Friday, November 21, 2014

15 Healthy Vegetarian Options in Singapore

An argument I often hear is 'I want to become vegetarian, but vegetarian food outside is also not healthy whaaaat'.  There is a certain degree of truth to this statement.  Most hawker stalls (and restaurants for that matter) are not healthy in any definition of the word - They are using an overly generous amount of poor quality oil and salt.  Not to mention the dreaded three letters - MSG.  There are, however, numerous options for those wanting to eat vegetarian/vegan food the healthy way.  The purpose of this post is to highlight these 'healthier choice' eateries, for those wanting to conform to a healthier diet.  Enjoy!

*List is in no particular order.

Ranking System for Health
Rank 1-3 - Food that is healthy, but is still absolutely delicious.
Rank 4-7 - Increasingly healthy.  May be a little bland/mild, but joy can still be had from eating.
Rank 8-10 - Not particularly enjoyable to eat, but definitely as healthy as it gets.

*Note - The ranking system above details the eateries based on how 'healthy' I percieve them to be.  Rank 1 being the least healthy (but still much better than typical hawker stalls) and Rank 10 being the most healthy.  I am not putting taste as a priority in this list, so please be warned, if you're visiting eateries that are ranked 8-10, then the food may be bland and tasteless by most peoples definition.


1.  Food for Life - Bishan

Healthy food inside a hawker centre?  Thanks to Food for Life this is now possible.  Located just above the Bishan bus interchange, Food for Life offers low salt, low oil food made in the healthiest way possible.  China born cook Lu Hua and Singaporean auntie Shirley are two of the nicest workers you are likely to meet in the vegetarian/vegan scene, who take great pride in their food. They blend potato and pumpkin soups fresh to order, and have rice dishes and other goodies.  May perhaps be the healthiest eatery in all of Singapore.

MSG?  None
Rank: 9
Organic?: Most ingredients 
Vegan?: A few items contain eggs
Find out more: HERE





2.  Brownice

Brownice has revolutionize itself lately.  For many years it has been known for its healthy take on sinful ice cream, by using no milk, cream or egg - Instead, using organic brown rice for their desserts.  The calories are about one third of conventional ice cream, with almost zero fat.  More recently Brownice also launched an extensive range of vegan cheese (using mainly nuts) pizzas.  There are also a range of interesting ice cream cakes available, all once again using brown rice as the core ingredient.

MSG?  None
Rank: 5
Organic?: Some ingredients 
Vegan?: 100%
Find out more: HERE






3.  Organic Sunnychoice

Next up is Sunnychoice - If you're looking for food that is really light in salt and oil then this is definitely a place you should visit.  Their nasi lemak is a particular favourite amongst their regular customers.  Sunnychoice have reinvented themsevles over the years, and have placed less of an emphasis on health lately, but nevertheless it is still one of the healthiest eateries around. 

MSG?  None
Rank: 6
Organic?: Some ingredients
Vegan?: Mostly vegan
Find out more: HERE


4.  New Green Pasture Cafe

I have fond memories of New Green Pasture, as it was one of the first vegetarian eateries that I ever visited in Singapore.  Located on the fourth floor of the Fortune Centre, this little eatery is a great place to escape the bustle of Bugis.  Chef Sophia can produce some truly excellent dishes, which are flavourful, yet healthy.  I particularly love her vegetable sushi roll. 


MSG?  None
Rank: 6
Organic?: Most ingredients 
Vegan?: 100%
Find out more: HERE


5.  Onn Vegetarian

Onn is one of the least healthy on this list, but I do find them to be a lot more healthy than most hawker/coffee shop stalls in Singapore.  Chef Wai's foundations of cooking are from his hometown in Anson, Malaysia.  No MSG used, and a significantly reduced amount of oil and salt.  The food is out of this world, some of the consistantly best vegetarian food I have ever eaten.

