If you are looking for an instagrammable ‘garden’ rooftop restaurant, with food at value-for-money pricing, then you can make your way to Suntec City’s Sky Garden – which is still probably considered ‘hidden’.

True Cost Restaurant boasts of a contemporary garden theme with floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of greenery, the perfect place for a laidback feast or a drinks session.

As to why the name “True Cost”, the restaurant aims to serves food at a fair price, and goes a step further by offering Singaporeans a not-so-common and exclusive concept.

The requirement is that diners must pay a nominal cover charge if eating at specific times of the day. Yes, slightly unusual.

Here’s how it works, entrance fee at True Cost are as follows:
Lunch 12pm – 3pm: $5
Daily 3pm – 5pm: Free entrance (Guests dining past 6pm have to pay the $10 cover charge)
Dinner 5pm – 9pm $10
Daily 9pm – 10pm: Free entrance (For drinks)

However, should you choose to sit at the bar counter post 5pm the restaurant is happy to knock off 50% of the fee.

Upon paying the entry fee, you can order food and drinks at more economical prices from the restaurant’s entire menu.

Whether it is the starters, mains, desserts, or drinks, everything on the menu is affordable, with prices starting at $3.55.

A glass of wine starts from $5.70, and $33 by the bottle.

The primary idea behind the eatery is to deliver good quality and well-prepared food without having to charge a profitable markup.

Among the delicacies listed are Western, Asian, and fusion preparations, a raw bar, hot and cold appetizers, pasta, desserts, and an extensive wine list. Here are some of True Cost’s recommendations:

Beef Cheek with Pea Puree ($12.95)
An classic done right, Beef Cheek with Pea Puree involves slow-cooking the Australian meat till it is tender and ready to fall off the bone.

Once ready and brimming with potent rich flavour, it is placed on a generous helping of pea puree with a curry infusion.

The latter is a bit sweet but allows the meatiness to dominate the overall essence.

Other mains include the Grilled Chicken with Curry Corn ($9.85), Hosin Pork Belly with Carrot Puree ($11.85), Salmon with Grill Romano and Tobiko ($14.55) to Angus Ribeye ($29.55 for 300gm).

Hummus with Kimchi Cucumber ($6.55)
The cold appetiser consists of rigorously blended hummus, making it creamy and smooth.

In contrast, the kimchi cucumbers (though not overly ‘Korean’ in taste) give a crunch to the texture and elevate the flavour with their tangy taste.

The hummus comes with spongy pita bread imported from Greece, which makes this very affordable considering the restaurant is at the heart of Downtown Core.

Fresh Oysters ($16.50 for 6 pcs, $31.50 for 12 pcs)
Gourmands with a penchant for seafood are spoilt with choice at True Cost.

Here, you can savour the sea’s fresh taste, from Tuna Ceviche with Watermelon and Strawberry ($10.50), Scallop with Coconut Cream and Mint ($9.95), to Heh-style Hokkaido Scallops ($10.55).

A tray of Fresh Oysters is undoubtedly a classic. The springy and ever-so-slightly plump texture combined with a gently sweet fishy taste makes them an all-around favourite.

However, if you want a flavour boost, top up with flavoured pearls (additional $3 for half dozen oysters) with choices of honey, yuzu, passion fruit or the best-selling black truffle with white ‘winegar’.

Salmon Crudo with Truffle and Horseradish ($10.95)
Consisting of thick-cut raw salmon, the dish takes the simplicity of the fish and elevates its profile with the subtleness of the fragrant truffle.

Baked Cabbage with Gorgonzola Sauce and Walnuts ($7.95)
The chefs first bake the cabbage for the dish, replacing some of its sweetness with a more robust, savoury taste.

The gorgonzola blue cheese sauce poured over the cabbage brings oodles of salty creaminess to the table.

At the same time, the crumbled walnuts contradict the texture of the sauce with their nutty crunchiness.

Octopus with Sweet Potato Mousse ($29.95)
Octopus with Sweet Potato Mousse is a beautiful marriage of textures and tastes.

When paired with the buttery mousse, the almost-meaty char-grilled octopus tentacle creates quite a pleasant commotion in the mouth.

The sweet potato was smooth and slightly sweet, with earthy taste that complements well with the slight briny taste of the octopus.

Boston Lobster with Creamy Curry Sauce ($39.95)
When wanting to satisfy your lobster craving at True Cost, go with the firm Boston Lobster that comes with an Asian twist.

The accompanying Creamy Curry Sauce has mild spiciness juxtaposing the sweetness of the lobster meat. This is accompanied with pita bread which you can mop up the sauce with.

Cheesecake with Miso Caramel with Cookie Crumb ($9.25)
Do save some space for this decadent creation which includes a buttery biscuit base, and creamy carmael miso cheesecake layer that just melts in the mouth.

Another fanciful sweet treat you can have is the Cocoa Brownie with Sunflower Seed Mousse ($10.55).

If you are a wine drinker, then you would be glad to find their list of premium wines, liquors and cocktails at unbeatable prices.

The wine starts at $5.70 per glass of Azueira Bianco; while classic cocktails start from $6.21 with options such as the classic Whisky Sour, Sex on the Beach, Espresso Martini, Boulevardier and Lynnchburg Lemonade.

The cover charge of $5 or $10 may be uncomfortable for some diners as it is an unconventional practice.

If you work out the sums, you can have a quality meal with great ambience without breaking the bank.

True Cost
Suntec City #03-302/303 Sky Garden, 3 Temasek Boulevard 302, Singapore 038983
Opening hours: 12pm – 11pm (Sun – Thurs), 12pm – 11:30pm (Fri – Sat)

* This entry is brought to you in partnership with True Cost.

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