There’s plenty to like about Botanico, part of The Garage, 1–Group’s new F&B concept at Botanic Gardens. Housed in a 1920s Art Deco conservation building, Botanico is a 120-seater with an al fresco bar and outdoor seating for romancing the stars
Its lush dreamy setting aside, the real draw at Botanico is the food.
Chef Antonio Oviedo, formerly of Spanish restaurant Binomio and Iggy’s at Hilton Hotel, helms the kitchen at Botanico, where he serves up an impressive modern menu that’s seasonal, produce-driven and above all, pitch-perfect in its pairing of textures and flavours.
Winning dishes we can’t get enough of at Botanico: the sweet, crunchy carabinero prawns cooked in an Inka grill and paired with saffron-scented bomba rice topped with dainty cubes of pork trotter ($28); plump Hokkaido scallops served with Jerusalem artichokes and spiked with Iberico lardo for a sinful ommph ($27); and the lamb tartare with mustard ice cream, tangy pickles, black olives arlette and its unexpectedly delicate melange of flavours ($20).
The star of the show, however, has to be the house-smoked Japanese sardines ($20) served on a bed of salty chorizo bits, crispy croutons fried in Iberico fat and muscat grapes for a sweet note that lifts the dish.
Delicious cocktails are also on offer. Try the Garage Gin’oic ($16) that’s gorgeously scented with elderflower and the thyme lemonade ($16) spiked with vodka. Our favourite is the blackberry lychee mojito ($14) with lime, muddled blackberry, lychee, mint and a good splash of rum. They do an equally nice version for those on the wagon, where the rum is replaced with tonic water.
It’s not fine dining of the linen tablecloth variety, but the flavours are hearty and the prices, friendly—and that, to us, is very fine dining indeed.
50 Cluny Park Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens. Tel: 6264 7978
Cover: Gordal olives vermouth from Botanico at the Garage