Botanist is run by the same folks behind Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters on Upper Thomson road – a place where most cafe go-ers would be familiar with. Actually I’m quite surprised that a lot of my friends have not heard of Pacamara before. It’s like OMG how can? Please don’t tell people you know Explodingbelly, I’m ashamed of you. HAHA!
Anyway, I digressed. I was, of course, excited to hear that Botanist had opened its doors over at Neil road, because this means that I can enjoy the quality food and coffee at a much more convenient location, as compared to Upper Thomson! The menu and concept here is different from that as Pacamara, but they managed to preserve the vibes across these 2 starkly different concepts.
Botanist – true to its name, its interior was bombarded with all sorts of plants and it was very, very, very hot and humid. I felt like a botanist when I was queueing there for a seat. Machiam a gardener.
Botanist is probably a 7 minutes walk away from Outram Park MRT. I quote so precisely 7 minutes because I’m pretty sure it takes longer than 5 minutes but less than 10 minutes. From the mrt station, instead of taking the right to The Lokal and Populus, you make a left and walk straight down. You’ll soon see this:
Make an immediate left into the ulu alley, you should be able to spot instagram worthy murals and a queue along the super narrow entrance.
I tell you ah, if the weather is very hot and humid (actually it always is in Singapore), even the most good mannered person will confirm queue until pekchek. Because it’s so cramped and HOT inside there.
But before you get annoyed with the heat, you’ll first be taken aback by how amazing this place looks. I love the entire outdoorsy/garden-ish look of the Botanist, but secretly wish that it didn’t feel like it’s outdoorsy and garden-ish.
They do have “indoor”, air conditioned seating as well. The trade-off seating inside this area has got to be:
1. Real bad lighting
2. The poor, poor ventilation of the open-concept kitchen.
Go in and come out confirm hair smelly.
OMG NO GST AND SERVICE CHARGE! I LIKE! But prices are slightly on the higher end of brunch. They definitely have got a good mix of brunch food and more refined dishes like the salmon and egg, and beef cheek.
I went with the classic brunch fare because BRUNCH MUST EAT SCRAMBLED EGGS, whereas my partner had more atas cravings – want to eat restaurant like food.
1. Breakfast Platter ($23) For me, the best gauge of the brunch over at any place has got to be their breakfast platter because isn’t it the easiest dish to execute?! Anyhow make 2 eggs, and the rest can buy instant one and anyhow fry fry a bit.
2 winning criteria:
a) The variety
b) How well they’re executed
Botanist aced these 2 departments. It was SUPER value for money because at $23, some other cafes would probably serve half of this portion. I loved the bratwurst sausage most, on this plate. The rest of the ingredients were executed satisfactorily, except for the mushrooms which had that omg just pluck out from the garden taste. Damn weirdly fresh taste. Besides that, I thought this plate was good for 2 to share.
2. Salmon and Egg ($23)
At the same price point, I obviously preferred my breakfast platter, because I’m a true blue Singaporean, and I’m not that atas. Haha!
After tasting this dish, we came to a conclusion that Botanist definitely does best in their execution of the simple ingredients on the plate. The salmon had the textbook crisp skin and moist, soft protein within. We both loved the fried cauliflower fritters, reminded us of Sin Lee’s broccoli. Speaking of which, I need to go back to Sin Lee for the aburi broccoli! This plate was not bad.
3. French Toast ($18)
We suspect this one is they serve wrong to another table then come give us one, you see the presentation, look like sai. You guys can check out their instagram geotag, got a lot of plates look better than ours. HOW CAN?! YOU KNOW WHO AM I NOT? Kidding.
We had the struggle of picking between this french toast and the maple pancakes. Sigh. But this one was just what I imagined. That fluffy buttery brioche, smeared with the rhubarb berry marmalade which cuts the sweetness of the entire dish. Mmmm. Ice cream was okok only though. BUT, i’m very impressed leh.
And of course, as long as Clara goes to any cafe, an Iced Mocha would be expected.
On point. Enough said.
Wow, I really enjoyed my time over at Botanist, minus the heat and crazy waiting time. I’ll definitely recommend this to everyone who’s looking for a good brunch place to head to. Bring a portable handheld fan, if you intend to visit them, I think the experience will be much better. HAHA! Also, the price point is not very friendly la, maybe you all can bring more friends along and just share! Don’t be like us, 2 people order 3 dishes. WAHAHA!
How to get there?
74 Neil Rd, Singapore 088839
Tuesday to Sunday – 8am to 6pm
Closed on Monday