Dempsey Hill has a long history in Singapore, and has been home to some cool restaurants, bars and shops over the years. It’s going through a bit of a revival at the moment, including these two restaurants we think are worth checking out.
The newest kid on the Dempsey block, Red Sparrow is the Hill’s only Vietnamese restaurant. Opened in July 2018, it’s a top spot for a relaxed lunch of pho, but come nightfall, it puts on its heels and makes a great backdrop for a stylish evening. A clutch of colourful lanterns hangs from the ceiling, while the walls are jazzed up with murals by local artists depicting scenes of Vietnamese culture. The whole set-up is inspired by chef/proprietor Jeff Koh’s stint in Ho Chi Minh City, where he perfected his Vietnamese cooking skills.
The menu covers all the classics with beautifully presented goi cuon (pork and prawn summer rolls), classic beef pho, and banh tran tron (shredded green mango salad with quail eggs). Signature dishes include ga nuong (charcoal grilled half chicken in sweet and spicy sauce), banh xeo (savoury rice flour crepe filled with mushrooms, tiger prawns and braised pork) and barbecue hai san tam (assorted fresh seafood).
While you may not be sure what wine to pair with your meal, friendly staff are on hand to talk you through their list of wines from Dalat, Vietnam’s temperate hill country.
Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, Red Sparrow has got you covered. They serve breakfast from 9am to 3pm (a traditional Vietnamese drip coffee is a great way to kick-start your day), afternoon tea from 3pm to 6pm, and dinner from 6pm until the last diner leaves. There are also happy hour deals on Vietnamese beers and wines from 3pm until late.
The new incarnation of an old Dempsey favourite (La Ventana), Tapas 26 serves up authentic, contemporary Spanish fare. It’s had a facelift and a change of address, but the fresh tapas-with-a-twist concept is sure to please guests, old and new. The space is split into three sections: the garden, the restaurant and the bar. Take a table out on the terrace for a romantic evening surrounded by greenery. Settle into the comfy wicker chairs for an intimate meal in the cooler climes of the indoor restaurant, or grab a friend and get cosy at the six-seater bar where you can work your way through a range of carefully selected Spanish specialty drinks.
Wherever you choose to enjoy it, expect creative flavours, beautiful presentation and friendly, considerate service. You’ll be hard pushed to choose from the deliciously eclectic mix of all-time favourite tapas, lesser-known home-style Spanish dishes, and seasonal specials. Don’t miss the colourful beetroot salmorejo, marinated tuna, avocado, mango ice cream, classic Jamon Iberico served on crunchy bread with tomato, or, the chef’s favourite, Caldereta de Langosta (Maine lobster stew with mussels). Finish on a sweet note with torrija, a caramelised brioche with vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce.
Mon- Sat: 4 pm- 12am
Sunday 12 pm to 10 pm
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