Seeing Green: These Garden And Park Cafes Offer Meals With A Verdant View
STORY: Pearlyn Tham
23 November 2021
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They didn’t call us the Garden City for nothing.
In case you missed the scenery, literally, our little red dot is really a little green dot with lots of trees and yes, bougainvillea bushes, from the East to the West and the North to the South.
So where else to bring your household of five pax (because, yay, new dining-in rules!) but to one of these cafes and restaurants that sit in Singapore’s many parks and gardens?
You can enjoy good food and drinks, while pretending that you are dining in Margaret River or Bordeaux!
Le Jardin Singapore at Fort Canning Park
The folks behind this are also the same people who gave Easties the very photogenic Nicole’s Flower Café at Telok Kurau.
But while that indoor café was filled with gorgeous flowers, the new Le Jardin Singapore is surrounded by lush greenery, thanks to the surrounding Fort Canning Park.
The rattan furniture here will make you think of Parisian sidewalk cafes though a few food bloggers have commented that the prices are more Paris than Pasir Ris. But you are paying for the view, too, and a chance to snap some #ootds, right?
Wildseed at The Alkaff Mansion
They close “early” at 5pm so this isn’t a place to jio your my-day-starts-only-from-dinnertime BFF. Located on Telok Blangah Hill, Wildseed at The Alkaff Mansion (their other outlet is at Park Lane in Seletar) has the usual bistro fare plus some darn gorgeous-looking cakes like the Coconut Pea Flower Shortcake.
Canopy Hort Park and Canopy Bishan Park
We think if there isn’t a “park” in the address, Canopy won’t set up shop there. After all, this pioneer nestled in Bishan Park now has another outlet at the even more picturesque Hort Park. Both cafes are surrounded by lots of greenery but even the indoor area of the Hort Park branch is dressed in an abundance of flowers and plants. Call it Hort couture!
Five&2 at Punggol Park
This super-casual bistro – which means it also has a spacious outdoor seating area for sweaty joggers and paw parents – features a self-service concept so you order and pay on automated kiosks.
Prices and portions are family-friendly (the sprawling park is in the midst of a lot of HDB flats and condos, after all), and the dishes have an adventurous local spin to them. Think spam fries, har cheong pork belly, salted fish pasta and dried tom yum seafood linguine.
Five&2 is open only from 4pm which makes sense in our kind of weather – we’ll take the more sedate evening sun any day!
Anywhere in the Botanic Gardens
People don’t realise this enough but the UNESCO-recognised Singapore Botanic Gardens actually has a lot of F&B establishments, most with salivating views.
If it’s pay day, the Michelin-star Corner House sits in an old-world colonial house and verdant foliage, and is known for its exquisite omakase menus (it means that the chef will surprise you by deciding what goes onto your plate).
Further down at the Ginger Garden is Halia which does European-Asian dishes like chilli crab spaghetti as well as $24 breakfast sets, if you are feeling posh.
For something friendly on the pocket and more casual, Bee’s Knees at the Garage offers pizzas, sandwiches, pastas and one sinful Peanut Butter Nutella milkshake.
And the latest food joint to call the Botanic Gardens home (with a view)? The open-air Cluny Food Court, which is nothing like your neighbourhood food court as it is helmed by the chi-chi Les Amis Group and houses congee chain Mui Kee Express, an American-style BBQ stall and a pork-free pizzeria.
These McDonald’s outlets have the pwettiest scenery
We don’t have to tell you about the menu at McDonald’s liao but we have to tell you that these must be its three most scenic outlets: Bishan Park, Jurong Central Park and, of course, the super nostalgic Ridout Tea Garden in Queensway (bet you didn’t even know the proper name of this location!).
In fact, both the Bishan Park and Jurong Central Park outlets aren’t just in green areas. They are also recognised for being green. The Jurong Central Park restaurant won the Building and Construction Authority’s Platinum Green Mark Award in 2011 while the Bishan Park one received the Gold Green Mark Award.
As for the 32-year-old Ridout Tea Garden in Queensway – fans have even gushed how it’s like dining in a Japanese Zen garden – the good news is it won’t be demolished but will be staying put at that iconic address for a reported $40,000 monthly rent.
Quick, how much is that worth in double cheeseburgers now?