Still on the lookout for a sophisticated, affordable Sunday brunch in Singapore with kids? Foodie parents, brace yourselves: we’ve found it, right here in our Botanic Gardens. We paid a visit to the fabulously lush Botanico at the Garage with kids in tow to settle in for a four-course feast, and think we’ve got a new family fave for special Sundays. We didn’t even need to bribe the kids with the promise of a visit to the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden to make it through a lovely long lunch!
Botanico breathes new life into a 1920s art deco conservation building in the Botanic Gardens – once upon a time it was a garage for the cars of local college professors, and it’s been lovingly restored to keep all those high ceilings and glimpses of lush green surrounds. On the ground floor you’ll find casual all-day dining spot The Bee’s Knees (super popular with families), and upstairs you’ll find Botanico. There’s a cool, nostalgic vibe us grown-ups certainly appreciate, but we love that the kids get a warm welcome too in such a chic space. There are high chairs at the ready, colouring-in sheets, kid-friendly cutlery and a pretty impressive, four-course kids’ menu that’s a reasonable $18++ per child (more on this in a moment).
If it’s a gorgeous day you can hang out on the cool terrace for an al fresco feast, where little ones can wander safely while you indulge in one of Botanico’s signature tipples (hello, Thyme Lemonade).
But on to the food. Let’s just paint a picture of how your brunch will begin: freshly shucked oysters for you; smiley fries for them. It’s a very promising start, and it just gets better. The kiddos are kept very happy with juice, penne bolognaise or a killer carbonara (we couldn’t resist stealing some; it’s that good), cookies for dessert and mini croissants and pastries.
It’s a substantial spread that keeps them busy while you indulge in your own feast. The Sunday brunch set menu is all about seasonal produce, with a clever combination of Mediterranean influences for starters and mains, and desserts with distinctly local flavours. Standout dishes include a starter of light lamb tartare, the artistically presented Pasta all’uovo with cuttlefish and smoked egg yolk, and the refreshing ‘Gin & Cucumber’ for dessert, a sweet take on the gin and tonic that gets a tropical twist thanks to coconut and kaffir lime. Go on and add the ‘Tropical Fruits’ dessert from the a la carte menu to experience more tropical flavours in full force: the jackfruit, turmeric ganache and laksa leaf ice cream work together brilliantly.
And if, like us, you can’t help but take photos of beautifully plated food, make sure you order the Botanico Salad from the a la carte menu too: a divine bowl of heirloom tomatoes, delicate baby zucchini, Canarejal cheese (a super creamy sheep’s milk cheese from Spain) and luscious ripe figs. See what I mean?
And let’s give credit where credit’s due: the service here really is family friendly. The team is attentive, totally patient with kids and understands there will be crumbs when a toddler is involved. On our visit they were more than happy to indulge requests from the kids for an extra mini croissant or two to gobble up before heading to the Gardens to burn off energy, and it just doesn’t get better than that.
Psst: The Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden (which is a five-minute walk from Botanico at the Garage) is getting a revamp, but all the main attractions including the sand pit and water play area currently available to enjoy. A beautiful brunch and an afternoon with the fam in the Botanic Gardens? Bring on the #sundayvibes.
Sundays, 11.30am to 3pm
$65++ per adult for the four-course set menu.
A la carte options $14++ to $28++ for light bites and starters; mains from $28++ to $40++; desserts from $13++ to $18++.
Additional $55++ per person for unlimited pourings of AIX Rosé, sparkling wine, red wine, white wine, beer, soft drinks, coffee and tea.
Botanico at the Garage is also open for lunch Wednesdays to Fridays, 12pm to 3pm and dinner Wednesday to Sunday 6pm to 10pm.
Botanico at the Garage
50 Cluny Park Road
Singapore Botanic Gardens (Bukit Timah Gate)
Photography (top image): Courtesy of Botanico at the Garage. Additional photography: Selina Altomonte
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