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Monday, November 30, 2009

Roc Pizza - Golden Mile

Located in the highly famous Golden Mile Food Centre, this is quite a unique little place. Of course, Singapore is filled with big pizza franchises like Pizza Hut and Domino's. But to have a pizza place in a hawker centre? Well, i just had to go and take a look for myself. This is not completely vegetarian, in fact, out of their eight (i think) types of pizza, only two are vegetarian. Those are the margherita and the al fungi (button mushroom pizza).

Roc Pizza
Location: Golden Mile Food Centre, #01-109
Contact: 96846908
Opening Hours: 12pm to 9pm (Closed Mondays)

CLOSED DOWN - As of 26/06/2014

NOTE - This is NOT a 100% vegetarian eatery! However, they have a suitable range of vegetarian food that you can choose from. But for those who wish only to eat in 100% vegetarian places, don't go here.

So i decided to get the Margherita Pizza. The striking thing about this pizza is it is the thinnest crust pizza that i have ever seen! It's almost as thin as a cracker. I guess it's more like cheese and crackers, than a pizza. The flavour of the tomato base and the cheese is actually quite good though! Although, i find that they were way too scanty with the amount of cheese. The price of this pizza though, is actually pretty good value i find. The size that i ordered was 12", therefore for the price, i believe it's really good value. With the button mushroom pizza only being a dollar more also, might be worth trying! The herbs used on the pizza were rosemary and (i believe) sage.

Price: $8.00 (12") or $5.00 (8"). 8/10
(Al Funghi pizza is $5.00 (8") and $9.00 (12")

Conclusion - I am someone that in general adores pizza, and it's something i truly miss about the UK, and also when i was living in Australia. With the pizza's in Singapore, either from restaurants such as Spageddie's, or franchises as Pizza Hut being very very expensive, this concept of having a pizzeria inside a hawker centre is quite special, i think!

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

Friday, November 27, 2009

Murugan Idli Shop - Farrer Park

Well, i'm sure almost everyone reading this won't actually know what an idli is, therefore i've wrote a brief definition below! This place is located on the synonymous Syed Alwi Rd, which has a plethora of fantastic vegetarian Indian eateries. This place serves South Indian cuisine only, therefore if you're looking for creamy curries and naan's, this is not where you want to be heading! It's very much a fast food type Indian eatery, which i can't say are my favourite, nor is South Indian food in general, i much more prefer food from the North, not only that, but i generally despise idli! So will this journey change my mind? Let's see!

Murugan Idli Shop
Location: 81 Syed Alwi Road
Contact: 62980858
Opening Hours: Daily 9am - 11pm

Idli - A South Indian snack, typically eaten in the morning. It is made from usually black lentils and rice, which are steamed. It undergoes a process of fermentation, until it eventually has a soft and spongy texture. It most often comes accompanied with sambar and/or chutney. This picture shows the original idli, however, there are now many different reincarnations of idli's.

So here is the Idli that we ate. Like i said, this isn't exactly my favourite snack. But i managed to devour the both of them, and with the sauces on the banana leaf, they're actually not too bad. I wouldn't say that i was completely won over by them, but i doubt i'll be having as many nightmares about them anymore. This eatery is obviously renowned for idli, so i'm assuming the quality here is pretty good, they certainly had a fresh taste and texture.

Price: $1.25/1 piece. 5/10

After getting through the idli's, this is just what i needed! This Small Onion Uttappam is quite delicious! An uttappam is not too dissimilar to a crepe, however it's much thicker, i guess it's texture is a mixture of a pizza base, omelet and crepe. This one had red onions inside, which gave it a lovely taste. The price is very steep, especially as it's a fast food place, but it was fully enjoyable.

Price: $3.75. 7/10

This is a new one for me! Sambarvadai! I have tried vadai (or vada) a few times before, but this version was new to me. Its portion size was commendable, and the vada was swimming in a delicious daal type curry. The vada's texture is different to the usual kind, it is softer and more like a round idli. But, it goes very nicely with the curry and i enjoyed it immensely!

Price: $1.75. 7/10

Other items:-

Masala Dosai - A little bit too oily. However, with the combination of chutney and sambar, it was quite delightful. Crispy dosai, which was a joy to eat!

