Healthful but hearty cafe eats in a pretty Robertson Quay space
From the co-founder of whimsical dessert joint Dazzling Cafe comes Botany, a casual-dining restaurant concept marrying quintessential cafe vibes and food from the heart. It joins tried-and-true establishments along the Robertson Quay riverbank—a new option for lazy Sunday coffees or a fuss-free bite.
The hype: From the co-founder of whimsical dessert joint Dazzling Cafe comes Botany, a casual dining restaurant concept marrying quintessential cafe vibes and food from the heart. It joins tried-and-true establishments along the Robertson Quay riverbank—a new option for lazy Sunday coffees or a fuss-free bite.
The vibe: No doubt a hit with the girls, Botany’s conscious, cleaner-eating philosophy comes through in its botanical colour palette and decor. Lush greenery accents the white marble walls and full-length glass windows, with plush chairs and sofas seating 45 inside; you can’t go wrong with the classic cafe setup.
The food: Founder Cassandra Tan’s ethos for her menu is simply food she would serve guests at home. Priding itself on inclusivity, the selection caters even to vegetarian and vegan diners. They’ve also ditched MSG and preservatives, swapped out regular salt for Himalayan salt, and explored air-frying and sous vide for healthier, more natural flavours. There’s no one cuisine to it, but Botany offers brunch favourites, Australian-inspired mains, as well as hearty Asian choices—all at affordable prices.
Standouts include the Uni Truffle Capellini ($28), an icy, truffle-soaked plate on par with many higher-end Japanese restaurants. Also good is the Impossible Mapo Tofu Bowl ($18), which combines impressive Szechuan spices with the plant-based meat—a hearty choice for both vegetarian and meat-loving diners. If you’re a brunch fanatic, you’ll enjoy the creamy Avocado Toast with Egg ($18), a fail-safe choice but well-executed. To share, order up appetisers like the addictive Otah Chips ($13)—a welcome, slightly healthier spin on spam fries—and Taiwanese Chicken Bites ($13).
Dessert is courtesy of Botany’s “sister” brands: the now-closed Dazzling Cafe and Creme Maison Bakery, opened by Tan’s co-founders. Choose from a selection of luscious artisan cakes like the Earl Grey Lavender ($8.50), or go all out and indulge in Dazzling’s Signature Honey Toast ($18).
The drinks: The space alone screams “coffee date”, and so Botany obliges with a menu of warm cuppas and hand-brewed teas. The Earl Grey Milk Tea ($8) is perfect for sipping on during balmier days; or you could opt for organic teas by the pot ($8) and juices ($7). For those who want a boozy kick to their meal, there are wines too—served by the bottle from $55.
Why you’ll be back: Along the scenic riverbank, Botany is a rare triple threat: pleasing on the eyes, stomach and wallet. Plus, there's no other place you'll be able to get Dazzling Cafe's monstrous honey toasts now.