Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Dine, Shop & Escape into the Countryside at Gardenasia, Singapore

I would have really liked to bring you a recipe post for Valentine's Day like I've done the past several years but I've been so insanely busy on the work front that I simply wasn't able to. Even the Chinese New Year long weekend break that just ended wasn't nearly enough for me to recover from the burnout. It's all good though! 😊 The productivity slump that I experienced during the circuit breaker period last year (at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic) seems to be reversing full throttle this year and I do hope the momentum keeps going This would probably mean less time to devote to the blog but I promise to do my best folks! 

Today I have for you a post that has been in the pipeline since the end of last month.

A few weeks ago, we wanted to take the kids out so we were scouting for a place in nearby localities where the kids could enjoy the outdoors and we could also grab a bite to eat. My husband suggested Bistro by Gardenasia located in the tranquil Kranji countryside. 

We were somewhat familiar with the area previously having been to Bollywood Veggies and the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve but we hadn't been to Gardenasia as yet so we didn't really know what to expect. 

Gardenasia is part of the Nyee Phoe group of companies. Located far away from the towering skyscrapers and maddening crowds and lying in the lap of Singapore's green countryside, Gardenasia aims to draw people closer to nature through curated experiences that are nature-inspired. The experience is centered around the various lifestyle pillars – Eat, Work, Play – to create a holistic ‘GA Experience’. These include dining at Bistro Gardenasia, fresh produce and sustainable products by The Local Farm, GAkids programmes, eco-ambassadors Titoy and Morchoo, and farmers’ market events. You can also enjoy a farm stay in the heart of the Kranji countryside with villas modelled after charming black and white colonial houses. 

I had checked out the Bistro Gardenasia menu beforehand and was pleased with the 'farm-to-fork' concept. The menu of the bistro, comprised of fresh salads, soups, nibbles, mains, local delights and a few desserts prominently features produce from local agri farmers whom they staunchly support. 

I think it is a good time to mention that this area of Singapore is remote and hence relatively cut off from public transport. The most straightforward way to get there is by car and if you have your own vehicle, I recommend that you drive around the verdant green countryside because it is quite the sight for sore eyes. 

We reached Gardenasia around mid-morning. The girls spotted the outdoor play area right from the carpark and that immediately got them excited. We managed to convince them to first take a seat at the bistro, look through the menu and decide on what they wanted to eat and then we would let them explore! 

My first impression was how unique the place was. Right from the quiet and secluded location, the bamboo groves, the Balinese and Thai-inspired sculptures and the rustic landscaping gives you a feeling of stepping into a faraway world. 

The airy bistro overlooks a serene pond embraced by lush greenery and the atmosphere is quite lovely. 

Once we placed the order, the girls dashed off to the outdoor play area which is located adjacent to the tennis courts. The play structures looked a little weather-beaten but they did serve their purpose of keeping the little ones occupied. They spent a good while there and had to be begged to come back to the table! 

We ordered a few dishes. The menu is not extensive but has something for everyone. The food turned out to be simple, no-frills yet hearty. The highlights for us were the Caesar Salad, the Mozzarella Cheese Sticks and the Wild Mushroom fried Rice. The dishes had a good portion-size, were tasty and satisfying. 

As parents of highly energetic young children, we tend to be a bit nervous when we take them to small or fancy indoor restaurants. We worry they will knock things over, break glasses or disturb other diners with their rambunctious nature. Casual dining in spacious restaurants that preferably have designated play areas is something we seek out more often than not. 

Bistro at GA checked all the boxes for us - the kids could go off and play by themselves in a safe environment, they were captivated with the pond and surrounding areas and we were able to enjoy adult conversation without having to worry about what they were up to! 

After brunch, we visited The Local Farm, a shop located behind the cashier where there were some fresh local produce and other sustainable items on sale. The staff at the shop was friendly and spoke to us about the surrounding farms and farming methods. I picked up some quail eggs and a selection of different leafy greens (which I promptly used in my cooking the following week). 

It was recommended that we take a walk around the premises and visit the loft and gallery. I understand that there are different markets set up. 

We spotted vintage cars which made my husband happy!

Since our visit was before Chinese New year, we were bombarded by the sight of mandarin plants all over the place! 

There were also flowers and plants of every kind. Gardening enthusiasts take note! The colorful blooms were an instant mood elevator 😊

The gallery had a lot of beautiful and interesting pieces. My eyes lingered on quite a few though unfortunately, most costed an arm and a leg! 

While I and my husband were looking around from a home improvement perspective, the girls were rushing outside going ga-ga over the cats (there were several of them!) and the turtles that they had spotted. 

With a farm-to-table bistro, children's playground, tennis courts, farmers' markets, farm stay and gallery, Gardenasia is a wonderfully rustic place to retreat into the picturesque and quiet countryside and you can support local farmers too!

We easily spent the whole morning at Gardenasia. I'm sure evenings would be a great time to visit too. We had a lovely time as a family and will be 100% sure to return! 

Gardenasia Pte Ltd

240 Neo Tiew Cres, Singapore 718898

**Changes to opening hours due to Covid-19**

Wednesday – Thursday:
10:30am – 4:45pm

Friday – Saturday: 
10:30am – 945pm

Public holidays & Sunday:
 10:00am – 4:45pm
Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays

Tel: +65 68989111 
Fax: +65 67936511
For general enquiries: info@gardenasia.com
The Local Farm: thelocalfarm@gardenasia.com


This is NOT a sponsored post or invited review

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