Make Gardens Not War.
Story & Photos by Amira Ismail
Ever mulled over how it’ll be like to visit a farm chock full of just, vegetables? We decided to venture into one and uncover the hidden gems within.
Located at an unassuming corner of Singapore, Kranji countryside is a beautiful and peaceful green belt you’d find fresher air.
The Story Behind Bollywood Veggies
Named Bollywood Veggies because of owner Ivy Singh-Lim’s half-Indian heritage, the 10 acres of agricultural land open its doors to visitors and diners when they swing by Poison Ivy, a bistro that offers affordable local fare with homegrown ingredients.
The 67-year-old queen of the farm who calls herself the Gentle Warrior is bent on protecting the necessity of nature as part of Singaporeans’ lives.
Exploring Bollywood Veggies
The drive in to the farm was on its own therapeutic, as we watched our scenery change from Singapore’s typical high-rise buildings to a myriad of greens. We took the shuttle bus service from Kranji MRT for just $3 (to & fro) and relaxed in a 30 min bus ride to visit the home of the Gentle Warrior. Mopping our already-sweating brows, we looked at our watches as it ticked lazily past 11:30 am on a Wednesday.
“Welcome to Paradise!” The gentle warrior hooted as we made our way to enter the diamond in the rough.
The sight was a rather far cry from what I recalled during my very first visit to this sanctuary seven years ago. The plant kingdom looked more lush and crisp than it ever did before.
Over the years, the orchard has evolved into a successful attraction with more than 100 varieties of stunning plants being grown on the farm, from spicy greens to root vegetables, including native fruits that are rarely used in popular food today.
After working up an appetite, it was time for lunch. The air-conditioned Poison Ivy Bistro was a welcome haven from the sizzling heat that day.
We had lunch over a spread of mixed veggies, fish fritters, fried chicken, curry chicken and crunchy fragrant Moringa tempura all combined to form a hearty platter called the Warrior’s Favourite. Lightly seasoned and easy on the oil, salt and pepper, the dishes at Poison Ivy are anything but “poisonous”. If any, they are remarkably healthy and beyond comforting. The meal reminded us of the “taste of home” in such a loving way, and it was surely a nice change from our common Saturday brunch food at hipster cafes.
And what’s a meal without desserts?
Bollywood Veggies is an apt place to unwind, rejuvenate your senses, and be reminded of life’s simplicity in its purest form. It’s an ideal breakout from the mundane work-life cycle back in the city. And the best part? Entrance to this grassland is entirely free!
So drop the notes, stop cracking your head for that report and reminisce the natural beauty and warmth that exists right in Singapore's own backyard.