Did you know that there is a Teochew restaurant at the Singapore Botanic Gardens? Neither did we, until recently. Di Wei Botanic Gardens Teochew Restaurant (帝威) is located at a remote part of the Botanic Gardens. It is in the Cluny Food Hall (formerly known as Canopy Food Court) next to the Raffles Building near the Nassim Gate of the Gardens. The entire food court was closed for renovations and reopened in August 2018.
According to their website, Di Wei Teochew Restaurant started as a stall in the Canopy Food Court in 2014. Since then they have opened another outlet at Seletar Aerospace. Di Wei has also re-opened after the renovations at Cluny Food Hall, Botanic Gardens and take up one end of the space. The area where nice tables with white table cloths are is where the serious dining takes place. Diners are free to take up the more casual seats. I think one of this food court’s objective is to provide dining for the staff working at the Botanic Gardens.
Other than Di Wei Teochew restaurant, there is a local and Western food outlet in the middle and a drinks stall at the other end. We will provide more information on them at another time.
Di Wei Botanic Gardens Menu
We were surprised to see that a full-fledged Teochew restaurant menu was available for such a small restaurant. You can find a good range of Teochew classics at Di Wei Botanic Gardens – from cold crabs, steamed pomfret, braised duck to yam paste dessert. Here are pictures of some pages from menu.
For those in search of a quick meal, there is a range of rice and dishes set available. The prices look very reasonable – especially for Botanic Gardens staff.
The prawn balls ($15 for a small portion) were highly recommended to us. They were indeed quite good.
Braised duck is one of our favourite Teochew restaurant dishes ($15 for a medium portion). The duck at Di Wei was slightly dry. The taste of the gravy was good but not exceptional.
For a balanced meal we searched for a vegetable option. The fried white chives ($10) is a very Teochew dish. We always enjoy the unique taste of chives. The texture of this one was somewhat tough but the taste was good.
Even though we were quite full by the end of the savoury dishes we had to try the oh nee (yam paste). This was the one disappointment of the meal. The individual portion ($4) looked murky and was extremely sweet. We did not finish this dish.
This is a bird’s-eye view of our meal. It was a pleasant surprise to find a full service Teochew restaurant at the Botanic Gardens. Di Wei Botanic Gardens is not easy to find on the first visit because it is not within the public area of the Gardens itself. But once we found it, it is easy to locate it for future visits. Entering by the Nassim Gate and heading towards the Raffles Building is the easiest way. The restaurant is not air-conditioned, but there are large fans. Being near a park, there were the occasional visiting insects who were also interested in Teochew food, but it was manageable when we were there for lunch.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Di Wei Teochew Restaurant
1J Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569
Telephone: 6763 6578
Tuesday to Sunday: 10.30am to 9pm