Going to Dempsey Hill is like entering a parallel universe. All of a sudden, everyone turns into a #blessed #flowerchild and gushes “OMG I looove nature, it’s so healing”… even though they cried during OBS camp in school and during army jungle training.
Another mind-blowing aspect is the exorbitant cost of dining at a typical Dempsey Hill restaurant. Somehow, the very same people who keep whining about how broke they are feel no compunction about paying $14++ for a smoothie.
As it turns out, though, there are some pretty good deals hidden among the greenery. Yes, I’m just as surprised as you are. Read on to find out how much you should budget for a meal at the 15 best Dempsey Hill restaurants, and what promotions you can take advantage of.
Dempsey Hill restaurants (2018) – 15 best restaurants & how much they cost
Here’s a list of the top restaurants on Dempsey Hill and estimates of how much you’d spend on a typical meal per person, excluding alcohol and desserts. All prices exclude service charge and GST.
|Dempsey Hill restaurant||Cuisine||Approx. bill per pax|
|Little House of Dreams||Western||$30|
|Morsels||Fusion||$30 to $90|
|Jones the Grocer||Australian||$35|
|Chopsuey Cafe||Chinese American||$40|
|Don Quijote||Spanish||$40 (buffet)|
|Open Farm Community (closed until Nov)||Fusion||$45|
|Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar (Como Dempsey)||European||$50|
|Blu Kouzina||Greek||$60 (buffet)|
|The White Rabbit||European||$60|
|Long Beach Seafood||Seafood||$60|
|Candlenut (Como Dempsey)||Peranakan||$90 to $120|
Samy’s Curry (~$20/pax)
Address: 25 Dempsey Road, 249670
Menu: Not available online
Probably the least pretentious place in the entire Dempsey Hill, Samy’s Curry is your standard North & South Indian restaurant.
No maître d’ or Instagram-friendly decor here. Instead, you go to the counter and point at whichever random items tickle your fancy and eat it with a mountain of garlic naan. Fancy that!
Prices aren’t exactly rock bottom as far as Indian restaurants go, but you can eat like a king for the price of a meal at a trendy cafe. Their famous fish head curry ranges from $21 to $33 depending on size, while individual curries and tandoori range from $5 to $10 a serving.
Little House of Dreams (~$30/pax)
Address: 13 Dempsey Road #01-04, Singapore 247696
Judging by its princessy pink decor, Little House of Dreams is a cutesy venue for children’s birthday parties. I suppose some adults also come here when they get bored of Dazzling Cafe and Hello Kitty Orchid Garden.
Though actually a bakery that makes macarons, cakes in a pot and rainbow cakes (what else), Little House of Dreams also has a bistro with a correspondingly basic menu of burgers, waffles, pasta and salad bowls.
It’s one of the very rare places on Dempsey Hill where you can find a quite a lot of mains under $20, I’ll give them that.
Morsels (~$30 to $100/pax)
Address: 25 Dempsey Road, #01-04, Singapore 249670
Menu: Morsels Dempsey menu
Morsels is quite an interesting restaurant. The food is pretty avant garde and doesn’t fall into any cuisine type that I can think of. Their pricing is also very unusual – you’re not the only one who did a double take at the massive price range.
Here’s the breakdown:
For lunch every day, Morsels serves an Asian-inspired noodle set meal with appetiser for $28. This is the cheapest option (in fact, one of the cheapest meals you can get at Dempsey).
Otherwise, you can order a set of dishes to share. At lunch, this costs $45, $65 or $95 per pax. The most expensive $95 one is an omakase set. On Sundays, only an $85 omakase is available.
For dinner daily, the sharing set is $85, $115 or $135 (omakase) per pax.
Jones the Grocer (~$35/pax)
Address: 9D Dempsey Hill, #03-03/04, Singapore 247697
Menu: Not available online
Promotion: Up to 35% off with Chope
The Dempsey Hill outpost of Jones the Grocer, an Aussie gourmet delicatessen chain, is the sort of place that attracts expat families and their scooter-mounted children on weekend at brunch time.
If you can tolerate the constant shrill screaming, this is where you can get simple Australian cafe food (pasta, salad, sandwiches) ranging from about $20 to $30.