MSG?  None
Rank: 2
Organic?: None 
Vegan?: Most dishes are vegan, mock meats used may have milk/egg
Find out more: HERE








6.  Happy Tree

Newly opened in 2014, Happy Tree have received quite positive feedback since launching.  Customers are treated to a variety of colourful smoothies/juices as well as main courses.  The chef prides himself on using no MSG, no deep frying and no white sugar in any of the food.  They also refrain from using any colouring, preservatives or processed foods.  You will be hard pressed to find healthier food than this in Singapore.

MSG?  None
Rank: 9
Organic?: Some ingredients
Vegan?: One smoothie contains honey, everything else vegan
Find out more: HERE







7.  My Vegetarian Way

If you're looking for healthy food inside a hawker/coffee shop then you only have two options in Singapore.  First being Food for Life, and the second being My Vegetarian Way.  Running at Golden Shoe hawker centre for over six years now, My Vegetarian Way stays clear of mock meats and aims to use all natural ingredients instead.  Don't get your hopes up, this food is as bland as it comes.  But I love their pumpkin based chilli, which can kick some life into the dishes.

MSG?  None
Rank: 8
Organic?: Most ingredients
Vegan?: 100%
Find out more: HERE


8.  Create Healthy

I recall visiting Create Healthy many years ago for my review, and I didn't really note them down as being a particular health concious eatery.  Over the years, however, they have made significant efforts to make all their food more healthy.  Another fantastic healthy option at the Fortune Centre.



 

MSG?  None
Rank: 8
Organic?: Some ingredients
Vegan?: Mostly
Find out more: HERE


9.  Real Food Organic Grocer & Cafe

With three locations dotted across Singapore, Real Food is a great option for those who want healthy food that still tastes great.  Real Food even have an outlet in Penang, Malaysia.  Real Food don't use any mock meat, and believe in using real food (literally).  The food is clean, and you know exactly what you are eating.



MSG?  None
Rank: 5
Organic?: Some ingredients 
Vegan?: A number of items contain egg and dairy
Find out more: HERE


10.  Genesis

If you're looking for innovative Western-style vegan food then Genesis is definitely somewhere you will want to visit.  The entire menu is vegan, they even have a number of cheesecakes and pies (all vegan).  On Sundays and other special days they produce their own bread, which is made from 100% wholemeal.  The lasagna is a personal favourite of mine.


MSG?  None
Rank: 4
Organic?: Most ingredients
Vegan?: 100% 
Find out more: HERE


11.  LivinGreens

Chef Barbara is the sole person in charge of LivinGreens, which used to be located along Beach Road, but subsequently shifted to Rangoon Rd around a year ago.  My particular favourite is the lasanga and shepherds pie.  Barbara also has an amazing range of vegan cakes and puddings, which alternate on a daily basis.

MSG?  None
Rank: 6
Organic?: 70-80% of ingredients 
Vegan?: 100%
Find out more: HERE










12.  Piore Organic Vegetarian Cafe

The lovely staff at Piore offer a number of daily specials throughout the week, which receive very favourable feedback.  Located amongst the HDB heartland, the ambiance of Piore is lovely, and can make you feel instantly relaxed.  Their food is healthy, but one can still find dishes that are full of flavour, such as their fried tom yam noodles.  Definitely a great place to be visiting, especially as the Farrer Road area has so few vegetarian places.

MSG?  None
Rank: 7
Organic?: Some ingredients
Vegan?: Some dishes may contain egg and dairy
Find out more: HERE


13.  The R.E.A.L Hut

Recently opened in 2014, The name R.E.A.L stands for Relax Eat And Love.  The menu is a mixture of cuisines, but mainly being Taiwanese dominated.  They also have a range of desserts, such as carrot cake (be warned some of their desserts are not vegan).  The food is not my favourite, but the ambiance is nice and certainly worth visiting.

