From its interior boasting pretty garden aesthetics to the menu full of plant-based dishes, The Botanic celebrates contemporary eco-friendly dining. This newcomer among Singapore’s sustainable restaurants is led by the Group Executive Chef Shannon Binnie. As a vegan chef with rich culinary and travel experience from Australia, Japan, and Singapore, Binnie has created a successful dining concept that revolves around greener, conscious eating.
Chef Binnie, who has always appreciated plant-based diets, became vegan a couple of years ago for health reasons. When The Botanic took over Salt Tapas & Bar in 2018, it was only natural that the new concept should be in keeping with Binnie’s personal ethos, and the amount of vegan and vegetarian options was increased to 50 percent of the menu. Committed to the highest quality of his culinary creations, Binnie continues to prepare and taste the meat dishes together with his team, which was retained in its entirety from Salt Tapas & Bar.
Tucked away in the Raffles City Shopping Centre, The Botanic is set within a garden-like space complete with green walls, rattan chairs, and lush hanging plants. This nature-inspired venue guarantees dining with a low carbon footprint. Besides serving wholesome natural dishes, Binnie and his team work closely with suppliers in their effort to minimize the use of plastic and reduce waste. The restaurant further focuses on the need to reconnect with the food and with each other for a more sustainable future. That’s why this lively place abuzz with health-conscious diners promotes social eating, serving everything except for the set lunch menu on sharing plates.
The Botanic chefs use the freshest seasonal ingredients to create their ever-evolving menu. Everything is locally sourced and organic. The local Citizen Farm supplies most of the herbs, native edible plants, and fresh microgreens to the restaurant. The menu includes plenty of meatless and gluten-free options too, and the dishes are conveniently grouped into three main categories: meat, fish, and plant.
The extensive menu is packed with authentic Asian flavors with diverse international influences. The signature Smoked Sambal Short Rib brings out the flavors inspired by Binnie’s travels to Indonesia, while using the classic American smokehouse preparation techniques. The result is a wonderful fusion plate: meat grilled to a melting softness, accompanied with caramelized shallots and fragrant Spanish Padrón peppers. Another standout main, grilled squid based on the traditional Croatian black risotto, is served with the squid’s ink rice, dried tomatoes, and salty raw samphire stalks.
The Botanic has no shortage of vibrant plant-based specialties. The delectable Botanic Plate, for example, combines grilled tofu, quinoa, smoked eggplant, cassava, sauerkraut, and pickles. Their excellent selection of small plates is not to be missed either. Think mouthwatering delicacies such as the baked pumpkin with chickpeas and curry-leaf oil, and the restaurant’s novel rendition of guacamole with pickled shallots and crisps.
Desserts here are as characterful as the mains. Indulge in the vegan chendol pavlova with an original take on the traditional Australian dessert. This eggless meringue is made from chickpeas and topped with coconut cream and a combination of jackfruit, mango, and salted local gula melaka palm sugar.
To enhance the dining experience, The Botanic offers an extensive range of cold-pressed juices, revitalizing teas, fruit-based cocktails, and mocktails. As for the wine list, it is full of sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines, some of which are specifically sourced to educate diners about eco-friendly wine production practices.