Café Les Amis at the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre underwent a renovation a couple of months ago, and earlier this month it re-opened as Casa Verde, a collaboration between the Les Amis Group and Chef Oscar Pasinato of Buko Nero.
Do note that the collaboration is probably only apparent at dinner time; at breakfast and all the way until 6.30 pm, it’s still a very casual joint selling pizzas, pastas and some local dishes like fried rice and fried hokkien mee. And I do mean casual – you queue up at a counter to place your order before taking your order number and find a seat. Much like Mosburger, really.
Given that you have to stand in line to order, AND schelp your tray of drinks while hunting down an empty table, prices are therefore a bit of a rip-off. I had the home-made Tagliatelle Bolognese, and A had the All-Day Gourmet Breakfast.
I must say the pasta wasn’t too bad – the noodles looked and tasted authentically home-made, but the sauce was a tad too tart for my liking. And I’m quite sure it wasn’t minced beef. Might have been Italian sausage or *gasp* minced chicken. This was a fairly decent helping for $15.
Alas, I can’t say the same about the breakfast – at $14, this was a rather pathetic portion of eggs, a Cumberland sausage, bacon, grilled tomato, a few mushrooms and a hash brown. 2 slices of toasted Gardenia-type bread with a pack of butter and strawberry jam (very B&B) were served separately. The only thing that stood out was the hash brown, which was crisp on the outside, fluffy inside and didn’t taste oily.
To be fair, we should try the dinner menu before passing any judgment on this place, because it’s quite clear that Chef Oscar only makes his mark on the evening menu. For the rest of the day, it doesn’t pretend to be anything but a simple casual eatery within the Gardens.
We plan to try the dinner menu soon, so watch this space.
It’s hot, and not in a good way. With the exception of Sunset Bar & Grill, I really don’t like al fresco dining. I was covered in sweat by the end of the meal. And because the place was crowded with park visitors and tourists, the atmosphere’s also quite chaotic.
Food-wise, I think the Italian fare is pretty good. Everything else is plain underwhelming.
I’m definitely keen to come back for the dinner set. The combination options are perfect for me. It’s a bit hard to explain how the combinations work unless you see the menu. We’ll probably try to explain when we cover that next time.
1 Cluny Road
Singapore Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre