In the midst of Singapore’s widely urbanised landscape, Gardens By The Bay is indubitably one of the most unique attractions many nature- lovers and photographers would look forward to visiting. Spanning 101 hectares, it consists of three distinct waterfront gardens set in the heart of Marina Bay.
Like everywhere else in Singapore, several restaurants and eateries are sprouting up over a few corners of the ‘City in a Garden’. Located by the largely noticeable Supertree Grove, Supertree Dining is one of the few that have already opened their doors to the visitors of Gardens By The Bay. Developed by Select Group and a partnership with Les Amis, Supertree Dining features the brand new Hill Street Coffee Shop, Peach Garden Noodle House, Texas Chicken and from the latter, the popular Canele Patisserie Chocolaterie and Casa Verde; a diversity of cuisines to cater to the different tastes and budgets of both locals and tourists.
To integrate with the lush greenery of the Gardens By The Bay, Supertree’s design concept echoes the nature theme. The openings in the ceiling allow the trees housed inside the room to grow and natural elements are apparent in the dining area as well, with unpolished granite stone and pebble wash flooring and chairs and tables in wicker and timber. Through floor-to-ceiling glass windows, diners will get to take delight in the remarkable sights of the towering Supertrees and tropical landscape, while basking in the natural sunlight that streams in through the glass windows and yet being comfortably sheltered. At night, one will get to enjoy the captivating light display on the Supertrees.
Featuring five distinctive F&B dining concepts to showcase a diversity of cuisines in a common dining area, Supertree Dining hopes to provide an all- inclusive family dining experience. The communal seating concept is in line with one’s possible intent of bonding with one’s family and friends while hanging out at Gardens By The Bay and it enables one to continue enjoying a close gathering over a hearty meal, while taking pleasure in the picturesque scenery through the glass windows.
The flagship outlet of Hill Street Coffee Shop, it is inspired from Singapore’s 1960s food scene and is an attempt to reach out to the tourists of the Gardens by the Bay, by providing them an opportunity to try out the rich food heritage that Singapore is known to possess, especially since the old coffee shops have appeared to dissolve in our fast- evolving food paradise.
Furnished with old-style window shutters, top tables with wooden chairs, the dining area is a contemporary set-up that has been aimed to replicate the traditional coffee-shop atmosphere. One cannot help but feel intrigued by how the eatery’s menu is provided to the diners in a form of an old- school newspaper.
Offering an extensive range of local delights to hawker favourites such as Nasi Lemak and Char Kway Teow, one might be interested to know that Hill Street Coffee Shop serves their freshly brewed coffee using traditional cloth filters and that is not all, not easily found elsewhere, the eatery serves light bites such as traditional steamed bread as well.
Steamed Bread with Kaya and Butter ($2.00)
As commented by many, Hill Street Coffee Shop’s offering of Bread with Kaya and Butter oozes with nostalgia and by being the first dish served to us, it had surely set the tone of our food- tasting session right. Served in an uncommonly seen way of execution that is through having been steamed, the slightly chewy bread spelled comfort as enhanced by its warmth and as spread with butter and their very own Kaya.
Signature Kampong Rendang Chicken Nasi Lemak ($8.90)
Cooked to succulent and tender perfection, the chicken fillet was cloaked in aromatic sweet and spicy notes from the Rendang gravy that had even lingered in the mouth for a while. The home-made Vegetable Achar on the side had enough zing in it while the fluffy Basmati Rice could have had been better endowed with the essence from the Pandan leaf and Coconut Milk.
Street Fried Hokkien Mee ($9.90)
Said to have been wok- fried in a dense broth that has been slow simmered for hours to absorb the flavours of pork bones and prawn shells, the dish was largely let down by the rubbery noodles that did not go down so well after all.
