- Vincent Lim
Kampung French: An Open Farm Community x Paris Popup collaboration, Minden Road
Open Farm Community is restaurant that revolves around the idea of creating dishes with locally-sourced ingredients. In collaboration with the nomadic collective Paris Pop-up, Kampung French is a three week long takeover that will have you savouring French inspired creations made with ingredients either sourced locally or grown right outside the restaurant. I remember this saying about movie adaptations that somehow relates to these dishes: The key to a successful adaptation is understanding the source material. Whatever you create, no matter how different, will turn out amazing. And that’s exactly what Paris Pop-up did. No fancy caviar or truffle, no lobsters or Wagyu beef, everything you find in the menu can be found in our day to day meals, which makes these dishes so incredible. A sense of familiarity in every bite, yet presented with such creativity, from a completely different perspective, that celebrates the essence of each ingredient.
Enough raving, let’s talk about some of the food we had the pleasure of partaking.
First, we had a Shrimp Chawanmushi. The flavours of the smooth steamed egg was prominent even with the amount of shrimp inside. I loved how the young coconut gave the savoury shrimp flavour a dash of sweetness, and the added freshness and crisp of the sorrel gave it so much more complexity than a traditional chawanmushi.
Next, we had a Flat Bread, Chai Poh, Potatoes and Spring Onion combination. The flatbread is everything you love about a good prata. So fluffy and crispy and the right amount of char. I can’t get enough of this fascinating combination, the sweetness of the chai poh, along with the buttery “prata” is something I never thought I needed in my life.
This simple looking salad boasts an intriguing mix of Long Beans, Winged Beans, Sesame, Tempeh, Shallots and Mint. A dish so simple yet the combination of flavours was unprecedented. I love my greens, and to taste such natural flavours from the long and winged beans was amazing. The tempeh also added a bit of saltiness to the crisp vegetables, while the mint leaves sneaked in with every other bite creating an overall refreshing plate of greens.
Here’s something more adventurous -- Fried Frog legs with Caramelised Fish Sauce. No frills about this dish, just frog legs fried in crispy batter with a hint of pepper then paired with a sweet, spicy and savoury fish sauce. So simple yet so tasty, I loved every bite of it.
One of my favourite dishes was the Pearl Grouper, Lala Clams, Fermented Black Bean Tapenade and Local Greens. Another simple dish that boasts incredible combination of flavours. I really loved how fresh the fish tasted along with the fermented black bean adding a bit of spice to the dish.
Same can be said with the BBQ Spring Chicken. It was tender, juicy and grilled to perfection. And that amazing green mango salsa verde that came on the side was so fresh, you can almost taste every sweet, spicy, sour flavour individually.
The last but not least of the savoury dishes was the BBQ Pork Echine. I’m not the biggest fan of pork but this was just divine. The meat was so tender it just melted in my mouth. I also liked that it didn't have an overpowering "porky" taste to it.
And down to dessert!
We had the Sweet Potato and Gula Melaka Tarte, which was undeniably one of my favourite dishes here too. I don’t know if I’ve ever had the combination of sweet potatoes and gula melaka but if I have, it doesn’t stack up to this amazing tart. Every bite tasted so familiar yet like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. Everything was topped with a tamarind sorbet, giving it a bit of a sweet tarty finish.
To say that I had a blast at Paris Pop-up’s take over at Open Farm Community would be an understatement. These amazingly simple dishes boast such incredible flavours it had me in awe.
Come have a taste of how amazing locally-sourced produce and fresh grown greens can be. Be sure not to miss Kampung French happening from now up till the 3rd of December.
Open Farm Community
130E Minden Rd
Lunch: Monday to Sunday, 12 - 4pm
Dinner: Monday to Thursday, 6 - 11pm
Friday & Saturday, 6pm - 12mn
Sunday, 6 - 10pm