MSG?  None
Rank: 3
Organic?: Some ingredients  
Vegan?: Mostly.  Some desserts are not vegan
Find out more: HERE









14.  LOVEinBread

The only totally vegan bakery that one can find in Singapore.  LOVEinBread offer a mixture of breads and desserts.  The latter are mainly derived from nuts, and are mostly raw.  Each item at LOVEinBread has an 'organic percentage' on the label, so customers can see what is the percentage of ingredients that are organic in each item.  

MSG?  None
Rank: 5
Organic?: Some ingredients 
Vegan?: 100%
Find out more: HERE










15.  Loving Heart Cafe

Loving Heart is not a place I would have considered adding to this list in the past, but recently this eatery has totally rebranded itself (although using the same name) and changed the entire menu to much healthier and mostly organic food.  I haven't had a chance to try their new menu out yet, but I shall be going to review it soon.

MSG?  None
Rank: 8
Organic?: Some ingredients  
Vegan?: 100%
Find out more: HERE


Not enough?  You can also check out these healthy eateries:-

Yes Natural - Review HERE
Fill-a-Pita - Review HERE
Ci Yan Organic Vegetarian Healthy Food - Review HERE

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fu You Yuan Vegetarian Food - Jurong West

I was recently scowering the West of Singapore (which will soon by my future home) to try and unearth some decent vegetarian stalls in the area.  A while back, Fu You Yuan was recommended to me by one of the readers.  The name 佛友缘 translates to mean 'Buddha friendly fate'.  Jurong is a large area of Singapore that does have a number of vegetarian eateries, it is just a matter of unearthing them - Which is what I intend to do in the future!














Fu You Yuan Vegetarian Food
Location: Blk 959 Jurong West Street 92
Contact: None
Opening Hours: Daily 5.00am-3.30pm.  Closed alternate Tuesdays.


The meal begun with the all time favourite Singapore dish - Laksa.  I was quite disappointed by the quality of this dish over.  Firstly, the mock char siew was some of the poorest quality I have ever consumed.  It is doughy beyond belief, almost to the point where its texture resembled soggy bread - Truly unpleasant.  Unfortunately, this poor char siew was also matched with a diluted flat laksa sauce, with other uninspiring ingredients lurking inside.  I like the chopped pieces of fried beancurd skin, but that was the sole pleasure I took from this otherwise miserable dish.

Price: $3.00.     4/10


Next dish was the Wanton Mee.  Once again, this foul version of mock char siew was on the plate, which definitely didn't win any points with me.  The noodles and wanton were acceptable - But I was longing for a more flavourful dark sauce to go with the noodles. 

Price: $3.00.     5/10






Conclusion - Surprisingly the queue for this stall was quite long.  I am not sure whether it is due to the limited amount of vegetarian options in that area, or maybe I just caught this stall on a bad day.  Whatever the case, based on what I ate, I was not impressed all by the offerings from this stall, and couldn't see myself returning in the future.

Overall Rating
Food - 4/10
Ambiance- 6/10
Service - 7/10
Value - 6/10

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Best Vegetarian Bee Hoon in Singapore

Best Vegetarian Bee Hoon in Singapore

If you ask any non-vegetarian Singaporean what is the first thing they think of when one says 'vegetarian' - Usually their answer will be 'vegetarian bee hoon'.  This answer often frustrates me, because vegetarian food is so much more than just bee hoon.  There are literally thousands of glorious vegetarian dishes which one could indulge in, in Singapore alone - Not to mention the rest of the world.

With that being said, for those who like vegetarian bee hoon, this post should be exactly what you are looking for.  If you want the best quality bee hoon in Singapore, then these places below are where you should be going:-


4th.  Hong Nian Vegetarian Food (full review HERE)

I heard good things about Hong Nian Vegetarian and their bee hoon, and the long queue next to the stall left me feeling very optimistic.  Unfortunately, I have to say out of the many famous vegetarian bee hoon stalls, this was the one which left me most baffled about its apparent popularity.  I didn't find the aroma of the bee hoon nor the dishes to be anything special.

































