House at Dempsey has just revamped its menu, offering new and innovation creations which are inspired by the global taste. But not to worry, their signature dishes like truffle fries, American sliders and Asian Sliders are here to stay. Scroll down to view some of their new delightful dishes which I couldn’t wait to share them with you about my third visit to this restaurant with a beautiful backdrop of the lush greeneries in Dempsey Hill. This has to be one of those tasting sessions where I wish I was grabbing hold to the fork and knife all the time, rather than my camera.
Caution: Grab some napkins or tissues. Curb your salivations.
New kid on the Block
Changes have been made to the menu but do be rest assure, that their high standards, quality and service have been maintained. A perfect dining experience, away from the crowded urban city area, where you can choose to be seated indoors or outdoors, where you get this opportunity to be in tuned with the nature.
I’m Back Here, Again!
I’ve came to the House at Dempsey for their Vintage Tea Party on two separate occasions with my friends and classmates,where they all truly enjoyed the food and ambience, but I have not tried their signature dishes like the truffle fries til I was invited for this food tasting session organised by Spa Esprit group which manages House and other F&B brands like Skinny Pizza, Tiong Bahru Bakery and 40Hands.
One of their menu items which I have been dying to try is their 4 quirky flavoured fries – Pumpkin Hazel Fries, Truffle Taro Fries, Curry Mustard Fries and Carrot Fennel Fries. That day, I finally got the opportunity to try the Pumpkin Hazel Fries and their legendary Truffle fries as starters!
Pumpkin Hazel Fries
Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The subtle hint of the hazel nuts enhances out the flavour of pumpkin and gives the fries a crispier texture as well. It felt less sinful to eat Pumpkin fries which has a lower calorie content and a higher nutritional value than potato. If I had to choose between Pumpkin and Truffle fries, I would go for Pumpkin fries because the crunchy toppings consisting of Hazelnut,paprika and chili powder is simply a killer. Those added spices makes these Pumpkin fries really addictive. In fact, I noticed that the Pumpkin fries got swept of the table first, even before the Truffle fries.
A bucketful of fries
The Legendary Truffle Fries (SGD 11)
These fries,unmistakenably, looked like those even straw-cut fries from MacDonalds which is one of those classic fries which everyone loves. But wait til you slot these fries into your mouth, where the aromatic flavour of the white truffle oil starts to sink it. Then your mind will starts to wonder,
“Goodness, how could such plain-looking potato fries tasted this good?”. Well, there is every reason why Truffles is a highly valued ingredient in the culinary world. You don’t even need to be skilled in gastronomy to understand this because anything that has truffles in it, tasted freaking good.
Warm Salad of Wild Mushrooms
For appetizers, you could try House’ warm salad of wild mushrooms which is perfect for those who are allergic to gluten or on a gluten-free diet because this sald is gluten-free. If you didn’t know, gluten-free diet has become somewhat of a trend towards a healthier living.
Pearl Barley Salad
This is one of those newly created dishes in the menu and what’s special about this plate of salad is the addition of pearl barley and red quinoa which are great carbohydrates or protein substitutes in salads. Instead of tossing cut-potatoes or meat in salad, you could add healthy grains like barley, and quinoa which is also high in protein. If you wanted something more filling for the stomach, you can opt for the addition of grilled chicken breast for SGD 3.
Wagyu Spring Rolls
This is perhaps one of those dishes where you wished you have ordered it for yourself instead of sharing it with the people at the table. The thinly sliced wagyu beef slices, marinated with maple and soy, is amazingly chewy and tender. I do have to applaud for the chef behind this wagyu spring rolls because the idea of wrapping popiah skin over wagyu beef is such an ingenious way to fuse the two distinctly Asian cultures together as one. Not to mention, the green papaya salad,which was served as the side, tasted as authentic and delicious as those Thai salads I’ve tried in Thailand. It’s less spicy than most Thai salads, but it’s one of the best complimentary side dishes with the waygu spring rolls. How’s that for a dish which fuses 3 different Asian cultures together?