Price: $3.75. 8/10

Conclusion - This is an incredibly popular chain of eateries, which are location in Singapore, India, and Dubai now. If you're not a fan of South Indian food (especially idli's) then avoid this place like the plague! This will be considerably different to other Indian eateries that one might visit. Firstly, you are given a banana leaf at the start of your meal, the food that you order is placed onto this leaf accordingly, with the waiters adding more chutney and sambar to your leaf when you run out, which i like! The food quality is quite good, perhaps the price is a little too high for a fast food eatery, but it's worth visiting!

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

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Forest Dew Vegetarian Restaurant - Boon Keng

Finally a Buddhist vegetarian eatery without the word 'nature' in the title! I like it's name, and i like the setting. To get to here, you want to alight at Boon Keng station (Exit B), then walk through the mini food court/shopping centre. It's only 5 minutes away. It was difficult to choose the dishes that i wanted to review for this place, because simply the menu is huge! So many options, i could really do three or four posts on it. You tick the numbers that you want on the piece of paper to order (which i find much more efficient, and less likely to cause mix-ups). You can also request less salt, less oil, less MSG and the spice level! No onion, no egg at this eatery.

Forest Dew Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: Blk 23 Bendemeer Road, #01-523
Contact: 62939579
Opening Hours: Daily 10.30am-10pm

Presentation for all these dishes is impeccable. Really makes you want to eat it! What is also impeccable is the mock meats used at this place, as proven in this Fragrance Meat Slice. Texture and taste is quite similar to the meat balls that i'm going to review a little later, very delicious. Perhaps a little dry, but the ambrosial taste makes up for it. I think the amount of slices here was quite good for the price, perhaps a little drizzle of some sauce would have made it extra special though.

Price: $8.00. 8/10

My first time trying mock squid, this Nonya Squid is an incredibly spicy and fiery dish (those of weak stomachs stay away!). This dish is rife with the foul smelling (and some would argue tasting) petai beans, which i can't say i'm too crazy about. But apparently they're healthy for you, so i forced myself to eat them! The batter around the squid is perfect, crispy, but very light. The mock squid is not too impressive. Barely any different to the mock prawns that you commonly find in vegetarian eateries, i was hoping for something a little different! Good overall though! But a little too overpowering with the spice!

Price: $7.00. 6/10

I was blown away by this dish! These Mushroon Meat Ball's are just delicious! Arguably one of the most tasty dishes that i have ever tried. The smell when they arrived is just sacrosanct! And the taste matches it's smell exactly, the meat balls are incredibly juicy, especially when covered in the black pepper sauce, which they came in. The sauce and mushrooms actually go perfectly together. The only trouble is, it's one heck of an expensive dish. There were only 10 meat balls in total, which equates to $1 each ball. But, they're so delicious, it might well be worth it! Top notch dish, taste and texture wise it is utterly flawless.

Price: $10.00. 10/10

The Mango Chicken was an iffy dish for me. The portion size was certainly too small, and it just seemed too basic for me, especially with quite a considerable price tag on it. The chicken, however, is tender and chewy and enjoyable to eat. What really let it down though was the insubstantial and lackadaisical mango sauce that was smeared on top of it. It was a very weak mango taste, and just didn't go with the chicken at all, in my opinion.

Price: $7.00. 6/10

Conclusion - The interior design of Forest Dew looks suberb. One complaint i have is the noise can echo quite considerably inside. It's not a problem if you have couples quietly going about their meal. But, if (as you often encounter) you get a group of laughing hyenas then it's going to really feel like someone is drilling into your brain. The waitresses are also very noisy. The food though is very tasty, perhaps not quite deserving of the high price tags that are placed on them, but i still enjoyed it a lot! The menu is vast! The one thing you simply have to try is the mushroom meat balls! All the mock meat is really good, and i would certainly rank this place among the best vegetarian eateries in Singapore! Go and check it out!

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ta'aam Restaurant - Jalan Kayu

My third installment of prata places in Jalan Kayu, this is the last one. Again, it's located in the same block, all in very close proximity to each other. This is probably the quietest of the three, so if you're looking for more peace, then come here. The kitchen is actually downstairs, i think. They have a little mini elevator that brings the food up.

