It’s a concept that should be quite familiar to most Spaniards, given their warm, relaxed nature and tapas culture, making chef Antonio Oviedo the perfect guy to head the kitchen.
Botanico at The Garage, a contemporary bistro located at Singapore Botanic Gardens, brings the concept of “bistronomy” to Singapore, a culinary ethos based on the values of freedom, spirit, conviviality, and heart.
“’Food with heart’, that is what I aim for at The Garage,” exclaims chef Antonio. And full of heart the food truly is. Starters like the Idiazabal Croquettes, bursting with smoked Idiazabal cheese emulsion and topped with piquant chorizo slices, and Calamaritos that feature crispy baby squid and seaweed aoli, are both comforting and delicious. Meanwhile, the Botanico Salad, which is a colorful jumble of heirloom tomatoes, pickled beetroot, charred cucumber, peaches, and edible flowers prove that clean eating can be hearty and satisfying.
Other favorites include the Chargrilled Carabinero Prawns served with risotto-like Bomba rice cooked in rich prawn bisque, and the Lamb Tartare topped with mustard ice cream, black olives arlette, and pickled onions. The lamb used is extremely fresh, free from the gamey flavor often associated with it.
Another interesting approach that chef Antonio brings to Botanico is that he does not compartmentalize sweet and savory flavors. For him, it’s all about balance and this is best experienced in the dessert called Tropical Fruits. It makes for an interesting ending with the combination of laksa leaf ice cream and deep fried laksa leaf, white chocolate turmeric ganache, sea coconut, jackfruit, and longan. It’s a mix of flavors we’ve not had before, but now that we’ve tasted of it, we’d gladly go back for more.