Traditional Singapore Laksa ($8.90)
I found the Traditional Singapore Laksa to be surprisingly enjoying. Not robustly spicy, the coconut milk- based curry broth boasted a richly savoury profile and it was pleasantly accompanied by the thick and slippery vermicelli, alongside with cockles, prawns and shredded chicken. A rendition of the local classic that was easier on the palate, some might opine that it would lack the spicy kick to make it a uniquely traditional bowl of Laksa.
Referring to “Green House” in English, Casa Verde serves an all- day dining menu bolstered with classic Italian dishes such as pastas, wood- fired pizzas and antipasti paired with an extensive wine list. The flagship outlet situated at Botanic Gardens has appeared to be quite a hit with local diners.
Here at Supertree Dining, the highlight of Casa Verde’s open- concept kitchen is the wood and gas- fried oven for cooking pizzas and their beer spot in its dining area, allowing its diners to sit back and enjoy a glass of ice cold beer or sip a glass of wine while admiring the Supertrees through the glass windows.
Casa Verde Salad ($12.00)
A zesty salad that had really showed up the freshness of the garden greens and assorted mixed fruits, it hit the right spots with the bright flavours of the various ingredients. The addition of honey lemon appeared to balance out the sweet and sour notes.
Sfilatino Casa Verde ($24.00)
Served ala- spring roll style, the mildly pungent melted cheese sandwiched between, was delicious. Together with the cooked ham and mushroom, not only did I enjoy the complimentary flavours but also, the slightly contrasting textures of the different constituents.
Baked Macaroni with Mushroom and Mozzarella Cheese ($14.00)
New and exclusive to Supertree dining, Casa Verde’s Baked Macaroni with Mushroom and Mozzarella Cheese would do so for anyone who has a soft spot for home- cooked fare. The soft pasta and as coupled by the melted cheese had certainly spelled comfort, while the satisfaction derived from the dish went a notch up from the bits of mushroom that were largely welcomed.
Catering towards visitors who would rather have a fuss- free and strictly casual dining experience, many might find the American fast- food outlet to be a much welcomed member of Supertree Dining. Texas Chicken is motivated towards using only fresh quality chicken- marinated in a secret batter before deep- drying and it is known for serving its chicken in its signature eight-piece cut.
From left, in clockwise direction: Fine Wrap ($7.80 for a set meal), Honey Butter Biscuits ($1.20 for 1 piece, $3.20 for 3 pieces, $5.80 for 6 pieces) and Spicy Chicken ($7.60 for a 2- piece set meal)
New and exclusive to Supertree dining, the Fine Wrap featured crunchy, tender strips of chicken, wrapped in a toasted tortilla with fresh lettuce, jalapeno pepper slices, cheese, crispy tortilla chips, red onions and tomato slices that were all stuffed within. With quite an intense flavour from their famous sweet and savoury honey butter, my share of the Honey Butter Biscuit was quite a toothsome delight and in my opinion, it should catch the fancy of most kids. Deep- fried to crisp perfection, the lip- smackingly yummy Spicy Chicken managed to retain its juices and it had just enough heat (but not overbearing).
The casual dining extension of the locally renowned Peach Garden restaurant, Peach Garden Noodle House aims to offer quick, convenient and more affordable Chinese standards in a comfortable and relaxed setting. One can expect to find a selection of Dim Sum delights, speciality noodles and rice dishes and Peach Garden’s very own popular dessert menu.
Steamed Xiao Long Bao with Goose Liver in Double- boiled Shark’s Bone Cartilage Soup ($12.80)
I found this particular number from Peach Garden Noodle House to be an exquisite delicacy, one that would most probably strike a chord with many diners despite the costly price tag. When bitten upon, I experienced a burst of flavour that was very aromatic, as gently lifted by the Goose liver and the broth that was full of collagen goodness.
Steamed Chicken Bun with Baby Abalone, Chinese Sausage and Mushroom ($12.80)
A huge and lightly sweet, cottony bun that was chock full of well- seasoned chicken, our familiar humble pao was further elevated by the inclusion of more expensive ingredients such as Baby Abalone, Chinese Sausage and Mushrooms and when eaten all together, each mouthful was pure pleasure. I had particularly fancied how the generous chewy chunks of Chinese Sausage provide a textural contrast to that of the other constituents of the steamed bun.
