In the garden city of Singapore, garden themed cafes and restaurants are gaining popularity – no less than 10 opened in a year.
Have you realised that the 3 high profile character themed cafes – Hello Kitty Orchid Garden at Changi Airport T3, Pompompurin Cafe at Orchard Central, and Gudetama Café at Suntec City are ALL Garden-themed? Yes, for Gudetama Café, walk to the other side where the fountain supposedly is.
The appeal could be due to the search of a sanctuary amidst this concrete jungle. Going to such a plant-filled space can make you feel away from the country (until you hear loud chattering).
On a more superficial level, flora and fauna can make suitable backdrop for #ootd or one of those mood-shots on Instagram. Anyway…here are 12 Garden Themed Cafes & Restaurants In Singapore:
Singapore Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, 1 Cluny Road Singapore 259569
Tel: +65 6467 7326
Opening Hours: 7.30am – 11pm, Last order 9.30pm Daily
Hearty Italian Fare, A Surprise Find In The Botanic Gardens
Casa Verde, which means “Green House” in Italian, is a laid-back trattoria with a casual and cosy setting.
Location wise, it is near the entrance of the Visitor Centre. For drivers and those who cab, enter via the Nassim Gate.
You can come after strolling around lush greenery of the gardens, bring your family and pets (they have dog bowls available!), or consider this for an easy-going romantic dinner out.
While the menu is primarily bolstered with classic Italian dishes, Chef Danny Tan and team have also included some local delights such as Curry Chicken with Rice ($13) from 11am to 6pm daily.
For the dinner menu, you can expect starters of Buratta Salad ($18), Gambero Al Forno (Oven Baked Prawns $16), Capelli d’Angelo con Coda di Argagosta (Lobster Capellini $35), Tagliatelle al Nero di Seppia con Granchio (Squid Ink Tagliatelle & Crab Meat $27), Pizzas ($24 for each 12 inch), Mains of Brasato di Agnello (Braised Lamb Shank $32), Pollo al Diavolo (Char-grilled Spring Chicken $28) and desserts.
For a limited period, you can also have the famed congee Mui Kee from Hong Kong.
Bee’s Knee at The Garage
50 Cluny Park Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 257488
Tel: +65 6264 7978
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm (Tue – Sun), Closed Mon
Dine At A Heritage Building In The Botanic Gardens
The Garage at Singapore Botanic Gardens is located within a conserved heritage building that has been around since the 1920s.
The colonial building has now been refurbished into a F&B establishment which houses two dining concepts – Bee’s Knee at Level 1 and Botanica at Level 2.
One can choose to dine at the exterior garden seating, or within the comfort of air-conditioned seating. Conveniently located along one of Botanic Garden’s walking trail, The Garage has a geographical advantage for being accessible for park goers. Bee’s Knee (Botanic Gardens)
Wisma Atria #03-15 (near the taxi stand), 435 Orchard Road Singapore 238877
Tel: +65 6734 8352
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (trucks start from 11am, last order 9:30pm)
Garden Themed Food Hall At Wisma Atria
Picnic, an appropriate name fitting to its garden theme, has opened up at Wisma Atria. Its interior is unlike what you have ever seen before here.
Picnic is a 10,000 square feet space, with the 3 million dollar space designed like an urban park, providing 13 food trucks and stall, with food ordered “Marche” style.
A lot of thought is put into the entire “picnic” theme, such that a group of friends can leisurely have their meals, chit-chatting while waiting.
Food wise, stalls available include Ezo Hokkaido East with Japanese Curry ($17.50), Tempura Tendon, Butadon ($19); Winner Winner Chicken Dinner offering Southern Fried Chicken ($18), Korean Fried Chicken ($18), Har Cheong Gai ($19); and Le Coq Roti selling French or Asian Roast Chicken ($50 for whole, $26 for half). A couple of hits and misses.
Shop Wonderland Cafe & Floral Studio
134 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 068600 (Telok Ayer Station)
Tel: +65 9299 4593
Hours: 8:00am – 6:00pm (Mon-Sat), Closed Sun
Floral Studio Within The CBD
Shop Wonderland Cafe has moved from Haji Lane to 134 Telok Ayer Street, right next to popular coffee shop Sarnies.
