Casa Verde

The cafe is undergoing renovation until October 2015.

This new, family-and dog‑friendly café set in the lovely Botanic Gardens is already so popular that you’ll be tripping over rows of yapping pooches, snotty toddlers and their tai-tai owners while fighting to get to your hard won seat. Run by the Les Amis Group and replacing their previous café here, Casa Verde has a good menu of salads, pastas, pizzas, mains and Asian dishes—and a very decent breakfast menu which it has quickly cultivated a following for.

A downside of being popular, however, is being busy—and having to cope with that, which the staff here clearly can’t. It wasn’t for lack of trying, they were all working hard; they were simply too few in number and not well trained enough to manage the demands of the rather high‑end clientele. We struggled to order, a task made harder by the fact that the staff taking orders were also making the drinks, which is fine in a fast food setting that serves mostly soft drinks and bad coffee; but not in a nice café that offers wine, freshly squeezed juices and brewed coffee. As a result our apple, carrot and celery juice came without apple and was all watery; our other drink was a Coke.

Our food was not bad: A delicious bacon burger with tons of bacon and a spaghetti carbonara with pasta cooked just right but with a salty sauce. This is one of those places in Singapore that will be a hot spot because of its attractive location and tai-tai crowd rather than stellar food or service.

Mamma mia! Is your favorite Italian restaurant on our list of Singapore’s best?