The once nomadic wine bar pop-up Drunken Farmer by Spa Esprit Group has found a forever home, sharing the space with Common Man Stan at Stanley Street. Common Man Stan operates by day, and Drunken Farmer by night. In addition to serving natural wines (“unadulterated fermented grape juice with no additives in the winemaking process,” according to wikipedia), it also serves everything sourdough from pizzas to desserts. Get it? Coz everything’s fermented from dough to beverage.
The decor is kitschy with lots of neon pink, which reminded us of the defunct Ding Dong’s (also by Spa Esprit Group) set up 10 years ago. At this point, I feel like the Group is just recycling things.
Chef Paul Albert’s menu is tight and not much of variety: bar snacks ($9-$13), cold appetisers ($14-$26), hot appetisers ($15-$20), pizzas ($20-$25), and desserts ($14-$18). They encourage sharing/communal eating here.
From the cold appetiser section, the ceviche ($16) consists of barramundi, fresh passionfruit, leche de tigre, edamame cream, and lemongrass oil. The ingredients sound innovative and refreshing but when put in the mouth, the barramundi is chewy and as a whole, it is just okay. If only it were more sour and tangy.
I never order salad in restaurants because salads are expensive. Why not order another meat dish? But the Drunken Farmer’s Salad ($15) sounds interesting on the menu. The leaves are harvested from their own farm based on seasonality. It also comes with a reduced apple dressing and homemade beetroot greek yogurt. But like the ceviche, it sounds better on the menu than in the mouth. (Who is their menu writer?! Hire them!) It’s a small plate of few leaves that we trio pushed to one another to finish it.
The sourdough karaage ($20) is fried chicken with sourdough batter. With that name, I thought it would taste like Japanese karaage chicken. But there is no hint of that sweet mirin and sake characteristic of karaage, or at least we didn’t taste any. This is just normal fried chicken. It’s okay, just not what the name suggests.
The best dishes here are the pizzas, made from a 159-year-old sourdough starter and a dough that takes 30 hours to rise. The temple stracciatella cheese on the vegetarian margherita pizza ($18) is made from local cow’s milk. Their margherita is very good. The crust is crisp and the dough is chewy and airy.
The other vegetarian pizza ricotta and dried tomatoes ($20) consists bianco base, slow-roasted heirloom tomatoes, roasted spicy eggplant, fresh arugula, garlic flakes, manchego cheese, and herb oil. The tomatoes are bright which balances with the other ingredients.
For desserts, the sourdough waffles ($12 S/ $18 L) has banana ice cream, gula jawa salted caramel, and passionfruit marigold. It passes muster but there are plenty of cafes that serve much better waffles.
One thing that can be improved is the service. The server was distracted. We ordered 1 glass of beer, she brought us 2. We ordered 1 pizza, she brought us 2. We didn’t kick a fuss and accepted everything she brought us. But she really needs to be more attentive or the next customer may not be as patient as us.
We paid $150 for three persons.
You may be interested in…
–Craft Pizza, Boat Quay: Probably the Best Pizza in Singapore
–Lucali BYGB, Lavender: Lifestyle Pizza
–Pizza Maru, Bugis+: Korea’s Largest Pizza Chain is Better for Their Fried Chicken
–Blue Label Pizza, Ann Siang: Atas Pizzeria from Sister Restaurant of Luke’s Oyster Bar
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.