Remember that amazing dinner I had at The Disgruntled Chef at Ann Siang?
That excellent starter of truffle brioche, the mind-blowing truffle mac and cheese and the Braised Iberico Pork Cheeks Crepinette?
These were the highlights of the dinner that was etched in my memory since, as with the amazing Crispy Lamb Shortribs with Cumin and Mint Yogurt that I’ve tasted when I first met Chef Daniel at Savour 2014 (post here –> http://www.rebeccasaw.com/savour-2014-singapore-life-is-delicious/).
Yes, Chef Daniel’s food does leave a strong impression.
And thus as I made my way to his first restaurant at Dempsey this week, I was naturally excited as this was where it all started; Chef Daniel’s first restaurant!
The Disgruntled Chef at Dempsey is a cosy outlet tucked away in tranquility in the greenery of Dempsey.
Deceptively casual in appearance, this sheltered space offers an eye-soothing view of the surrounding garden and as one might position it; an oasis of calm away from the city, yet within its CBD parameters.
The food and service is anything but casual though, as Chef Daniel’s menu offers intriguing bites of small and big plates, with emphasis on sharing and savouring as much as one wishes.
Service is on the ball, food is delicious and cocktails are imaginative.
After all, there has to be a reason that The Disgruntled Chef is celebrating their 6th anniversary this year and still going strong.
It’s a feat to have achieved consistent accolades, positive TripAdvisor reviews and glowing recommendations from its loyal patronage for 6 years in this fickle F & B business.
Thus if that isn’t a a testament of the quality of the food, service and consistency of the brand, I don’t know what is.
BELOW: G & T (SGD18) – Hendrick’s Gin, Rosella Buds, French Rose Water, Tonic Water, Lime Foam.
A lovely scented cocktail that is floral and light – very much a ladies drink.
My dinner menu that evening was a mixed selection of The Disgruntled Chef classics as well as their new “All-day All-the-time brunch, Any Day of the Week“ menu.
The Disgruntled Chef classics of “Truffle Mac and Cheese” (SGD18) had never failed to please in its role as comfort food, though this luxe version pleases even more with its bits of crayfish, heady scent of truffles and nicely torched top. Scent aside, the truffle taste was also assuringly predominant.
Another TDC classic is the Crispy Lamb Shortribs (SGD21).
This is SUPERB, a must-order, MUST-TRY dish by Chef Daniel.
Asian-inspired, these lamb ribs were sous-vided, deep-fried and dusted with cumin, among other ingredients and served with yogurt and spiced pumpkin puree.
The meat is slide-off the bone tender and the outer crust finger-licking good tasty.
Trust me, you will be contemplating re-orders as you are licking your first rib clean.
The latest addition to the menu is a new “Cured & Cultured” list of eats that pair well with over 20 original creation cocktails.
As mentioned above, TDC’s adaption of the Gin & Tonic (G & T) was pleasantly floral and smooth, thus pairing easily with the eats.
Those looking for a bit of adventure should try the Sea Salt & Chilli Margarita (SGD18).
From the very first sip this unconventional cocktail jolts your palate with its perky, spicy salty taste and I would go as far as to say it is an effective mood booster, for it certainly made me sit up.
Do not be fooled into thinking that the foam is just plain foam, for it bears as much flavour as the liquid.
The current All-Day weekend brunch set offer is SGD32++ for two plates and SGD39++ for three. This means diners select any 2 dish from the menu below for SGD32 or any 3 for SGD39.
If you wish to venture further from just the brunch options, check out the full menu here –> http://disgruntledchef.com/sites/tdc/files/menu-page/food/TDC%20Dempsey%20-%20Menu%2011.0.pdf
Based on the portions I’ve tried this evening, I’ll recommend going for the SGD39++ for three plates set.
This is doable for 2 pax, and would leave you sated yet not overly stuffed.
Below are the 3 SMALL plates that we tried, and frankly, I thought they were value for money considering the ingredients used and the “small” only applies in name.
If you are looking to stuff your belly the Mac and Cheese (1) is a good start.
Personally I would recommend the luscious bone marrow (2) as starter. Spread it over the toast for its delicate and creamy boost of flavor.
With specks of salt as flavour enhancers (you do know that natural bone marrow are very mild right?), you will be in heaven.
As a bonus, Chef Daniel tossed some pink peppercorns over them.
I love pink peppercorns. They are nothing like the white and black variety that disrupts the overall character of a dish with its strong heat, but a pink peppercorn’s little heat (nothing that lingers) has a pine-like quality, a bit sweet, and a bit of floral all at the same time.
I thought it was brilliant with the marrow.
Baked Bone Marrow (SGD18).
The (3rd small plate) BBQ Pork Belly Bao (SGD10) is for those craving a bit of Asian for their meal.
2 fluffy buns sandwiching thick slices of pork belly with kimchi, these were flavour bombs.
For the BIG plates, we tucked into (1) Braised Veal Cheeks – SGD34, (2) Spinach & Chestnut Pot Stickers- SGD26 and (3) Crackling Suckling Pig – SGD68.
Other than the Spinach & Chestnut Pot Stickers, the other 2 were not on the brunch menu. However, like I’ve said, one can always order an additional big plate to share.
The Spinach & Chestnut Pot Stickers ($26) was overlaid with an intricate and delicate tuile, pretty as picture and delicious.
There were 6 (or 5) of these on a plate. Flavoured with black truffles, a drizzle of soy glaze on top of carrot miso puree, each pocket were plump and juicy.
I loved these stickers, so atypical from the usual ‘gyoza‘ and a pleasant option from the heavy meat dishes on the menu.
The veal cheeks on yorkshire pudding and the crackling suckling pig would please the carnivorous since both supplies a lot of meat and flavours.
As much as I love my pork, the pig was overly salty for me, and thus I veered towards the veal cheeks this time.
Desserts was TDC’s classic Sticky Toffee Pudding (SGD14) and just like his Mac and Cheese, this is Chef Daniel’s winner in the dessert department.
Neither overly sticky or sweet, this toffee pudding was just perfect; warm moist pudding with a scoop of ice cream.
I was however, more enamoured with the Avo-gato (SGD12), a genius marriage of creamy avocado ice cream with a shot of espresso.
It was another happy meal at The Disgruntled Chef and many thanks to Chef and Jill for having me again.
For an idea of what The Disgruntled Chef at Ann Siang serves, do check out my previous dinner –> HERE.
I like both outlets equally but if I had to pick, I would recommend the Dempsey outlet for ambiance and the new brunch menu. The Ann Siang outlet is great for heavier meals as there is the cote de boeuf, dorper lamb and iberico pork crepinette.
Both outlets serves equally great cocktails.
Last but not least, Happy 6th birthday (and to many more years to come) to The Disgruntled Chef!
The Disgruntled Chef
26B Dempsey Rd,
Waze: “The Disgruntled Chef”.
Tel: + 65 6476 5305
Hours: Lunch: 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm.
Dinner: 6:00 pm – 11:30 pm.
The Disgruntled Chef
28 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069708
12:00 pm – 2:30 pm
6:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Contact: +65 6808 2184
Public transport – Tanjong Pagar MRT, Chinatown MRT and Telok Ayer