Lamb Breast with Gentleman’s Relish
One of the reasons why I’m into food and gastronomy is the ability to learn and taste something you’ve never eaten before in your life. I’m not referring to those creepy crawlies or exotic meats per se, but I’m talking about those unheard of ingredients like Gentleman’s relish which is actually a type of anchovy paste. It’s exciting for the palate to be subjected to these new flavours from day to day. And if you were like myself, loving to try something new each time, you could try the lamb breast with a crispy golden crust. The golden fried outer crust helps alot in neutralizing that raw meat taste in the lamb. So what you get is a very subtle lamb flavour in the meat encrusted with crispy bread crumbs layer.
Asparagus, Serrano Ham and Crumbed Egg
If I’m here for a weekend brunch, I would order this starter that stars the lovely poached egg in cripsy crumbed coating, which sits right on top of the Serrona ham. After the Egg benedicts’ fad has died down, I wonder whether they are other egg creations which I’ve yet to try out. And there it is, the crumbed egg which I guess I would have never been able to do it by myself in the kitchen. I’ve mastered the art of poaching eggs with vinegar but as for crumbed egg, I guess I just have to come back here again for more.
What do you see here in the photo above? Just a crumbed egg with egg yolk ozzing out? I see the time, effort,thought and love by the chef in preparing this dish. Perfectly grilled asparagus seasoned with a pinch of salt pairing it with nicely-done poached eggs, probably comes with years of experience.
Hanger Steak with Croquettes and Wild Mushrooms
Enough said, if you have travelled all the way from where you’re situated to House at Dempsey Hill and not ordering this new dish in the menu, you are probably going to regret it. This could be one of their signature dishes, after the truffle fries and Asian sliders. Even before I could take the time to slowly savour the croquettes stuffed with creamy ham béchamel sauce, all the mini croquettes were gone. The cut-portions of it flew in all directions the very minute I realised how delicious it was.
I starting to realise how mushrooms has become a key ingredient in House‘s dishes. Maybe it’s their secret ingredient. The hanger steak wouldn’t have tasted that flavourful if not for the bed of rich mushroom reduction it was seared on. I should also start incorporating fungi into my recipes as well.
Very soon, you will be witnessing a fungi frenzy happening right, in my blog space.
Roasted Chilean Cod Fish
Whenever it comes to fish, there is always one thing which I would look out for – freshness. Everything is not going to work out if the fish meat is not fresh. Because my Dad is a fish-lover, I’ve unknowingly been sort of trained informally and to detect the degree of freshness of the fish meat. When the meat is fresh, it has this hint of sweetness which overpowers the fishy taste found in most fishes. And this cod fish drizzled with sweet date sauce did not dissapoint me at all. Because it’s so fresh, the flavour of the fish interwines nicely with the slight citrus and sharp taste in the apple salad.
Lamb Rump and Spiced Cous-cous (SGD 34)
This dish didn’t stood out prominently for me, as compared to the rest. For me, I would leave the pan-seared roast lamb and Merguez sausage for the meat lovers, and I would dive down to the goodness underneath it all – spiced cous cous with cranberries. I’m a fan of cous-cous, and less of a fan of meat.
Asian Sliders (SGD 23)
If you’re just here to have a little savoury snack or tea at House, I would recommend the Asian Sliders, or in Chinese, we call it the Kong Bah Pao – braised prime pork belly cuts in soya sauce, stuffed in hot fluffy buns. This is one particular dish which is worth the calories and fats consumed. The Asian Sliders have been such a hit with the diners here. What’s best is that this dish comes with complimentary truffle taro fries which make this Asian Sliders, the best of the best in this restaurant.
Pork belly fats which literally just melts in your mouth, but not in your hands. There is a reason why the meat has to be sandwiched with the steamed buns. If it’s too dry, scoop a tablespoonful of the gravy and drizzle over the meat stuffed in the bun.
The “Last Piece is for You” Syndrome
” No, it’s alright. You shall have the last piece.” ” It’s okay. Kendric, the big eater, can finish it.”
