The Place Walking into the new COMO Dempsey, you will immediately fall in love with this newly furbished colonial building. Taking on a no-barrier concept, all the dining concepts here are merely separated by a bar (The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar), potted plants and displays of traditional cookwares (Candlenut) and the most interesting of all, by wood-woven baskets (Ippoh Tempura Bar). Right smacked in the middle of all the 3 concepts, there’s a mini-market of sorts stocking some interesting condiments from the region, chinawares and yes, some limited edition whiskies too!
We visited Jean Georges’ namesake restaurant in New York City last year (check our recommendations of Michelin-starred restaurants to check out in NYC), and it turned out to be one of our favourite Michelin-starred restaurant which we managed to snag a table at during our stay. You can imagine our excitement when we caught winds of his new casual dining concept right here back home in Singapore few months back, and we have been planning our visit since it officially opened early this month. Being a casual dining concept, the decor of the restaurant way surpassed our preconception of casual dining. Done in an almost all white fashion, decked with warm lights during the dinner service, you will be forgiven for assuming that you have stepped into a fine dining restaurant.
Reservations are highly recommended. We witnessed many walk-in customers being offered the bar seating as the restaurant was already full. But, isn’t the bar as beautiful too?
The Food We decided to check out The Dempsey Cookhouse during their second weekend of lunch service, as a safe bet that the restaurant has sorted out their teething issues hopefully. Upon our visit, we were greeted by a team of front desk service crews, the usual you would expect from a fine dining restaurant, ushering you to your table of the day.
While we were browsing the lunch menu excitedly, the first thing which caught our attention was the general affordability of the dishes. The recently introduced lunch service includes brunch items and almost 2/3 of the dinner selections, not forgetting the full suite of bar drinks to accompany your orders. After our orders were taken, we were served some freshly baked bread while waiting.
To start, we went straight for the savoury, the Sautéed Foie Gras (S$19) served with Lychee and Black Olive – the former being the star here really, going surprisingly well with the pan-seared foie gras.
Diving immediately into one of Jean Georges’s signature dish, the Black Truffle and Fortina Cheese (S$26). We have read both raving and damning reviews of this pizza since the restaurant opened, and our verdict? Please make sure you try it! With truffle scattered throughout the pizza, and that melting fortina cheese, the pizza had the right elements. Best of all, while the crust was thin, it was neither dry nor flaky. We enjoyed it.
We decided that we simply had to go for a brunch item, since it is newly introduced on the menu, and decided on the Crunchy Spiced French Toast (S$14). When presented, we found it visually less appetizing than our expectations – although we were glad to be proven wrong. Served with bacon, berries and topped with maple syrup, the toast is perhaps best enjoyed on its own with the very unique crispy texture, quite a satisfying way to start the weekends.
From the meats section, we had the Cheeseburger (S$24), with the mentality that it couldn’t go that wrong in a New York inspired restaurant, and oh boy, we want to make sure this is one of your orders as well! The Brie and Black Truffle made this burger well-flavoured, even for the lesser fans of pungent cheese, as the melted Brie didn’t come across as overbearing. The patty done medium rare was juicy and well-seasoned, on a par with some of the best beef burgers we had back in New York.
Nothing could have concluded our meal better than this, in fact, I would make a trip back to The Dempsey Cookhouse just for this – the Salted Caramel Ice-cream Sundae (S$14). Three generous scoop of the to-die-for ice cream, topped with popcorns and peanuts and finished with a serving of the hot chocolate fudge, this was a match made in heaven no less. Not overly sweet, and with the crunchy texture, the bitter chocolate fudge went really well with all the other elements here. Our recommendation is to share this with at least another dining partner, although you may be fighting for the very last scoop!
Rants Some of the service crew here were top-notch, while some others seemed more keen to just clock the hours. Nuff’ said.
Will I Return Again? For that Salted Caramel Ice-cream Sundae, a resounding yes! And for the fine dining experience while paying for a casual dining price tag, another resounding yes! Keep this place affordable, and with the same quality of food we had, we don’t see why The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar will not be as popular as its current week-long waiting list in the future.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4.5/5
The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar
17D Dempsey Road
Tel: 1800 304 5588
For Lunch – Monday to Friday 12 to 230pm, Saturday to Sunday 12 to 3pm
For Dinner – Sunday to Thursday 6 to 10pm, Friday to Saturday 6 to 11pm
Ranted by the Rantee