Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Botanico @ The Garage (Singapore Botanic Gardens) - New Dinner Menu With Grilled/Smoked Highlights


Botanico at The Garage (Singapore Botanic Gardens) has introduced a new dinner menu that is more casual and communal. The seasonality driven cuisine focuses more on grilled and smoked items from the wood-fired Inka oven for its new menu.

Cauliflower 4.5/5

Our dinner started with the Cauliflower ($10) which was very addictive. We could not stop going back for more of it. The cauliflower is deep fried and smoked in the Inka wood-fried oven and then tossed in a canarejal cheese cream mixture. Almonds which have been sauteed with butter and cumin is sprinkled on top of the dish and finished with kaffir lime zest.

Seabass Ceviche 4.2/5

The Seabass Ceviche ($18) is an unique dish with an Asian interpretation inspired from assam laksa. The diced seabass is dressed in the characteristic spicy sweet and sour relish of a classic ceviche. What elevated the dish is the addition of tamarind laksa sauce and shrimp paste ice cream. It excites my palate because it somewhat tastes familiar but yet foreign.

Charred Sucrine Lettuce 3/5

If you like something like and crunchy, then you will enjoy the Charred Sucrine Lettuce ($14). The Spanish sucrine lettuce is grilled in the Inka wood-fired oven and drizzled with arbequina olive oil and salt. It is paired with sunchoke puree, Kyoho grapes and pine nuts.

Foie Gras "Latte" 3/5

Why am I having a cup of latte in the middle of my meal? Well it is actually a Foei Gras "Latte" Soup ($15). Foie gras is blended together with chicken stock and cream to make the delicious broth. It is then topped with milk foam and finished with some black pepper. It is a comforting and flavourful soup but I could not really detect the foie gras in te rendition. Saying that I like the idea of the accompanying churro to dip into the soup, to soak up the delicious broth. It reminds me on how I would have my coffee with youtiao.

Pork Belly 4.5/5

Moving to the meats, we started with the Pork Belly ($12). The succulent Spanish pork belly is brined, sous vide and then grilled. The flavour is enhanced with the sherry glaze and this is complemented by the charred Sarawak pineapple. Lastly the dish is garnished with red vein sorrel for some acidity.

Iberico Char Siew 4.2/5

The Iberico Char Siew ($35) is what I called the premium bak kwa. The Spanish top loin marinated with housemade char siu sauce is smoked and chargrilled to perfection. Something barbecue pork can come across too sweet but this is well balanced. It is paired with carrot noodles and roasted carrot puree. While it is a very good dish, I find it not substantial for a meal, more like a bar snack.

Wagyu Beef Cheek 4.5/5

The Wagyu Beef Cheek ($32) literally melted by heart with its melted in the mouth texture. It is braised in red wine for 4.5 hours and paired with delectable picada. Parsnip crisp provided the extra texture to the whole enjoyment.

Beef Tongue 4/5

The Beef Tongue ($20) may sounds rather exotic but it is actually not as bad as what you may imagine. Putting aside the barrier, it is actually a very enjoyable dish with different textures and flavours at play. The thinly sliced beef tongue is dressed with chipotle mayonnaise and topped with mustard caviar and thinly sliced pickled celeriac.

Lamb T-Bone 4.5/5

Not many people enjoy the gamey taste of lamb but you will not find it with the Lamb T-Bone ($32) here. Rendered until tender, the meat is then marinated with hatcho miso for 48 hours before grilling in the Inka wood-fried oven. It is paired with smoked eggplant puree and complemented by the soy pickled tomatoes for acidity.

Jalapeno Ice Cream 4.2/5

Jalapeno Ice Cream ($14). This is really interesting. You get both savour and sweet which is inspired from the local rojak. Every scoop is a playful composition of flavours from the charred pineapple, dehydrated bacon financier crumble, fresh micro coriander and Jalapeno cream cheese ice cream.

Malt Ice Cream 4.2/5

The other dessert, Malt Ice Cream ($16) has a richer and bolder flavours. Guinness Stout is incorporated into 70% dark chocolate cake and gel with a scoop of horlicks ice cream. The dessert is then sprinkled with dehydrated sugar coated thyme and bits of chocolate meringue

Overall I have enjoyed the new menu at Botanico which is more casual and has incorporated a lot of Asian influence into the dishes. There is also a 5-course set dinner menu ($72) to celebrate a special occasion. Saying that I kind of missed the more refined menu when it first opened.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

The Garage (Singapore Botanic Gardens)
via Cluny Park Gate
50 Cluny Park Road
Singapore 257488
Tel: +65 98311106
Nearest MRT: Botanic Gardens (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Wed-Sun: 6pm - 10pm

1) Alight at Botanic Gardens MRT station. Take Exit A. Turn left and walk to Cluny Park Road. Turn left onto Cluny Park Road and continue walking down the road. At Cluny Park Gate, walk in and walk to destination. Journey time about 8 minutes. {Map]

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