Where can you find the best vegetarian food in Singapore? The Straits Times’ Food Critic team shares their top finds.
Pepper Jade, a Thai vegetarian restaurant at Sunshine Plaza, is opened by the owners of Teng, a Japanese vegetarian restaurant in the same building.
But how do you cook Thai food without the all-important fish sauce? The kitchen manages very well. Some of the dishes on the menu are vegan and the kitchen does not use eggs, garlic, onions or shallots.
No eggs? Then why is there Son-In-Law Eggs ($14) on the menu? When the dish comes, I have to smile. The white of the eggs are made with mashed-up yam and the yolk is mashed pumpkin. These deep-fried croquettes are drizzled with a tangy sauce and tastes like a cross between a yam basket and the popular dim sum dish of wu kok.
No eggs, no fish sauce, no problem. The kitchen uses aromatic ingredients such as coriander leaves and roots, chilli, citrus juices and palm sugar to great effect. I do not miss the meat at all.
Tang Hoon Prawn In Claypot ($15) is a case in point. Coriander roots add depth of flavour and the noodles are just peppery enough and full of umami. I am happy to eat the dish without the mock prawns, which taste just like overcooked real prawns.
Other good things to order include Phap Thai ($8); Pomelo Salad ($10), full of sweet, juicy fruit and crunchy nuts; and Tom Yam In Claypot ($12), not too spicy but very aromatic and moreish.
Where: Pepper Jade, 01-20 Sunshine Plaza, 91 Bencoolen Street
Open: 11.30am to 3pm, 5.30 to 10pm (weekday, including today), 11.30am to 10pm (weekend)
Real Food is my go-to place for fresh, wholesome vegetarian and vegetable-centric fare. It offers a good range of gluten-free dishes and energising smoothies too.
My favourite things to eat here are the fresh homemade dumplings ($9.50) filled with organic ingredients such as carrots, mushrooms, beancurd, turnip and chestnuts. The tasty dumplings are nothing short of hearty and also have a nice crunch to them. Opt to have them in soup, steamed or fried.
There are also sandwiches, burgers with vegetarian patties made of soy, nuts, grains and legumes, as well as dishes such as salads, noodles and pasta.
Other things to try include the Original Banana Pancakes ($11.80). They are wheat and gluten-free, and sweetened with agave syrup.
Complete your meal with a juice or smoothie – plenty of options to suit your fancy.
Where: Four outlets including South Beach, 26 Beach Road, B1-19; The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, B1-52/53; Square 2, Novena, 10 Sinaran Drive, B1-105/106/129. Its outlet at 110 Killiney Road closes on Jan 1 (2017) and will be relocating to Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, 02-16. The Orchard Central outlet is slated to open in the second week of Jan 2017.
Open: Various opening hours
Tel: 6384-2206 (South Beach); 6224 -4492 (The Central); 6397-2289 (Square 2); 6737-9516 (Killiney Road)
The Living Café:
The cafe is one of the pioneers of the raw food movement in Singapore. While it has a good range of raw and vegetarian dishes, hormone-free chicken and fish also feature on the menu.
However, the cafe does not use red meat, cow dairy, and white sugar. It also does not add preservatives or artificial colouring to its food.
The menu also has a range of gluten-free alternatives for those who are gluten sensitive or intolerant.
Dishes include salads such as Asian Quinoa ($17) and a Pumpkin Rocket ($17) with caramelised onion; brown rice nori rolls (from $11), zucchini pasta ($14) and raw-broccoli mushroom pizza with macadamia cheese ($19.50).
Where: 779 Bukit Timah Road, just before Sixth Avenue
Open: 11am to 7pm (Mondays to Thursdays); 11am to 10pm (Fridays); 9am to 10pm (Saturdays), 9am to 8pm (Sundays)
Related: 7 best ramen places in Singapore