Sunday, August 31, 2014

Healthy Vegetarian Food - Clementi

Clementi is an area I'm going to explore more extensively over the next few months on Hungry Ang Mo, as I am aware of several vegetarian stalls, located in the various hawkers and coffee shops in this region.  For today, I am going to feature Healthy Vegetarian Food.  This stall is usually operated by a rather shy and reserved uncle, and he is highly regarded for his high quality crispy noodle.  So let's see how good this stall is...

Healthy Vegetarian Food
Location: #01-153, Blk 352 Clementi Ave 2

Contact: None
Opening Hours: Daily 6.00am-3.00pm (day after 1st & 15th they will close) 

First dish of the meal was Mee Goreng.  Although this dish contain the typical trite ingredients one would expect in a mee goreng, I did find that the flavour overall was quite impressive.  It was neither too spicy or bland, and the flavour was especially enhanced when the fresh lime was added.  The texture of the noodle could have been improved though, it was a little too soft and sticky for my liking.

Price: 3.50.     6/10
We move onto the Crispy Noodle, which was clearly the best dish of the meal.  Firstly, the portion size for this dish is really huge.  It is served on a large oval plate, which is easily 1/3 bigger than most eateries.  The noodles in this dish were perfect.  Suitablly soaked into the sauce, yet still had detectable crispy parts sticking out of the plate.  There were also a wide variety of ingredients inside, all of which were fresh and cooked expertly.  Price wise, this dish is definitely value for money - Moreover, is probably the most impressive crispy noodle I have eaten so far in Singapore - Really good job chef.

Price: $3.50.     8/10

Conclusion - There is something about the quiet modesty of the uncle, that would probably attract me back to this stall again.  Not only that, but this crispy noodle is indeed worthy of its high praise. 

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

Kaaviya Fusion Vegetarian Restaurant - Little India

It has been a while since I've had the chance to review a new Indian vegetarian place - Simply because there haven't been that many new ones opening up.  Kaaviya is a large restaurant, with a fancy interior.  The place was very quiet when I visited, as it only officially opened three days prior to my visit.

Kaaviya Fusion Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: 21 Chander Road

Contact: 62970590
Opening Hours: Daily 11.00am-10.30pm.

The interior of this restaurant is quite lavish and luxurious (although it smelt somewhat like a toilet).  Not only didn't like the smell, but the place was quite lifeless overall.
...Very fancy indeed.  Kaaviya is actually owned by the same boss of Gayatri, which is a non-vegetarian restaurant chain with a total of four outlets in Singapore.
The menu at Kaaviya is currently only a temporary one, with a more extensive menu (with an increase in fusion style dishes) to be introduced shortly.  Currently, only the classic and traditional Indian (predominantly South Indian) dishes are available.
Here is a look at the opposite side of the menu.  Overall, the prices are very reasonable, especially considering the lavish setting.
Masala Thosai is one of the few Indian dishes that has achieved nationwide acknowledgement and enjoyment in Singapore.  Singaporeans (who know, by in large, nothing about Indian food) have learnt to accept and enjoy this particular Indian dish.  This was a decent dosai overall, made all the more better by the fresh coconut and coriander chutney, which was served on the side.  The dosai itself was a little anemic, and the potato masala inside was too moist, and lacking any flavour.  For $2.50 I don't want to nag too much though.  Especially when places like Ananda Bhavan (Syed Alwi Road) are selling the same quality for almost double the price.  I honestly have no clue why that 'restaurant' still gets traffic.

Price: $2.50.     6/10

For those looking for a more filling dish, then you can't go wrong with the South Indian Thali.  This dish comes with a total of eight small separate dishes, white rice, poppadom and sour pickle.  For vegans, you should omit the curd and dessert from this thali, as those are the two non-vegan items.  Most of the dishes in this thali were quite ordinary, with the exception of the sour tamarind infused golden brown coloured curry at the top of the picture.  This curry sauce was silky and sour, which went perfectly with the white rice.

Price: $8.00.     7/10

Conclusion - It is difficult to get an accurate gauge on how Kaaviya is, as the menu is still in its development stage.  I would be curious to visit this restaurant in another six months to see how things look then.  For now, the dishes are definitely passable, and if you want a luxurious ambiance then this place may suit you.

Overall Rating
Food - 6/10
Ambiance- 7/10
Service - 5/10
Value - 7/10

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Piao Xiang Vegetarian - Serangoon

Previously, Serangoon seemed like a hopeless district for vegetarian to me, with there only being Nature Delights to speak highly of.  Only over the last few years have I discovered even more great vegetarian eateries around the Serangoon area, the best of which still ranks as Miao Shan (in this bloggers humble opinion).  For todays review I will be focusing on Piao Xiang Vegetarian, which is very easily accesible from Serangoon MRT.  Just take Exit D, aferwhich (if your navigation is accurate) it is only a five minute walk away.

Piao Xiang Vegetarian
Location: #01-56 Blk 2 Lorong Lew Lian

Contact: None
Opening Hours: Daily 10.00am-9.00pm 

Here is a look at the dishes that were available to order on this particular day.
Unfortunately when I visited Piao Xiang, they were selling nothing but rice/noodles and dishes.  It is eateries like Piao Xiang which really makes my job/hobby as a food blogger very difficult, because they are selling the same dishes, cooked the same way.  Their Brown Rice and Dishes was quite uninspiriing, and the only word I can think of to describe it is 'boring'.  I'm not sure what else I can say.

