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Restaurant review: Roadhouse and The Dempsey Brasserie at Dempsey Hill

Roadhouse
Block 13 Dempsey Road, #01-07
6476 2922
www.roadhouse.com.sg


If you’ve ever sat on your couch eating some uninspiring and healthy concoction while miserably salivating over the meaty-cheesy, ridiculously delicious dishes on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives then you’re going to want to know about Roadhouse. No, it’s not another TV programme. This is the real thing. It’s here in Singapore and it serves really, really good burgers.
 
Roadhouse is a small, American-style diner with dim lighting, edgy exposed brick walls and wooden tabletops. In an unassuming spot in a corner of Dempsey, this is where the magic happens.

First up is the bacon marinated burger ($26) – wagyu beef, melted Gorgonzola, streaky bacon, caramelised onions, aioli and sautéed mushrooms. The patty is thick, juicy and remarkably succulent despite our request for well done, with that barbecue flame flavour from the much-lauded and Heston Blumenthal-approved Josper Grill.     
The Plain Jane ($24) is simple and delicious – a 200g wagyu patty, homemade bun, pickles, ketchup and mustard – our only gripe, albeit tiny, would be for more knackig gherkins for that sweet and sour super-crunch.
 
For those looking for an all-you-can-eat opportunity, there’s a wall of fame for The Terminator Challenge. Priced at a hefty $48, this burger comprises five monstrous patties (that’s a kilogram of meat!), mounds of bacon, melted cheddar cheese and a bun with fries on the side. If you can get that lot into you in 20 minutes, you get a photo of your mug on the wall. Après-marathon lunch spot found! 
 
Oh, there’s so much more to try – buttery, charred corn on the cob, salads, thin-crust pizzas and smokey, finger-licking BBQ baby Kurobuta back ribs ($28). But save room for the alluring, calorie-laden dessert menu. Think marshmallows, oozing chocolate, peanut butter and jam, Oreos and ice cream, mixed together in different combinations. This is the stuff of American dreams. It’s also what Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives makes his living out of eating – lucky bugger.

The Dempsey Brasserie

Block 7, Dempsey Road #01-03

6473 4500

www.dempseybrasserie.com

Dempsey Hill has restaurants for many tastes, but few fill a void like this does. The Dempsey Brasserie is bringing good ol’ comfort food to the scene – food with powers to cure the lonely, the lovesick and the grievously hungover. Food that reminds us of home and, of course, Mum.

But, don’t expect your mother’s basic mac and cheese. These are gourmet versions of your favourites backed by an impressive list of drinks, such as blackberry champagne mojito and Patron fizz: two excellent choices. Note: there are nine drinks available by the pitcher – what could be more comforting than that?

Sharing soup is never a great idea, but here the reason has nothing to do with manners. I let my husband steal a taste of my gruyère-laden French onion soup ($11), which starts an immediate tug-of-war across the table. The arrival of the charcuterie board ($22), a selection of cured meats, pickles and delicious rolls, diverts his attention, while I zealously guard my starter pot of mussels vin blanc ($20) – a generous portion in a delicate white wine broth. We later learn that the steak frites – a perfectly cooked medium rare tenderloin ($42) – was originally sent back for being “slightly overdone”. Keen eyes on the part of the waitstaff is always a good thing.  

The desserts are just as they should be. A good chocolate fondant and apple tarte tatin ($14 each) need no frilly details – just good ingredients, a side of vanilla bean ice cream and an ounce of love.

With exposed brick walls and white cathedral ceilings, The Dempsey Brasserie combines cool with casual, creating the perfect place to kick back with friends for dinner or weekend brunch.

Monica Pitrelli

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