Singapore Botanic GardensRestaurants within the compound Besides being a popular spot for picnics, proposals and bridal shoots, this newly identified UNESCO World Heritage site is also home to a cluster of restaurants scattered around the 74 –hectare attraction.
At the Tanglin Gate entrance, a roomy Food For Thought serves up local dishes like mee rubus alongside brunch favourites and is wonderfully family-friendly with an outdoor playground to occupy the young ones while you sip on a cuppa.
For more luxurious dining options, walk further in towards the National Orchid Garden and look out for ginger-themed Halia Restaurant, which does a mean Chilli Crab Spaghettini and Singapore Sling. In a two-storey colonial bungalow, contemporary fine-dining restaurant CORNER HOUSE near Symphony Lake is one for extra special occasions, while Casa Verde down by the Visitor Centre is a casual trattoria fronted with classic Italian pastas, sandwiches and pastas.
Behind NUS Bukit Timah Campus, is a gem of a restaurant/bar/spa, Blue Bali, where wine and beer pairings are available with Asian dishes like beef rendang, butter chicken and nasi goreng. Restaurants near Tanglin Gate
If you’re not sick of being surrounded by nature just yet, we’ll point you to the hot dining destination that is Dempsey Hill. Located two bus stops away, this charming enclave contains something for every foodie whether you’re craving for Indian curry (Samy’s Curry, Muthu’s Curry), chilli crab (Long Beach Seafood Restaurant, Jumbo), steak (Huber’s Bistro and Butchery, Culina), wine (The Wine Company) or craft beers (RedDot BrewHouse, Tawandang Microbrewery). For western grub, hit up trendier spots like Open Farm Community, PS Café, The Disgruntled Chef, HOUSE, Roadhouse and The White Rabbit. See full list of restaurants in Dempsey Hill here
For city slickers, head in the opposite direction and step into Orchard Road – a shopper’s paradise with over 30 malls and departmental stores to trudge through. Pop over to our shopping district food guide for more restaurant recommendations in this 2.2km shopping belt! Restaurants near Bukit Timah Gate The Bukit Timah Gate is your alternative entrance into Singapore Botanic Gardens, which lies next to the exit of Botanic Gardens MRT station. Within a ten-minute walk down the road, you would have passed at least 11 eateries that range from ice cream parlours to affordable casual French fare.
Gourmet boutique Gastronomia is hard to miss with its alfresco kerb side seats, lining its full-length windows that have you peering at the salad, sandwich and pizza displays at Cluny Court. Upstairs, Relish does both classics like bacon and cheese and out-of-the-ordinary open charsiew burgers equally well. For drinks under the stars, find your way to Bar Bar Black Sheep hidden at the back on the ground floor along with an all-day happy hour promotion. Over at Serene Centre, French bistro La Petite Cuisine serves some of the most affordable and authentic duck confit (pictured) on top of red-checkered table tops, while its next door neighbour Island Creamery, a popular ice cream parlour, has its walls fully plastered with polaroids left by customers.
At this point, you can either cross to the opposite side of the main road to Adam Road Food Centre, known for its nasi lemak and mutton soup, or continue straight ahead till you see Atlas Coffeehouse and Crown Bakery and Café, previously featured in our Café Hopping guide. A couple of steps more get you to King’s Arcade, where Little Hiro, a Hawaiian-Japanese BBQ and grill is. Here, you’ll want to fill up on ramen burgers, spam fries and melt-in-your-mouth BBQ beef brisket or the Sanzoku black pepper striploin. The row of shops next to Coronation Plaza (where Starbucks is) houses some more upscale eateries that are great for snazzy brunch sessions (Choupinette) or a romantic dinner spot (My Little Spanish Place, The Missing Pan). (Images: Food For Thought Facebook Page, Halia Restaurant, Casa Verde Facebook Page, Huber’s Butchery Facebook Page, ION Orchard Facebook Page, OpenRice user RunningMan, My Little Spanish Place)
Gardens by the Bay
The latest garden to sprout up in attraction-heavy Marina Bay area, Gardens by the Bay, is not only home to the world’s tallest indoor waterfall but a number of restaurants as well. At Supertree Grove, Supertree Dining offers fragrant steamed bread with kopi, dimsum, fried chicken and Indian curry, while Indochine at the very top of the iconic Supertrees gives you the ultimate rooftop dining with a picturesque view.
For Louisiana-style seafood and a steamboat buffet to indulge in, head outdoors to Satay by the Bay at the waterfront. But if the humidity is getting to you, seek solace in the Flower Dome and have high tea amongst the blooms at Pollen or feast on chilli crabs at Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant located in the basement.
A wider range of dining options that include celebrity chef restaurants like CUT by Wolfgang Puck, Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen and Adrift by David Myers is but a short walk away over at Marina Bay Sands. Read our guide to Sights and Bites in Marina Bay for more. (Images: OpenRice Singapore, Pollen Singapore Facebook Page, Adrift by David Myers Facebook Page)
Chinese & Japanese Gardens
Located in the far west of the country, the Chinese and Japanese Gardens remains a quiet sanctuary for scene strolls on most days of the year, but springs to life during festivals like Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival. Unlike the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay, you won’t find any eateries within these green grounds. Thankfully, there are a handful of good options nearby!
A seven-minute walk from Chinese Garden MRT station will get you to The Usual Place, a bistro café that offers a good selection of your quintessential Western dishes at very affordable prices. Think crispy calamari rings, salted egg prawn pasta and prime sirloin steak, all priced below $20. For hawker stalkers, head straight for Yuhua Market & Hawker Centre located a couple of blocks away. Some gems to try include Simei Penang Laksa Specialty, Lai Heng Handmade Teochew Kueh, Joo Siah Bak Kut Teh and Xing Yun Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice. When in doubt, do as the locals do and pick stalls with long queues.
Alternatively, you can take the train and alight one stop later at Jurong East MRT station. The busiest interchange in the west is home to five shopping malls such as JCube, JEM, Westgate, and outlet stores IMM and Big Box – each with a plethora of dining options that range from Japanese to Western cuisine. (Images: Flickr user tuper misc, The Usual Place Facebook Page, OpenRice user wenzes, OpenRice Singapore)
Written by Peh Yi Wen Banner image: Peh Yi Wen