Located within a corner shophouse unit along Neil road, a large wall mural painted on the side facade greeted us as we approached the Botanist cafe through the side entrance.
Once you step into the small doorway, you’ll see that the courtyard was turned into a non air-conditioned seating area with lush greenery panels lining the walls. Despite being a warm day, the area was pretty much occupied. We were lucky that we found seats within the small section of indoor air conditioned area inside the shophouse unit. Although the indoor area was cramp and they had an open-kitchen, the ventilation was well controlled. The exhaust system at the kitchen purged away the fumes effectively.
The cafe has a simple 1 page food menu comprising of salads, brunch items, pasta, burger and sides. The decision to go with limited options on the menu could have meant that the owners did some ‘homework’. The items that made it into the menu were all well-selected crowd favourites.
As I was looking for something light, my natural choice was the Chicken & Quinoa Salad Seared sous-vide breast, almond, pomegranate, baby spinach, avocado, quinoa tossed in yuzu vinaigrette. Although I am not usually drawn to eating salads, the quinoa salad appealed to me with the right combination of ingredients. There was tartness from pomegranate, citrusy flavour from the yuzu, along with the nutty crunch of almond. Every bit of the ingredients hit the right notes for my taste bud. This is a healthy yet wholesome and satisfying dish worthy of repeated visits to the cafe for.
We also tried the Seafood Aglio Olio Spaghetti with prawn, clam, squid, garlic, chilli, basil. The addition of ebiko toppings was something I would do when I cook my pasta at home too! These tiny roes are not only rich in taste, but also adds depth to texture of the dish.
This place definitely goes into my pocket list of places to go for brunches on weekends.
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