A contemporary mash-up between a casual French bistro and a sophisticated New York eatery, The Dempsey Brasserie (TDB) strikes a wonderful balance between the two with its extensive menu offerings strongly influenced by both countries. With sharing boards of cheeses and cut cured meats, various cuts of steaks, six different combinations of mussel pots and the weekend brunch usuals of Eggs Benedict and pancakes, it is European and American grub all in one setting. And of course paying tribute to the ‘Brasserie’ part of the name, TDB places a strong emphasis on their drinks as well. Whether it is chilling with the boys over beers or a girls’ night out with Martinis or Mojitos, there is something for everyone to enjoy a relaxing evening amidst the tropical greenery of Dempsey.
Almost an open concept with both alfresco and indoor seatings, with its high ceilings and tall doors with large see-through window panes that allow a generous amount of sunlight to enter the premises, the atmosphere is both welcoming and inviting. Using its spacious grounds to its advantage, tables are arranged at a reasonable distance from each other to allow privacy for meal conversations and providing that personal space that so many small spaced restaurants lack. Not forgetting the primed location of the bar counter which greets you the moment you walk into the eatery and also offers an alternative to patrons who are only here for a drink with their tall standing bar stools.
We made our way one Saturday afternoon to try out their weekend brunch which also happened to be a lovely birthday treat from the best friend. It was not too hard to decide on the following obvious choices that ‘jumped’ out at us and so after staring at the menu for less than 5 seconds, we placed our orders.
The Smokey pulled pork burger served with skinny fries and homemade apple sauce $25 was the first to arrive and we had also requested to have our skinny fries changed to Truffle fries for an additional $5. So when this wooden board was placed on our table, it was a true feast for the senses. It looked great and it smelled great. Overflowing smoked pulled pork sandwiched between slightly toasted buns with the truffle oil tossed fries strewn in the middle and some fresh greens at the side, we could hardly wait to chow down that burger.
And my was the pulled pork fantastic. The meat was so tender and the barbeque sauce that it was slow cooked in, was simply packed with flavour. Adding a crunch to the mix were some shredded cabbage that just made it a overall winning combination, although unfortunately the truffle fries were a little too over fried to our liking so that was a bit of a downer.
And of course finding it hard to resist ordering a dish that has shaved truffle in it, the Scrambled egg and shaved truffle served with buttered toast $16 was the next on our list. No complains for a breakfast staple of eggs and toast done so right. Yes of course the shaved black truffle bits made it extra special but overall this was a happy colourful wake-me-up call on a plate that everyone would want at the breakfast table.
As a ‘Chef”s Special’ starred item on the menu, the French onion soup with thick crostini and gruyere cheese melt $14 had received many raves and praises from customers and we were about to find out if we too were part of the fan club.
And when this small white pot of warm almost overflowing goodness reached our table, even if we were not bought over by the taste, we were definitely won over by first impressions! The thick layer of melted gruyere at the top acted as the perfect ‘cap’ to the thick luscious soup which was already filling the bowl to the brim, preventing it from spilling out.
Spoon through that cheesy layer and another of crostini, and you will soon reach the brown rich broth and caramelized onions that had sunk to the bottom after hours of reduction. The soup is sweet enough from the sugars of the onions and soaked the crostini so well that once you had a mouthful of that bread topped with cheese and soup combo, you would honestly never imagine soggy bread tasting this good. TDB has done a great rendition of this French classic and deserves an applause for it. But do bear in mind that this is quite a big portion so dont forget to share it around!
Overall, I did have a very pleasant experience at TDB. It is yet another great find in Dempsey and worth a mention amongst the other great names and more popular food establishments around the area. I believe that TDB gets less credit for what it deserves and definitely warrants a second visit for their quality food and conscientious service. It would be nice to see the different vibe it exudes at night especially with the live bands playing and different scenery that the outdoor seating would offer.
I spent $35 per person.
- I also recommend this place for:
- Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, View/Scenery, Alfresco/Outdoor Dining
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