Verde Kitchen

The hype: Hopping onboard the healthy eating train, Hilton Singapore’s latest dining concept Verde Kitchen is all about locally grown, organic ingredients presented in tasty forms.

The vibe: Hidden behind the row of retail brands on Level 2 of Hilton Singapore, Verde Kitchen is a casual 32-seater space that goes straight to the point with its menu offerings. An industrial chic aesthetic and the open-air setup make it an ideal spot for refueling midway through a shopping spree in town.

The food: Incorporating greens from the hotel’s own vertical garden, Verde Kitchen runs on a strict no-pesticide, GMO, processed food, and artificial flavoring policy in its cooking. The menu includes gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and raw food options; everything is about “real food”.

Salad lovers will appreciate the Salmon Sashimi & Pomelo Salad ($27), a refreshing plate easily interpreted as Western lohei; and the Super Food Grilled Halloumi ($25), which generously portions out salty halloumi cheese chunks to flavor your greens. There’s also the Low-fat Creamy Broccoli & Kale Soup ($16)—good for the ‘gram, perhaps, but not everyone’s cup of tea (the house sourdough with melted cheese is divine, though).

Still, the cafe should not be judged on its veg-centric dishes; it’s the mains packed with superfoods that are worth the mention. Definitely try the Free-range Pulled Pork Burger ($28) and the Organic Basil-crusted Glacier 51 Tooth Fish ($38), which do a good job of retaining the flavor and heartiness of the meat dishes. They won’t taste healthy, but you have Executive Chef Vijayakant Shanmugam’s word that they are. For an Asian alternative, the Malay-style Organic Lacto Chicken Curry ($32) served with brown rice is a safe comfort-food choice.

Desserts here are made with reduced or no sugar—so it’s surprising how tasty the Chia Seed & Caramelized Hazelnut Pudding ($14), a traditionally tasteless treat in our eyes, is. The Homemade Gula Melaka Ice Cream ($14) will please chendol lovers and the Flourless Chocolate Cake ($14) with its perfectly balanced sweetness is sure to be a hit.

The drinks: All that said, it’s the cafe’s menu of “super drinks” that will probably reel in returning customers. There are seven fresh juices at $11 each and eight probiotic smoothies ($12-$13)—packed with fruit and vegetable tonics, nut milks and butters and natural sweeteners. The Nutro-tang ($11) of kiwi, raspberry and watermelon is a tart but satisfying concoction for watermelon fans. Or get the Detox Zinger ($11) made of apple, celery, cucumber, ginger and lemon for that palate cleansing power boost.  

Why you’ll be back: Verde Kitchen provides healthy, feel-good options without the intimidation of a space catered to clean-eating snobs; it’s really just a space for someone who wants to start slow with eating healthier. Plus, the selection of power juices and fun smoothies makes for a great natural alternative to your usual mid-afternoon bubble tea pit stop.