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Monday, 6 April 2015

Dinner at The White Rabbit @ Dempsey

39C Harding Road, Singapore 249541
Tel: 9721 0536

The White Rabbit has always been name-dropped here and there as serving good food but I never had the chance to visit because of its (past?) infamous 2-weeks-in-advance reservations requirements. Waiting for weeks or even months ahead just to dine at a restaurant may be a trend in New York City, but in Singapore it is definitely not the practice (at least for most of us).

Anyway, I was finally brought there for birthday dinner thanks to The Beau who patiently made the reservations in advance. I shall start my description by mentioning that the service was excellent from start to finish.

The White Rabbit is located in a beauitfully-restored old chapel building at Dempsey area, directly opposite Au Petit Salut.  They maintained the stained glass windows and rustic doors, replacing the pews with comfortable booths or tables, transforming the place into a mysterious yet intimate dining haven.

After browsing through the menu, I decided to go for the Set Dinner (SGD$98.00++ for 4 course) even though I was not hungry. The glutton in me just wanted to try more things here, and I was feeling bold with The Beau with me so I knew there would not be food wastage.

Bread was served first - an entire basket of them for us to choose from; I requested for the softest they had, and it was still rather taut. The taste was good, especially when paired with the butter.

For my set, I chose the Seared Bay Scallops as my starter, served with sweet shallot confit, white chocolate veloute and sevruga caviar. The white chocolate veloute (the foamy broth surrounding the scallops) was awesome, subtly sweet and complementing the bouncy fresh scallops perfectly.

Then I had the Sauteed Foie Gras for appetiser, served with quince puree, roasted pear and spiced sherry gastrique. The butter-like piece of foie gras disintegrated deliciously in the mouth upon contact, spreading over the palate thickly with its rich flavor. It was a superb starter.

My selected main course was the 36-Hour Brandt Shortribs, with truffle miso glaze, parsnip puree, field mushrooms and shaved truffles. The crispy exterior was easily torn apart to make way for contact with a succulent interior of fine red meat, so lean and tender.  Mushrooms and truffles gave the bittersweet meat a lovely touch of enhancement; it was a beautiful concoction.

For mains, The Beau had the Chargrilled Brandt Ribeye (SGD$45.00) served with Mache Salad, and choice of bearnaise, red wine or truffle sauce.  He chose red wine, which suited me just fine (I got to sample). The medium-rare doneness steak was a little tougher than expected - don't get me wrong, the ribeye was still succulent overall, just that this slab was a little harder than preferred so we suspected that they'd probably overcooked and served it closer to medium doneness.

Taste-wise, this ribeye steak was fabulous, even without dousing the red wine sauce. The natural sweetness of the beef combined with a nice touch of smokiness, making every bite a refreshing dose of scrumptious.

Finally, time for my dessert - for this, I had the Crepe Suzette, where there was a flambeed tableside performance the service crew prepared the dessert right in front of us.  It reminded me of my experience at Henri Charpentier (review here).

The warm crepes were drenched in an orangey sauce, so they were infused deliciously in a citrusy flavor; the texture was pulpy pieces of flour (good flour); when paired with the vanilla ice-cream it was incredible.

Dinner was excellent, really, as were the location and service.

A walk around the outdoors / alfresco areas around the restaurant yielded even more delights. Well, pardon the photos being shot in the stark darkness - we tried our best, but these were some really gorgeous settings we were hoping to share. Let's start with the bar / lounge area for drinks - Drink Me, just how cute is that.

The chillout area extended to these garden settings, complete with swings and black-white striped garden chairs.  This place is enchanting by night, and we were sure it would be charming by day as well.

Finally, the rustic wooden chapel door and an ark with tiny twinkling lights. Do we love this place? Yes, it is definitely worth the weeks of waiting...

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