Price: $3.50.     5/10

Next I selected the Mee Goreng and Dishes.  The mee goreng was even more disappointing than the rice.  It tasted soggy and old, like it had been left out for a long time.  As for the dishes themselves, what can I say?  Singapore really needs stall owners who will think outside the box, and use some originality in their cooking.  I am yawning just reminising about this dish.

Price: $3.00.     4/10

Conclusion - There is nothing much more to add about this stall.  It is one of those eateries that do their best to be as trite, typical and boring as possible - Void of any originality.  Not a stall that I would considering visiting again - Especially with Nature Delights and Miao Shan in close proximity.

Overall Rating
Food - 4/10
Ambiance- 6/10
Service - 6/10
Value - 5/10

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rong Yuan Vegetarian - Woodlands

Woodlands is one of those areas in Singapore that really represents vegetarian hell.  With such limited options, vegetarian residents of Woodlands really have a hard time finding food.  There are slowly becoming more options, though.  Tanaka have recently opened up another outlet in Marsiling, and now there is a take away vegetarian stall at the Causeway Point basement.  But for today, I will be reviewing an eatery recommended to me by a reader named 'Pin', which goes by the name Rong Yuan...

Rong Yuan Vegetarian
Location: #01-07, Blk 371A, Woodlands Avenue 1

Contact: 98254782
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7.00am-7.00pm.  Weekends 7.00am-3.00pm

This stall is run by a sweet husband and wife duo, who explained to me that they have been running this stall for 11 years now.  This stall is typically open seven days a week, but they will usually close (to rest) the day after the 1st & 15th of the Chinese calendar.  This stall has eggs, so be careful when ordering.
The dish I was most excited to try was the Dry Noodle or otherwise known as gan lao mian (干捞面).  The name gao lao mian literally means dry tossed noodles, which is a perfect way of describing this dish.  It is a dish that is almost identical to wanton mee, with the only omission being the actual wanton.  Dry noodle should always come accompanied with a soup, which was also the case with this dish.  Overall, I would say this dish ranks as one of the best dry noodle variants I've tried so far in Singapore.  The shallow sauce was full of flavour, and the noodle texture was perfect.  I loved the crunchy mock pork lard and fried beancurd sheets.  If only better quality char siew was used, and the horrid mock seaweed jelly was removed, then this dish would have gotten at 10.  Definitely a dish you should order if you're visiting this stall.

Price: $2.50.     8/10

Next dish I sampled was the Kway Chap.  Kwap chap is a dish that requires several components to be perfect, but most important of all is the kway itself.  The kway texture should be thin, but still sturdy enough not to break when plucked apart by chopsticks.  For this kway, the problem was simply that the kway was too thick, and therefore made the dish feel a bit too heavy.  Moreover, there was too much kway and a lack of other ingredients.  The flavour of the broth was quite good, and the portion size was great for the price, but the kway was a real let down.

Price: $2.50.     6/10

Conclusion - I love the friendly attitude of the owners of this stall, and the dry noodle which they served me was really excellent.  It is great to know that there is a good vegetarian stall, which is only a stone's throw away from Causeway Point.

Overall Rating
Food - 7/10
Ambiance- 6/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 8/10

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ruyi Yuan Vegetarian - Toa Payoh

Whenever someone asks me where I can find the best vegetarian bee hoon in Singapore, there is always one stall I will certainly recommend - Ruyi Yuan.  Their HQ, which is in Redhill has been serving outstanding white bee hoon for decades, and without fail always have long queues, no matter what day of the week it is. What many people don't know, however, is that beside from their famous Redhill stall, Ruyi Yuan can actually be found in two other locations in Singapore.  Today I will feature their Toa Payoh outlet, which is actually run by the daughter (and her husband) of the original owner.

Ruyi Yuan Vegetarian
Location: Blk 78C Toa Payoh Central

Contact: None
Opening Hour: Daily 8.00am-1.00pm.  Closed Monday.

If you're interested, these are the other two locations for Ruyi Yuan.
There is nothing else to order at any of the Ruyi stalls except for White Bee Hoon and Dishes.  I will get straight into this, the bee hoon and dishes from this stall pales in comparison to the original Redhill outlet.  The bee hoon doesn't have that same wok hei intensity that the original outlet has.  The ingredients used inside are all identical to the original outlet, but didn't seem to have quite as much flavour as the original.  The biggest difference was definitely the bee hoon.  When compared with regular vegetarian bee hoon stalls, this would still rank as a pretty decent version - But when compared to her mother's stall, it didn't quite hit those levels.

Price: $3.00.     7/10

Conclusion - If you want the best vegetarian bee hoon experience in Singapore, then I can't emphaise enough how much you need to visit the original Ruyi Yuan stall.  Frankly, her daughters stall can't compete with the original, not to mention the daughter is incredibly 'kiam siap' when ordering, always trying to charge additional if you customize what items you do and don't want.

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