” Oh, there’s only one piece left on the plate. I shall leave it for someone else who have yet to taste it.”
Don’t we all experience this all the time, especially during meals with friends?
Specially blended tea – White Rose Tea SGD 8 I’m a coffee and tea person but lately, I’ve been skipping the caffeine and going for floral or herbal tea which has more health benefits. I’m glad that House has a selection of special tea blends which is not available anywhere else.
Caring Carrot Juice (SGD 8.50)
I’ve also tried the Caring carrot juice which is a refreshing blend of celery, carrot and beet. I was impressed with their selection and quality of beverage served. They served freshly blended juice instead of packeted or bottled fruit juices.
Fish Basket (SGD 29) Still hungry? Dip some calamari or white battered fish into the creamy Gribiche sauce. Don’t forget to squeeze some lemon juice over.
Perfect setting for a weekend brunch.
I’ve been looking into various other creative ways to photograph food. Documenting appetizing-looking food and posting them on social media sites has been a norm these days. With the current gadgets and apps, it makes it so easy for everyone to make their food looks surprisingly delicious with those filter effects and lighting. But such appearances can be pretty deceiving. Maybe taking pictures of dining plates after a meal would be a better indication of how great the food is. But then again, it might be hard to tell if the food is fantastic or simply, the people at the table were terribly hungry.
Red Latte (SGD 6)
I’ve never tried so many new food and flavour in a restaurant before. It is as if House was a newly opened restaurant in town which offers something new and refreshing that keeps everyone anticipated to come and find what they have to offer.
The Red Latte, is really something for me. It is prepared using South African Red tea (Rooibos), a naturally caffeine-free and rich in anti-oxidants tea which is renowed for its amazing health benefits. So far, it’s been putting a smile across myself to know that House offers a selection of healthier options for its customers.
Taste-wise, it’s very fragrant and not overly-bitter. But should you find it bitter, you would ask for some honey to add as a natural sweetner.
As you would have guessed from my previous post, I’ve been starting to eat healthy – going organic and even vegan, on some days.
Tau Sar Pau (SGD 2.50)
I’m not exaggerating here but this is the best Tau Sar Pau I had since I was borned. Why? It’s a case of another episode where the buns are so fluffy that I can die. There also offer Tau Sar Pau, or steamed red bean paste buns, at 40Hands. My recent visit to 40 Hands had me amused when I saw practically almost everyone ordering Tau Sar Pau with coffee. Is a new fad about to start? Roasted Arabica Coffee with Tau Sar Pau? Out goes the cupcakes, scones and red-velvet cakes.
Dessert Time! Slowly, I’m inching myself away from these pastries. I no longer call myself a sweet tooth though occassionally, I would have sweet cravings for chocolate or ice-creams.
What’s for desserts?
Warm chocolate toffee cake (in the middle)
Warm strawberry shortcake (on the left)
Pandan jelly sponge (on the right)
Out of the three, I prefer having the warm strawberry shortcake to end the meal on a sweet note. It’s rather interesting because the sponge cake is very moist and dense, in contrast to the usual strawberry shortcake. But I wish it was topped with more strawberries or fruits to neutralize some of the sugary effects of the cake.
So, in a nutshell, if you were to come to House, I would recommend that you order the following dishes:
Truffle Fries Pumpkin Hazel Fries
Wagyu Spring rolls Hanger Steak with Croquettes and Wild Mushrooms Asian Sliders
Tau Sar Pau
Right over at House, they also offer one of the most affordable high teas around in town.
The service here was commendable. One of the staff recognised me when I came here for the second time for the Vintage High Tea Party. It’s either they took the effort to remember the customers or I was too prominent with my Canon DSLR.
The Best Reward.
House is one of the winners of Singapore Tatler’s Singapore’s Best Restaurants 2012 Awards.
A mini book-store booth by Books Actually located right in the restaurant.
This was one of those food-tasting session where I truly enjoyed in myself in the sea of good food with great company.
Special thanks to Janet and her team from Spa Espirit Group for making this event happen. Visit House at Dempsey website.