A first-of-its-kind dining concept in Singapore, OFC celebrates farmers, creative chefs, and delicious seasonal fare in Singapore
Open Farm Community (OFC) isn’t Edible Gardens City’s first rodeo. The urban farmers’ collective have sown their seeds at a good number of restaurants and cafes in Singapore, including Artichoke Café, Cajun Kings, Plain Vanilla Bakery, Jamie’s Italian, Oxwell & Co, and then some. But their latest collaborative venture with Spa Esprit Group – arguably their biggest, most ambitious project yet – takes the “Grow Your Own Food” movement to the next level.
Sitting on a sprawling 35,000 square feet of lush greenery that was once a golf driving range, OFC is, to simply put, a horticultural hub. At its centre is a restaurant, and a small retail store that is also a coffee, juice and cocktail bar. Surrounding these two rustic spaces is a garden brimming with herb and vegetable produce, worm and ant farms. There are also two lawn bowling lanes, a ping-pong table and a sand playground for kids.
This eco-friendly concept aims to connect city dwellers with nature – more specifically, what and how we eat – as well as to shine a spotlight on local farmers, creative chefs and delicious seasonal fare that changes according to the harvest. The menu, curated by Chef Ryan Cliff of Tippling Club, features wholesome plates that uses as much produce from their own backyard. The rest of the ingredients are sourced from both local farms and farms within 400km from Singapore, so freshness is guaranteed.
As you’d expect from a farm-to-table restaurant, food from the kitchen is clean, comforting and non-ornamental. For starters, highlights include a chilled (and very refreshing) avocado and ginger soup with poached yabbies that tastes very much like a Thai Tom Kha, an addictive coal-baked omelette with smoked haddock, tarragon and grain mustard mornay, and a grilled halloumi salad to die for. The handmade pastas that came after (expect to try more than your regular spaghetti, fettucine and linguine) were flavoursome and faultless – we especially fancied the strozzapreti with 48-hour barolo braised oxtail, parmesan wafers, and wild thyme, the potato dumpling gnocchi with shredded pork sausage, sun dried tomato, jus and fresh fennel, as well as the rigatoni with local mushrooms, smoked pancetta, stilton and balsamic reduction.
Mains are equally delightful, and stars luscious dishes like a tender and juicy roasted baby chicken, a perfectly charcoaled-grilled rib-eye steak, a glorious coal-baked barramundi as well as a lovely roasted goldband snapper with ratatouille and wild rocket salad. Desserts will very well please plenty of those with sweet tooth with delectable selections including a hot and cold chocolate cake with chocolate sorbet and mint meringue, a lemon tart with basil ice cream, caramelised mango with textures of coconut (very Asian) and an orange meringue pie with citrus salsa.
More than food, Open Farm Community aims to be an interactive community farm, so keep your eyes peeled for pop up garden shops and garden training classes, too. For a closer look inside, take a gander at our little video below!
Open Farm Community, 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819, p. 6471 0306. Open Mon-Fri, 12pm-3pm and 6pm-10pm, Sat-Sun and PH, 11am to 10pm.