Ta'aam Restaurant
Location: 257 Jalan Kayu
Contact: 64810431
Opening Hours: Daily 10am-1am

NOTE - This is NOT a 100% vegetarian eatery! However, they have a suitable range of vegetarian food that you can choose from. But for those who wish only to eat in 100% vegetarian places, don't go here.

If you're wondering why i'm always only reviewing dosai and prata, it's due to these being the only vegetarian options on the menu! This Masala Dosai is quite pricey, but the quality is pretty decent! It's crisp, yet soft and highly enjoyable to eat! The quantity of masala is generous, however, i sensed that this masala was far from fresh, it was very soggy, and tasting...Old. Most likely they made it in the morning, and seen as though we went at night, this may explain it. But no excuses, it definitely lets this dosai down.

Price: $3.00. 7/10

In Jalan Kayu, this may well be the most impressive Plain Prata. It's is not flat, and is well layered. Crispy, yet chewy, just how a plain prata should be! Usually a poor plain prata will be flat and have no body to it, this one thankfully is not like that! Still a little small, but definitely order this!

Price: $0.90. 8/10

This Cheese Prata is large in size, but unfortunately is lacking in many other traits. Firstly, it seems almost like there is a rawness about it, although it's probably not under cooked, it just seems like it needs to be charred more. Although the price is very reasonable (cheaper than all others in Jalan Kayu) the cheese is very little. Just one small square of cheese is what is inside, so price wise there is probably no saving logistically.

Price: $2.00. 3/10

Conclusion - Again, like with most prata shops, the pratas all vary, and you tend to get a mixture of pro's and con's. This place does have a fantastic plain prata, yet the cheese prata was severely underwhelming. In Jalan Kayu there is certainly not one definitive prata shop that sells the best everything. They all tend to claim success for different types of prata. If i had to pick a favourite, it probably would be the highly popular Thohirah.

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

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Indian Summer - Farrer Park

Syed Alwi Road is one of the greatest places you can go in the search for good Indian food, this is my third review of an eatery on that road, and there is still more to see! Sagar Ratna serves both North & South Indian cuisine, as well as some Chinese dishes. The place looks quite fancy on the inside, and the service is quite prompt. During Mon-Fri this eatery has a number of value meals (which look really good...value!), unfortunately i didn't go here on a weekday, they certainly seem worth a try though (value meals are only active 11am-7pm). A note worthy mention is that they make their own paneer (cheese) on site, and gives it quite a unique taste, as you'll find out later!

Note (07/09/2013) - CLOSED DOWN

Indian Summer
Location: 103 Syed Alwi Road

Contact: 63417797
Opening Hours: Daily 10am-1am

Vada, typically an Indian morning snack, is doughnut-esque in shape and texture, but of course it has Indian spices amalgamated into it. These vada's are really quite tasty, and i could have eaten more. The price is perhaps a little too high for only four pieces. But, the sambar that comes with this dish (and the dosai) is exceptional! Sour and thick and a pleasure to dip in! The typical coconut dipping sauce also accompanies this entree. Good start to the meal, but would it continue?

Price: $2.80. 8/10

Perhaps the least impressive of all the dishes, this Butter Masala Dosai had a few simple problems. Firstly, it was excessively salty, which leaves the eater feeling dry mouthed and overwhelmed. Secondly, the scoup of masala inside the dosai was pathetically meager (one thing that annoys me more than anything...Especially for higher than ordinary price!). Lastly, it was a little too crispy. A good dosai should have thinner crispy areas and thicker areas also, this only provided the former. The wonderful sambar sauce that accompanied it couldn't save it unfortunately.

Price: $3.40. 6/10

The one and only curry that we tried from this eatery was the Kadai Paneer. Whilst it is quite a pricey curry, they're emphatically generous with the paneer inside, as you can see. This paneer is considerably different to varieties that one might usually find in a typical Indian eatery. How? This paneer is softer, has a stronger cheese flavour, and is almost...Gooey! I guess this different variety can be met with mixed reactions, but for me, i love it even greater than regular paneer! The curry is very thick, and the portion is quite large. One minor criticism is that way too many onions were inside. I would have preferred more sauce and less green capsicum and onions. But this is a very commendable curry overall.

