Enjoy a visual experience at the prettiest of garden cafes
To market yourself as a garden cafe in the middle of the Garden City takes great bulbs.
And Nalati has every right to brag.
It is breathtaking, and you are sitting under greens and surrounded by plants - a perfect place for a breather and maybe a few Instagram/TikTok posts.
Nalati opened in August and moved into delivery. I had a delivery from it which I did not dislike, but I believe you need the complete visual experience.
Befitting its garden cafe tag, the dishes are beautifully plated.
If flowers do not move you, it may come across as repetitive. But most of us will probably take a moment to admire the plating.
Nalati is located in the premises of Distrii Singapore at Republic Plaza 1, above Raffles Place MRT station. Distrii is a work and event space, so the restaurant gets fairly busy.
The menu is a safe mix of Western and Asian dishes. Dull as that may sound, some dishes blossom individually.
My favourite featured no flowers or flourish. The Xin Jiang Big Plate Chicken ($48.80) is literally that - a big plate of chicken.
This is a speciality dish from the Chinese province, and very few restaurants offer it.
I love the aromatic spicy-bitter combination of the sauce, which is laden with cumin, star anise and cinnamon.
You will be given a bowl of noodles to eat with this - and you will probably want another bowl.
The prettiest dish on the Western menu is the vegetarian option of Garden by Nalati ($18.80), a bed of mashed potatoes with seasonal vegetables and sprinkling of edible flowers.
The flavours are as delicate as the blooms, but I would have loved a touch of salt.
The Nalati Bean Curd with Baby Spinach ($16.80) is also subtle, perhaps too timid for my liking. But if you are there for lunch and want something easy, this should work.
The Softshell Crab with Almond Flakes ($19.80) is packed with flavours and textures, and is a bestseller. As a pre-meal snack, you cannot go wrong.
I also recommend the Pappardelle Pasta Saute with Beef and Wine Sauce ($18.80) or the tongue-numbing sauteed Hot Dried Chilli Pepper Chicken ($32.80). The pasta has a deep and soulful sauce, and the chicken is scorching hot.
Both will not win prizes for looks, but fans will love the taste.
You would expect desserts here to be beautiful as well, and the Nalati Tiramisu ($9.80) does not disappoint. The tiramisu does not stray from the expected flavour profile, but you need to order this just to see how pretty it is.