On the edge of Minden Road, sprawling over thirty-five thousand square feet, lies a revolutionary experiential space that is Open Farm Community. (OFC for short!) Apart from being a green mix of urban farmland right in the heart of Singapore, it also serves as a horticultural hub. It was officially launched by Spa Esprit Group in early July this year with the aim of helping Singaporeans to make a deeper and more meaningful connection with food and farming.
The launch of OFC could not have been more timely – the vast majority of modern, fast-paced communities are becoming increasingly disconnected from nature. To be specific, most of us do not pay much attention to the way we eat – what we eat and how we eat it. Above all, OFC is a celebration of local farmers, creative chefs and delectable seasonal fare! The one-of-a-kind venture has been crafted to give families, foodies and gourmets alike a transformational chance to educate themselves about produce and the rightful role it should play in a contemporary eco system.
So what can you expect on your maiden trip to OFC? Well, at the heart of OFC is an interactive programme that discovers the communal pleasures of fresh produce, sustainable agricultural practices and a motivation to reflect on the food we consume from all perspectives. Its expansive outdoor and indoor spaces comprise coffee bar, fresh juice and cocktail bar, educational spaces as well as lawn bowling and table tennis areas! There is also a fun playground complete with a slide and soft sand to keep your little ones occupied!
In OFC’s open-concept kitchen and restaurant, Executive Chef Ryan Clift focuses on homegrown seasonal and creative dishes. Each month, curated farmer’s markets allow guests to heighten the pleasures of simple, freshly grown ingredients that are both nourishing as well as aesthetically pleasing! Founder of Spa Esprit, Cynthia Chua, has long been an advocate of nurturing Singaporeans’ relationship with the food they eat. “Our children, in particular, have been too segregated from nature. OFC is an ideological and physical reaction to this,” explained Cynthia.
Three years of extensive work-shopping, studies, globetrotting, and speaking with agricultural and food experts have resulted in the labour of love that is OFC. Having said that, it is only natural for one to host high expectations of menu at OFC. None of us from the group of media members who were treated to a tasting session at the restaurant went home feeling disappointed. On the contrary, we left OFC stuffed to the brim and with our tastebuds absolutely delighted! From starters to desserts, each one packed a punch that I most definitely will not be forgetting anytime soon!
This sub-editor’s personal favourite amongst the starters was the Coal Baked Omelette with Smoked Haddock, Tarragon & Grain Mustard Mornay. Quite clearly the best omelette I have ever tasted in my life! The portions of food over at OFC come in quite generous sizes and you won’t be left complaining that you have not had enough. Mums & Dads, don’t worry about the kids not being able to finish their food – there’s a menu for the little ones! The main course which stood out to me was the Charred Lamb Rump with Garden Peas, Bacon, Lettuce, Mint, Whipped Mash & Rosemary Thyme. Meat lovers will be coming back for more!
No meal is complete without dessert and OFC scores top marks here – their Lemon Tart with Basil Ice Cream is sure to be a hit with those who love the taste and fragrant aroma of lemon. If you are in the mood for something a little more tropical, go for the Caramelised Mango with Textures of Coconut.
I suppose there’s no doubt about where you will be dining out this weekend? It’s a perfect chance to teach the kids how the food they eat arrives at the dinner table! For more information on Open Farm Community, visit their website here.
All images are courtesy of Open Farm Community.