All these years at Dempsey Hill, House, Barracks and Camp has been one of the most successful establishments around as it has been a hit with many families and friends. An ideal place for large casual gatherings, I myself have always been a loyal patron of the restaurant- having experienced the overwhelming crowds during their brunch, lunch, hi- tea and dinner. And yes, some of you might have stumbled upon my previous review of House, Barracks and Camp when I had paid a visit to the restaurant for their brunch with a couple of friends two years ago.
Following the start of 2013, House, Barracks and Camp is finally giving its six- year old menu a major overhaul. While retaining a few of the favourite delicacies, one can expect a more grown- up and elegant menu that showcases the signature House quirkiness and surprising unique creations that complement one another.
Several changes have been implemented to the interior and exterior of the restaurant; a small and simple al- fresco dining area has now replaced the Greenhouse that has always been House, Barracks and Camp’s attraction for me. An entirely new dining area has taken over the likes of the private dining rooms so as to manage their overwhelming crowd during their peak periods. Also, the long table that features their High- tea has now been shifted inside as well.
Pearl Barley Salad ($15.00)
A dish that really shows up the ordinariness of the ingredients, the natural flavours of the chewy Pearl Barley bits and Sugar Snap Peas, paired with the crisp Lettuce- all took central stage. The Grilled Chicken Breast (additional $3.00) was a brilliant addition to the incredibly moreish salad that was very much uncomplicated, but yet so scrumptious. This would be a perfect option for a post- gym pick-me-up.
Asparagus, Serrano Ham and Crumbed Egg ($22.00)
A simple display of artistry, the Asparagus, Serrano Ham and Crumbled Egg was a lip- smackingly delicious combination to me. The creaminess of the egg, together with the crisp of its crumbed exterior, along with the crunchiness of the asparagus and the chewiness of the ham, and the salty notes of the yolk- drenched meat that were conveyed across wonderfully; when had all together, magic was worked on my palate and in my mouth. This was one of my favourite starters for the day.
Truffle Taro Fries ($7.00), Curry Mustard Fries ($9.00), Carrot Fennel Fries ($9.00) and Pumpkin Hazelnut Fries ($12.00)
A must- try for all the fans of the widely- acclaimed common junk food, the range of assorted fries did more than just satisfy our cravings for the occasional comfort food. Their Pumpkin Hazelnut Fries was my absolute favourite with the intense taste of its main highlight that was well- complemented by its crunchy Hazelnut, Paprika and Chilli powder. We took much pleasure in their Truffle Taro Fries too, given its crispy texture that was reminiscent of potato chips and it was endowed with a hit of just enough Truffle Oil so that its fragrance permeates through every bite. The Curry Mustard Fries, topped with Paprika, Curry and Sea- Salt fared well in the taste department as well. The Carrot Fennel Fries were enjoyable too, there was a certain crunch to it as retained by the fresh carrots used and they tasted favourably sweet.
Warm Salad of Wild Mushrooms ($16.00)
Offering gratifying textures with every bite, the warm, chewy and juicy mushrooms, together with the creamy globe Artichoke caught me by surprise. A particularly savoury, albeit heavy and in contrary to the traditional impression of salads- unhealthy appetizer, I felt that this was although not exactly show- stopping, it is the kind of comfort food that quietly delights.
Wagyu Spring Rolls ($29.00)
Moist on the insides and delightfully crisp on the outsides, the minced Wagyu meat was slicked with maple and sweet soy glaze that while, had bound the flavours together and was slightly overbearing, the match between the constituents was strangely delectable. The deep- fried Popiah is accompanied by a generous serving of fresh Green Papaya Salad that was very much appreciated as a refreshing touch to the dish.
Asian Sliders ($23.00)
Following an authentic 20- year- old recipe, I was thrilled to see a classic Asian rendition of their popular Western Sliders. A satisfying and nostalgic treat, the pleasurable slices of prime Pork Belly cuts that were braised with premium soya sauce, a selection of Asian spices and a kick of chilli, melted in the mouth as accompanied by the pillowy buns. Guaranteed to clog one’s arteries deliciously, each mouthful was soul satisfying while the fragrance of the meat lingered on the palate for a while. This would surely be a hit with both the young and old.
Lamb Breast with Gentleman’s Relish ($24.00)
We were rather bowled over by the Lamb Breast with Gentleman’s Relish, given its pleasing textural contrast as its outside was a crisp golden brown coating while the insides showcased intriguingly fragrant Lamb Breast meat. It made a great pairing with the light anchovy mayonnaise with chopper capers, that worked well as an accompanying sauce.
Roasted Chilean Cod Fish ($29.00)
Incredulously smooth and fork tender, the Turmeric roasted Cod Fish was very well- executed. Together with its sweet date sauce beneath that added richness and provided the plate with a greater depth, it all sung and conveyed the perfect balance- not too rich, not too light, the flavours all came across right. The dish comes with a fat seared Chorizo packed with a spicy kick, and with a refreshing Apple and Celery salad.
Hanger Steak with Croquettes and Wild Mushrooms ($27.00)
A hearty option that conquered hearts and stomachs, I was bowled over by the Hanger Steak’s meaty juiciness. The slices were cooked till the insides were uniformly pink; the meat was firm yet tender while all in all, the Hanger Steak was certainly delish. The two fingers of Croquettes packed with creamy Ham Bechamel, was really addictive and done so well that I concurred that this alone should be served as a separate number on their menu.
One aspect of House, Barracks and Camp has never changed and that is the heart- warming hospitality displayed by the service team. Sincere and friendly, they made my visit even more memorable and enjoyable. Once again, thumbs up to the waiters and waitresses who served us.
House, Barracks and Camp is still one of my favourite places to recommend should one need a venue for large casual gatherings or a simple meal among families and friends. The entire setting exudes cosiness while the service is professional yet sincere, and the dishes are all comforting and delish. Now with more dining seats available, I believe that they will be even better in accommodating to a large crowd during their peak hours. I am definitely paying another visit to the restaurant to check out their new High- tea spread after I am done with my examinations!
Many thanks to Ms. Janet from Spa Esprit Group for the kind invitation.
House, Barracks and Camp
8D Dempsey Road
Contact Number: 6475 7787
Operating Hours (Barracks):
Mondays till Fridays, 12.00pm to 3.00pm (Lunch), 3.00pm to 6.00pm (Tea)
Saturdays, 11.00am to 4.00pm (Brunch), 4.00pm till 6.00pm (Tea)
Sundays, 9.00am to 4.00pm (Brunch), 4.00pm till 6.00pm (Tea)
Mondays till Sundays, 6.00pm to 10.30pm (Dinner)