Botanico at The Summerhouse: A familiar face in a new, idyllic location

By Chang Qi May 31, 2024
Botanico at The Summerhouse: A familiar face in a new, idyllic location
Photos, clockwise from top left: Botanico at The Summerhouse, Chang Qi/HungryGoWhere, Chang Qi/HungryGoWhere, Chang Qi/HungryGoWhere

Botanico, formerly at The Garage in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, has recently re-opened at The Summerhouse in Seletar Aerospace Park.

Conversely, Au Balcon, which used to call The Summerhouse home, is now at The Garage. 

Both restaurants are under the prolific 1-Group. Nestled in historical bungalows surrounded by lush, tranquil landscapes, both restaurants are well-known picturesque date spots and sought-after wedding venues for that elusive not-in-Singapore vibe.

02 cq botanico summerhouse exterior
Photo: Botanico at The Summerhouse

Botanico has always embraced a farm-to-table philosophy, with fresh ingredients, garden-themed menus and a commitment to food sustainability — principles that still continue to hold true in its new location.

A garden with a view

03 cq botanico summerhouse garden dome
There’s a proposal in progress. Photo: Chang Qi/HungryGoWhere

Upon your arrival at Botanico at The Summerhouse, you are immediately enveloped in an idyllic, laid-back atmosphere accentuated by abundant greenery. 

The scenic grounds are ideal for outdoor events and gatherings, while the distinctive geodesic domes offer a private, romantic dining experience.

04 cq botanico summerhouse garden
Ingredients fresh from the garden. Photo: Botanico at The Summerhouse

The heart of Botanico’s concept lies in its on-site edible garden, which is home to over 20 varieties of herbs and vegetables. These are sourced from Singapore suppliers, such that each dish is responsibly and sustainably crafted with fresh, local produce. Botanico even works with a local kelong for the freshest catch.

Besides its greens, Botanico also specialises in grilled meats and employs three varieties of firewood — applewood, wood charcoal and binchotan (Japanese white charcoal) — which in turn impart different qualities to the meat. 

The cuisine is primarily modern Asian, after having undergone a complete change in menu after its move.

Botanico at The Summerhouse’s menu

05 cq botanico summerhouse foie gras kaya toast
The foie gras kaya toast is worth a five-star rating. Photo: Chang Qi/HungryGoWhere

We started our meal at Botanico at The Summerhouse with a creative curation of appetisers that set the tone for our evening.

The foie gras kaya toast (S$12) was a personal favourite. Here, the local breakfast staple is transformed into a luxurious gourmet delight. The juxtaposition of creamy, savoury foie gras with the sweet, coconut-infused kaya created an incredibly rich bite. This dish perfectly epitomises the adage that sometimes, the simple is often the best.

06 cq botanico summerhouse summer rolls
Smoked shrimp summer rolls. Photo: Chang Qi/HungryGoWhere

The smoked shrimp summer rolls (S$18) were a refreshing counterpart — traditional Asian flavours presented with bright, edible flowers and a hint of smokiness. Fresh, crisp vegetables  were paired with succulent smoked tiger prawns in a citrusy dressing to create a vibrant and zesty starter that whet our appetites for more.

07 cq botanico summerhouse ceviche
Serve the ceviche in taco pockets for a fun twist. Photo: Chang Qi/HungryGoWhere

As did the Asian ceviche (S$24). The acidity of the striped jack fish — cured and mixed with cincalok (fermented shrimp) belachan — harmonised with the freshly harvested cilantro and wasabina mustard greens from the onsite garden. For a carby touch, enjoy it with the accompanying taco pockets.

08 cq botanico summerhouse woodfired grilled duck
The wood-fired grilled duck. Photo: Chang Qi/HungryGoWhere

We soon move onto the main courses, where we are served the wood-fired grilled duck (S$34) — a knockout, without doubt. 

It boasts tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat enhanced by an angelica sauce that reminds us of Chinese herbal cuisine. Subtle earthy notes are perfectly complemented by the rich, smoky flavours of the grilled duck.

09 cq botanico summerhouse wagyu bun
The wagyu bun. Photo: Chang Qi/HungryGoWhere

Another highlight is the wagyu bun (S$45), which reminds us of gua baos (or kongbak pau). Chargrilled wagyu, topped with Korean bulgogi sauce, is presented with fluffy lotus buns on the side and accompanied by perilla leaves, onions and pickled daikons, so that you can make your pau just the way you like it.

10 cq botanico summerhouse sichuan boiled fish
The Sichuan boiled fish. Photo: Chang Qi/HungryGoWhere

For those who enjoy a bit of spice, but not too much, the Sichuan boiled fish (S$65) is an excellent choice. This dish features hints of spiciness that are mild enough to appeal to even non-spicy eaters and in turn, also ensures that the delicate flavours of the fish are not overshadowed. What’s more: The fish used here is seasonal and may likely vary depending on the time of the year.

Enjoy this with a bowl of butterfly blue pea pandan rice (S$6) to quell the heat.

Sweets treats to end the night

No meal is complete without dessert and the offerings here do not disappoint. The min jiang kueh (S$18, peanut pancake) recreates the beloved childhood dessert, but with an indulgent twist.

It showcases a rich, velvety peanut ice cream and a crispy peanut tuile, all carefully nestled atop a light and airy corn-flavoured sponge.

11 cq botanico summerhouse min jiang kueh
Min jiang kueh. Photo: Chang Qi/HungryGoWhere

Another intriguing choice is the deconstructed ondeh ondeh (S$16). Inspired by the traditional  kueh, this dessert features house-made kaya ice cream that is generously drizzled with gula melaka sauce and offers a satisfying sweetness without being overly cloying.

12 cq botanico summerhouse drinks
Garden margarita (right) and Summer mango (left). Photo: Chang Qi/HungryGoWhere

To complement the meal, Botanico at The Summerhouse’s garden-to-glass cocktails are a must-try. The Botanico Sling (S$18) is a floral gin-based treat that refreshes the palate, while the garden margarita (S$18), features fresh pickings from the garden and is rimmed with orangey chilli salt for a pop of colour.

If you’re looking for something more full-bodied, the Summer mango cocktail (S$18), with its creamy, milky texture is a good choice for a fruity finish to your meal.

This was a hosted tasting.

Loving the garden vibes? Check out floral-themed cafes and beachside garden restaurant for dining ideas. Also, don’t miss out on the newest gourmet spots in town.

You can also book a ride for your idyllic getaway.

Do explore the GrabFood Dine-in service for awesome deals.

Botanico at The Summerhouse

The Summerhouse Level 2, 3 Park Lane
Nearest MRT station: Sengkang 
Open: Wednesday to Friday (6pm to 10.30pm), Saturday and Sunday (11.30 am to 3pm, 6pm to 10.30 pm), public holidays (11.30 am to 3pm)

The Summerhouse Level 2, 3 Park Lane
Nearest MRT station: Sengkang 
Open: Wednesday to Friday (6pm to 10.30pm), Saturday and Sunday (11.30 am to 3pm, 6pm to 10.30 pm), public holidays (11.30 am to 3pm)

Chang Qi

Chang Qi


Chang is in an everlasting relationship with food and tries to have fun every now and then.

Read More
Scroll to top