As mentioned in my earlier post, Botanico is one of two dining destinations by The Garage (the other being Bee’s Knees Cafe), which recently opened at Singapore Botanic Gardens. Located at level 2 of the white-washed colonial building that was built in the 1920s and carefully restored to house the F&B outlets, Botanico serves a contemporary European menu and opens only in the evenings from 6pm onwards.
We started our dinner with a Botanico Salad $18 that was the epitome of summer with its colour palette and bright yellow edible flowers. Made up of Heirloom Momotaro tomatoes from Cameron Highlands, pickled beetroot and charred cucumbers, this garden in a plate is a dream come true for every vegetarian. Our favourite part was the soft creamy burrata which brought all the elements together very nicely.
From the same people who opened One Rochester Group and 1-Altitude, comes a new two-storey dining destination at Singapore Botanic Gardens called The Garage. Combining two concepts in a single building, level 1 is the family-friendly, more convivial younger sibling- Bee’s Knees while level 2 houses the slightly more serious older sibling with a contemporary flair- Botanico.
The now transformed terrace space at level 1 was an actual garage where cars used to park back in the day during the 1920s. Much of the exterior architecture has been retained as well as the iconic seven arched entryways that now serve as pick-up points for the open-concept kitchen. Seat offerings include indoors with regular dining chairs and bar stools or the al fresco area with high velocity fans to help you combat the heat. Regardless of your choice, it will be a quiet respite away from the city.
We had brunch here on a public holiday and it came as no surprise that the place was packed. Mostly filled with large groups of families and friends, many also brought their dogs along to enjoy the pet-friendly garden cafe with its casual and relaxed atmosphere.
The menu is all about pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and desserts. Not extensive but decent enough to find something you will enjoy. Prices start at $15 for a pasta, $22 for pizza and $14 for waffles. No service charge is added to your bill because you order and make payment at the counter. The food will be served to your table once it is ready.
Between the three of us, we ordered the Tiger Prawns $18 pasta, Truffle Carbonara $26 pizza and Caramelised Apples Cranberries and Greek Yoghurt $14 waffles.
The Lunar New Year is less than a week away and if you are looking for a restaurant to celebrate in style and with elegance, then Cassia might just be your answer. Located at level 3 of Capella Singapore, Cassia is the hotel’s signature Chinese restaurant which serves authentic Cantonese cuisine with a modern touch.
For this year, the said fine-dining restaurant is offering 4 Lunar New Year set menus with prices ranging from $79++ to $199++ per person from 28 January to 11 February 17. Usher in the new year with decadence and a touch of fancy when you add $68++ (per serving) for the Cassia’s Prosperity Lou Hei featuring fresh salmon and passion fruit sauce or the more luxurious Cassia’s Signature Lou Hei ($39++ per person) which has fresh lobster and sea urchin.
We had the opportunity to try the Abundant Blessing Menu ($139++ per person), with the exclusion of the Combination Plate made up of Chilled Lobster Claw Meat, Deep-fried Chicken Roll and Roasted Australian Yorkshire Pork Belly.
If you have not heard of “Tai Cheong Bakery”, then you, my friend, might just be missing out on what was deemed as ‘the best egg tarts in the world’ by Chris Patten. That said, some probably might not even have a slightest inkling as to who Chris Patten is, except for the fact that he was the last governor of Hong Kong. Notwithstanding, let’s just say that these custard-filled tarts are popular and charming enough to form hour-long queues at both the Takashimaya and Holland Village outlets.
The Holland Village outlet is the brand’s first dine-in-concept in Singapore which opened its doors in mid-November 2016 to allow customers to enjoy an authentic cha chaan teng (Hong Kong-style teahouse) experience. This 42-seat restaurant comprises two sections – an air-conditioned indoor space for guests to relax amidst an open-concept kitchen and an outdoor area for those who prefer a warmer, windier environment. Dine-in customers would also be pleased to know that the restaurant does not impose service charge and prices stated on the menu are already inclusive of GST.
Singaporeans love their seafood and having seafood in a bag is fast becoming a common phenomenon in many restaurants. So when my dad suggested one day that we should try this new place that opened in Pasarbella called Ah Hua Kelong Seafood Restaurant, I did not think too much about it and assumed that it was no different from Dancing Crab, which was only next door.
Nonetheless, our interest was piqued by its Singaporean name and brought the family down to check the place out. We were greeted by the friendly owner Jing Kai, who more than enthusiastically gave us an introduction on the types of seafood the restaurant offered and how all the fishes, mussels and crabs in the tanks in front of us were farmed at their own kelong (fish farm) and harvested on the same day that you eat them. This means that the fish literally comes from kelong to table and is as fresh as fresh can be.
Located at the seafood area of Pasarbella, next to the Oceans of Seafood, it is not hard to locate the many tanks of live seafood which marks the spot where Ah Hua Kelong Seafood Restaurant is. Reservations are highly recommended judging from the huge crowds that came by the Friday night that we were there so while they will not be able to reserve a table for you (since it is a shared space and common area), you will at least be assured that you will have food because quantities of stock for each day are limited.