  



Price: $3.00
Rating: 6/10
Worth Queuing?: No


3rd.  Bao Bao Vegetarian (full review HERE)

Bao Bao is certainly a marked improvement on Hong Nian - Their dishes are well cooked and seasoned, and the bee hoon and chilli are both very enjoyable.  What is even more amazing is the speed in which the workers at Bao Bao operate.  The auntie in charge of plating can produce a completed plate in literally less than 10 seconds.  Not sensational, but certainly above average and worth visiting.





































Price: $2.50
Rating: 8/10
Worth Queuing?:Yes


2nd.  Keat Lim Vegetarian Food (full review HERE)

Keat Lim would rank as my second favourite.  The white bee hoon is light and fluffy, and is accompanied by a quite wonderful selection of dishes.  Moreover, this stall gets less traffic compared with the aforementioned Bao Bao and the soon to be mentioned Ruyi Yuan.  So that will obviously mean that queuing time will not be as long, if you're in a rush. Only downside to this place is the price, easily the most expensive bee hoon in Singapore.
 




































Price: $4.00
Rating: 8/10
Worth Queuing?:Yes


1st. Ruyi Yuan Vegetarian (full review HERE)

For my money, there is only one stall in Singapore that produces vegetarian bee hoon that is really out of this world, and that is Ruyi Yuan.  Ruyi Yuan have three outlets in total in Singapore, but you must visit their original 30+ year old stall at Redhill, the other stalls can't match the standards of the original.  The key to the success of Ruyi Yuan is how they cook the bee hoon.  They manage to capture superb wok hei flavour inside, which is so delicious I can just eat the bee hoon alone by itself.  Luckily though, Ruyi Yuan also have a plethora of amazingly sinful dishes that can go along with the bee hoon.  Wash this dish down with a hot teh-o and you will be in heaven!




Price: $3.00
Rating: 10/10
Worth Queuing?: Yes 


Have I missed any out?  If you feel there is a great vegetarian bee hoon I have yet to review, please leave in the comments below and I will be sure to check it out!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Nature Cafe - Bendemeer

It was over four years ago when I viewed a popular vegetarian stall in Bukit Merah called Nature Vegetarian Catering.  I must confess, I forgot all about this place, until recently, when the owner (Edmund) decided to expand his operation, and open up two new outlets.  This time calling them 'Nature Cafe'.  Today I will be reviewing their Aperia outlet, but in future I will also feature their third outlet, which is located at Tradehub 21 (the former home of Cafe de Paradiso).  The original Nature at Bukit Merah has been around for almost 15 years now.



Nature Cafe
Location: 12 Kallang Avenue, #01-28, The Aperia
Contact: 67023962 
Opening Hours: Daily 10.00am-9.30pm


Straight off the bat I must say that the interior design of this eatery is superb - One of the best in Singapore.  One can find snakes, owls and other birds (not real, don't worry) hanging from the ceiling and walls.  The music is soothing and the colours harmoniously linked with nature.  Outstanding place to have a meal.
Like the interior, the menu is beautifully designed too.  There are over 200 items on the menu, which although doesn't quite rival Gokul's almost insane 500+ items, it still makes it one of the most comprehensive vegetarian menus in Singapore.  The menu is not totally vegan, but owner Edmund is making a concious effort to make his menu more vegan-friendly.  Moreover, there is no MSG used in any of the food.
Satay may not be the healthiest vegetarian option, but it is one item I can never resist.  The success or failure of satay lies in the peanut sauce - It must be the right texture, richness, spice and flavour.  Nature Cafe produces one of the better satay sauces that I have had the chance of trying, so needless to say I really loved this dish.  Frankly, the mock satay pieces were acceptable, but not to the standard of Victor at Circuit Road.  Nevertheless, I would definitely order again just because of the aromatic peanut sauce.

