The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar: Latest Eatery Hype
Celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten opening of The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar is the latest eatery hype where dining there needs advanced reservation. His restaurant in New York has a good reputation and following. This is probably the reason why diners are flocking to his first Singapore casual eating outlet to find out whether it lives up to his fame.
The restaurant, in a colonial building, is beautifully furbished with black and white floor tiles and potted plants lending a relaxed garden ambience. This was complemented by the tall and white wicker chairs. With high ceiling, the whole place was bright and airy during the day.
There are 3 restaurants all housed under one roof and are merely separated by a bar which is The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar. Smacked in the middle of the 3 concepts is a mini market selling condiments from the region, some chinaware and also limited edition of whiskies. Behind the mini market is the Ippoh Tempura Bar and next to the market is Candelnut, a Peranakan restaurant.
During weekends, the Cookhouse restaurant serves some brunch specialties and also choices of appetizers, salad, pizza and pasta, fish and meat and desserts. From the appetizers, we had the crispy salmon sushi, chipotle mayonnaise and soy glaze ($16) and lightly fried calamari, yuzu dip and sesame ($16).
Unlike the salmon sushi found in the Japanese restaurants, here the rice is deep-fried which is unusual. The thick slice of fatty salmon then covered over the rice. With the mayonnaise and soy glaze added to the salmon sushi, it was indeed delicious.
For the lightly fried calamari with yuzu dip, they were not chewy and in fact, tasted fresh.
We were a little disappointed with the next dish which was Three Grain and Spinach Salad with Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Herbs ($16, add another $10 for salmon). While the ingredients were fresh, the combination of all the ingredients lacked the oomph. This was the same for the Angel Hair, Asparagus, Asparagus Pesto and shiitake mushrooms ($20). It was a healthy dish, but again, lacked flavour and robustness.
We definitely liked the Black Truffle and Fontina Cheese Pizza ($26), which is a signature. The pizza dough was not the hard crust type but a little fluffy with charred edges. With the generous truffle well scattered on the pizza and the melting fortina cheese, it tasted heavenly.
Under the Fish and Meat Section, we had the Crispy Fish Taco, Chipotle Sauce, Tangy Cabbage, Green Apple, Mint ($22), Spicy Grilled Chicked Sandwich, Lime Pickles and Crunchy Onions ($24) and Veal Milanese, Arugula and Tomatoes, Red wine Vinaigrette ($22).
The fish together with the cabbage, slices of green apple was placed on a chapati-like base. It had a well-balanced tangy, sweet and slightly minty taste. This came in 2 pieces and we felt it was a little pricey for the amount served. The chicken sandwich was served with French fries and it was commendable. Of the three, the Veal Milanese came up tops. The veal was tender and the breadcrumbs covering it were fried till slightly crispy and was not oily.
Desserts were good. They were the Mixed Berry Pavlova, Berry Sorbet ($14) and the popular Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae, Popcorn, Peanuts, Hot Fudge ($14). The Mixed Berry Pavlova had a meringue covering and the slightly sourish berry sorbet provided the right balance to the sweet offering.
Although the Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae was a little sweet, it was addictive when popcorn and crunchy peanuts covered in hot fudge were added to it, creating more texture with each bite.
The serving staff were efficient and cheery. This makes dining at The Dempsey Cookhouse a pleasant experience.
17D Dempsey Road
Tel: 1800 304 5588