SFF 2016: Food Street @ One Farrer Hotel & Spa
One Farrer Hotel and Spa is a boutique hotel on the cusp of its second anniversary, located in the heart of one of Singapore’s historical and heritage rich districts, and conveniently right beside Farrer Park MRT station!
One Farrer takes a fascinating modern approach to their operations. The most important thing in any hotel is class, and from the moment you step in to the hotel lobby, you’re greeted by a scent that immediately puts your mind into a state of relaxation. There’s something comforting about a lobby with wide open spaces to walk around, and One Farrer does just that as well.
One Farrer also has a few interesting quirks. We got a chance to speak to Dr Richard Helfer, Chairman of One Farrer Hotel and Spa, and he gave us a short tour of some of the features. Dr Helfer is also the brains behind most of the ideas implemented at the hotel and hospital. One Farrer has a hotel shop that acts very much like an airline inflight shop, inspired by Dr Helfer’s many travels, and brings together all kinds of fascinating goods and products from all over the world, from popular French macaron brand Laduree to valuable Chinese antiques that you can even get a chance to see up close (provided you ask for permission from the staff of course!).
Dr Helfer also brought us up for a tour of the upstairs farm. The farm is surprisingly huge for a rooftop affair, and has over 65 varieties of crops, from papayas to several species of basil. Initially used only for the hotel’s restaurants, they’ve recently expanded their output and are even selling the herbs commercially to wholesalers now. Dr Helfer, who’s been living in Singapore for 30 years, explained that a lot of their pride comes from the hotel’s self-sustainability and can confidently be assured of their restaurant ingredients’ freshness, since they grew the crops themselves. Not to mention, the view of the city is pretty fantastic from up there too.
Other features include the hotel’s 24-hour restaurant, named the Escape Restaurant and Lounge. One Farrer even contains its own confectionary, where they bake their own bread and cakes and put various other brands of jams and confections on display, much like the hotel shop. One Farrer is also very much into art, particularly Southeast Asian art, and if you step into the lifts, you’ll notice actual paintings displayed on the back walls, as part of their ‘vertical gallery’, with soothing images of flora, amongst recognizable Asian paraphernalia.
But we’re not just here to rant about the hotel of course; we’re here to talk about the food too. As part of Singapore Food Festival 2016, One Farrer participated in the festivities with their very own outdoor Food Street, where visitors were treated to a wide selection of local delights to choose from from various hawkers. The idea was inspired by the 1930s song ‘On A Little Street In Singapore’, made famous by Frank Sinatra, inviting visitors to experience the warm tropical evenings while consuming the great food.
Farrer Park is also historically one of the food meccas of Singapore, where in the 80s, Farrer Park Food Centre became known for the Hokkien Mee and Fried Carrot Cake. Food Street is a blast to the past while languishing in the present.
One Farrer’s Food Street features their own eatery Local, Fresh and Seasonal and Origins of Food taking centrestage. Some of the food featured includes chicken satay, rojak, fried Hokkien mee, fried carrot cake and paella.
Also look out for the stall with cans of Spam at the storefront, because that’s a particular favourite of ours. The stall peddles all kinds of Spam and sausage products, even the Hawaiian favourite snack Spam Musubi, which Dr Helfer, a Hawaiian native himself, decided to introduce to the Food Street. In the evenings, take to Box Kite No.27, their three storey alfresco space for a night of music, entertainment and of course, more food.
So if you find yourself in the area, look out for the tempting smells along the road and visit One Farrer for a nostalgic (and very tasty!) lunchtime or even dinner affair.
One Farrer Hotel and Spa located at 1 Farrer Park Station Road, S217562. Food Street will be back next weekend, 30-31 July. For more information, check out their Facebook page