What a cracking Sunday – Bistro by GardenAsia and Sungei Buloh
OK, today we went to Sungei Buloh which is an absolute ball-ache to get to, but…What a cracking Sunday – Bistro by GardenAsia and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. The last time we came to Sungei Buloh was like 8 years ago with my Mum. I am trying to find that photo of her with us. So I was thinking of where to go for something different this Sunday? No iPads or TV, fresh air and exercise and maybe something interesting for the kidlets to learn. My choice was made.
It was an absolutely cracking day. I asked Amy to scout out some local restaurants, which she did. “Three are very close Dad…”. Good, I had a double-check. Yep, two of her choices were across in Malaysia. Close, yes, if you are a good swimmer. Anyways, one of the three did indeed look cool – Bistro by GardenAsia. Looks different we all thought.
So the start of What a cracking Sunday – Bistro by GardenAsia and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, was me making breakfast for the gang all ChillaxBBQ like. So two slabs of Wagyu Sirloin, one to medium rare for Ollie and I, and one well done for Mary and the kids. Add to that some fried eggs. And to finish her off two hulking lumps of roasted bone marrow. Breakfast of Champions methinks. All served on a huge serving platter – oh yeah baby. That’s set them up for the day ahead.
Breakfast of champions indeed right? Wow! Lucky little buggers. But with a buy active day ahead they are going to need it.
Then it’s into a taxi for 40 minutes or so. Miles away to the top of The Red Dot. A stone’s throw away from Malaysia, as you will see shortly. The beautiful outdoors of Singapore. What it used to be like when Stamford Raffles 1st stepped foot. You can imagine Kampongs everywhere. What I can’t imagine though, is how hot would it be wearing the clothes Raffles would have been wearing. OMG!!! I’d be sweating like an I don’t know what!!!
A sad thing to note is that 80% of Singapore’s natural landscape is now gone and replaced with concrete. That’s progress for you. That’s why I do love, in Siglap, a montage of photos in black and white of Siglap as a Kampong. And yes, Siglap used to be by the seaside. It must be my ‘boy from Margate’ thing attracting me there. Sad though!!!
This place really is awesome – it’s like a little village. The restaurant boasts; “Our Chefs indulge one and all with this menu of Nature’s best.” I like that a lot.
Nestled in the ends of nowhere Singapore. We literally went from one corner to the other of The Red Dot today. Look them up at 240 Neo Tiew Crescent, 718898. Or give them a tinkle at 6898 9111.
The Bistro is just one thing at the place. I really really like this place more and more. We’ll be back for sure. The concept comes from the Nyee Phoe family business, and they call it HortiTainment. Genius. I’ll share some of the interesting ones.
- Bistro by GardenAsia – brilliant, no-frills place. I’ll share much more in a second;
- FarmStay Villas – yep it’s staycation time folks;
- You can have weddings and corporate functions here;
- Across the road, you have Koi Carp farms;
- You have a prawn and normal fishing ponds – maybe next time;
- There is even a frog farm – yep mainly for supplying the restaurants, but also for kids educational frog tours (I kid you not); and
- A 10-minutes walk down the road is Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.
It’s just so so cool. Koi Carp pond in the middle with steam jets spraying to reduce the humidity. It’s just bloody brilliant.
There is even a frog bar. Kermit would be proud, dare I say green with envy of this place. Kids were silent for a short while too, perhaps they got a frog in their throat?
Not exactly Daniel Craig walking out of the topaz sea moment, but my baby Jude is making it happen with his steam bath… Whoop Whoop Jude Jude…
Food was awesome here. This is the heirloom tomato bruschetta. Wow. Such freshness. Off the charts. Sweet as tomatoes and Olive oil to die for – believe me! Yummo!
Amy digs into the fish and chips. As always I have my Mary test the fish for freshness, and she said this was cracking. Almost plucked straight from the sea. I tried some of the batter. OMG, how good was that? Double fried or something. Crispy as crispy could be. Insane. Just the best, wow!
You want a mushroom soup that tastes like they just picked a mushroom and put it in a bowl. Get your arse here! This was incredible. So delicious. Oh yeah and try dipping some of the garlic butter bread in this too, holy cow!!!
Keeping with the mushroom theme. How about a fresh portabello with Mozzarella – yeah baby that works for me. Now I would have added a little Balsamic in there too for some kick, but hey that’s me. Bloody good though!!!
We are seriously loving this place. I could not get over how relaxing it was. We sat, ate, drank, chatted. The kids played and wandered around exploring. Wifey and I did some AirBnB stuff. The time just drifted. Yep we like it here a lot!!!
A short ten minute walk to the wetlands centre now. One the way we pass two prawn fishing ponds. This one is BIG. Next one was called Aunty’s Pond. Love it! Next time for sure.
My intrepid explorers are now inside the park. Let me just say their clothing and sunglasses were not the only LOUD things as we walked about hunting nature (you know what I mean…)
Holy crap, look at the size of this bugger. Using Jaws lines, “I think we’re gonna need a bigger glass”. Shit!!! Now I was praising this spider because of all the mosquitos and flies it had caught in its web. But, when I zoomed the photo in I do believe these are all the spiders’ babies. That is amazing it is. Like we need more of these bloody things though – yucks!!!
