House, aka Dempsey House, aka House at Dempsey (gosh, they've do have a ton of monikers, don't they) is one of our regular post-dinner dessert spots whenever we're dining at the Dempsey enclave. The desserts here are yummy and nibbles are awesome. Plus, we like the laidback ambience. Its eclectic style and decidedly haphazard furnishings always remind us of home (yup, we're messy people).
We had brunch last week at House, and on cool-ish mornings like that, we've noticed that it's really nice to sit outside on the patio with a cup of coffee and just listen to the crickets. It's nothing like the crazy busy city that we've gotten so accustomed to. It was such a refreshing change to look upon the lush greenery and have some peace and quiet (the ambient chirp of crickets don't count as noise, btw). It reminded us of those early mornings in the Australian vineyards/Phuket beaches/Ubud padi fields/(insert any holiday here) where time just slows to a crawl and you stop to smell the crisp morning air, soak in the not-yet-blazing-hot sunshine and generally take stock of the little things in life.
Another great thing about Sunday brunch at House is that they open real early (on Sundays only btw). 9 am to be exact. Early risers (whose body clocks automatically wake them up like mine does nowadays) will appreciate the breakfast option.
While the ambience is indeed awesome (sitting outside makes you feel like you're on holiday without actually being on holiday), the food was a mixed bag of hits and misses. Service, whilst chirpy and smiley, wasn't super organised either.
The Barracks Freeform Eggs ($21) was a medley of scrambled eggs, chipolata sausages, mushroom ragout and cheesed up rose tomatoes . The sausages were the star attraction here, they were textured, juicy, spicy and totally delicious. We loved it. Practically fought over the last chunk. The eggs were fairly well done, light and fluffy. We liked the use of shimeiji mushrooms in the ragout but it could do with a smidge more salt.
The Roast Chicken ($26), spice-rubbed, was unimpressive. It would have been tonnes better if marinated longer. Apart from the sinfully tasty chicken skin, the flesh was disappointingly lacking in flavour. The potato mash was good, whipped smooth and creamy but the fondant carrots could have also stayed longer on the grill. I could have chipped a tooth on them hard babies.
The Fish Basket ($29), a school of fried breadcrumbed scampi, deep-fried battered white fish, seasoned grilled squid and prawns was pretty good. The seafood was sparkling fresh and cooked just right. Even if I don't particularly like pea mash, House's mushy green peas weren't too bad, this had enough flavour to overcome the plain dull taste of green peas. The thrice cooked wedges were also pretty good, a thick crusty layer of fattened carbs with soft insides. A side of Gribiche tartar provided a light refreshing dipping accompaniment.
Oh I love love LOVE the Truffle Taro Fries ($7) here. It's super thin and light as a feather so it's almost like you're eating air. It's so easy to fool yourself indulging in this. The fried-to-a-crisp yam strips were evenly dressed in truffle oil and salt. Awesomesauce this one is.
The Strawberry Shortcake ($9.50) is exactly like the cartoon character. Sweet and nice but a little dry and doesn't quite pack a memorable punch.
The Chocolate Toffee Cake ($9.50) fared loads better. To be fair, I've always liked toffee. Scrap that, I LOVE toffee. I was very upset when Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf removed their hot toffee drink off their menu. The cake was delightfully light and moist, blanketed in a delectable thick chocolate toffee fudge. Berries lent a fruity twist to the sweetness of the toffee overtones.
8D Dempsey Road
Tel: 6475 7787
Mondays to Thursdays from 12noon to 11pm
Fridays from 12noon to 12midnight
Saturdays from 11am to 12midnight
Sundays from 9am to 11pm