Price: $7.90. 8/10

As you should know, i am a thali fanatic, yet this was my first time trying a North Indian Thali, i was enthusiastic to see how it would be. I love it! The thali consists of roti, naan, poppadom, dal, papad, pickle, paneer butter masala and two other curries, which i am hesitant to name. The two that i'm unsure of are chick pea and lentil (i think) based curries. The flavours here were all superb, especially the paneer butter masala. The naan's were beautifully blackened on the bottom, and nice and crisp. Roti, was a little flat and plain. All the curries were thick and delicious. Being generally a greater fan of North Indian cuisine, this was like a dream for me! Perhaps there was not enough rice with this dish, but they more than made up for it with the the variety of curries and the amount of bread's. It's got a high price tag, but i believe it's certainly worth it!

Price: $8.50. 9/10

Conclusion - For an Indian eatery to survive on this food laden road, it has to be good. Sagar Ratna is definitely a place i enjoyed eating at. The prices might seem a little steep, but the portion size is really quite good. Not only that, rather surprisingly this place doesn't have any GST or service charge. The interior design is attractive, and the staff are OK. I wouldn't say it's quite up to the standards of Raj, and certainly not Gokul. But this is unquestionably a higher than average eatery. The menu is not huge, but there are still more than enough options. The highlight of the meal was the North Indian thali, which i can't recommend enough! Eat! Eat! Eat! Come on down, and enjoy Indian food! Please be careful that when you pay your bill - Count your change fully. I had an altercation when paying the bill, in which they tried to retain my change (don't worry, i got it eventually). But be cautious and make sure you get your correct change back!

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

Friday, November 20, 2009

VegSenz - Little India

Only opened up very recently, not sure if the location is that logical, but the exterior look is great! Fresh, clean, new and ready to go! To get here, it's very simple, head for The Verge, and continue down. If you go past Perak Road, then you've gone too far. But it's very easy to find. It's an entirely organic establishment, serving mainly Western and Chinese infused meals. The conception is nothing new, but if the quality of the food is good, then there will always be a market for it. So let's find out how it went...

The Verge. 2 Serangoon Road #01-24/25/26
Contact: 63920369
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm

CLOSED DOWN AS OF 31/01/2011!

My favourite of the two dishes we tried! This Organic Baked Burger is the most enjoyable veggie burger that i've had in Singapore, so far! The sheets of bean curd don't look very nice, do they? But the taste is surprisingly excellent! The salad, however, i found a little strange. It included radish, pomelo, ginger, orange rind, among other things. But the burger is top notch! A truly healthy burger, which is seldom found (even if it's vegetarian). The price is steep, but this burger is quite unique, and might just be worth it!

Price: $8.00. 9/10

The Organic Rainbow Millet Rice was flawlessly presented, the old adage of 'you eat with your eyes' springs to mind. It was so pretty it almost made me not want to eat it...But i still did. This millet rice is highly unusual, reminds me very strongly of quinoa (for those familiar with the high protein grain). The salad for both dishes is the same, lots of interesting components in the salad (which i mentioned above), which i can't say i'm convinced go together in harmony. Again the price is a tad exorbitant, but splendid visual look, coupled with gratifying taste, makes it forgivable.

Price: $8.00. 7/10

Conclusion - This eatery is in its infancy stage, subsequently the menu at the present time is a lacking options slightly. However, if you go in few months time, or perhaps weeks, you might find there are a lot more! The interior design is very alluring, including lovely wooden seats, and a fresh vibrant look to it! If you're hungry, then you're going to spend a lot, most dishes will be above $8. Like i mentioned at the start, i'm not entirely sure it's the right location for a place like this. But that being said, Little India has a lot of backpacker tourists there (in a darker moment of my life, i actually spent three months in a Little India hostel). And will surely attracted a steady flow of business for the visitors too reluctant to try hawker style dishes.

Note - Currently have a 20% discount from total bill for every customer as part of their grand opening!

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

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thasevi Food - Jalan Kayu

I went to two separate prata places in Jalan Kayu a few days ago, i've already posted on arguably the most famous prata shop in JK (many weeks ago), however, there are two more reputable prata eateries down the opposite end of the road - So i decided to mosey on down and check those out! To get there, alight from Thanggam LRT, walk down, and turn left at the main road. It is located in the block of shops on the opposite side of the road.

