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Friday, December 18, 2009

Whole Earth Vegetarian Restaurant - Tanjong Pagar

This restaurant specializes in peranakan (fusion of Chinese and Malay) cuisine, and is located a stones throw away from Tanjong Pagar MRT. You want use Exit A, when you come out from the underground you should see a white building on your right hand side, that's Whole Earth! To my surprise this place was feverishly busy! Singaporean's are obviously much richer than i am, cause this menu is pricey! If you're coming as a party of three or four, be prepared to pay in excess of $90 to $100 dollars. For such a high price, surely the food must be out of this world?

Whole Earth Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: 76 Peck Seah Street
Opening Hours: 11am-3pm and 5:30pm-10pm

This is the Compulsory Entree that you get prior to your meal. Starting from left to right, we have papaya slices that have been pickled, in the middle there is sambal belachan chili, and finally on the far right we have deep fried bean curd sheets, with seaweed in the middle. My girlfriends family loved it so much that they bought three containers home! These containers can be bought at the front of the store at the price of 1 container for $4 dollars or 3 containers for $10 dollars. I originally thought this was free, but have recently found it costs $3 dollars, which really irks me, i hate having to pay for something i didn't order...As if this place isn't expensive enough already.

Price: $3.00. 4/10

This restaurants most renowned rice is the Signature Olive Brown Rice. This is a fantastic tasting rice dish. The amount of olives inside is quite considerable, and consequently this packs a lot more flavour into the rice! The rice is nice and chewy. Compared to the white olive rice that we ordered, i found the grains to be of a better quality, and the dish having a more smokey taste, which you know i adore!

Price: $7.00. 7/10

This Olive Rice is a dollar cheaper, and considerable lower in quality. The grains of the rice are more broken, and there was less olives (therefore less flavour) inside. Overall it's quite a plain tasting dish, therefore i would recommend paying the dollar extra and getting their signature brown rice! It's much more superior!

Price: $6.00. 5/10

Probably my favourite dish of the night! This is the Penang Rendang. As you should know by now, i am a adamant adorer of thick curry based dishes. And this is one of them. Well, to be more accurate, this is practically a dry curry. All the dishes from Whole Earth are presented flawlessly, which is no different for this dish. Portion size is huge and spicy! It doesn't taste how a rendang should typically taste, nevertheless it's a fine tasting dish that i'd recommend highly. It (like all the dishes) will make your wallet cry money shaped tears, though.

Price: $15.00. 7/10

Another really superb dish, this is the Kong Bah Braised Mushroom. The portion size is quite large. Eating the meat in the white buns is something i always enjoy! It came with (if my memory serves me correctly) six buns, on the side. The meat and sauce is wonderfully flavoured. Again presentation is super!

Price: $15.00. 7/10

One of their signature dishes, this Broccoli with Braised Monkeyhead Mushroom is one of the most expensive dishes on the menu, costing the amount that i'd usually pay for a whole meal with drinks! The monkeyhead meat is lightly fried, the texture is slightly spongy, the best way to describe it is like a hybrid of the top of the mushroom and the stem. Actually hard to describe! It's very juicy and has a very authentic meat texture! The sauce that it is dripping in has some sort of Chinese herbs in, with red goji berries inside.

Price: $20.00. 7/10

This vegetable dish called Sambal Kangkong is a overwhelmingly priced dish (paying this much purely for veggies is mind boggling to me). What was also overwhelming was the spice of this dish! Very hot! Which i found not too bad, however, this was probably everyone's least favourite dish of night. With it feeling more like a chore to finish it, and it's one expensive chore.

Price: $12.00. 5/10

Conclusion - This place does sell fantastic food, no question of that. But before rounding up the food, let's talk about the other factors. Firstly, the interior design is lovely, wooden seats makes the place look picturesque! The location is nice and convenient. However, the staff look deeply miserable. Unfortunately, there was one poor waitress called Shu Min (only her third day) who was getting victimized by the other waiters for mistakes she made, which soured my evening. Food wise, if every dish was $5-6 dollars cheaper, this would be one of the best restaurants in Singapore. The level of the food is unquestionably very high, but the price take matches (if not exceeds) the food quality. I'm more of a $2 bowl of noodles type of guy, so i couldn't find justification for spending so much for food, which i know i can find $8-10 dollars cheaper elsewhere. This is why none of these dishes have managed to get past 7/10, because the quality simply doesn't surpass the price. Especially infuriating is the $3 dollar compulsory entree that finds its way onto the table, i hate being forced to pay for something i never ordered. If you're swimming in money, come here!

Overall Rating
Food - 8/10
Ambiance- 8/10
Service - 5/10
Value - 4/10


  1. I'm a little jealous that you got to try far more eateries than I did. Have you considered putting all your reviews (if only in summary) on Happy Cow?

    I went to a restaurant called "Whole Earth" to try Peranakan cuisine, but it did not look quite like the photographs. Perhaps there is a chain, and perhaps they have had a refit. If you feel like hearing me enjoying the food there, and my overall discoveries in Chinese vegetarian and vegan food please have a look at my blog and podcast.

  2. Hey there,

    Yes I have considered doing that, but unfortunately I don't have enough free time to do that, perhaps in the future...

    I do sometimes post new places on Happy Cow though, if I notice any gaps in data! :)

    Once again good blog! I like it!


  3. couple of places near tanjong pagar :

    1. saravana bhavan on robinson road - outlet of the famous eatery from chennai.

    2. years ago i remember that in the hawker stalls near keppel towers, there used to be a small north indian outlet called 'jaggis' operated by two women. one who was constantly making chappatis and the other who would serve the customers and collect cash. that apparently is operating to this day.

    1. Hey anonymous,

      Thanks for those recommendations, I will be sure to check them out! :)


  4. Where can I get good vegetarian olive fried rice?? Can you suggest any places... I tried some at food courts.. but big disaapointment

    1. Yi Xin in Chinatown is one of the best I have tried. I also love the olive fried rice from Nature Delights, at Serangoon. Those two would be my personal favourites! :)


  5. I just went there last week with a friend, and you might want to know that the Entre is no longer compulsory. The waitress actually asked if we'd wanted it ~ JP


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