Friday, May 15, 2009

Being vegetarian in singapore

Chaat - Khansama at Science Park Drive serves up some excellent chaats with fresh ingredients and fresh sweet curd, and lovely sweet and spicy mint and tamarind chutneys.

Roti Prata - Mr.Prata at Clementi Ave, Block 320, just outside Clementi MRT dishes out light, crisp non-oily prata's. These are neither roti's nor parathas, the way we know it in need. Roti Prata is thin layers of dough spread one on top of the other and fried and heated on a hot plate - a unique Singapore creation, evolved from a Malaysian version. It comes loaded either with butter or cheese or mushroom or the way u like it, with an accompaniment of a spicy curry.

Mr.Prata is also the place to go to if you are craving for a good home-cooked South Indian meal, interestinng sambar. A good place for a cheap meal, money-wise.

Burgers - Burger King, McDonalds and KFC have no veg burger in Singapore. Burger King agrees to give you their regular burger without the meat patty, with the onion tomato and lettuce, but refuses to either reduce the price or susbtitute the patty with mushrooms. Carl's Jr. does substitute the patty with mushrooms but at an extra cost. McDonalds in India has a variety of veg burgers. I wonder why they ignore the huge Indian vegetarian tourist population in Singapore, that relates to McDonalds as the only familiar food chain from back home.

The only chain that has a veg burger with a veg patty is Mos Burger, called the Croquette Burger, which is the euqivalent of an Aloo Tikki Burger in India. Not bad for fast food. They also have an better spread of drinks, apart from the colas.

If you dont mind shelling out those extra bucks for a good veg burger, then the Melting Pot Cafe at the Holiday Inn Atrium serves a lovely veg burger. Also, the veg strudel is worth paying for, a delicious mix of bell peppers, zuchini, eggplant and dips. Lovely!

Sandwiches - Vegetarain sandwiches at O'Brien's are just ok. Nothing much to talk about. Just sliced veggies in bread. Not worth the price.

Pasta - Pastamania may not exactly be fine dining, but I have had some of the best pastas ever, there. Good spread of vegetarian pastas. I especially like the ones with the thick tomato base. They also serve a fine minestrone soup.

Lunch / Dinner - The only pure vegetarian restaurant I have visited in Singapore is Original Sin at Chip Bee Garden, Holland Village. Every dish I have had there has been impeccable. May not be the place for lovers of Indian masala, who need to flood every dish with salt and pepper. These are lightly spiced, healthy meals with loads of vegetables. The Moussaka which is a cake of layers of cheese, whole lentils, cheese, eggplant. The Absolut pasta comes with an infusion of Absolut vodka, and the Tiramisu is just heavenly. Refreshing Mediterannean healthy recipies. Beautiful ambience. Rates are fine dining.

Kinara North West Frontier at Boat Quay your regular dhaba roti-sabzi. I had a crisp garlic naan with mushroom masala and a very watery jaljeera. Regular north-Indian fare. I would say Kinara at Holland Village has better quality, and tastier gravies than the Boat Quay outlet.

Thai Express has always been a delightful experience. The yellow and green veg curries are made with freshly grated thick coconut milk. This is the perfect meal for the Indian who lovws his spice.

Crystal Jade la Mian Xiao Long Bao - Yes, this Chinese cuisine chain, has a good enough spread of vegetarian dishes, and you can actually order vegetarian here without shrimps or even eggs. I had an absolutely light non-oily Fried Rice with a sprinkling cripy fried honeyed peanuts along with a side dish of sauteed Kai Lan. Mixed with the roasted chillies sauce and the vinegar, this meal actually tasted good and reminded me of the chinese we eat at roadside stalls in India. But thats just the sauces. The food is light, non-oily, non-spicy and goooood. The iced lemon honey and watercress honey were perfect. I spent $15 per person.

Pizzas - Modestos at Vivocity, Level 1, has the thinnest crispiest pizza base, with a generous sprinkling of vegetables and olive oil. Light, non-oily, not overtly-cheesy, non-spicy, fluffy pizzas. Nicccccccce :)

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