I stumbled upon this casual eating house after a second unsuccessful attempt at trying to get a meal at PS cafe. That place doesn't seem to open for lunch at all.
Thankfully, I happened to notice this interesting place tucked among the trees, looking like a rainforest cafe, something that appeals to the naturalist in me. Since I was in the area anyway, it made sense to try it out; who knows, it might turn out to have been a serendipitous discovery.
Dempsey's Hut is one of those old-looking colonial bars with its own football team and charming expatriate history. Unlike the venerable Colbar though, Dempsey's Hut, does not seem to have gone through quite as many tribulations, nor does it seem to have the former's fervent support from kids from the international school nearby, or even the loyal old-timers.
As you can well imagine, there is no air-conditioning whatsoever, in keeping with the au naturel feel of Dempsey's Hut. However, this might of course pose a problem during those warm, humid Singapore afternoons, even with the shade of the massive rambutan tree above.
Dempsy's Hut is a restaurant and bar, so even if you don't come here for food, you can come sample some of their drinks - it's an interesting alternative to chugging alcohol at smokey and crowded venues like the pubs at Holland Village. The Hut even has designated smoking areas, so you don't get cigarette smoke in your face the whole time.
There is definitely a lot of greenery at Dempsey's Hut. This is good for nature-lovers, but bad for people who get jumpy around insects and seedpods. Although the two cans of insect repellent displayed near the bar are somewhat disquieting, I had no need of them throughout lunch.
Dempsey's Hut serves mostly western food like steaks and hot dogs, but they also do a few local dishes like chicken curry ($9.50), which is slightly more expensive than the one at Colbar, but I was astonished to see it served in a claypot, not something I'd have expected even from a hawker centre. I was also pleased to note that they were very generous with the chicken, and even threw in a potato to give you your money's worth.
The "juicy beef burger supreme" was cheaper than what you get at most places at $11.50, but unfortunately this time was less generous than usual. The burger was rather dimunitive, but in terms of taste was pretty good. The patty was certainly juicy, so I suppose it only lived up to half its name.
All in all quite an interesting place, worth a visit if you like exploring a quiet meal amidst leaves and dappled sunlight.
130E Minden Road
Tel: 6473 9609
Location: 3/5 (it's a bit of a walk from the main road)
Ambience: 3.5/5 (depends on how much you like trees)
Overall: Off the beaten track, both literally and metaphorically.