March 25th, 2011
The colonial era barracks buildings set in the leafy parkland setting of Dempsey Hills area of central Singapore originally housed the British garrison up until the 1950’s. In 2008, under the direction of local restaurant company, The Lo and Behold Group, the original chapel for the garrison was carefully restored and transformed into the award winning restaurant and bar- The White Rabbit. Since its opening, The White Rabbit has been highly regarded for the fine dining experience provided within a uniquely located and designed space- whilst maintaining an unpretentious and casual atmosphere. The cuisine has been formulated around the principles of serving classic European dishes, utilising the finest fresh ingredients, and incorporating some contemporary adaptions where appropriate.
The building itself is sited on the side of the hill on the road leading up to the main old barracks complex at Demspey Hills. Occupying a spacious plot of land, surrounded by lush tropical greenery, the setting compliments the fine old timber structure of the church building. Many of the original features of the church have been retained- including the mosaic tiled flooring, and the large arched windows with decorative iron grilles. The original stained glass windows at either end of the building have been replaced with colorful modern stained glass work that provide visual highlights to the interior spaces.
The floor layout has the main dining area that divides from either side of the central doorway entrance. On one half is an area with booth seating along both sides, and smaller tables down the central section, separated by a few largish trees in pots. The other half holds larger rectangular tables and at the end, up a few steps to a raised level, is the lounge bar area with some bar seating and soft leather lounges. There is also a smaller terrace space heading out the rear door- adjacent to the kitchen and outdoor bar area. The soaring high ceilings certainly provide a feeling of spaciousness within the restaurant, and the uncomplicated lines of the contemporary, custom designed timber furniture , together with custom light fittings- including a striking circular chandelier above the lounge bar, present visually an experience that merges with the culinary concept of preserving the best of classics, updated where appropriate.
Accessed either directly from the main dining area, or along a garden path leading from the carpark, The Rabbit Hole is the casual outdoor bar. Sheltered under the extended roof line of the church building, with a low timber slatted ceiling, dark timber flooring and back and white colored outdoor furniture, The Rabbit Hole is a destination in itself, and not merely an adjunct to the restaurant inside. A tiled “U” shaped bar serves a selection of cocktails specially formulated for The Rabbit Hole by international mixology consultants- and inspired by timeless classic cocktails. Highlights include the “Cinnamon & Sultana Crush”- and adaption of the classic Brandy Crusta first created back in 1852; freshly muddled ” Black Forest Mojito”- based on the famous Cuban mojito drink from the 1940’s. Every Friday night local DJs are on hand to play their mixes of tunes- so patrons can enjoy their after dinner drinks in the fresh outdoor ambiance of the lush tropical garden setting.
The White Rabbit offers the same a la carte menu for both lunch and dinner, plus there is a special set lunch menu, seasonal specials , and an a la carte weekend brunch menu. Notable dishes from the a la carte menu include- Scallop Linguine, Steak Tartare, Truffle Mac & Cheese, Tournedos Rossini, and desserts such as Tiramsu and Baked Alaska. The Brunch menu features Belgian Waffles, Lobster & Cheese Omelette, and Rustic English Breakfast.
Titled after the character in the Lewis Carroll classic fable of “Alice in Wonderland”, The White Rabbit offers an experience of the unexpected – fine dining of the highest standard within the confines of a restored church, the outdoor ambiance of a tropical garden bar, all with a relaxed and unpretentious air.
The White Rabbit- Singapore
Address: 39C Harding Road, Demspey Hill, Singapore.
Reservations: +65. 6473 9965
The White Rabbit
Lunch: Tuesday – Sunday 12:00pm to 2:30pm
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10:30am to 2:30pm
Dinner: Tuesday to Sunday 6:30pm to 10:30pm
The Rabbit Hole
Sunday to Thursday 6:30pm to midnight
Friday & Saturday 6:30pm to 1:30am
* Restaurant & bar are closed on Mondays