Alternatively, DIY your own picnic-style meal with the wide selection of cheese, bread and wine in-store.
PS Cafe Dempsey Hill (~$40/pax)
Address: 28B Harding Road, Singapore 449549
Menu: PS Cafe Dempsey Hill menu (no prices)
PS Cafe Harding Road is one of the long standing tenants at Dempsey Hill. Tai tais have been hanging out here while you were still wet behind the years, long before you even discovered eggs benedict.
Okay, fine, I must admit the location is quite nice. The building is REALLY hidden among the greenery so you feel at one with nature, but without the mosquitos and other icky bugs.
PS Cafe is known for a few cult items, like the truffle fries and sticky date pudding ($15 each). Brunch items, salads and pastas (mostly $24 to $32) are also popular here.
Chop Suey Dempsey (~$40/pax)
Address: 10 Dempsey Road #01-23, Singapore 247700
Menu: Chop Suey Dempsey menu
Chopsuey Cafe is the Chinese-ified version of PS Cafe (“ChoPSuey”, get it?), but you won’t find Buddha Jumps Over the Wall or shark’s fin soup here.
Instead, it’s mostly Americanised Chinese fare like fried rice, Szechuan chicken tenders and orange beef.
Prices are similar to that of PS Cafe, but since it’s zi char-style dishes, it’s best to come in a larger group to share.
Don Quijote (~$40/pax)
Address: 7 Dempsey Road #01-02, Singapore 249671
Menu: Don Quijote menu
Promotion: $38++ weekend a la carte buffet
Don Quijote is not really the sort of place you’d patronise for the ‘Gram. The decor is rather dated, with brick walls, lots of mahogany and blood red couches.
But… who cares? They’ve got a Spanish brunch buffet of a l carte tapas, pastas, soups and desserts for just $38++ for adults. That’s amazing value by normal Singapore standards (let alone Dempsey standards).
Better yet, add $20 for free flow of alcohol. Super worth it, because $20 can barely get you one cocktail at most Dempsey restaurants.
Margarita’s Dempsey (~$40/pax)
Address: 11 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249673
Menu: Margarita’s Dempsey menu
If you’re willing to overlook the tacky name and dated decor (hey, it’s been around since the 80’s, which makes it older than some of you millennials), Margarita’s serves supposedly pretty good Mexican food.
It’s also more affordable than many other restaurants on the Hill. Mains range from $19 to $36 (except steak at $52), and since they’re burritos, enchiladas and fajitas, you know they’ll fill you up.
Open Farm Community (~$45/pax)
Address: 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819
Menu: Open Farm Community menu
Promotion: Free cocktail for Citibank Visa card holders
Note: Open Farm Community is currently closed for renovation and will reopen in November 2018.
Open Farm Community has an actual 35,000 sq ft farm on site, the ideal backdrop for your rustic chic OOTD. Don’t forget to tag #urbanfarming and #locavore please.
The restaurant serves “locally inspired” cafe fare, like flatbread topped with chai poh and rendang spice beef cheek. Inspired or gimmicky? You decide.
Mains range from $25 to $32, though portions run small so you will probably end up ordering starters ($16 to $18) to share too.
Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar (~$50/pax)
Address: 17D Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676
Housed in the painfully hip Como Dempsey lifestyle complex, Dempsey Cookhouse is helmed by a Michelin-starred ang moh chef with an unpronounceable name (Jean-Georges Vongerichten). I’m guessing they named this restaurant ironically, cuz it sounds nothing like the SAF cookhouse.
If you’re on a budget, get their weekday set lunch. At $40 (2 courses) or $48 (3 courses), this is their version of an Extra Value Meal. It even comes with coffee or tea. What a steal!
Otherwise, a la carte pizzas, pastas and mains here are mostly priced from $25 to $32. However, you’ll probably want to splurge on their signature black truffle and fontina pizza ($34) and egg caviar ($38).
By the way, this is sort of a nice place for brunch as the brunch items (served on weekends only) range from $14 to $25, which is cheap by Dempsey standards.
