamachi (S$18) uses sushi-grade Kingfish. The fish is not from farms but rather caught from the seas. The hamachi is cured for 30 minutes in Aguachile, topped with pickled rojak ginger, shredded green papaya from OFC’s garden and nitro-frozen pomelo. Fret not if you are afraid of spiciness — I did not detect the slightest hint of chilli. One slice was enough to envelop my mouth with flavours of the sea and the pomelo bits certainly did things right by giving little bursts of tartness every now and then.

Citrus Chilled Hamachi

If you prefer something meatless, opt for the Organic Asparagus Salad (S$18). Drenched in lime vinaigrette, the salad comes with hazelnuts, cashew cheese and kale chips. The Thai asparagus was a bit fibrous for my liking. Otherwise, the dish was incredibly flavourful.

Organic Asparagus Salad

On to the mains, the Crab and Prawn Laksa Pappardelle (S$28) is a nostalgic take on the traditional laksa dish. This, however, was not one of my favourites. The seemingly watered-down sauce merely coated the hand-made noodles and the helpings of crab was not as generous. I did have to make an effort to find the crabmeat in the dish.

Crab & Prawn Laksa Pappardelle

The other pasta main, Kin Yan Mushroom Strozzapretti (S$26), tells a happier tale, fortunately. Suitable for vegans, this dish uses black beans from Zhenxin Organics, mushrooms from Kin Yan and organic silken tofu from Unicurd. Sorrel from Edible Garden City adds a slightly sour dimension to the dish. This earthy and smokey dish was definitely a favourite among most of us at the table, judging by the fact that not much of it was left.

Kin Yan Mushroom Strozzapretti

Fish lovers can go for the Steamed Tiberias Barramundi Fillet ($28).  We learnt that the fish was caught from the north-eastern coast of Pulau Ubin and delivered to OFC all within six hours. Japanese-inspired, the fish is steamed in dashi butter and seasoned with a Furikake made from local seaweed. The scattered grains of Pulut hitam added a local touch to the dish and went really well with the fish.

Steamed Tiberias Barramundi Fillet

Meat lovers are not forgotten at OFC. A work of art, the Braised Canadian Pork Belly (S$28) looks as good as it tastes. The huge slab of belly meat is specially marinated and then cooked sous vide for 16 hours. The skin crackled like it should and the fatty part of the meat was the ultimate melt-in-the-mouth. I would go for this main anytime. With the meat paired with homemade kimchi, it was a heaven-made match on a plate.


Braised Canadian Pork Belly

Going in line with “melting” dishes, the Thai Milk Tea Tart (S$12) makes a good dessert to have after the Braised Canadian Pork Belly. The tart comes with a small scoop of cinnamon ice cream on the side. Instead of using sugar, the restaurant uses stevia, a natural plant sweetener which is fast gaining popularity among the health-conscious. What a delightful end to the meal.


Thai Milk Tea Tart

Open Farm Community
130E Minden Road
Singapore 248819
Tel: +65 6471 0306

Opening hours: Mon to Fri – 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm; Weekends and public holidays – 11am to 4pm, 6pm to 11pm


About Author

Melissa is always the first to get her spoon and fork ready to battle her insatiable appetite for good food and drinks.

Leave A Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.