Once i do the other review in a few days, i might make a compilation comparing the prata places in Jalan Kayu, letting you know which is best...We'll see.

Thasevi Food

Location: 237-239 Jalan Kayu
Contact: 64811537
Opening Hours: Daily - 24 hours

Unfortunately not many positive things can be said about Thasevi's Plain Prata. This prata didn't have the layers that a good prata should have, not only that, it was very doughy. More like a piece of flat bread, than a prata. As you can see, it's flat as a pancake, this is a foolish mistake by the prata maker, he/she could have fluffed it up more, to have given it more of a body, but unfortunately they didn't. The curry for all these pratas is really good though, and was the only thing that made eating these plain prata's enjoyable.

Price: $0.90/pc. 3/10

Jalan Kayu does have the best Cheese Prata. And this one is no exception. You'll find that the type of cheese used varies though. In this eatery chedder is used, in other places it's mozzarella or sliced. The chedder is great! So i certainly couldn't complain about the taste of this prata. However, i was still left to lament purchasing this prata due to it's incredibly small size and incredibly high price. This is the smallest cheese prata that i've ever seen. Subsequently, for the price it's not good value at all.

Price: $2.70/pc. 6/10

The Egg Prata from here is the best of the pratas that we tested. I actually ate two of these, and enjoyed them in their entirety. The size was much more adequate, especially compared to the shrunken cheese and plain pratas. The texture of this prata is also quite good, but not the best in the world. If you're going to go to Thasevi for pratas, then i would recommend the egg one!

Price: $1.50. 7/10

For no reason in particular, i thought i'd post one of my most favourite drinks! For those unfamiliar, this is Bandung. It's highly popular in Singapore and Malaysia, it consists of milk, infused with rose cordial (the taste i most commonly associate with turkish delight). Actually, it's rumoured to have been created by a Brit, who lived in Singapore when the British were still ruling. So, i guess in some obscure sense i can claim ownership to this drink!? Anyway, i love it, it's not exactly thrust quenching. But, it's certainly tasty! This one from Thasevi is a little too milky though.

Price: $1.50. 7/10

Conclusion - First mention is to the staff. These must be the most lazy and lethargic staff in Singapore, they seem to move and act in slow motion, whilst simultaneously half asleep, which can be frustrating. This place is not totally a disaster though, the pratas are hit and miss, the egg prata is quite nice, yet the plain and cheese fail miserably. All the pratas do come with a lovely curry sauce though. No dosai's on sale here either, which is a shame. Below average eatery overall.

Overall Rating
Food - 6/10
Ambiance- 6/10
Service - 3/10
Value - 4/10

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Divine Realm Vegetarian - Hougang

When this eatery was first introduced to me (many years ago now) i really fell in love with the place! The food was (and still is) superb! I wouldn't say i am so in love with it anymore, mainly due to trying so many different places. But, this place still is up there with the best of them! A worthy mention is that the noodles from here are hand made on the premises, and you can really taste the difference! It's an eggless eatery with tons of dish options, it will take you many visits to sample them all!

Divine Realm Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: 501 Hougang Avenue 8, #01-630
Contact: 63872058
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 07:00am-09:30pm 

IMPORTANT UPDATE (10/10/2016) - Divine Realm at Hougang no longer serve their famous tze char dishes.  They are now only serving handmade noodles and other dishes, due to complaints by residents in the above blocks.  However, Divine Realm have opened a second outlet under the name SHU VEGETARIAN at Jalan Kayu, which will sell all their famous tze char items.

 This Fried Mantou Sandwich is something they've recently begun to sell at this eatery. For those unfamiliar with what this is exactly, it's a typical fried bun, with mock meat, chili sauce and lettuce inside. Thankfully it's not deep fried to a ridiculous extent, but it's still very unhealthy. But overall it's quite enjoyable, i'm not a huge fan of very greasy things, so this doesn't quite appeal to me, but worth a try if it's something that's new to you!

Price: $1.20. 6/10

For those unfamiliar with Roti John, it is a very simple dish, which includes sliced bread, which is toasted and then seasoned with herbs. This is accompanied with a bowl of curry (not too dissimilar to the one you'd get with prata), which typically has potato and mock mutton inside. The amount of curry and bread were quite generous with this dish. The bread had a buttery, garlicky, spiced taste to it. Yum.