The café was known for its floral and botanical-inspired space, that would give you a sense of ease and tranquillity while having cakes and coffee.
Compared to some of the other cafes within Raffles Place and Telok Ayer which are more buzzling and vibrant, Shop Wonderland Café somehow has a ‘slowing-time-down’ effect.
Food offered during lunch includes Beef Goulash ($15.00), The Wonderland Om Bowl ($15.00) which is a veggie grain bowl, Sausages with Egg ($23.00) and Soup of the Day served with Toast ($9.00). Shop Wonderland Café (Telok Ayer)
74 Neil Road Singapore 088839 (Outram Park)
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm (Tues – Thurs), 9am – 10am (Fri – Sat), 9am – 7pm (Sun)
Brunch Classics In A Garden, By The Pacamara People
Botanist is run by the same team behind Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters, Alchemist and Knockhouse Supply Co, so people would come with a certain expectation, especially for their coffee.
The Botanist offers brunch classics of Baked Egg ($19), French Toast ($18), Maple Pancake ($18), Breakfast Platter ($23), Croque Madame ($18), Corn Fritters ($18) and Corned Beef Hash ($19).
For seating areas, the garden part has a more outdoorsy, relaxing vibes, though it can be rather warm.
While the indoor area has aircon, it is more cramped and you may smell like the kitchen upon coming out. The Botanist (Neil Road)
47 Neil Road 088827 Singapore (Near to Outram Park MRT Station)
Tel: +65 9451 8873
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm (Mon – Thurs), 10am – 1am (Fri – Sat)
Garden Themed Café with Terrarium Dessert
An epiphyte is a plant that grows harmlessly upon another plant or tree, and this café is conceptualised as an infusion of food, art and nature.
The owners believe that dining becomes a personal affair here, and they try to appeal to the 5 senses. (It is true, there was a light fragrance of jasmine when I entered the shop.)
There is an indoor vertical garden (lovely orchids I must say) and art pieces from the co-owner’s personal collection.
The Terrarium, a floral-garden dessert which blends with the vibes and feel, is the most widely instagrammed dessert here so far.
It was served in a whisky glass with green sponge cake, dark chocolate soil, fresh mint custard and apple compote. Epiphyte (Neil Road)
15 New Bridge Road, Singapore 059385 (Clarke Quay MRT, near Song Fa Bak Kut Teh)
Tel: +65 68162494
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 10:00pm (Mon-Thu), 8:30am – 12:00am (Fri), 10:00am – 12:00am (Sat), 10am – 6pm (Sun)
Café With Art Deco Design
The café is inspired by the 1920s Gatsby glamour which features fresh interpretations of the classic Art Deco designs. It is designed by Enpuro, an architect and interior designer based in UK.
I noticed WANNA CUPPA incorporates different setups – square and round tables, a combination of sofa-like seats, mid-tall chairs suitable for varied groups. Great for long afternoon chats.
There is also some attention to details – matching gold cushions, fresh bouquets of floral arrangements, even the toilet is quite done up.
WANNA CUPPA’s signature items include Enoki Mushroom Fries ($7.90), Picasso Panini Grilled Chicken ($8.90), Mushroom Cream Truffle Linguine ($14.90), and Soft-shell Crab Pasta ($15.90). Wanna Cuppa (New Bridge Road)
Birds Of A Feather
113 Amoy Street Singapore 069935
Tel: +65 6221 7449
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm Daily
Hipster Sichuan Food In A Restaurant Of Greenery
You may not quite imagine this garden meets traditional Chinese teahouse interior restaurant serving Sichuan cuisine AND cocktails, nestled (pardon the pun) at Amoy Street.
The concept did take inspiration from Chengdu (Should I make a visit back again?), which is said to have parks, cafes and tea houses on every city street corner.