Blu Kouzina (~$60/pax)
Address: 10 Dempsey Road, #01-21, Singapore 247700
Menu: Blu Kouzina menu
Promotion: $58.80++ Sunday lunch buffet
Blu Kouzina is one of the few Greek restaurants in Singapore, for those who are not daunted by words like “xtapodi” and “psari” in the menu.
There’s a huge menu and price range. As an estimate, mains like grilled chicken, beef and moussaka are priced from about $20 to $30 (grilled seafood goes up to $50). You will probably also get a few pitas, dips and mezze to share, and those cost about $15 to $20.
It’s easy to go crazy ordering a la carte, so for those with no self control, consider visiting during their Sunday lunch buffet from 12pm to 3pm.
The White Rabbit (~$60/pax)
Address: 39C Harding Road Singapore 249541
Menu: The White Rabbit menu
For the uninitiated, The White Rabbit is a very pretty restored chapel-turned-restaurant that’s very popular as a wedding venue and for assorted romantic occasions. It’s the sort of place where you eat with your eyes more than your mouth.
Come for a weekday set lunch if you can. It costs “only” $38 (2 courses) or $42 (3 courses). A la carte dishes here are some of the priciest on Dempsey Hill, ranging from $32 (for gnocchi!) to $78 (roast chicken). There are quite a few options for 2 to share, because ~romantic~.
Jumbo Seafood Dempsey (~$60/pax)
Address: 11 Dempsey Road, #01-16, Singapore 249673
Menu: Jumbo Dempsey menu
Jumbo Seafood hardly needs an introduction. As most Singaporeans would know, seafood dishes at such places don’t have fixed prices but are based on “seasonal price”.
If you don’t want to deal with the heart attack of ordering a la carte, go for the set menu for groups of 4 and up. They start at $57/pax and all include Jumbo’s signature chilli crab.
You should also sign up for Jumbo Rewards for a 10% discount. It costs $20 but you get a $20 credit, so it’s essentially free. Plus, you earn Jumbo$1 per $20 spent (about 5%) which can offset your next visit.
Better still, sign up at least 15 days before your birthday to get $100 in e-vouchers which you can use with a minimum spend of $200 at Jumbo.
Long Beach Dempsey (~$60/pax)
Address: 25 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249670
What can I say? Apparently people love going to Dempsey Hill for chilli crab. Prices and food items at Long Beach Dempsey are similar to Jumbo’s.
The main difference is in the membership programme. It costs $50 to become a ~Long Beach Premier~ cardmember, but you get $75 of Long Beach credit in return. So that’s a free $25 “voucher”. You also earn 10% in rebates (to offset against your next visit), or 20% on your birthday month.
Alternatively, Long Beach also has a co-branded credit card with Diners Club that lets you get a $10 voucher when you sign up plus 12% instant discount on your bill. You also earn 8% in store rebates.
Candlenut (~$90 to $120/pax)
Address: 17A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676
Menu: Candlenut menu
Promotions: Free champagne for Club 21 Elite & Prestige
Another flagship restaurant at Como Dempsey, Candlenut is very proud of the fact that it’s the first Peranakan restaurant in the world to get a Michelin star.
Dishes can be ordered zi char-style, but you’re not gonna just eat chap chye and rice at a Michelin-starred restaurant right?
They’ve made it easy for you with a 10-course set lunch ($88/pax) and 12-course dinner ($118/pax). That way you can try all their signature dishes in one shot, as they’re served in little portions.
Getting to Dempsey Hill
Dempsey Hill is the sort of place where pretty much everyone drives. There’s no MRT station nearby (yet) and the nearest bus stop is a looong walk away.
In fact, it’s one of the few places left in Singapore with free parking everywhere (see a whole list of free parking places in Singapore here).
For the rest of us peasants, there’s actually a daily Dempsey Hill shuttle bus. Praise be! You can board it from:
- Wheelock Place (open air carpark)
- Botanic Gardens (stops at both Tanglin and Nassim Gates)
- Holland Village MRT
It runs all day from 8:45am to 8:05pm with mid-morning and -afternoon breaks. Because the service ends so early, it isn’t really helpful for dinner dates. On the other hand, you have a very good excuse to bring your date home to “save on cab fare”.
Got a Dempsey Hill restaurant to recommend? Tell us why you like it in the comments!
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