The roti john curry was thick and tasted pretty flavourful. One disappointing feature, however, was the inclusion of only two pieces of mock meat and potatoes . Which is a little skimpy for the price.

Price: $3.50. 7/10

When this Black Pepper Steak Rice arrived i commented to my girlfriend 'this is going to be the worst dish today'. I was right and wrong. I said that, cause it was clearly way too small, lacking enough sauce, and just in general didn't look visually appealing (this photo makes the food look much better than it looks in reality!). However, the mock steak is actually pretty good, and the sauce is not bad at all! It's just there is not enough of it all! I suppose for the price it's almost justified, but it was assembled is such a haphazard fashion, and didn't do enough to win me over.

Price: $4.00. 6/10
A significantly disconcerting element to this Mee Goreng is the odd feeling that i am eating left overs of other dishes people didn't want. There was bits of everything is this dish, including bits of fries? I'm sure this is not literally leftovers, but that image never really left my head. That being said, the flavour is actually quite good in this dish, in particular the thick sauce, all spicy and scrumptious! However, i'd say the portion size could do with being a little bigger for its price.

Price: $3.50. 7/10

This is the dish that made me fall in love with this eatery back in 2007. It is the best Sweet & Sour Pork that i have tried in Singapore. Without question the best dish on offer. The amount of mock pork is generous, and the sauce is just exactly how it should be! Nothing like the tomato ketchup tasting sauces that you find the majority of the time in Singapore. The sauce is just heavenly, infused perfectly with lemon to really bring out the taste. The mock pork is light yet chewy, just divine!

Price: $7.00. 10/10
The Chicken Rice came with a good portion of rice and fried beancurd sheets 'chicken'. I quite like the rice, though it tasted more like ginger rice than chicken rice. The slices of chicken accompanying the dish was crumbed then deep fried and came with a drizzle of dark soy sauce. It was crunchy and moist at the same time. What's chicken rice without it's special chili sauce? I'm sad to say that there was nothing special about this chili sauce. Also, it would have been better with a side serve of dark soy sauce as well.

Price: $2.50. 7/10

First time i've ever tried the Pickled Mustard Tublar with Veg Meat (perhaps the the longest dish name i've seen!). I love the salted vegetables that are inside it. As i mentioned before, these noodles are hand made on the premises (you can actually see them being made in the kitchen!). So the noodles are really tasty. The whole dish has a blend of subtle flavours, which i enjoyed a lot! I would order this again!

Price: $3.50. 8/10

Conclusion - This is one of the places every vegetarian must have on their 'places to eat' list. I have eaten here countless times, and would still say it ranks up there with the most superior eateries in Singapore. The dishes are not without fault, but still set to quite a high standard. The 'must have' is the sweet & sour pork, which is just perfect! I'd recommend (although i didn't review it) veering away from the claypots. Although the claypots taste are good, they're not cooked at all in the claypot, merely scooped into the pot at the end. Which, for those who love claypot, will be appalled with! It's definitely not the cheapest eatery that you could go to in Hougang. But, overall i think the price is justified. Go check it out!

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

Monday, November 16, 2009

Haveli North Indian Food - Boon Keng

I've been looking long and hard for some good Indian stalls in Singapore. Thanks to some searching, and advise from Indian friends, i've found some! Unfortunately, they never seem to be totally vegetarian. If you want 100% vegetarian Indian food, to my knowledge, the only place to go is the vegetarian restaurants, not stalls. To get to Haveli, alight at Boon Keng station, leave at Exit B, and then walk down to the market type area. Continue to walk down until you see it. It's only 2 minutes away from the MRT exit!

Haveli North Indian Food
Location: Outside Exit B Boon Keng MRT
Contact: Unknown
Opening Hours: Unknown

CLOSED DOWN - As of 02/03/2014

This the Standard Briyani Rice type meal that you can get from the stall. The briyani rice (although heavily oiled) is superb from here! I could happily eat the rice alone! On the far left of the picture is the bitter gourd. It's not really my type of thing, but those who like bitter gourd will love it i'm sure. Next to the bitter gourd is the potatoes, obviously all these components have the typical Indian spices that you'd expect. Far right is a raita type dip that they give for free. Very good value for the huge serving that you get, the tastes are obviously not of the standard of Indian restaurants, but it's definitely more than enjoyable!

