Looking for a romantic dinner spot? Try Eco Gourmet Cafe at Labrador Park

The hubby took me out for a birthday dinner on Monday, and all I knew was that we were headed for Labrador Park. After a short walk from the carpark, we arrived at the restaurant – Eco Gourmet Cafe. Here’s a photo of the restaurant’s outdoor seating just opposite the entrance.

At the entrance, cosy bar seating beckons, and the ceiling lights in the shape of bells lazily sway from side to side. My dinner date waits patiently while I take a photo. =P

As we were led to our seats in one secluded corner (there was only one other couple at the other corner of the restaurant) I found myself quite taken by the seclusion, the quietness, the casual yet jungle-like setting. It feels like you can almost touch the leaves of the surrounding trees if you just reach your hand out. It’s a perfect spot for a romantic dinner or for a small group of close girlfriends.

eco cafe ambience

The service was nice and easy, the waiters kept their distance but picked up our dishes, and refilled our glasses at appropriate times and without us having to ask. Here’s the complimentary starter.


The cream of mushroom and truffle was a winner in my books. It was topped with slices of grilled king oyster mushrooms and enoki tempura (which is the crispy thing you see in the picture below). Delish…

The medley of root vegetables tossed in ginger soy dressing was refreshing but a little too bland for me. Maybe there was insufficient dressing, I’m not quite sure.

I chose the over-roasted miso cod. The black lumpy mass behind the cod is actually squid-ink whipped potato; the squid ink gives the mash a lot more flavour. The fish was on the sweet side, due to the mirin miso seasoning, but the cod was nice and firm, and the pickled vegetables helped to balance the sweetness.

eco cafe codfish

Hubby had the broiled chicken thigh with pomelo salad, mash, and asparagus. I stole a taste of his chicken because it looked so inviting and it was actually quite good — nice and crisp on the outside and very juicy.

After ordering dessert and waiting for 15 minutes, we got our molten lava cake. I must say it was worth the wait. I enjoyed every bite of the cake — the chocolate was not too rich, and the coconut ice-cream was yummy too.

eco cafe lava cake

Everything set us back about $130.

But we had a lovely time. Nothing to complain about at all. The atmosphere was really conducive for some heart-to-heart conversations, as we shared and updated each other about what we’ve been thinking of, dreaming about, and yearning for. That precious time and connection, to me, is probably the best gift he could ever have given me for my birthday.

Eco Gourmet Cafe

30 Labrador Villa Road, Labrador Nature Reserve

Tel: 6479 8885

Celebrating our anniversary at Gattopardo

We celebrated our third year anniversary yesterday with dinner at Gattopardo Italian Grill & Pizza Bar, at The Legends, Fort Canning.

We walked up the long steps from the carpark to the colonial building that now houses a boutique hotel. We paused for a moment at the top, at the same spot where we said our vows to each other 3 years ago. For me, the pause was really to catch my breath from all that climbing, but of course, to also let that sweet moment return to mind. 🙂

While the façade of The Legends remains pretty much the same as what I remembered, the insides have been changed. Upon entering, you will see some friendly greeters of Gattopardo ready to usher in their next patron, an open-concept lounge in the middle of the hall, and at the far right, a discreet entrance to the lobby of the new hotel.

We were swept in gracefully into Gattopardo. The restaurant’s décor is simple and unassuming, quite Italian in that sense. The place is cosy; seating capacity is perhaps around 70-80 pax.

We found ourselves seated at a corner round table, with a view of the large wine cellar and a long bar counter, which boasted an array of seafood, regularly flown in from the Mediterranean sea and Japan. You can pick a fish from the bar and have it done whichever way you like: grilled, baked, steamed, raw…

Our head waiter was heavily Italian-accented, but very helpful and knowledgeable in terms of food recommendation. For starters, we went with his choice of cherry tomato salad with ricotta cheese, and we ordered ravioli with watercress and asparagus to share. The salad was refreshing and bursting with flavour from the cheese. My fave was the ravioli – its light watercress cream sauce went down well with the cheese in the ravioli. Due to its small serving, however, we were left in want, and looking forward to the main course, which was salt-baked seabass.

(We could either have it grilled or salt-baked, but chose the latter since we had never tried salt-baked.) The fish turned out to be quite a huge portion for just two of us, and was one of the sweetest I’ve ever tried.

We ended seriously high on fish.

We declined dessert as we were simply too full. Then, surprise surprise, our nice waiter brought us a light cheesecake on a plate with the chocolate words: ‘Happy Anniversary’. (The hubby had mentioned the occasion to them while making the reservation.) So we happily stuffed our faces with it. Well, at least it wasn’t too heavy.

On account of the thoughtful service and food quality, we decided we’ll be paying them a visit again. At our next anniversary perhaps, or even earlier.

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