The offerings are contemporary Western cuisine with a pronounced Sichuan influence, including lighter options such as Roasted Chicken & Avocado Salad with Szechuan pepper, Charcoal Roasted Romaine Lettuce with Fried Tofu Cheese Ball and Sesame dressing. Birds Of A Feather (Amoy Street)
Open Farm Community
130E Minden Road Singapore 248819
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon-Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat-Sun), Last orders 30 min before closing
Tel: +65 6471 0306
Reserve Online Now – Open Farm Community (Reservations encouraged)
Food and Farm Come Together
“Some kids in Singapore have never seen a farm before.” That’s true. I agree with Cynthia Chua, owner of THE Spa Esprit Group who is behind OFC.
This concept at Dempsey Hill, sprawling over 35,000 square feet of an urban farmland and 60-seater restaurant space, is a bold and refreshing move in land-scarce Singapore.
A restaurant in the middle is surrounded by a beautiful architectural garden, where children can explore the fruit orchards, while busy executives can also do takeaways at a café at the front.
Menu includes starters such as Seared tuna with green papaya & jicama salad, fresh coconut & dashi vinegar, mains of 300g rib eye steak with garden herb butter, charcoal-roasted potato, garlic & shallot confit, Roasted mangalica pork belly, apple & ginger salad, sautéed bok choy with a spring onion & soy ju, pasta dishes and desserts. Open Farm Community (Minden Road)
The East Bureau Modern Pan Asian Restaurant & Bar
6 Raffles Boulevard #03-03 Marina Square Singapore 039594
Tel: +65 68370148
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm Lunch, 6pm – 11pm Dinner (Sun – Thurs); 12pm – 3pm Lunch 6pm – 12am Dinner
Modern Asian Restaurant On Marina Square’s Roof-Top Garden
The location already hits a sweet spot – at the rooftop garden at Marina Square with a view of the Esplanade and the Bay, which I think many are still unaware of. Amazing view.
The chef thinks East meets West is “typically dull” and terms the dishes “East meets East” – originating in Asian and given another Asian twist.
The menu is diverse, partly intriguing – Glutinous Rice with Lap Cheong and Shiitake Mushroom ($13), Reinterpreted Tom Yum Goong On Ice ($13), Cereal Shrimps on Skewers ($12), Hakka Braised Pork Belly with Crunch Fried Yam and Fresh Lettuce ($15), and Southeast Asian inspired Pastas. Some worked; some didn’t. The East Bureau (Marina Square)
160 Paya Lebar Road #01-07 Orion@PayaLebar, Singapore 409022
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon-Sun)
Undiscovered Garden Café In Singapore At Paya Lebar
We were greeted by multiple pots of green plants at the entrance and woody elements of the furniture at this undiscovered, under the radar café at Paya Lebar Road.
There were glimpses that reminded us of Karmakamet Diner in Bangkok. Emphasize, glimpses.
Knots Living is a one stop furniture showroom where everything there is for sale, including the table we were sitting at for our meals. Of course, at a discounted rate.
Coffee sets are available at $6.90 with a Muffin, $7.90 with a Pastry and $8.90 with a slice of cake. A decent deal. Knots Living (Paya Lebar)
3 Park Lane, Singapore 798387
(Bus Service 103 from Yishun Bus Interchange, Bus Service 117 from Sembawang Bus Interchange)
Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm (Tues – Fri), 9am – 7pm (Sat – Sun), Closed Mon
Makes You Feel Like You Are Overseas
Foodies in Singapore, especially those in Punggol, may just find more reasons to venture up to Seletar Aerospace Park.
The redeveloped area, called The Oval, contains four restaurant concepts including Wheeler’s Estate, Youngs Bar & Restaurant, Di Wei Teo Chew Restaurant and The Summerhouse.
Other than The Summerhouse restaurant concept run by Chef Florian Ridder (former sous chef of Alma by Juan Amador), there is Wildseed Café and Bar located at the ground floor.
Once entering Wildseed Café, you may have an out-of-country experience, as it reminded me of some of the hipster cafes in Bangkok.
It incorporates a farm-to-table concept, and works with Edible Garden City for its vegetables, Nomad the Gallant coffee roaster for coffee, and Poppy for flowers. Can get super-duper crowded during weekends, which kind of spoils the calmness though. Wildseed Café (Seletar)
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