$3.50 (Briyani plus three side dishes). 9/10

As well as the standard rice, i also got the Aloo Mattar, with a Chapati. The aloo mattar is really nice, perhaps the serving is a little small, but it's packed with peas and potatoes, and has a delicious taste. They're very generous with giving free things, every meal you order you'll get a complimentary poppadom, along with the raita dip. The chapati is floury and has good texture. I was actually intending to purchase a naan, however, they never seem to have them, same with the bhindi masala thats advertised as well...Don't expect them to be serving them.

Price: $2.50? (sorry the bill was together with no pricing). 7/10

Conclusion - For someone who loves Indian food (such as myself) this is a great place to go to! I only wish that an Indian stall like this existed closer to Sengkang! Not a huge amount of options, but all the dishes that are out there that you can choose, at least 50% of them are vegetarian. Make sure you ask the shop worker which dishes are vegetarian though, don't just guess. If you feel like a cheap fix for Indian food, i really can recommend this place very highly. If you are looking for more intricate Indian dishes, then the restaurants in Little Indian and Farrer Park is where you should be heading! This place definitely fills that void for me though! Thumps up!

Overall Rating
Food - 8/10
Ambiance- 6/10
Service - 7/10
Value - 9/10

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Vege Sensation - Serangoon

This place should need no introduction really, but in case it does, i shall introduce it. A hugely popular place known by virtually every vegetarian in Singapore. This place, in particular head chef James are almost at autograph status, haha, among the vegetarian community. They've recently opened their steamboat section of the restaurant just this month, which i'll save for another time. This review is purely for their menu food (not the steamboat). People looking to get here, alight at Serangoon station, Exit B, you then want to turn left as you exit the station, and basically it's just a straight walk down for 10 minutes, until you reach. Very easy. Those wanting to go by bus, you can take 100, 107, 107N, 133, 135, 147, 153 and 853. No eggs. No MSG (as James will happily tell you himself). No onions or garlic. No dairy products. But is they no value? I'll tell you now...

Vege Sensation
Location: 530 Upper Serangoon Road
Contact: 62839673
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-3am

CLOSED DOWN - 16/05/2011

The Popiah was fat and packed with fillings. Its skin though, was soft and not chewy like how it should be. Taste wise, it lacked depth. Without the addition of the chili paste, it would have tasted like boiled turnips in a wrap. There were no mock ham or any other 'interesting ingredients' in it as well. Will probably not have this again.

Price: $1.50. 5/10

I actually used to love the Char Siew Claypot from VS (Vege Sensation). However, it's too inconsistent. The first time i tried this it was perfect. The second time, it was injected with a star anise overdose which just killed all the other flavours in the dish. The third and final time (this time) i found it to have the same star anise problem, and too little sauce, it seemed very rushed. However, they do cook this rice inside the claypot and therefore it does have good taste. The char siew in this dish is the best kind of char siew. Just delicious! But it was a once great dish, turned into an average one. They also have a heavily ginger tasting Traditional Claypot, also at the same price. If you really must get a claypot though, stick with the char siew one, unless you love ginger.

Price: $5.00. 6/10

I have mixed thoughts on the BBQ Fish. On one side we have the absolutely perfect taste and texture of the mock fish, chewy and brilliant at retaining the juices of the dish. On the other side, we have quite a clumsy and poor BBQ sauce, which really adds nothing to the dish at all. If a little more time and technique was spent on the sauce, this dish would have been a really big hit! As it is, it's pretty good, but not superb. I think the serving size is actually quite good for the price, and i might be tempted to order it again, another time.

Price: $8.00. 7/10

Minced Meat Noodles. This tasted exactly like the wanton mee they offer on the menu. I expected it to come with a vinegar and chili based sauce instead of a soy and sesame oil sauce. Tastes great if you think of it as wanton mee without the wantons. The noodles were springy, minced meat were flavourful and it goes very very well with the chili paste. The setback however, is the unnecessarily oily sauce/broth. Might be good to request for less oil!

