Botanico by The Garage @ Singapore Botanic Gardens (Cluny Park Road)
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.
Another one for the Vegetarians, this Chargrilled Green Asparagus $12 will bring a smile to even those do not like their greens. Chargrilled and smoked, these crunchy spears were complimented with a bernaise sauce that was both smooth and buttery. Finished with a couple of grapefruit segments and toasted hazelnuts for a contrast of textures, we really did wish for more asparagus after we were done with our share.
The crowd favourite of the evening was the Idiazabal Croquettes $14 that were larger than usual in size and definitely packed a punch when you cut into it! For starters, the breadcrumbed deep-fried roll was crisp on the outside and filled with a Idiazabal cheese emulsion, that is actually made with sheep’s milk. Unlike the usual cheeses that we are more used to, this variation was sharper, richer and more intense. This also means that if you are not into strong-flavoured cheeses then this might not be up your alley. For the others who are game to try, we highly recommend it, chorizo slices and all!
One of the more unique creations served at Botanico is this Lamb Tartare $20 that was served with Mustard ice-cream! As its name suggests, the tartare was fashioned out of finely chopped lamb instead of the usual beef. I did have my reservations trying this dish because of the characteristic gaminess that I was expecting to taste but thankfully, there was none. Accompanied by the yolk cream and smoked olive oil, this dish had a velvet creaminess to it that was quite memorable.
The Smoked Sardines $20 also deserves a mention for the way Chef handled these small oily fish. The fillets were tender and delectable with a smokey tang without being too overwhelming. Accompanied by a generous sprinkle of croutons fried in iberico fat and chorizo bits for a sinful and crunchy finish, this was spot-on and worth an order.
We ended the savouries with these Japanese Scallops $27 that were succulent and firm to bite. Cooked with iberico lardo to enhance the sweetness and richness of these plum delicacies, this was finished with a buttery artichoke puree and fried crisps.
If you are up to try something new, then this unassuming Tropical Fruits $14 dessert is a must try! Paying tribute to Singaporean flavours and the tropical fruits of our island, the ice-cream is made with laksa leaf essence, the chocolate ganache has turmeric in it and the fruits in the dessert include longan, jackfruit and sea coconut. I however personally did not fancy it too much because of the overpowering jackfruit flavour. Notwithstanding however, the laksa ice-cream was really quite something with its aroma and piquant flavour.
Overall, we had an enjoyable time at Botanico. This dining destination is a much-welcomed addition to our UNESCO World Heritage Site and an ideal place for intimate gatherings with your loved ones or close friends! Do not also forget to stop by their alfresco bar at the outdoor terrace for a cocktail or two. You will not regret it.
50 Cluny Park Road
Tel: +65 9831 1106
Wednesdays – Sundays: 6pm – 10pm