House at Dempsey
Wind the clock 5-6 years back, Singapore's café scene was still, quiet, and not nearly as in as it is now. Then major players and trendsetters were places like é PS. Café, Wild Honey, Rider's Café, and not House at Dempsey. While newer spots are definitely kept top of mind, there must be something about older cafés like these that keeps the crowd returning.
House remains one of my favourite café-restaurants for a casual great meal. Since my first visit 6 years back, House has continued to produce consistently delicious food, in an amazingly beautiful space. Spotted with a variety of wooden tables, mismatched vintage pieces, and mason jars of all shapes and sizes, House's interior beats the newer industrial-chic designs any day. Its huge glass windows and wide variety makes it the perfect spot for lunch with friends.
Tiffin Punch (S$16++) - Gin, lychee liqueur, grapefruit
House offers an extensive menu, with mains, all day breakfast, and a weekend brunch menu. The drinks list is equally generous, featuring coffees, teas, smoothies, freshly-squeezed juices, and a variety of mocktails and alcohols. For the adults, House's Tiffin Punch is a very refreshing fruity cocktail that is sure to please. It comes as an individual portion, as well as a bigger tiffin container serving 4 - perfect for tea.
Orange Blossom Carrot Cake (S$8.50++) - House's rendition of carrot cake, kissed with a scent of orange blossom water and topped with orange slices
Tau Sar Pao (S$2.50++) - House's palm-sized rendition of the local red bean steamed bun
While most wouldn't consider starting with desserts, I always do for fear of being too full at the end of the meal to enjoy them. Whether you choose to have it first or last, House's Carrot Cake and supersized Tau Sar Pao are must-tries. The carrot cake is soft, moist, generously dotted with crushed walnuts and topped with the best cream cheese frosting I've had. It is most definitely the best carrot cake in Singapore. The Bitter Chocolate Tart (S$7.50++) would please chocolate addicts with its dark, molten chocolate filling.
Ahi Taki Salad (S$25++) - Crunchy Ahi tuna sautéed with tomatoes, tossed with Port wine-soaked raisins, pistachios, and rocket
For starters, the Ahi Taki Salad is a sure pleaser. Perfectly seared cubes of tender tuna, crunchy bitter arugula, earthy pistachios and buttery avocado - all tossed in lightly sweetened wine-soaked raisins. Meat lovers would like the One Metre-long Sausage (S$25++), an awesome spectacle perfect for sharing, available as chicken, beef or pork.
Squid Ink Pizza (S$32++) - Seafood special with calamari, prawns, fresh tomato salsa, red onion and chopped parsley on a squid ink crust
A visit to House is usually incomplete without ordering from their list of Skinny Pizzas. Both ventures by the F&B firehouse Spa Esprit Group, House offers a selection of those signature biscuit-crusted pizzas. The Squid Ink Pizza has always been our favourite, with generous toppings of calamari and prawns, on a savoury squid ink crust.
Bay Prawn Capellini (S$27++) - Capellini, gently tossed in a prawn bolognese, chili, and braised baby leeks, topped with shaved pecorino cheese and micro herbs
With mains, it's always hard to choose from the amazing selection if not for the few that stand out We love the Bay Prawn Capellini which tastes very much like a saucey aglio olio, and the Black Pepper Prawn Linguine (S$32++). A note to small eaters that the pastas come in a fairly big portion, so sharing may be ideal. The Hanger Steak (S$36++) - moist, tender, and seared perfectly - is yet another great option.
We tried brunch on a number of occasions, and while decent, House's daily offerings are what most impressed. Where volatility in the local F&B industry is high, House's ability to draw consistent crowd and produce quality food is not one to be taken lightly. As long as this continues, House will remain one of my favourite places for great Western fare.
8D Dempsey Road Level 1
Mondays to Thursdays: 12pm-11pm
Saturdays: 11am-4pm; 6pm-12am
Sundays: 9am-4pm; 6pm-11pm