It takes some clever navigation finding Botanico, which is located on the North-East end of Botanic Gardens, a newly minted UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dining there is a treat; tucked away amongst the flora in Botanic Gardens, the restaurant is housed on the second floor of a former garage (hence its name The Garage). Head first to the air-conditioned alfresco bar, afforded privacy with a perimeter of thick foliage that also helps to keep in the cool air. Expect plant-based infusions in cocktails such as elderflower syrup in the Garage Gin’onic (S$16) with a slice of grapefruit.
Likewise, chef Antonio Oviedo pays homage to the surrounding nature by adding touches of textures, colours and tastes using a variety of micro-greens, succulents and vegetables to his Spanish-centric cooking. In the Lamb Tartare (S$20), nasturtium leaves give a citrusy element to compliment the accompanying mustard ice cream and pickled onions while salicornia provides crunch and an earthy saltiness to the Japanese Scallops (S$27). Other home-styled traditional Spanish fare such as the Idiazabal Croquettes (S$14) made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk and the Chargrilled Carabinero (S$28) over a bed of saffron bomba rice is further proof of his culinary prowess.
Char grilled Spanish Mackerel
Gordal Olives & Vermouth
Singapore Botanic Gardens,
50 Cluny Park Road.