The Botanist Café is yet another new entrant to the cluster of cafes at the Outram Park/Tanjong Pagar area. Having opened late last year, this café has managed to attract some attention on social media, both for the food and for the aesthetics of the place.

With the main entrance at the side of the corner shophouse unit, this café has two sections – indoor and semi-outdoor seating areas. The indoor seats are limited, and while it’s air-conditioned, it’s located just beside the kitchen, hence you risk smelling like what you ate after stepping out of the café. The outdoor dining area is furnished with communal tables, and true to the café’s garden theme, the walls are decorated with vertical plants to give a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere, as if truly dining amidst lush greenery.

Moving on to the food and drinks, the menu offers a couple of side dishes and mostly Melbourne-inspired brunch and main dishes. The Iced White Coffee ($5.50) was smooth and not too acidic, with the coffee beans sourced from their co-owned Knockhouse Supply Co., located on the second storey of the same shophouse.

Carbonara Tagliatelle ($18)

One of the two pasta dishes on the menu is the Carbonara Tagliatelle ($18), cooked in cream with bacon and mushroom, and topped with a sous-vide egg and parmesan shavings. Mix them all up and you get a concoction of flavours – the salty bacon cutting through the richness of the cream, and the sautéed mushrooms giving that earthy tones to balance out the dish. Perhaps if we could nitpick, it would be that the deep-dish bowl it came served in was a little hard to eat. Otherwise this was a pretty well executed pasta.

Brioche French Toast ($18)

If you’d like to start your day on a sweet note, then the French Toast ($18) is the one for you. Two triangular pieces of fried brioche, each sandwiched with rhubarb marmalade jam, are beautifully plated with an assortment of fresh berries, almond flakes, poached pear and vanilla ice cream. The brioche retained its fluffiness after being pan-fried, and the generous amount of berries provided that slightly sourish tang amidst the sweetness of the jam and vanilla ice cream. This is a dish that tastes as good as it looks.

The Botanist café sure knows how to capture the hearts of café-goers here as it scores on its pleasant and charming space, and delicious, Instagram-worthy food. With no GST and service charge, the prices here are reasonable. If only they could introduce a few dessert offerings, then that would make it the perfect place to chill and while the afternoon away. 

The Botanist
74 Neil Road
Singapore 088839
Tues - Sun 0800 - 1800

Closed on Mondays

I had the privilege of attending a food tasting at Froth Cafe (or maybe a restaurant now) where they had a revamped menu in conjunction with their shift in location from BIG Hotel to Ascott in Raffles Place.

Like their previous location, the space here is also big, with a sleek white and black theme to go with their classy image at this upscale apartment.

There is a side of the restaurant that can double up as a private function room with the doors you see above.

As you can see from their new menu above, the chef incorporates the Asian elements into what we usually know as traditional Western fares. We tried a few of them and let's see the verdict below...

Speculoos Milkshake ($14.90++) and Iced Lychee Tea ($4.90++)
We ordered our own drinks and were recommended the Iced Lychee Tea, which was refreshing but a bit too sweet. As a speculoos lover, I decided to try their milkshake which was good! Creamy and milky and rich in speculoos flavour. A tad on the sweet side once again, and so diabetes inducing oh gosh.

Lobster Jelly ($22.90++) 

Chilled lobster chunks with tomato jelly, marinated vine cherry tomatoes, wasabi and ginger powder, edible flowers and cresses. The lobster meat was fresh and full of bite, while it was interesting to eat it in a cold jelly.

Hot and Cold Foie Gras ($23.90++)

Pan seared foie gras on toasted brioche with pomegranate and truffle honey apple reduction; chilled foie gras on crushed sable with kiwi, cherry and granny smith slaw. To be honest I've only eaten foie gras once before this so I'm not in a good position to judge this dish! Hahaha. But the foie gras was soft, chewy and tasty, and I preferred the hot one to the cold one.

Five Spice Wagyu Beef Burger ($34.90++) 

Homemade five spice wagyu patty wrapped in crispy beancurd skin, with baby arugula and tomatoes on a soft brioche burger bun. This burger is very interesting - the chef combined our local ngoh hiang ingredients into the wagyu beef patty! So you can taste the water chestnut and the spices of the ngoh hiang are distinct too. The beef patty was thick and is definitely the star of the dish. The brioche buns were soft and fluffy too.

Siobak Aglio ($25.90++)

Another intriguing dish is this one, where the combination of roast pork belly actually fits very well with the Aglio Olio-style linguine pasta! The pork was tender and nicely roasted, while the linguine itself was very flavourful I could just eat it on its own! Thumbs up for creativity and execution of this dish!

Seafood Tom Yum Risotto ($29.90++) 

Not a fan of risotto but this was good and the texture was just right, while the tom yum taste was distinct but not overpowering. The seafood was fresh too. Extra points for the beautiful presentation! Haha.

Ponzu Soya Cod ($35.90++)

Glazed cod with wasabi edamame puree, smoked mash, baby peaches and bak choy. This is another of my favourite dish here! I love cod fish and this was very tender and soft! However, for the price I pay, I'd prefer the serving to be larger.

