Vegetarian Friendly Factor –
Kid Friendly Factor –
Seasonal, fresh and tasty – vegetarian dining doesn’t get much better than that. As you all probably know, Open Farm Community was one of the first restaurants in Singapore to offer a farm to table dining concept. The restaurant, thereby, boasts of the freshest vegetables in town.
Wait, what? You thought that OFC hardly has anything for vegetarians. Well, think again. While it is true that the restaurant offers barely one or two vegetarian dishes in the Mains or Pasta menu, they do have a few, might I add yummy, options for the vegetarian diner – as soups, starters and sides. These veg dishes might not be a carbs overload, but they do make for a fine experience in seasonal vegetarian dining in Singapore. And then there are the smoothies and the desserts too.
Off Beat, Chic & Healthy
For those who might not know, Open Farm Community was the first-of-its-kind dining concept in Singapore – by Spa Esprit Group, in collaboration with Edible Garden City and Chef Ryan Clift of Tippling Club. These guys make farm-fresh dining in the heart of the city, possible. The food here is made only with the finest of produce. Dishes are prepared with ingredients sustain-ably sourced from within OFC’s own urban farm, as well as from farms in and around Singapore. So, diners can expect fresh, seasonal, innovative and honest dishes.
To add to those, the restaurant has a really cool vibe to it. I especially love the ceiling lights and the little planters on every table (those are for sale by the way). Then there is the greenery all around and the play area for kids. No wonder the place is buzzing even on weekday afternoons
Tried and Tasted
Every one of my visits to Open Farm Community has been with a non-vegetarian friend, who has opted to go vegetarian for the meal and not once did I hear a complaint. What they lack in quantity (of vegetarian dishes), they absolutely make up in quality. The vegetables that they serve practically make you drool just by looking at them.
Here is a lowdown of all of the dishes that I’ve tried at OFC. Do note that as OFC follows the farm to table concept, their menu changes periodically to keep it fresh (literally and figuratively). So some of the dishes below might not be on the menu when you visit.
Open Farm Community’s smoothies (SGD 10++) are quite good to start your meal with. Berries is a blend of strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, apple juice and yoghurt. I thought its quite good but not extraordinary. I love the Avocado Mango smoothie and have it on almost every visit. It is a delightfully refreshing concoction of avocado, honey and ripe mango. This is a hit even with my youngest, such a perfect way to get avocado into kids. Must try!
Sweet corn & basil soup (SGD 19++) – made with charred baby corn and served tableside with warm pita bread is quite good. I liked the mildly flavoured soup more than the corn and would ask for half the corn the next time I have it (requesting for the remaining corn on the side).
Warm salad of broccoli (SGD 20++) – the star dish for sure, it is made with pine nuts, sugar snap peas, crumbled feta and minden mint. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have had it every single time since I first tried it. This salad practically oozes freshness and I loved the combination of flavours. Actually, on my most recent visit, it didn’t taste as good as on previous visits but I’m hoping that was a one-off thing.
Yogurt & southern wood dressed cauliflower (SGD 17++) – The cauliflower is also extremely fresh and tasty, with just the right flavours of yogurt and cumin. Cauliflower is my favourite-est vegetable ever so I might be a bit biased but I simply love OFC’s cauli. Recommended!
Smoked paprika buttered sweet corn, salted caramel popcorn, chimichurri – Tried this once and I honestly, don’t remember the taste but I remember thinking that it was average, so go for the broccoli or cauliflower instead.
Garden holy basil gnocchi, pickled okra, lemon grass dressing – I’m not a big fan of creamy sauces and dressings, so I wouldn’t order this again as the sauce is quite creamy. Hubby on the other hand, absolutely loved the gnocchi. The pickled okra adds a nice touch to the dish and the eggplant chips were quite yum too.
Minden road pesto trofie (SGD 26++) – made with potatoes, french beans and pumpkin chunks; it’ll be a hit with kids and adults alike. All OFC dishes are always plated beautifully, but the presentation of Minden road pesto trofie is a cut above the rest. The pastas at OFC are made fresh daily with a state-of-the-art pasta machine.
There is a different Brunch menu from 11.00 AM – 4:00 PM on weekends and public holidays, that doesn’t serve Mains or Vegetables and Sides. So, the vegetarian choices become limited. The only non-meat option on the Brunch menu is Buttermilk pancakes, roasted bananas, banana granache, banana ice-cream, caramelized walnuts.
Other vegetarian dishes presently available on the Open Farm Community menu (that I haven’t tried yet) include –
- Watercress soup, soft organic egg, crispy kale, pita bread
- Salad of salt baked beetroot, baby beets, raspberries, baby gem, quinoa, sorrel chip
- Minden road garden salad, yellow frisse, red hibiscus, mustard frills, confit cherry tomato, pickled snake beans, hibiscus and roselle vinaigrette
- Duo of russet and sweet potato shoestring fries
And then there are the desserts. I know this is bad, but I’ve yet to try any of their desserts. I always end up gorging on the veggies and never have space left for dessert. Well, next time!
For the Little Ones
The best thing that you get for the kids here has to be the sand playground. In fact, the playground and the plenty of open space for the kids to run around, are what make this place rank high on my kid-friendly meter, (it would be a bonus if they handed out some paper and crayons to kids when they’re seated).
As far as the food goes, OFC has a The Little Diners menu that gives the vegetarian kids choice of pizza or pasta. The Strozzapreti pasta can be made with cheese and olive oil or with plain tomato sauce. OFC’s Pizza is made on a Hibiscus flatbread and topped with fresh tomatoes, basil, buffalo mozzarella, Parmesan and smoked cheddar.
All in all, although the vegetarian food choices are limited as compared to some other restaurants, the food is fresh, healthy and tasty and beautifully presented. Every dish looks appetising and whatever you choose, chances are you’ll love it.
The quality meal doesn’t come cheap though. A meal for two (including 1 starter, 1 side and 1 pasta along with a couple of non-alcoholic drinks) can set you back around $100.
- For an experience that stretches beyond the dinner table, Open Farm Community regularly organises educational events and activities for the whole family such as urban farming workshops, farmers’ markets, lawn bowling etc. They also host Open Farmers’ Market from time to time. More info on their website.
Open Farm Community: 30E Minden Road, Singapore 248819
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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of EatRoamLive, Pooja’s enthusiasm for food and travelling is palpable from the variety and intensity with which she writes. A traveller at heart and a big-time foodie who happens to be a vegetarian, EatRoamLive was incepted with her desire to create a resource aimed at making travel fun, and not restrictive, for families and for vegetarians. Not just (solely) vegetarian restaurants, she marks out places that serve sumptuous food with enough meat-free options. A hands-on mum to 3 young kids, the former architect and interior designer has her hands full juggling her love for writing, travelling and home.