One of my favorite restaurant areas in Singapore is Dempsey Hill where the old (colonial black and whites) and the new (modern restaurant concepts) have successfully come together and with the added bonus of free parking, a rarity in Singapore where sometimes, the cost of parking equals an expensive main course. A newish addition to the P.S. Cafe group, Chopsuey Cafe quietly opened late last year in a quiet corner of Dempsey road. We have been several times now (for brunch and lunch) to this beautiful, airy, light-filled all black and white interior (from the floor tiles to the chairs) with color brought in by the towering flower arrangement and the cakes displayed in huge glass domes.
The extensive menu of mostly Asian dishes, from dim sum – both steamed and fried to noodles and rice along with a selection of classics with a twist and Asian versions of western dishes makes it accessible to all tastes. When we go, we usually do a mix of some Western with some Asian dishes which we share family-style. Dim sum is beautifully presented on pewter edged dim sum baskets stamped with the restaurant logo, plates are placed on different height pewter stands and the accompanying sauces – spicy tamarind, sweet chili and a fiery red chili. There are also daily specials on the blackboard including starters, main courses, desserts and even drinks. There’s a cozy indoor dining area, an roofed open-air conservatory and an outdoor terrace for those willing to brave the humidity or for smokers.
For brunch one day, we had the west corn, coriander and potato rosti benedict – poached eggs with a sweet sour hollandaise and the mandarin French toast – thick slices of caraway bread with mandarin marmalade and a passion-fruit lime butter. Lunch is more of a family affair with lots of dishes placed in the middle for everyone to share. From the dim sum menu, we’ve had the char skew steamed buns and the har gau (prawn dumplings), the deep-fried crayfish stuffed bean curd skins and the crispy spicy prawn wantons. For starters, our favorites include the classic prawn toasties (sesame prawn toasts), the sticky crunchy baby squid and the san chou pau (minced chicken and pork with corn and green beans wrapped in lettuce cups and eaten like a taco). For main courses, we had the orange beef – battered deep fired beef in a sticky orange sauce, the chili jam prawns, Szechuan string beans with minced chicken and a maple apple crispy pork belly form the daily blackboard special. We also shared a mud crab fried rice while the kids had the usual egg fried rice. For drinks, we always have one of their special fruit coolers – lychee and lime or lemon and basil, although there is an interesting list of cocktails and wines as well. Dessert was their hummingbird pavlova – a tropical version of the classic, this time filled with pineapple, many and passion fruit. As with all restaurants from the P.S. Cafe group, the average check is usually high but in the case of Chopsuey cafe it’s well worth it.
Block 10, Dempsey Road 01-23
Dempsey Hill 247700
Telephone: +65 9224 6611
*Open for Lunch Mondays to Fridays from 11:30 a.m., Dinner daily from 6:30 p.m., Brunch and Tea on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays from 10:30 to 5:00 p.m.