AIR @ Dempsey Hill – A Sustainable Dining Experience that Pushes the Boundaries of Culinary Innovation While Rooted in Environmental Consciousness

AIR @ Dempsey Hill - A Sustainable Dining Experience that Pushes the Boundaries of Culinary Innovation While Rooted in Environmental Consciousness

AIR , an acronym for Awareness, Impact, and Responsibility, represents more than just a restaurant — it’s a sprawling 40,000-square-foot oasis at Dempsey Hill. Conceived by Chefs Matthew Orlando and Will Goldfarb, alongside entrepreneur Ronald Akili, this establishment serves as a hub for sustainability, featuring a circular campus encompassing a restaurant, cooking school, research space, and garden farm. Fermented Cassava Flatbread 3/5 Our dinner commenced with the Fermented Cassava Flatbread ($16), accompanied by whipped mushroom “XO” butter. While the bread exuded a strong, yeasty flavour that didn’t quite resonate with my palate, the savoury richness of the mushroom “XO” butter provided a redeeming quality. However, the price tag seemed a tad steep, considering its standard complimentary nature in most establishments. Crispy Oyster Mushrooms 3.5/5 Next, the Crispy Oyster Mushrooms ($30) emerged from the kitchen. They boasted a delightful interplay of textures and flavours heightened by Sarawak pepper emulsion and pickled chillies. Despite their satisfying crispy exterior and vibrant taste profile, the pricing seemed disproportionate for what essentially amounted to deep-fried mushrooms. White Fish Ceviche 4/5 A refreshing interlude arrived in the form of White Fish Ceviche ($29) featuring green mango and Kenari nut milk. The dish offered a light and revitalising experience, complemented by the satisfying crunch of emping crisps — an unexpected but welcome addition reminiscent of nachos. The Whole Coral Grouper For Two 4.2/5 The Whole Coral Grouper For Two ($58) took centre stage for the main course. It is filleted, and confit bathed in a pool of green onion and black garlic vinaigrette sauce. While the fish was excellently prepared, it was the accompanying Smoked Fish Rillette with Fish Bone and Garlic Lavash stole the show, adding depth and complexity to the dish. Re-Incarnated “Chocolate” 4/5 The Re-Incarnated “Chocolate” ($18) exemplifies the ethos of AIR, showcasing its commitment to sustainability and innovation. Crafted from by-products of common processes—cocoa husks, cascara, and coconut flesh—the dessert undergoes roasting and grinding with cocoa butter and sugar. The result? Luxurious chocolate bars boasting a rich, roasty flavour with subtle coconut undertones. This ingenious approach mirrors traditional chocolate-making methods yet eschews cocoa beans, epitomising AIR’s dedication to creative, eco-conscious cuisine. The Whole Papaya 3.5/5 The Whole Papaya ($18) dessert represents a creative and inventive approach to utilising the entire fruit. This intriguing creation incorporates not only the papaya fruit itself but also features papaya skin granite and uses papaya seeds to impart a peppery note to the dish. While I admire the innovation behind this dessert, I feel somewhat awkward encountering the papaya seeds during consumption. Nonetheless, it’s a commendable effort to reimagine traditional ingredients and minimise waste in culinary creations. In summary, AIR at Dempsey Hill offers a sustainable dining experience that pushes the boundaries of culinary innovation while remaining rooted in environmental consciousness. While some dishes may fall short of expectations, the overarching commitment to sustainability and responsible dining shines through, making it a noteworthy destination for eco-conscious gastronomes. Note: This is an invited tasting. AIR Dempsey Hill 25B Dempsey Road Singapore 249670 Tel: +65 8228 1528 Website Nearest MRT: Napier (TE Line) Opening Hours: Wed-Sun: 530pm – 11pm Direction: 1) Alight at Napier MRT station. Take Exit 2. Walk to bus stop at Napier Station (Stop ID 13011). Take bus number 7, 75, 77, 105, 106, 123 or 174. Alight 2 stops later. Take the stairs up to Dempsey Road. Turn left and walk to the open air carpark. Walk all the way to the end of the carpark to the entrance of AIR. Walk to destination. Journey time about 8 minutes. [Map]