Price: $4.00. 7/10

I'm not a huge fan of all vegetable dishes (as you can probably guess, it wasn't me who ordered it, haha), especially ones that are priced this high as this Baby Kailan. The serving size for this dish is very small for the price. The dish has good presentation and a good look to it, but there just isn't enough of it! The vegetables can be perhaps guilty of being a little too oily as well.

Price: $8.00. 4/10

I had to try one of their western dishes as well, this one is the Grilled Chicken. The mock meat in this dish is, once again, superb. The texture, quality and taste are all spot on. The fries are good, and i always like the coleslaw type salad they have on the side. All the mock meats are fantastic from VS, they probably purchase them from the mock meat store near Serangoon MRT (i'll be reviewing it soon!). Great dish, the mock chicken is definitely worth trying. It's definitely not like those flat mocks you can typically find in dishes similar to this.

Price: $7.00. 8/10

First time that i've tried the Korean Hotplate before. Hotplate dishes are always packed with sensational smokey flavour, and this dish is no different. It's quite pricey, but overall i believe it's worth it. I've been told that this dish is only at it's best when James cooks it, so lookout for him in the kitchen if you're going to order it. Perhaps one minor compliant is that the dish is a little too heavy on the salt. Very good overall though, i especially like the thick sauce that it comes in!

Price: $10.00. 9/10

Conclusion - I'm sure like everyone who comes to VS, overall, as you leave the restaurant, you do leave with a feeling of satisfaction. The staff are great (especially the one who always says piao liang yang jing to me....Smart girl). And a worthy mention is to James. I'm not completely won over by his food, to be honest. However, his dedication each night is very honorary. He always comes and talks to the customers, accepts criticism, which definitely gets a thumbs up in my book. The food, i find it a little naive and clumsy at times, the flavours are sometimes too reckless, and ends up overpowering some of the dishes. But overall i'm happy to call myself a repeat visitor to VS, and long may it continue!

Overall Rating
Food - 6/10
Ambiance- 8/10
Service - 7/10
Value - 5/10

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Syed Restaurant - Hougang

Another eatery that is part of the Buangkok Green/Hougang type area, again opposite IMH (look at my Tian De post if you are requiring bus numbers etc). Sells mainly seafood and other meat dishes, my purpose for going there was to try the dosai and pratas, as they're good value for money and most importantly, i love them!

NOTE - This is NOT a 100% vegetarian eatery! However, they have a suitable range of vegetarian food that you can choose from. But for those who wish only to eat in 100% vegetarian places, don't go here.

Syed Restaurant Pte Ltd
21 Hougang St 51. #01-49A Hougang Green Shopping Mall
Contact: Unknown
Opening Hours: Unknown
The crust of this Masala Dosai was the main thing letting this dish down. As you can see, it is not how it should typically look. Instead, it has the texture of a pancake, which is wrong. The dosai should be thin and crisp. But, the masala is very generous, and quite well flavoured as well. For it's price it's certainly good value. I was a tad disappointed that it came with only two dips. I would have liked one or two more (the dosai is much better with lots of little accompanying curries!)

Price: $1.50. 6/10
I was pleasantly surprised with the Plain Prata from here. It was thin and not overly fried. Because it is not over fried, it also maintains a chewy texture, which competes with the crisp crunch very well. The size of the pratas is also quite commendable. Is it just me of are plain pratas seemingly shrinking everywhere now? And coincidentally as the prata shrinks, the price doesn't shrink...Typical. This prata is a quite good size though. Tried the Egg Prata as well, not bad, maybe a little under cooked, but a good effort. Curry that came with the pratas was also well flavoured. On a side note, how fantastic is this picture!? Looks delectable!

Price: $0.70 (plain prata). 8/10. I am actually unsure of the price of the egg prata, as it's difficult to ascertain the prices of the items, until you eventually pay, sorry.

Conclusion - Obviously the food options here are very limited, due to it primarily being a seafood place. However, the pratas are cheap and pretty good quality overall. One major deterrent is the pushy staff, as soon as you're in eye sight, then you're going to get heckled to sit down and order. Which i can never understand, as soon as i'm heckled that's my cue to walk away, and i'm sure it's the same for most people. Luckily for them i made the intention to go there anyway.

Overall Rating
Food - 7/10
Ambiance- 5/10
Service - 4/10
Value - 8/10
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