Special Edition Gardens by the Bay Chicken Rice ($18.80)
Smooth slices of chicken that fared decently in the taste department as well, I thought that the rice on the other hand, could have been cooked a little longer for the grains to not only be softer but for the supposedly distinctive flavours to come through more significantly. However, I must say that the chilli provided alongside, had enough punch.
Noodle with Fresh Prawn Dumpling ($7.00)
Truth be told, we could not get enough of Peach Garden Noodle House’s signature number. The noodles had a nice springy texture, without being hard and they worked brilliantly with the clean- tasting broth. The dumplings encased fresh and succulent prawns that provided a delightful crunch for one’s gastronomical pleasure.
Dragonfruit Shaved Ice ($8.80)
A rather dramatic presentation of one of their Shaved Iced Desserts, the ice was shaved to the right fineness and it delivered refreshingly distinct sweet accents to provide the excitement that the dessert would require. The Pineapple Shaved Ice is available at the same cost while the Mango Shaved Ice and the Lychee Shaved Ice are priced at $7.80 and $6.80 respectively.
Probably one of Les Amis Group’s most established brands, Canele Patisserie Chocolaterie is definitely a familiar name to many and the chain of boutiques scattered around in town, seems to have won the hearts of many. The location of its new outlet at Supertree Dining seems (to me) like a brilliant move by the Les Amis Group.
A perfect spot for anyone who craves for chilled desserts and pastries after a hot day out venturing about at the Gardens By The Bay, Canele offers all- day dining items such as salads, soups, sandwiches, pastas and sweet and savoury crepes just as well. Introduced to the menu in conjunction with the opening of Canele at the Gardems By The Bay, the Chicken Caesar Wrap is part of the new savoury wrap selection that is highly recommended by the team behind the restaurant group.
Canele Chicken Caesar Wrap ($8.00)
Canele’s Chicken Caesar Wrap would make a great snack for those who are not really into heavy staple dishes. A joyful confluence of heartily sliced Chicken strips, fresh Tomatoes, crunchy Cucumbers and crisp Romaine lettuce, the use of Anchovy dressing was a fairly nice touch to bind the flavours together.
Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream ($8.00)
A devilishly sweet dessert as coupled by the swirls of caramel that had endowed it with a greater hit of richness, the Chocolate Caramel Ice cream was topped with bits of hazelnuts that added both crunch and fragrance. Some might find it to be a tad too heavy on the palate though.
Limited Edition Summer Macarons ($2.50 for 1 piece, $11.50 for 6 pieces and $21.50 for 12 pieces)
Considered by many of my friends as the local benchmark for Macarons made in Singapore, Canele is introducing a new variety of (some interesting) flavours that is only available from now till mid August 2012. The more memorable ones I had tried, were the Chocolate Rice Krispie Macaron, which should really be a mainstay in their daily selection and the Violet Berries one; its delicate sweet tang that had left quite an impression. The other flavours include Mint Chocolate, Lemon Lime and Vanilla Banana.
Should one be looking for a meal to satiate one’s hunger after a long day at Gardens By The Bay, Supertree Dining is definitely worthy of one’s consideration. From the array of local and international cuisines to choose from the different eateries, to the ambience of the cosy and spacious dining area that is coupled by the captivating scenery one would get to enjoy through the glass windows, Supertree Dining does seem like quite a decent dining option at the ‘City in a Garden’. Being able to accommodate approximately 500 persons, it is certainly one of the few places one would not really need to worry about not acquiring enough seats for large gatherings or groups.
Many thanks to Ms Hsu Lin from Ninemer Public Relations for the media invite!
18 Marina Gardens Drive
Supertree Grove, Gardens By The Bay
Contact Number: 6636 3323
Mondays to Sundays, 8.00am till 10.00pm