Thursday, 8 March 2018

The Picky Vegetarian Hogger goes to Singapore

After having concluded my Singapore trip toward the end of January 2018 (I speak as if it was a long journey - while the trip lasted only 4 days!) it is high time I talk about the food there.

My Plus One and I were in Singapore for about 4 days with shopping as the least important item on our agenda and Universal Studios as the most important! While the climate was indeed humid and hot, I really enjoyed my four day stay there. Without further ado, here are the places where a vegetarian might suffer/ enjoy the food:
  • Kaffe & Toast, Changi Airport: We landed at Changi Airport and came through immigration around 6:30am. Starving, sleep deprived and cranky, we ended up here for our first round of breakfast. I ordered something very safe and something that I had eaten and liked on my Malaysia trip - peanut butter toast, kaya bun and kopi. The kopi here really caught my attention; I quite liked the taste of it and the nostalgic feeling of my Malaysia trip (the first ever time that I tried this local "Kopi".) The kaya bun was quite nice (Kaya is a jam that is a staple in South East Asian countries; it is made of eggs and coconut.)
  • Real Food, Orchard: Having planned to gorge on vegan food at Singapore, we decided to give Real Food a shot for lunch. We ordered the Spaghetti Aglio Olio and the Beet Burger. The Spaghetti Aglio Olio was quite yummy, with a generous drizzle of olive oil, mushrooms and oregano. The Beet Burger was served with wheat bun, and the patty itself was made of potato, beets and beans. The menu here is very vegetarian friendly (sorry, I'm not sure whether the menu here is vegan friendly) and would have loved to re-visit this place while in Singapore.
Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Beet Burger with a side of baked beans and potato-mayo salad
  • Local stores that serve fresh fruits: I found several stores in abundance that serve fresh fruits (cut/ whole) and I found the fruits to be quite refreshing and tasty. This way you also get to taste yummy local fruits that you might not in your own home country.
  • Loving Hut, Geylang: We decided to have a truly vegan experience and went to Loving Hut (it was quite close to our accommodation.) We ordered the Tandoori Flame burger and Banana Leaf Nasi Campur. The burger was quite better than the regular vegetarian burgers that you find in India, quite filling with a side of french fries. Banana Leaf Nasi Campur consisted of brown rice, fruit achar (fruit pickle - SO YUMMY that I took seconds and then thirds of it), eggplant curry (the gravy tasted of tomatoes), sauteed pea sprouts, scrambled tofu, soy chunk curry and some carrot+corn soup. Not being a fan of soy or tofu (and ignorantly having gone for a vegan meal), I didn't really enjoy the food here since it didn't sit well with my taste buds. However, I am not well versed with vegan food and cannot comment on whether the food was prepared well or not. The staff here is quite friendly and are more than happy to explain the dishes to you in detail. Their dishes mostly consist of mock meats.
Banana Leaf Nasi Campur

My second love - Kopi. Second only to filter coffee.
  • Friar's @ Resorts World, Sentosa (inside Universal Studios): We ordered the veg pizza since the veg burger was sold out. Super meh and not worth the money. Be well prepared though - you WILL NOT find vegetarian friendly food in Universal Studios.
  • Starbot Cafe @ Resorts World, Sentosa (inside Universal Studios): We ordered some questionable looking fried rice (eating it while leaving out the questionable looking chunks of *something*) and tater tots (oily, cold and it smelled funny!) However, as I mentioned earlier, you DO NOT have vegetarian friendly options inside Universal Studios. Carry a lot of energy bars and small packets of your own food there. We carried a lot of peanut chikki and bananas.
The questionable fried rice

The questionable tater tots - the only good thing there was the ketchup
  • Kwan Inn Veg, Geylang: One fine morning we went to Kwan Inn Veg around 8 am in the morning and we were the only customers then. We ordered something that looked a lot like sevai (generally made of rice flour in India) and what looked like hash browns from a distance (it ended up being something made of tofu!) The food was okay (I was apprehensive with every bite I took.) We also ordered a lemon drink and rose milk from the stand closeby. Kwan Inn Veg looks like a vegetarian food court, where only two shops open early in the morning. Perhaps if you head there later during the day, you'd have more options.
The tofu and sevai like item (which tasted quite oily)

Lemon drink and rose milk
  • Dosirak, Outram: Dosirak serves considerable vegetarian options, while serving Asian food. The idea here is to fit everything in a circular box, mix and eat. We ordered two boxes each consisting of a lot of veggies, rice, chickpeas and 2-3 of the sauces and it tasted quite good. The quantity served is also enough. Unfortunately I am unable to be a bit more specific since:
    (a) I don't exactly remember what I ordered (it has been a month and a half since my trip)
    (b) We were not given a bill for our purchase.
    The staff is quite friendly and helpful here - they will be able to answer your queries in detail about the food - that's how we were able to order!
My Dosirak bowl
My Dosirak bowl, before mixing - you can see some tofu, cooked pumpkin and sesame seeds

Post mixing with some yummy sauces and more veggies inside
  • Safari Sizzles restaurant @ Night Safari: We actually went to Night Safari while starving for some good food and terribly missing home food. We were naturally shocked and awed when we spotted the menu here which included a Veg Kathi roll and Aloo Kathi Roll. While they were sold out of the Veg Kathi roll, we ordered the Aloo (Potato) Kathi roll and I must say, I was so satiated after a simple kathi roll after this meal.
  • Saravanaa Bhavan, Kallang: I was no longer able to contain myself and desperately needed Indian food. The moment I walked into Saravanaa Bhavan, I felt like I had come home. We had filter coffee (strong, no less), a mini-tiffin (mini breakfast set - I believe it included idli, vada, rava upma, dosa and coffee) and a masala dosa combo with vada.
South Indian filter coffee. Strong.
  • SaladStop!, Orchard Road: This is again similar to Dosirak, except the food that they offer is purely salads. I believe I ordered a quinoa salad bowl with a variety of veggies, chickpea, ranch dressing and chilli vinaigrette. I do remember that the salad bowl was very, very tasty. Salad. Tasty. Salad. TASTY.
Quinoa bowl salad
  • St. Leaven, Orchard: Similar to Breadtalk, St. Leaven offered a lot more variety than Breadtalk. We ordered a lot of milky, cream filled buns, sugary lemon donuts and a lot of chocolate covered bread items.
  • Cafe Salivation, Rochor: The one other place that reminded me of food in India! Cafe Salivation offers a motley of food (like every other cafe in India) but specialises in none (again, like every other cafe in India.) We ordered the Pita bread with hummus (quite nice), Iced Viet coffee (fair warning, this is served in a glass which is only slightly bigger than a shot glass) and the Farinata pizza (this was certainly a let down - while we were aware that the base was made of chickpea, we didn't expect such besan cheela taste!)
Iced Viet Coffee
Pita Bread with Hummus
Farinata pizza

All in all, I was neither too dissatisfied nor too impressed by the food at Singapore. 

Keep in mind - the food in Singapore is expensive; vegetarian food, more so

This is certainly a city that perhaps has the widest variety of food in S.E.Asia. I look forward to re-visiting Singapore soon and going back to SaladStop! I mean, what yummy salad!

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