On the rooftop of OUE Downtown Gallery, you can be in the company of greenery at The Garden Club. No, it is not an exclusive club for gardeners and gnomes. It is a restaurant and bar that encourages conscious eating for better health and sustainability, seeding plant-forward movement among office workers in the Central Business District.
The Garden Ragu Fettucine ($15) uses Beyond Meat, which uses vegetable proteins to create meat substitutes that taste just like real meat and it does not compromise the rich quality of the ragu sauce at all. I would not have known that this is vegan dish.
The Eggplant Pesto Grill ($12) is served with Japanese purple sweet potato mash that is… not sweet at all. In fact, the mash is very savoury.
The pesto spread is house-made from the plants that are grown in The Garden Club.
I like that the original flavour of the eggplant is kept intact but the pesto can be more fragrant. I still cannot fathom why they would change the sweetness of a sweet potato to a savoury one. Why don’t they use a regular russet potato instead?
There are many strongly-flavoured dishes on the menu, thanks to the heavy usage of sauces and herbs. The Grilled Barramundi ($20) is way lighter in flavours.
The slightly over grilled fish sits on a bed of tabbouleh that is made up of quinoa and barley (an effective substitute for rice); sliced grapes that seem to serve no purpose in complementation of flavours; and the dish is saved by a dash of sesame tofu puree to add some zing to the dish.
Cauliflower was an understated vegetable until the rise of cauliflower rice, cauliflower soup, cauliflower ‘steaks’ and umpteen ways of cooking it. The Cauliflower Bouquet Roast ($10) is roasted till charred and topped off with a special garlic miso sauce and confit leeks. From the stem to the curd, the cauliflower is soft but yet crunchy.
There are refreshing cocktails such as Rasa Sayang ($16), Kensington Cooler (single cup – $16, teapot – $60), and Jaslisco Sunset ($16). Rasa Sayang is made up of white wine, lychee and lemon soda. It is very sweet. I did not try Kensington Cooler or Jalisco Sunset but the former is gin-based and the latter is a concoction of Milagro Blanco with citrus juice.
The bar snacks are probably the most unhealthy items on the menu. To go with your drinks, you can try Beer Battered Chicken Tenders ($8), Broccoli Tempura with Gochujang Mayo ($6), Baby Hasselback Potatoes with Burnt Spring Onion Mayo ($5), or an appetiser such as Fried Brussel Sprouts ($9) that is nicely cooked with apple, thyme and hazelnuts.
Their brussel sprouts can afford to be more charred for a crispier taste. The gochujang mayo goes really well with the broccoli tempura. I find the chicken tenders a bit tough and the baby hasselback potatoes addictive.
The Apple Rosette Tart ($8) has a soft, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth crust. It is also very pretty with thinly sliced apple rosettes strategically placed on top and dusted with powdered sugar.
The Coconut Chocolate Tart ($6) is bound to be a crowd-pleaser for chocolate lovers. I cannot really taste the coconut because the chocolate sauce and maple syrup are overwhelming for me. The tart crust is more crumbly and salty, probably to offset the heaviness of the chocolate.
The restaurant serves vegan, gluten-free, allium-free options, which is good news for people with different dietary preferences to dine together. For any meat lovers who want to try to eat more vegetables, this may be a good place to start.
The Garden Club
OUE Downtown Gallery #05-01, 6A Shenton Way Singapore 068815
Tel: +65 6971 8265
M – F: 12pm – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm
You may be interested in…
–Venue by Sebastian, Downtown Gallery: After a Hiatus of 3 Years, Former Ember Chef Re-Emerges
–Express by Chatterbox, Downtown Gallery: Bestest Chicken Rice in Singapore. Trust Me, I Ate 47 Plates
–Sama Curry & Cafe, Downtown Gallery: First in Singapore to Serve Japanese Curry Soups With 30 Levels of Spiciness
–Chen’s Mapo Tofu, Downtown Gallery: Sister Outlet of the 2 Michelin Starred Shisen Hanten
Written by Cheang Shwu Peng.