This city is not known as the best place to find nature sanctuaries. But recently, many establishments have started to create chic alternatives for a dose of fresh air. Jumping on the green wagon is Ismaya Group with Social Garden, a botanical-themed establishment that more than satisfies the sights and tastebuds.
While most places use potted plants in dark corners to create colour, Social Garden has fashioned itself into an oasis filled with lush greeneries, designed by Larch Studio whose signature style of using real plants to adorn an establishment artfully complements the earthiness of the space. Like being inside a mini jungle, the daytime is bright and lively, offering an inviting space to dwell among the leaves during lunch, but at night, little nooks with partitions and dim lighting offer an intimate ambiance for privacy.
Reflecting its name, one can find an actual garden in the restaurant’s patio as it houses home-grown herbs for the kitchen. From thymes, oregano to mind, they’re used to top the various dishes served in the establishment. The selection boasts fresh and earthy flavours of many cuisines. To wit, the Tasmanian Salmon Ceviche, a slice of meaty salmon topped with crispy salmon skin, ikura, and spicy mayo. There’s also the Fresh Tomato Carpaccio, a unique salad dish that holds a tangy flavour, thanks to the feta pistachio puree dolloped on top that even non-veggie eaters could be tempted to go for seconds.
For the entrées, the traditional Korean Bibimbap takes a detour of flavours: the Wagyu Bibimbap Bowl, full to the brim in taste with beef, a poached egg, ikura, nori, and Japanese curry is a bowlful that will satisfy. Off the grill, the aroma of Mediterranean Chicken Kabob, accompanied with red pepper brochette, chickpea hummus, and pickled onions certainly entices. While the array of cuisines is broad, take it as Social Garden catering the culinary fancy of many.
To wash it all down, the Strawberry Fizz is a tasteful shock to the mouth with the combination of coconut, strawberry, aloe vera, chia seeds and basil, while their cocktails, like the Hills of Okinawa or Hummingbird, offer a muted dose of alcohol on top of refreshing flavours.
The establishment, ornate as it is with all the foliage, is a definite change of scenery for one to frequent amidst the busy-ness and gloomy weather the city has been graced with. For once, perhaps that the idea of frequenting a mall isn’t so agonising if the visit comes with the chance to bask among the greeneries.