Sunday, May 12, 2013

Food For Thought @ Botanical Gardens

Food for Thought
1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens,
Tanglin Gate, #B1-00, S259569
F: +65 6479 1080

Opening Hours (WEF 1st January 2013):
Mon - Sun
8am to 9pm
(Last orders at 8.30pm)

Food for Thought is well known as a social enterprise in Singapore, and honestly that is quite rare. They have 5 missions which they stand by:

Customers are encouraged to donate $2 for a free flow of plain water to which they can help themselves to during the meal, and proceeds go to Living Water International

A proportion of Food For Thought's profits proceed to support the  United Nations World Food Programme. For $20, Food For Thought helps to support one child for a month.

In support of World Vision, Food For Thought supports their sponsored children by improving overall development of their community's access to water, basic healthcare, education, nutrition and financial independence.

So curiosity drove our visit to the Food For Thought restaurant at Botanical Gardens. It is a really short walk in from Tanglin Gate and there are buses to the nearest bus stop from Dhoby Ghaut MRT, opposite Park Mall.

You might want to look at the menu, which the enterprise has on their webpage as well. My friends and I visited the place on a weekday lunch time and it was close to Christmas (yes, this is a VERY delayed post). It was relatively crowded and we had some difficulty getting seats for a group of 7 of us. 

Ladies, if you're planning to visit this place, perhaps you might want to consider leaving out the tight dresses/skirts and heels. A large portion of the seating are canteen-styled with long tables and benches. Since you would have to help yourself to ordering the food from the counter and the plain water, cutlery, sauces, etc, you'll have to leave your seats quite a number of a time through the meal. 

They did have a couple of Christmas specials served during the period of time, but we went for the regular items they served. 

The Garlic Prawn and Red Capsicum Linguine was served at $16. While the pasta was cooked to al dente and the prawns served were fresh and succulent, we had to down quite a lot of water while having this dish because it was too salty for our liking. 

For $14, the Basil Almond Chicken Pesto Linguine carried the fragrance of Basil extremely well. The chicken bits were on the dry side and it felt like they were just boiled and tossed into the pasta, without absorbing any of the Pesto's essence.  The dish almost tasted like there was no salt in it at all and we had to 're-do' the dish by adding salt and tossing it ourselves. 

They serve all-day breakfast, which definitely attracted our attention given the  recent  'brunch fever' going around. We went for Full Works. For $18, this set includes Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Garlic Mushrooms, Chunky Chicken Sausage, Hash Brown, Toasted Brioche with Thyme Tomato Salad.  The scrambled eggs was made to perfection, and the mushrooms were filled with the fragrance of garlic. Tossed in butter, it laid slightly on the oily side, which made the meal even heavier than it already was. The hashbrowns (round balls on the right) were the best I've ever eaten. Deep fried, it was extremely crispy on the outside and perfectly soft and smooth on the inside. Again, the amount of oil in this meal makes it a lot heavier than one would imagine, so it might be a good idea to share the meal if you're not confident of downing this alone. 

This was one of the desserts featured in their Christmas Menu. Honestly I can't remember the name of this tart, but it was Mixed berries with some liquor in it. The tart was extremely well-made. The berries were slightly sweet and tangy at the same time, but not too much of both. The taste of the liquor made the dessert stand out because it felt like the fragrance of the berries spread in your palate and stayed on as an after taste. I hope they'd serve it again this Christmas!

The red velvet cake served was quite a disappointment. The cake lacked moisture, and the cream frosting did not seem to contain enough lemon to balance off the chocolatey flavour of the cake. 

The Bread pudding was served hot, and it looked extremely yummy. However, we were deceived by its looks. The pudding sat on the tough side, so beyond the top layer, it still took us a bit of effort to scoop from the dish. It lacked the milky fragrance that characterizes most bread puddings as well.

Overall, our dining experience at the restaurant wasn't as good as we expected it to be. However, reviews on websites like were decently positive, so we thought it might be due to the lunch crowd that we ran into on our visit. Perhaps another visit would be made. 

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