Located at the corner of the Singapore Conference Hall in Shenton Way is a new café named Farmers and Chefs that opened in mid-July this year and is opened by the same people as the LeClare Preschool, which is next to the café. Set below a canopy and decorated with rustic wooden crafts by local wood and clay crafter, Farmers and Chefs exudes a casual outdoor vibe. The café comes with a play area for children, complete with toys and games. As such, Farmers and Chefs is children-friendly while also promising wholesome meals for the family.
Farmers and Chefs takes pride in offering a thoughtfully created menu that features hearty breakfasts, mains, satisfying lunch bowls and pasta dishes. For the little ones, there is The Secret Children’s Menu that features nutritious mini breakfast sandwiches, balanced mains with fruit, mini rice bowls and organic pasta too. All the meals are cooked without flavour enhancers and artificial colouring, and they have a strict no deep-frying rule. Moreover, most of the food is made from scratch, ensuring that the meals are delicious and nutritious.
To cope with growing food allergies and dietary restrictions, all sauces are home-made from scratch using healthier ingredients. For example, their Farmer’s Soy Mayonnaise is diary and egg-free, while their special house sauce is made with kombu and mirin.
The Farmer’s Breakfast (S$10)
Those who love breakfast dishes will love The Farmer’s Breakfast (S$10) as it is hearty and comes with tender sous vide herbed chicken, creamy scrambled eggs that have been drizzled with a few drops of clarified butter, grilled Roma tomatoes, sauteéd button mushrooms, mixed greens topped with vinaigrette, crisp rosti that has a dollop of their soy mayonnaise and a slice of warm ciabatta. One of our writers commented that this dish was the prettiest in terms of presentation and he also enjoyed the melding of the various flavours.
If you want a more local breakfast, they have their take on the soft boiled eggs and kaya toast – 2 onsen eggs (S$1.60) topped with their special house sauce which you can pair with Kaya Butter Ciabatta (S$2), Olive and Herbs Ciabatta (S$2) or a Garlic Ciabatta toast (S$3). Do note that their ciabatta breads are egg and dairy-free.
The pasta dishes
Aglio Olio with sauteéd prawns (S$13)
We tried three of their signature pasta dishes and it started with the Aglio olio which was tossed with two different types of chillies – dried and bird’s eye (aka chilli padi) for a spicy kick. It comes plain (S$9) or you can add the herb chicken (S$12) or prawns (S$13). A non-spicy version is also available for children. The dish was simple but flavourful although the spaghetti may be a little too al dente for most Singaporeans.
Those who want something vegetarian and simple might want to opt for the Pomodoro Pasta (S$10) which is made with fresh tomatoes, basil, cream and parmesan cheese. However, it is a bit too simple and lacks protein.
Another vegetarian option is the Truffle Mushroom Cream with Asparagus (S$14) which was the best out of the 3 pasta dishes we tried. The truffle perfumed the dish while you munch on scrumptious mushrooms and slices of asparagus! The cream wasn’t too rich either, so you can definitely finish the whole plate without feeling that it’s too rich.
The rice bowls
We Asians love our rice and Farmers have special lunch rice bowls that are available from 12 to 2pm. These are perfect for the busy professionals working around the area who need a quick, wholesome and healthy meal. There are 6 choices of proteins to choose from: yakiniku beef ($14), teriyaki chicken (S$10), yakiniku pork (S$11), sour and spicy chicken (S$10), pan-seared salmon (S$12) and kurobuta pork (S$13).
We tried the Yakiniku Beef bowl which are slices of fried striploin coated in their home-made sauce on top of Japanese rice, accompanied with broccoli, grilled cherry tomatoes and an onsen egg. It was a delight to cut the yolk and let the silky richness add that creamy flavour and texture to the dish. However, the beef was a tad disappointing because some of the pieces were a bit sinewy. This might work better if they chose to use beef that has been sliced a lot thinner like how the Japanese restaurants for their gyu don. However, for the price, it makes a very balanced and affordable bowl. Thus, we can’t complain much.
The Teriyaki Chicken bowl is similar to the beef bowl except that it comes with a sous vide chicken thigh that has been later pan-fried with their teriyaki sauce. Because Farmers and Chefs’ teriyaki sauce is home-made, it is less salty compared to most other Japanese restaurants and does not have that very strong sweet taste that one would normally associate with teriyaki. That said, we reckon that this dish is really wholesome and balanced in terms of portions of proteins, carbohydrates and vegetables. Moreover, at S$10 it is really a bargain when it comes to dining in the CBD.
Kurobuta Pork Loin (S$18)
If you have a little bit more time for lunch, why not try some of the other mains. Such as the Kurobuta Pork Loin, which is served with red wine apple compote, sauteéd potatoes, broccoli, soy sauce onions and sweet and sour capsicum. Firstly, one may be a bit surprised that there isn’t any sauce. But when you cut into it, you’ll soon realise that this dish was really a winner. The pork loin was tender and juicy, while the red wine apple compote added a mild sweet accompaniment. Sauce? Who needs it! Again, kudos to the chef(s) for coming up with a perfectly balanced plate.
If you like beef, they have a Premium Striploin (S$23) which comes with truffled mashed potato and served with haricot beans, sauteéd mixed mushrooms, grilled Roma tomatoes and an apple onion compote. Unfortunately, we did not get to try that dish.
Farmers and Chefs does what it set out to do – provide wholesome, delicious meals at affordable prices. We were pleasantly surprised at how the portions of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables were really well porportioned out for the rice bowls and mains! It’s great that there are some nods to local cuisine such as their breakfast onsen eggs and kaya ciabatta, together with their refreshing drinks of barley (S$2) that comes with shards of beancurd skin and chrysanthemum tea (S$2). Great place to hang out and have lunch if you’re in the area, just to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, even if it’s just for an hour.
Upcoming Crafters’ Market
Interior of Farmers and Chefs
To support local businesses, Farmers and Chefs will host a Crafters’ Market at the courtyard of Singapore Conference Hall from 4 to 6 October 2019, starting at 12-10pm on Friday and 5-10pm during the weekend. Open to the public, this pop-up market will feature exclusive White Rabbit Milk beverages and merchandise, classy customisable purses, a kalimba (an African musical instrument) maker and many more handmade trinkets!
Farmers and Chefs
|Address||7 Shenton Way
#01-04 Singapore Conference Hall
|Tel. no.:||+65 6721 9398|
|Opening hours:||8.00am to 8.00pm (Weekdays)
9.00am to 8.00pm (Saturdays)
Closed on Sundays
Photos: Farmers and Chefs