Botanico at The Garage – Seasonality-driven Cuisine in UNESCO World Heritage Site
Once a home for cars, The Garage is now a new F&B destination at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Through its two F&B concepts, Botanico and Bee’s Knees, The Garage offers people a way to reconnect with nature through the enjoyment of thoughtfully executed food.
Located on Level 2 and helmed by Spanish-born Chef Antonio Oviedo, Botanico at The Garage is a contemporary-bistro offering approachable seasonality-driven menu. Chef Antonio brings to the table a deft hand in harmonising savoury and sweet; an intrinsic respect for the seasons; and a flair for free experimentation.
The colourful Botanico Salad ($18) is full of seasonal fruits and vegetables such as Heirloom Momotaro tomatoes, burrata, pickled beetroot, radishes, charred cucumber, fresh figs and edible flowers. The tomatoes which are sourced from Cameron Highlands are extremely juicy and refreshing. The Chargrilled Green Asparagus ($12) is smoked with dried asaparagus peel in an Inka oven. It retains its crunch and is pleasantly smoky, made even better with the accompanying buttery bernaise sauce. Our table of foodies was in love with the Idiazabal Croquettes ($14) – a seemingly ordinary croquette with amazing smoked Idiazabal cheese emulsion. Sprinkled with breadcrumbs and deep-fried, the croquette is bolder in terms of flavour.
As you can see by now, the food here is casual and simple. They are elevated with formidable techniques and a dedication to ‘craft’. Another good example is the Smoked Sardines ($20). Japanese sardines (iwashi) are smoked in-house and served with Ajo Blanco, a sauce made of almond, garlic and olive oil. The tender sardine fillets were accompanied by chorizo bits and Kyoho grapes. The Chorizo bits adds a nice textural contrast. More please!
Even though I have a mild seafood allergy, I can’t resist the Chargrilled Carabinero ($28) which comes with mellow rice. The lovely crustacean juices from the prawns were brought out by a quick stay on the grill. The mellow rice is cooked with Bomba rice and topped with pork trotter cubes. There is also the Roasted Pigeon ($27) where different cooking techniques were employed in a dish. The pigeon breast was pan-seared till medium rare while the pigeon leg was sous vide. The pigeon was served with parsnip brown butter puree and shavings of smoked walnuts and butterfly sorrel. I enjoyed it very much.
I thought the dessert stood out most. You can go for either the refreshing Botanist ($12) or a plate of rich Tropical Fruits ($14). An interpretation of gin and tonic, the former is made up of granny smith apple cubes infused with gin, juniper berries, lime gel and cucumber sorbet. The latter, on the other hand, has got laksa leaf ice cream, sea coconut, jackfruit and longan.
Chef Antonio’s seasonality-focused cuisine is indeed simple yet thoughtful. From the dishes we tried, he truly focuses on the best and freshest produce; and vibrant robust flavours straight from the heart.
Also on the second level of The Garage is a hidden garden bar out on a spacious outdoor terrace. Here, mixologist Ruzaini Hashim serves up a tantalizing selection, including botanical-inspired, signature cocktails such as Garage Gin’Onic ($16), Blackberry Lychee Mojito ($14) and Thyme Lemonade ($16).
Address: The Garage, 50 Cluny Park Road, Singapore 257488
Phone: 9831 1106
Opening Hours: Wed-Sun 6pm - 10pm
Note: This was an invited tasting.
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