Backyard@Dempsey | Bar & Restaurant | NOW CLOSED
Located at the first turn of Minden Road, Backyard@Dempsey is an idyllic picture of lush greenery and wooden rustic charm. With its low rise planked wooden ceilings and open concept that leads out to a bigger porch with widely spaced tables and chairs under the strategically placed lampposts that offer the right amount of light without being too intrusive, it is simply the perfect place for a quick getaway from our bustling and fast paced cosmopolitan city.
Opened by duo team Han and Val, this couple is truly one of a kind. Dynamic and effervescent, Val is a fantastic host who is full of life and always so bubbly, while Han is the more serious one with a warm and down to earth personality. Together, their complementing characters translate into what Backyard@Dempsey is essentially all about- feeling right at home in your very own backyard.
Val shares that their dream was to have a space for customers to just come and chill in their own comfortable attire while they provide great food, music (a live band plays every Friday night) and of course an extensive 4 page long list of various wines, beers, cocktails and spirits. So it’s all about letting loose with a little alcohol and just enjoying the peace and tranquility that nature has to offer in this little nook in the woods.
We kicked off the night with a couple of mocktails since we were driving. The Longan Freeze $7.80 and the Kiwi Backyard Quencher $6.80 were refreshing and ice-cold. I loved how they had topped my drink with real longans for an extra fruity touch.
And of course, some munchies were also in order as accompaniment for our mocktails.
Backyard@Dempsey offers great light bite options of fries, chicken wings, corn chips with various dips and even some local favourites such as spring rolls and fried ikan bilis with peanuts. There is definitely something for everyone right here.
We tried the Spam Fries $9.80 which was one of their more popular starters. Good ol’ luncheon meat sliced and dipped in batter before frying to a golden brown. This was so sinful but oh so satisfying and delicious. Paired off with the wasabi mayo dip served at the side, it’s so hard not to love.
The US Beef & Vegetable skewers $19.30 reminded me of the true BBQ grub with that nice smokey smell and black charcoal bits stuck onto the food. But of course, this version was done with a lot more class and looked way appetising. Alternating pieces of USDA beef with red peppers, zucchinis and onions threaded into the skewer for the added colour, it is a fun way of getting your meat craving satisfied with a good serve of veggies.
For pasta lovers and specifically the carbonara ones, the Grilled Chicken Spaghetti $12.80 is one for you. But unlike your usual cream-based pastas, this has a spicy twist with diced jalapenos and those tender chunks of grilled chicken cooked in a Backyard made Cajun spice mix. An absolute treat.
One of their best sellers, the Kronenbourg Beer Battered Fish and Chips $14.30 had a great crispy coating fried to perfection with the really fresh white fillet meat inside still tender and flaky and the Kronenbourg beer in the batter doing its magic by lending a lighter texture overall. Decidedly one of the better Fish and Chips by far and a steal for just $14.30.
For the burger junkies, Backyard@Dempsey has top grade New Zealand beef patties with a myriad of toppings for you to choose from. And if you are feeling creative that day, there is even an option to make your own burger.
We tried the Onion Topper $12.30 with a side of Baked Cheese Potato $6.30. Just the right size to fill you up with the great satisfaction. The sweetness of the Hickory BBQ sauce and the finely sliced onions on the top was balanced with the subtle saltiness of the mozzarella and sandwiched between two lightly toasted buns, it’s one great tasting and substantial burger.
Local delights on the menu for those not too crazy over Western food includes the famous Viring’s Beef Curry $12.80 that has a rich history of four generations! A mix between dry rendang and the slightly more gravy laden curry, Viring’s Beef Curry is in a class of its own. The chunks of beef stew was so tender and packed with flavour, I was simply loving it. And what’s curry without some grilled ciabatta or some special Backyard rice to eat alongside? I personally loved the spiced rice soaked in that beautiful full-bodied gravy.
The Dressed up Dog With A Sunny side up Egg $14.80 was a heartstopper literally. A giant beef frank wrapped with streaky bacon, topped with melted cheddar cheese and a sunny side with a oozing yolk centre, this was simply dressed up to the nines and a sight to behold. A bite into the juicy thick sausage with some salty bacon and runny yolk, you’ll know it’s no ordinary hotdog bun.
Not one to take their steaks lightly either, Backyard@Dempsey has Australian, New Zealand and US beef steaks for the steak lover in you at very reasonable prices.
We had the US Black Angus Prime Ribeye 250g $45.80 with Mash Potato $5.30 on the side. A request for Medium rare from us and this was done just right by the chefs. With the meat the right shade of pink, this was very tender and juicy and simply a good steak. And a dip of Truffle salt $2.80 is all you need to bring your steak to a whole new level. Try their mashed potatoes that was smooth with no lumps at all. Topped with homemade gravy and chicken bits for the added bite, this mashed potato just became my favourite side.
And ending it all off with some desserts, the Affogato $7.30 here is slightly more unusual and special. Devonshire Clotted Cream Ice-Cream is used in place of ordinary Vanilla Ice-Cream, making it thicker, more creamy and decadent with that great buttery consistency that blends so well with the Expresso shot.
The Honey Walnut Panna Cotta $7.30 did justice to the famous Italian classic with its smooth, soft and silky texture. Topped with some honey and walnuts, this custard is a slight twist to how the usual panna cotta is served.
For a more traditional version, try the Blueberry Panna Cotta $7.30 dressed in a nice sweet compote.
Backyard@Dempsey is a true hidden gem, stashed away from the posh, high class and fine dining restaurants of Dempsey. It is laid-back, comfortable and a great place to chill with friends, family and that special someone. I cannot wait to revisit this place on a Friday night for some great live music. Oh yes! And for the drivers, fret not for there are many free carpark spaces right in front of the establishment.
Thank you Jerome of Ideas Incubator for the invite, Han and Val for the very warm reception and hospitality!
130E Minden Road
Tel: 6479 0388
11am – 12midnight daily