Ah, a double-storey high Muslim-owned floral themed brasserie called “The Secret Garden” located in the heart of Kampong Glam.
To find the place, it is diagonally opposite % Arabica at Arab Street, also joining several new F&B establishments in the vicinity such as The White Label (North Bridge Road), The Fabulous Baker Boy (Aliwal Street), MILK (Arab Street), Nirvana Dessert Cafe (Arab Street) and ASAP & Co (North Bridge Road) – just to name a few.
Not related to the novel and movie, The Secret Garden focuses on French-inspired cuisine with an enchanting floral installation as the backdrop.
Stepping inside, the first floor houses a small petalsmith counter with an in-house florist on the left; a display shelf with all the fresh pastries and cakes on the right.
A total of 36 seats are available in the compound – 12 on the first floor, 24 on the 2nd floor.
The look is thematic, with wallpapers depicting forest, paintings of a garden and a mini bouquet of flowers made by the florist.
There were components that reminded me of The White Label newly opened nearby, such as both being Muslim-owned, with French theme, similar pricing and emerald-green coloured chairs.
There was an assortment of pastries ranging from croissants, mini croissants, Danish pastry, mini cakes, to sliced cakes.
Their all-day dining menu is comprehensive with French-inspired cuisines such as Soup ($10 – $12), Salad ($14 – $16), Pasta ($18 – $21), Starters ($12 – $26), Mains ($22 – $29), Coffee ($4 – $7), Tea ($7 – $8.50) and Mocktails ($8.50 – $9.50).
On the salad menu, they had Salad Nicoise ($16), Tomato Burrata Salad ($16), Avocado Kale Salad ($14) and French Green Salad with Smoked Duck ($14).
The Avocado Kale Salad ($14) was my favourite, aesthetically gorgeous like a green shrub with dollops of avocado, walnuts, cranberries with honey citrus dressing and vinaigrette.
The kale was light and refreshing, with bits of anchovies that added a savoury touch and textures to the combination.
It had the right balance from the flavours to the texture, beautifully crafted according to its botanical theme.
On their pasta menu, The Aglio Olio with Smoked Duck ($18) stood out among the Chicken Pesto Cream Fusilli ($18), Trio Mushroom Truffle Spaghetti ($18) and Penne Al Granchio ($21).
The Aglio Olio with Smoked Duck ($18) was decent with al dente texture, lightly flavoured with garlic, herbs and a hint of spiciness whereas the smoked duck was thinly sliced with the right chewiness.
I wished that they could be more flavourful in taste as their Avocado Kale Salad was more memorable.
For their selection of mains, it encompassed a good range of meats such as Pan Seared Salmon ($24), Steak Frites ($29), Chicken Cordon Bleu ($22), Herb Crusted Lamb Rack ($28) and Baked Chilean Seabass ($24).
The Pan Seared Salmon ($24) came with a herb crusted Norwegian salmon served with roasted baby potatoes, carrots and mango coulis.
I enjoyed the crispy layer of salmon skin after pan-searing, which gave it a smokey and charred taste whereas the salmon flesh was smooth and chunky.
Perhaps they can enhance the taste of the herbs so that it will better resonate with its botanical theme.
Frankly speaking, it wasdifficult to choose from the wide assortment of pastries and cakes on display as all of them were un-labelled.
I ended up having 3 mini croissants ($3.50 each) that comes in chocolate, white chocolate and strawberry that were pretty decent as a light bite.
Among the Mocktails, the TSG’s ButterBeer ($9.50) comes in a huge jug of root beer with butterscotch.
Even though it sounded like the Butterbeer from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan, it tasted more like A&W Root Beer Float, except that it was less fizzy.
With a pretty interior in botanical-theme, The Secret Garden won’t be a secret for long, being an ideal place for #OOTD and some French nosh.
The Secret Garden
19 Baghdad Street, Singapore 199658
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.