French Toast Waffles ($16.90++) 

It's dessert time! Now while the idea of french toast waffles isn't new, I love this rendition of the already-creative dish. The waffles turned out crispy as they're half baked in the waffle maker then dipped into egg custard and deep fried likka french toast. Plus it's served with goreng pisang and cereal oat crumbles, topped with a scoop of ice cream (which is toasted marshmallows for this). Mmm the whole combination was sinfully good!

The food here definitely has quality and I admire the chef for such innovative Asian-Western fusion food. The ambience is lovely too, so I guess all these justifies the price you're paying? It's a good place for a couple dinner or catch up with friends, so you may wanna check out this place next time. :) Thank you Froth for hosting us and Justin for extending the invite to me!

2 Finlayson Green
Ascott Raffles Place Singapore
Singapore 049247
Mon - Sun 1130 - 2200

Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Cafe is a place I chanced upon on social media. It was only one post but that post totally captured my attention. Why?

This. Because of this view.

This cafe is located just beside the Seletar Airport runway! Ok the view may not very pretty and all but it is very very relaxing! Imagine watching aeroplanes taking off and landing beside you as you dine alfresco.

Besides the outdoor seats there are also plenty of indoor seats for those hiding from the heat. As the name suggests, their decor follows a bicycle theme so they have all the bicycles on their walls etc.

In terms of the food and drinks, they offer a mix of Western, Japanese and local food. I forgot to take a picture of the menu oops but the variety is alright, a few dishes from each cuisine.

Sirloin Steak ($15.90)
My father had this dish and he wanted it medium (if I remember correctly). Do note that it came in one slab, I just cut a bit to stack on top of the other for photographic purposes hahaha. The steak came with french fries and a very small portion of lettuce. Unfortunately, the steak was tough and lacked in flavour.

Unatama Don ($7.80)
This dish is thankfully much better. I am impressed with this humble but superb bowl of Unatama Don! Firstly, the price point already wins me over. First time I see an unagi don under $10! Not counting food courts, of course. I initially expected the unagi to be the food court kind - thin with a thick layer of fats. But no, the piping hot bowl consists of thick slabs of unagi mixed with the egg, served on a huge serving of Japanese sushi rice!

Look at the unagi! I love it so much - it was so flavourful and even better than some Japanese restaurants, in fact! I will definitely come back and order this again.

A panoramic view of the outdoor seating area facing the runway. (: It was a very relaxing evening and I enjoyed my dinner. I think the Jap food is better than the Western selections, though I can't say I've tried everything. Prices are rather reasonable, only thing is that this place is only (more) accessible by private transport, i.e. cars or taxi. But I'll definitely return for the ambience. (:

Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Cafe
MAJ Aviation Building
80 Seletar Aerospace View
Singapore 797563
Tues - Thurs 1000 - 2200
Fri - Sat 1000 - 2300
Sun 1000 - 2200
Kitchen closed from 1500 - 1700
Closed on Mondays

Singapore's first bacon-centric cafe has revamped its menu! This time, instead of focusing only on bacon, they have included others like salmon, crab and chicken dishes as well.

Jasmine Makes My Green Come True ($6.50) on the left and Hersheys Iced Chocolate ($6.50) on the right. I had the latter and it was really rich! They use Hershey's chocolate so it's guaranteed to please the chocolate-lovers out there.

Mini Bacon Bomb ($12)

This was an accidental cheese porn shot hahaha. The Bacon Bomb used to be a main by itself, but OMB has since shrank it to 3 bite-sized balls, and it is meant to be a sharing dish. These balls are mini pork fritters stuffed with cheese and wrapped with bacon and house made chilli sauce.

They were very flavourful, with the minced pork having a good bite to it, and the whole dish elevated by the sauce! Plus, the cheese on the bottom of the pan was a good addition too. I like how the serving size is just right now, compared to previously when it was one huge roll that was difficult to slice.

Chilli Softshell Crab ($16)

Turkish toast, fried softshell crab, coleslaw, poached eggs with green chilli sauce. Poke that eggg hehehe. I realise I was taking a lot of photos of the flowy egg when the centre of attention should be the the softshell crab haha. Fried to perfection with a thin batter encasing it, the softshell crab was delicious, but perhaps it could be a bit bigger? Everything else was good but my friend felt the green chilli sauce a little out of place.

Bacon Croque Monsieur ($12)

I have a soft spot for brioche and cheese hence this was a clear option for me. It consisted of crispy bacon, bechamel sauce and a trio of cheese. There were onions inside too, which I wish they could have stated it in the description because I don't like onions oops. That aside, this dish was ordinary, and tasted quite one dimensional after a while. The brioche was a bit burnt at the side. Presentation could also be improved.

Some hits and misses, but I think if you stick to their bacon dishes, you should be rather safe. Click here to read about my previous visit and the food that I've tried!

7 Dunlop Street
Singapore 209337
Tues - Fri 1200 - 2200
Sat 0830 - 2200
Sun 0830 - 1800
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