Casual cafe Bees Knees draws in the families with a free milkshake and kids’ activity sheets, while up at Botanico a new chef and new dishes await
If you know the Botanic Gardens, one of our fave parks in Singapore, chances are you’ve stopped for coffee at The Garage’s Bees Knees, or maybe even had dinner at Botanico, the upmarket hidden restaurant and garden bar upstairs.
If all this is news to you, let us elaborate. The Garage is housed in a lovely 1920s Art Deco garage within the Botanic Gardens, Singapore’s only UNESCO Heritage site. There are two spots to choose from: the casual café Bee’s Knees downstairs which looks out onto the foliage, it’s popular for that post-run coffee, dogwalkers and parents with kids on scooters. Upstairs meanwhile, there’s a hidden bistro-bar, Botanico which is only open at night. It’s a hidden gem for drinks in the air-conditioned alfresco garden bar. Yes, that’s right – an air-conditioned garden!
Bees Knees: Kids Activity
If you are out at the Botanics with the little ones, Bee’s Knees is the place to make a beeline to. They’re offering a fun outdoorsy activity that combines a little science, a little physical activity and a delicious little reward for some educational fun!
Ask for the Bee’s Knees Garden Explorer – it’s a simple worksheet that children can fill up by exploring the garden spaces around The Garage and answering questions. Once correctly completed, the kids are awarded with a badge, and a complimentary milkshake of their choice while mama gets to enjoy her cappuccino in peace (with no little fingers inching towards her coffee foam!).
Botanico – New Chef, New Dishes, New Digs
There’s been a bit of a revamp both indoor and out at Botanico. The most obvious changes are taking place in the garden bar – probably the only place outside Cloud Forest where you may need a jumper in the evening thanks to the hidden aircon units cooling the green alfresco setting while twinkling fairy lights keep things boho-chic.
There’s also a new chef, Sujatha Asokan, cooking up bistro-style food with an East-West synergy – the on-trend food movement of Singapore at the moment. Chef Su is true-blue Singaporean, a cooking alum of Esquina, Pollen and Stellar at 1-Altitude. Botanico is true to its name – many dishes and cocktails are curated with botanical elements.
Order this: Chef’s interpretation of Assam Laksa comprising a ceviche of seabass with green chilli, pomegranate and shaved ginger flower, served with tamarind dressed glass noodles and shrimp paste ice cream. for mains, Slipper Lobster Chittara of fresh pasta cooked in a house-made Chinese XO sauce and served with sous-vide slipper lobster, elevated by sweet baby turnips or the Iberico Char Siew of smoked chargrilled top loin with carrot ‘noodles’, carrot puree and honey pork jus. To finish, the light and refreshing Chef Su’s Lemongrass Panna Cotta with ginger ice-cream, Granny Smith apples and lemon meringue.
New Wine Programme
Botanico’s wine programme offers a list of 30 premium wine labels, all rated 90 points and above by Wine Spectator, available by Coravin; that means you can by a bottle, only drink a glass or carafe amount, and have the rest stored in Botanico (for up to 2 weeks; while a purchased, unopened bottle, will be kept up to a month).
New happy hour: Sundays – Wine o’ clock?
Additionally, in celebration of their wine programme, Botanico have a fun new initiative called Wine O’Clock. From 6pm onwards on Sundays, all of Botanico’s house-pour red, white and rose wines as well as the house Prosecco and Moscatos are priced according to the time you order your tipple of choice. That means from 6pm, you’ll pay $6++ a glass, from 7pm, they’ll be $7++; and so on – all the way until 11pm.
The Garage: Bees Knees and Botanico, 50 Cluny Park Road Singapore Botanic Gardens Singapore 257488, Tel: (+65) 9831 1106, www.thegarage.sg