Poison Ivy, Kranji

When I was in New York, I ate organic food for 4 years, because it wasn’t very expensive there, just a few dollars more expensive than non-organic. When I return to Singapore, I always want to continue my healthy food habits, but unfortunately, organic food is simply unaffordable. (Which I cannot understand why; Malaysia is so nearby and I’m sure it’s cheaper to use faeces, than artificial fertilizers, to grow plants, and labor isn’t expensive.) But I googled and I found this farm, run by a colorful personality, Ivy Singh Lim, and I always wanted to go to see if buying organic food is viable.
I had a very fun time there… but now that I have calmed down and thought about it, I question my fun time. On the farm’s website, Ivy said that she wanted to created a place of employment for marginalized sections of society. But it is very tedious to get to the farm unless you drive and if you drive, you’ll notice that a car there can buy a tiny HDB apartment. These are rich people coming to the farm, and although I know it’s nice that the rich are helping the disenfranchised, I also wonder how much fetishizing goes on, and how much the rich is engaged in a fantasy that as long as they help the poor, they are assuaging their guilt, and that makes it ok for them to be rich. I also wonder if there is a power play here, since the poor always listen to the rich. I think the intentions of starting such a farm are admirable and kind and good, and I shouldn’t analyze it too much.
Ok, no more philosophizing. This is the food we ordered:
Such a sweltering day. We ordered fig tea (sweetened by their own sugarcane), and lemongrass (no sugar at all). Order the fig tea, very refreshing.
For lunch, we threesome ordered brown rice, Chicken Curry, mushroom tofu, potato leaves, banana curry, and jackfruit lemak (not pictured). No MSG, low salt, mostly organic, I’d guess. Only the potato leaves was hot, so I suspect they cook the dishes beforehand. The banana curry and the potato leaves were not tasteful. For the curry, the banana was hard, like potato, and the curry was bland. The veg didn’t have a crispiness, tasted slightly bitter.
The mushroom tofu, chicken curry and jackfruit lemak were ordinary homecooked standards. (Actually my mom cooks better without MSG too but I don’t know about your mom.) The chicken curry was cooked too long that the flesh fell off, disintegrated into the curry. The jackfruit lemak was probably the best dish. It used a lontong sauce, more coconut milk, lesser curry, so there wasn’t a jackfruit taste at all. It tasted like lontong vegetables.
One other gripe is that the portions were miserably small?
During eating, a nice old man came up and asked us if everything was ok. I like his sincerity a lot. In fancy restaurants, the butlers will come up and ask the same question, but they do it perfunctorily. This man really means it. Good service!
Still, craving for more, we ordered, Grilled Cheese with Fries and here it comes…
We thought that it would be cheese fries, but it was grilled cheese sandwich with fries. I don’t think this is organic? But it was awesome. 14K loves the cheese, so molten, and salty, and I agree with him.
My philosophy is no meal is completed without dessert, so we ordered the 2-in-in kuehs:
Heng ah. Although I’m not very good in identifying nonya kuehs, because I don’t know Malay, I can identify these. The one on the right is bingka ubi, tapioca and custard, browned on top by baking. This was very good, according to Hookerlily, freshly baked, very warm, and melted in the mouth. But I never like starchy food (tapioca, potato), so I prefer the gula melaku, just solidified brown sugar, topped with grated coconut. It was so soft it dissolved completely in the mouth. This was orgasmic. Finally. After a torture of healthy food, we had sugar.
We also bought the famous banana bread home ($5 for half a loaf, expensive!), the banana is definitely from the farm:
Very nice! Sweet and soft and moist. Better than most banana cakes out that. I think the bistro should just do desserts?
We took a walk in the lovely farm ($2 to enter), they don’t seem to sell vegetables? A kind man plucked some fruits fresh from the tree for us – custard-apple, I think.

Overall, I like the place and the people very much, a great getaway from the city, but I don’t quite like the food. I also wish the pricing can be more transparent. We didn’t get a receipt, so we can’t verify the cost. It costs, including the banana bread, $24 per person, although most people only spent $12 on HGW reviews?

Poison Ivy
100 Neo Tiew Rd
Singapore 719026
T: 6898 5001
Thur-Sun only, 9am – 6pm
Rating: 2.981/5 stars

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