Poison Ivy Bistro

Risking limbs and spirit, we trawled along Neo Tiew Road hoping to get off the beaten track for some back-to-nature nosh. It was indeed a mini adventure getting to Bollywood Veggies, where the little convivial eatery Poison Ivy is comfortably nestled among a hodgepodge of organic fruit and vegetables. Located far from the madding crowd in the farm district of Lim Chu Kang, Poison is only a good idea if you drive and are in the area visiting farms. Boasting an array of humdrum local fare, such as roti prata, carrot cake and mee siam, the food is certainly not the main event here. It was teeming with families converging over Sunday brunch when we were there, with a snaking queue forming a barricade to the entrance of the limited space. As a measure of crowd control, the flustered waitress had to encourage patrons to walk around the farm before sitting down for a meal. The one outstanding item on the menu was the cucumber and pineapple salad. It was pleasantly fragrant and tantalizing with generous lashings of sambal over cubed greens. We marveled at the inventiveness of the kitchen, as this concoction was blatantly simple, yet distinctively delicious. We also went for the signature Bollywood banana curry, which tasted exactly like dhal curry despite the exotic sounding moniker. We noted that the fare served here is astutely healthy—the prata was far from the oil-soaked fried dough you get at coffee shops; in fact, we think vegetable oil is used as a substitute for ghee in cooking. The chicken macaroni soup was also free from MSG—but sadly this also meant it was awfully bland. Dessert was a modest affair with three types of cake on offer. The Bollywood banana cake was moist and wholesome with substantial banana flavor, while the kueh bingkar—tapioca cake—was made fresh and suitably satisfied our discerning local palates. The family atmosphere is reiterated throughout this amicable joint—at one point during our meal, gregarious owner Ivy Singh Lim broke out in song and dance when a Whitney Houston tune played on the stereo. We felt like we stumbled upon a weekend family gathering complete with a barrage of home cooked food.