The brainchild of three entrepreneurs in Cassandra Riene Tan, Serene Tan and Mediacorp actress Julie Tan, Botany at Robertson Quay by Dazzling Cafe is a brand new cafe aimed at health junky and Instagram cafe hoppers alike.
Some might know their other project - Dazzling Cafe (Orchard Gateway) - and this is a step in a similar direction. Overlooking the Singapore River, it is located along a quiet street where you can expect a pleasant stroll in the process of finding it.
Is it Halal?
No, this is a non-halal restaurant - serves up pork sausages and such. But they are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options - certain dishes which are not originally vegan/vegetarian can be changed.
Where it Is
To be honest, I would say that you actually have to go quite out of your way to get to Botany, as it isn’t really near too many malls or landmarks. My personal journey to Botany is such that I drove and parked in the building beside it (M Social Singapore). Parking is okay-ish. I paid SGD1.15 for 45 minutes there. As far as I’m aware, I would think that’s the best place to park. Then, it is a 5 minute walk to Singapore River, and subsequently along that river before you find Botany.
A convenient way to get there I would say would be to just take a bus. From Orchard Road, you can take the Bus 123 (Beach View) and stop off at Hotel Mirarmar (around 5 stops) and it is an about 5 minute walk from there. (a few buses available depending on which direction you’re coming from)
Train-wise, I would personally say it is not THAT convenient. The 2 that I would probably say is the nearest to Botany would be Fort Canning or the Chinatown MRT stations. But, looking at Google Maps, it is around a 15 minute walk just to get to Botany, so I would probably recommend finding a way to get there via bus or taxi instead.
Address: Botany by Dazzling Cafe, 86 Robertson Quay, #01-03, Singapore 238245
(You can play around and zoom in and out on the map)
What it Costs
I stopped by at Botany for a really late lunch (talking about 4pm kind), so I decided to order an appetiser and a main. What’s interesting about their menu would be that I think they’re aiming for a clientele probably not as much for the casual Instagram blogger, but probably a little higher than that - with dishes like pan-seared barramundi (SGD28) and Australian grass fed ribeye (28/32).
I went with Taiwanese Chicken Bites for my appetiser (SGD13) and a Mapo Tofu Rice Bowl (SGD18). In addition to that, there is service charge but not GST to be added onto your overall cost. For me, the meal came up to SGD34.10 for those two dishes.
Water is self serve, and they have quite a few other teas and coffees on their menu.
You can take a look at their full menu by clicking the link right over here!
How it Tastes
That chicken is bl**dy good, is what I will have to say for starters. It is a really good mix of that crispy flour based skin with a tender chicken interior which is absolutely filled with flavour. Their Taiwanese spice seasoning gives it a nice twist to the flavour as well - even the fried vegetables on the side of the dish complement this chicken really well as well. (I was doing some searching online, and I think this is the appetiser that probably has the most positive reviews from Botany).
They describe their Mapo Tofu Dish as such:
Japanese Rice paired with Silken Tofu cooked in Szechuan Spices and Impossible™ meat, Topped with Sous Vide Egg
So, if you know me personally, you would know how much I like Mapo Tofu as a dish. Botany’s take on the dish is a little different in such that it probably isn’t as spicy as most other versions of it, and I would say they are a lot lighter on the oil aspect of it. It actually comes off as a quite healthy dish, but definitely with the core principles of Mapo Tofu kept intact. Overall, I would say I quite enjoyed the dish, and I would probably say it is a nice dish to indulge on for a light lunch.
I believe they chose to go with chicken to go with the Mapo Tofu, and I think that helps to keep with the healthy nature of the dish. The egg goes pretty nicely with this dish as well (the egg yolk kinda blends a lot of the dish together).
(I think it is similar to a braised pork rice - or Lu Rou Fan - in terms of how light it is, and how they make it)
I would probably go as far as to say that this is the type of place that is perfect for private functions (I’m not quite sure if they DO actually do this), as their food is really light, playful and the interior looks really stunning. This is one of those times where I will say that nature is in the way of a beautiful store front (because that tree is quite simply almost blocking the restaurant itself), but it is still a pleasant looking restaurant.
7.5. A really solid 7.5/10 from me, and I would probably give it higher marks if I had the oppourtunity to explore more of the dishes on the menu. I really like that the food here is light, flavourful and just really tasty in general. There is no doubt in my mind that this will bloom into yet another successful offering by Dazzling Cafe.