Other yucks, as we have a few of these in the condo. This is a wasp nest. A wasp on steroids though as they are big buggers. The wasp goes to the mangrove and suck up liquid mud and comes back to gob it out and make this intricate nest. Quite amazing!!!
Beautiful Cranes and Egrets stalking their lunch. This was a huge pond that we were watching from a hide. Loads of fish were literally propelling themselves from the water. “Are they flying fish Dad?” Asked the kids. “No kids that means there is a predator in the water chasing them. I wonder if we can see that?” Said I.
Then wifey squawks. And she directs our attention to the far side of the pond. This is with my long lens on the camera today, so this is a distance away. It’s big, but what is it? It was moving too. Can you see the white shape near the trees…?
Let’s zoom that photo. Yep, it was one big mother crocodile, and I mean big. If you watch the video below you will see it swim up to a sluice gate and it gives you scale. This thing is only half out the water – there is another half of it (tail) beneath the water. Monster. WOW we saw the crocodile. BUT then when walking back, I spotted a log that looked very much like a crocodile’s head, wait a minute the bloody log just blinked. Yep, it’s another croc. A juvenile this time. Sadly this one swam away before my shouting children could bring me the camera (another reason why it swam away…). Amaze-balls to see these creatures in the wilds of Singapore.
And here is that jetty where we stood with Mum years ago. Well hello, Malaysia. Yep. it’s that close. If you look closely you can see the restaurant that Amy recommended for lunch today, only a short swim away. Good choice Amy.
And my fellow explorers.
Wifey thought it was raining when it was actually just her sweating. Jude decides to do some woggling too. I think the munchkins had a cracking day with not one iPad in sight. Oh yes!!!
Seriously monster spiders everywhere. This is at the top of a very tall tree, so shows you just how big they are.
Back to the main hide now – low tide so we miss the chance of seeing otters this trip sadly. Always next time though.
Back at the centre, something swooped past my head. I thought it was a Swift or House-martin. But bugger me no, it was a fruit bat. How bloody cute are these little things. The size of a fist. Stunning little fur balls.
Awwwwwww. Big eyes for something that is virtually blind. Looks like a little fox right. Hence the nick-name sometimes of flying fox.
Last few steps now of the way to get a taxi home for dinner. And bugger me look what we espy. We did not see one on the way around and now see two in one little pond by the visitor centre. Monitor Lizards just a lazing in the mud.
So there you have it folks What a cracking Sunday – Bistro by GardenAsia and Sungei Buloh. If you have kids and you want them off the electronics this is a must-do day. We had a blast. The lunch at Bistro was amazing and so surprising. The Wetlands were stunning. Two crocodiles too made this an awe-inspiring day. Get on it, cos you and your kids will absolutely –
About Bistro by GardenAsia at Sungei Buloh
It is the mission of Gardenasia’s customized experiences to bring people closer to nature. The ‘GA Experience’ is based on a variety of lifestyle pillars, including eating, working, and playing. These include their restaurant, items from The Local Farm, GAKids programs, eco-ambassadors Titoy and Morchoo, and our experience in farmers’ market events and farmers’ market participation. Gardenasia Pte Ltd 240 Neo Tiew Cres, Singapore 718898 Wednesday – Thursday: 1030am – 4:45pm Friday – Saturday: 1030am – 9:45pm Public holidays & Sunday: 1000am – 4:45pm **Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays Tel: +65 68989111 Fax: +65 67936511 For general enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org The Local Farm: email@example.com
About Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is a protected wetland area in Singapore with a variety of scenic attractions. It is located in the suburb of Choa Chu Kang, covering an area of around 100 hectares The reserve was officially opened in 1989 From 1990 to 1999, it became an important habitat for migratory birds during the winter months when they are looking for food and water. Located in the north-west of Singapore, the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is a nature reserve that not only serves as a recreational area for Singapore’s citizens but also an important locale for biodiversity conservation. Visitors of the reserve are able to engage in various activities such as bird watching, cycling, and feeding animals. The park has been conserving at least 20 species of birds including the Asian Koel, Indian Roller, and Emerald Dove. Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve is a preserved freshwater wetland habitat in Singapore. The reserve has been recognized for its biodiversity and ecotourism potential. Located in the north of the island, it covers an area of 38 hectares and consists of reeds, mudflats, ponds, and forests.
Sungei Buloh Visitor Centre
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve’s new visitor center and gallery opened to the public after months of construction and renovation. The new visitor center and gallery is located in the freshly constructed foyer next to the main entrance and offers two sets of exhibitions — an ideal place to begin your tour. Before you begin your trek, learn a little more about the Wetland Reserve below:
60 Kranji Way, #01-00 Singapore 739453
301 Neo Tiew Crescent Singapore 718925
7 am to 7 pm daily (entering or remaining in the nature reserve after 7pm is not allowed); Last entry: 6.30pm
Carpark opening hours:
7 am to 7 pm daily Tel: 67941401 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Park Size: 202 hectares
Specific Do’s and Don’ts:
No Pets No cycling allowed No flying of drones
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Map