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Vanilla Pod is a small restaurant set in fairy tale-like glass building in the Mandai Orchids Garden. From the front view, this place was just next to an aquatic landscape. Upon entering, we could see the full glass windows that wrapped around the restaurant and that gave us a very unique greenhouse feeling.
We were there for lunch and would like to enjoy nature but unfortunately because of the afternoon heat, we chose to dine in the air-conditioned section and at the same time admiring the great views of the various blooming orchids that were planted in the nearby garden.
We ordered Pollo Porcini, Aglio Olio Fish, Seafood Platter and Norwegian Salmon and Mushroom Soup.
When the soup was served, we stared at it and couldn’t believe that it is quite a big serving. This was not the normal cheap creamy mushroom-flavoured soup. Each spoonful was guaranteed to contain chunky bits of button and shitake mushroom.
When the main course were served, we were equally surprised on the generous portion of the food. The Pollo Porcini ( chicken breast with mushroom ) was very well marinated and it was balanced with vegetables to give a wholesome meal. The Norwegian Salmon was a thickly sliced piece which was pan-fried and accompanied by pasta. The Aglio Olio Fish ( grilled fish topped with spaghetti ) was quite presentable but the Seafood Platter was awesome. It consist of half a lobster, green mussels, fish fillet, fresh scallops ( with shells intact ) and calamari rings all grilled to perfection.
Total spending – about $140/- The cost maybe a bit on the high side for lunch but the freshness and generous portion of each dish was worth the price especially the chunky mushroom soup.
After a satisfying meal, we would like to take a small walk round the orchid garden but were told that admission fee of $3 per person was required. We were disappointed but realized that even Botanic Gardens charges $5/- to visit their National Orchid Garden.
This place is worth going back again as it is not easy to find another eatery that is far away from the busy, noisy and hectic environment. Morever, it is almost pollution-free and plenty of fresh air to breathe too.
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