Botany – Actress Julie Tan Opens A New Cafe, With Honey Toasts from Dazzling Cafe
Actress Julie Tan has recently opened a cafe, Botany, with her childhood friend Serene and cousin Cassandra. Located in Robertson Quay, the trio has always wanted to do something together, and their dream finally materialized.
To be honest, when I first arrived at Botany, I thought it was supposed to be a green meal, with lots of lean and healthy dishes. It wasn’t exactly so as Botany has a selection of both wholesome and sinful menu, curated by Cassandra. Our appetizers include Taiwanese Chicken Bites ($13), Otah Chips ($13), Signature Mentaiko Fries ($15) and Homemade Hummus with Baked Nachos ($12). For the health-conscious ones, you can go for the Botanist Salad ($15) or Curried Cauliflower Soup ($10).
The mains fare better than the appetizers. For something light, go for the Pan Seared Barraundi ($26) with pesto sauce and mash potato. Signature Grilled Chicken with Balinese Salsa ($18) features tender and juicy boneless chicken leg that is marinated with spices and airfried till perfection. It has a slightly sweet taste and goes well with homemade balinese salsa.
Our ultimate favourite is the Mapo Tofu Rice Bowl ($18) where the Japanese rice is served with silken tofu cooked in Szechuan spices and minced chicken, topped with sous vide egg. I was told that this dish is vegetarian because they use impossible meat. The taste is a little mellower because they need to cater to tourists. But it is still tasty and the fragrance from the fermented bean paste is still there. To be honest, I think this should be their signature dish. I would go for this anytime!
For the steak lovers, Botany also serves Australian Grass Fed Ribeye ($28 for 250g) featuring succulent cut of ribeye doused in coarse sea salt, black pepper with butter mesh. The Uni Truffle Capellini ($28) sees cold al-dente pasta tossed with a generous amount of truffle oil and topped with Japanese sea urchin and salmon roe. The truffle taste was a little overwhelming for us, which covered up the briny ocean taste of the uni. The price is a steal though, and I am sure they will fine tune it to achieve a better harmony for the dish.
Other pasta options include Mentaiko Spaghetti ($19), Laksa Spaghetti ($22), Truffle Penne ($19) and Prawn Aglio Olio ($22).
Serene is the franchiser of the popular Taiwanese dessert cafe, Dazzling Cafe, in Singapore. If you missed the toasts at Dazzling Cafe, not to worry as you can get the toasts at Botany. Choose your favourite flavour from Dazzling Cafe’s Signature Honey Toasts ($18) – Dazzling Classic, Caramel Macademia Nuts, Banana Chocolate, Strawberry Lover and Hazelnut Chocolate. They also serve gluten-free chocolate cake ($9) which will go well with Lychee Lavender Iced Tea ($8) or BOTANY Milk Tea ($8).
While the dishes at Botany are decent, I thought it lacks an identity. Sure, they serve a combination of Western and Asian dishes that are accessible to everyone, but if they are able to refine it a little more, we don’t mind coming here again for another meal!
Address: 86 Robertson Quay, #01-03, Singapore 238245
Opening Hours: Monday - Tuesday 9am - 10 pm; Wednesday - Saturday 9am - 11 pm
Disclaimer: This was an invited tasting.