Price: $8.00.     8/10
Stone Pot Beef Rice was next, which was my favourite dish of the meal.  What attracts me to stone pot cooking, is the layer of burnt rice that collects along the surface of the pot.  But the real hero from this pot was the sweet and sour sauce used.  Not only that, the vegetables were chopped perfectly, and cooked expertly with allowance made for the additional cooking time in the pot.

Price: $6.50.     8/10
Lastly was the Braised Brinjal with Rice.  I always have a great love for dishes that come served in such a pot, with the flame still cooking the dish below.  The eggplant was cooked well, but I found that something more was needed from the sauce, overall it was a little plain.  Not only that, but there was a lot of oil used inside.  Still not a bad dish, but my least favourite out of the three that I sampled.

Price: $6.50.     6/10











Conclusion - Owner Edmund is very intelligent to place his cafe at The Aperia, which is surely going to be packed to the brim with hungry office workers in the near future.  Nature Cafe has a wonderful ambience, matched with very affordable good quality food.  Definitely a place worth visiting!

Overall Rating
Food - 7/10
Ambiance- 9/10
Service - 7/10
Value - 8/10

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ruyi Yuan Vegetarian - Redhill

Singapore has a lot of famous vegetarian bee hoon stalls.  Whether it is Bao Bao in Bedok, Hong Nian in Hougang or Keat Lim in Whampoa - I've patiently joined the long queue of all the so-called 'best' bee hoon stalls in Singapore.  But there is one stall I will forever rank in my eyes as the king of vegetarian bee hoon, and that is Ruyi Yuan.  Situated a 5 minute walk from Redhill MRT, Ruyi Yuan is an excellent vegetarian stall, in an otherwise dismal area for vegetarian food.













Ruyi Yuan Vegetarian
Location: Stall 4, Blk 80 Redhill Lane

Contact: 97124621
Opening Hour: Daily 5.30am-12.00pm.  Off on alternate Mondays.

 
On this visit I had time to chat with the daughter of the auntie running this stall, Fern.  Mdm Fern explained to me that her mother has been running this vegetarian bee hoon stall at block 80 since 1983 (four years before I was even born), a quite staggering 30 plus years in total.  What is more surprising is that the mother and her family are all not vegetarian.  But she chose to serve vegetarian food because she believes it is healthier.  On Sundays and  初一十五 they expand their menu slightly by adding vegetable curry and loh hon chye.
This picture was taken at 11.30am on a Friday, even at that time the queue was so long it was stretching outside the coffee shop.  Although many may be put off by the queue, the bright side is that the staff are very systematic, and thus you will find yourself moving down the queue quite fast.
You can rest assured the wait is worth it.  After queuing and sitting down, you will be able to indulge in, by my reckoning, the best Vegetarian White Bee Hoon in Singapore.  Starting with the white bee hoon, when it is at its best Ruyi Yuen produce a bee hoon that has an almost ridiculous amount of wok hei captured inside.  The wok hei in the bee hoon can be a bit hit or miss - I've visited on times when the wok hei is very strong, and on other occasions when it is almost non-existent. 
Even though the consistency of the wok hei in the bee hoon can be improved, what remains forever perfect is the amazing ingredients used.  Three dollars might seem steep for bee hoon, but when you look at the myriad of assorted delights on the plate, you will understand the price is justified.  I particularly love their light and crispy zai er, and their beautifully fried tofu.  This meal won't be winning any awards for its health benefits, but in terms of quality and taste - Nothing will beat this.  Wash it down with hot teh-o and you will feel bliss.

Price: $3.00.     10/10







Conclusion - If you look through the Hungry Ang Mo archives, you may wonder why I am reviewing Ruyi Yuan once again, after only reviewing them in August 2014.  The answer to that questions is simple - Because their bee hoon is that darn good.  If you haven't visited this stall, then you are missing out on one of the most amazing vegetarian dishes in the country.

Overall Rating
Food - 9/10
Ambiance- 7/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 8/10
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...