After having driven past the building for months, we finally succumbed to siren song of the large converted church – The White Rabbit on Dempsey Hill. Could The White Rabbit possibly live up to the hype of the location, setting, menu, and slightly pretentious website?
The White Rabbit is located in the Dempsey Hill area in an old converted church building. I thought it was only fitting to change up the usual review style to reflect this
The 10 Commandments of The White Rabbit:
Thou shall not take pictures of the interior.
They have a neat interior for sure…but nothing that out of the ordinary. For some reason they have a no photography stance when it comes to the building which is a shame because I’d love to have made them look better online
Thou shall start with a coffee and not a mixed drink.
The cappuccino was stellar, but after we made the unfortunate decision to spice up breakfast with a brunch favorite – the Bloody Mary. Unfortunately the Bloody Mary was surprisingly bad and not at all authentic…. they should describe it to say it is Bloody Mary-inspired as it is not a true rendition. Very disappointing for a Bloody Mary lover – Celery was brown and the drink overall was sweet and sugary. Bloody Mary is a savory drink guys, not a dessert. It looked pretty though
Thou shall order a salad to begin.
Thou shall partake in the breaking of bread with friends.
A nice touch before the meal is that the server come by with a selection of fresh rolls. Not just one variety is offered but you’re given a choice and all were tasty.
Thou shall not covet thy neighbors breakfast.
Some of us (Kalpana) made a better selection when it came time for mains. Her plate was full of color and creativity and made us all wish we had ordered the salmon as well. Joe and I both went for Eggs Benedict. They weren’t traditional but not bad either. On the menu they sounded like we were getting more though.
Thou shall not commit the sin of mediocrity in macaroni and cheese.
I really believe that Joanna chose this place solely on the hopes of the mac and cheese. It sounded great and is a signature item on the menu for some online reviewers. According to Joanna however, “the mac and cheese was good, not great… the truffles had very little flavor which is surprising because truffles inherently are supposed to be powerful. I can make a 100% better version at home which is sad, because when I dine out I like the level of performance to be higher than my own. Or said another way, why should I order something out that I can easily make better at home?”
Thou should really try the Baked Alaska.
Joe was the envy of the table with this selection. The Baked Alaska was a great dessert. Not at all the flavors I expected from the description and the looks of the outside. I expected it to be more like a meringue and it was anything but inside. Very nice dessert.
Thou shall not drink of the grape soda.
The Bloody Mary wasn’t good, but that was down a lot to expectations on our part (maybe not completely even if it were presented another way I still wouldn’t have enjoyed it). The one true failure of the meal was the added Grape Soda with the Peanut Butter Tart. I asked the waitress what was up with the Grape Soda before ordering as I wasn’t sure if it was inside or on the side of the dessert. She said it was a little side drink to balance out the richness of the fudge or something to that extent. To quote Top Chef again – we had just watched an episode where Tom C was railing on the trend of tiny drinks with desserts… calling them unnecessary. This tiny drink actually detracted from the overall dish and offered nothing redeeming and in fact pulled the rest of the plate down. Joe said it was probably dishwater and I kind of think he’s right.
Thou shall be patient with thy wait staff.
Multiple online reviews give this place bad marks for service. We were actually surprised, maybe since expectations were low, but I found the service as good if not better than most Singapore brunch locations… particularly the others on Dempsey. I only note it here because it’s something consistently stated online… but maybe they took the criticisms to heart and re-trained staff? Our service was courteous and prompt without overwhelming us.
Thou shall make a reservation.
As with all hot brunch spots in Singapore, make a reservation to ensure you get a spot and don’t have to wait.
To me The White Rabbit suffers a bit from the setup. I recently finished watching Top Chef Season 4 (last time I bring it up, promise) and during the “restaurant wars challenge” one of the judges made a good observation that when a restaurant sets the bar high diners walk in expecting to be blown away. The setting, menus, website, and prices say this is going to be an elevated experience. This is good and bad as you’ll see from reviews online. I think these days people will go in with a critical mindset because they’re expecting lots and the prices match. If prices were a few dollars lower, the interior were somehow relaxed a bit, and service was always as good as we experienced (maybe a bit speedier) The White Rabbit would have a waiting list and be a premier brunch location.
The parts of our meal that went off well, went off really well. The parts that didn’t were at best not worthy of the price and in the case of the Grape Soda (granted a small part of the dessert) were truly terrible. I’d recommend anyone go once. It’s up to you if you want to venture down the rabbit hole again after that
The White Rabbit
39C Harding Rd
Singapore, 249541, Singapore
+65 6473 9965