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Friday, February 26, 2010

Yes Natural Bakery - Aljunied

Been a long time since i've reviewed a vegetarian (this one also has a selection of vegan breads) bakery, so here we are! I was in the Geylang area to eat at a vegetarian Thai food place (which will be coming up in the next post), this place is very close to there and sells an assortment of buns, cakes and other goodies. There is a restaurant also under the same franchise 'Yes Natural', which is right next to the bakery, and sells some interesting dishes - will save that for another review!

Yes Natural Bakery
Location: 55 Lor 27 Geylang

Contact: 65478438
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 7.30am - 9pm

Here is a selection of the eggless vegan cakes that they have for sale. All of them looking quite delicious!

Here is a general overview of some of the buns available! I bought the huge Green Bean Bun, which is quite reasonable priced (it is very big). The bun was a little too dry for my liking, i prefer the green bean to be softer and moister. The quality of the bread (considering it's vegan) is really good! The bread is soft and fluffy.

Price: $2.50. 6/10

A look at other items that are for sale at the bakery!

We also got the Sardine Bun. Another pretty good priced bun, due to it being quite well sized and very filling! The bread is 'buttery' and soft. The filling was a tad disappointing, mainly due to it not really having any resembles to real sardine. Inside contained mostly tomatoes, with a heavy taste of cumin (even one cumin seed could be found inside!), which was unexpected. Good bun though, just not an authentic filling.

Price: $1.50. 8/10

Conclusion - A really nice little bakery overall! I found that the prices for some items might be considered a little high. But the price for most items is pretty good! The cakes look very tempting, but i didn't have the time nor money to sample one. The bun's that we got overall were not bad, the sardine bun being the better of the two. Definitely worth visiting, as there are many vegan and vegetarians places in this area!

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

Monday, February 22, 2010

Namaste India Pure Vegetarian - Farrer Park

Only opened a few weeks ago, this brand new 100% vegetarian Indian eatery got me very excited when my friend told me about it. This restaurant is also able to cook without garlic and onions for those who can't take them. But make sure to request it. Located on the bustling Serangoon Road, it's almost right in the middle of Farret Park Stn and Little Indian Stn, so you can reach this eatery from either. It's about a 5 minute walk. So let's kick this off!

Namaste India Pure Vegetarian
Location: 218 Serangoon Road

Contact: 6329 4870
Opening Hours: Unknown

First off we ordered a starter which i've never tried before, this is the Pani Puri Plate. As soon as this arrived (not knowing what it would look like) i was immediately fascinated! The waiter told us that we must put the ingredients inside the little cups then eat. Before i go any further, one cardinal sin was made...Hair. There was a hair on one of the cups, when we pointed that out to the waiter, he replaced it, but was lacking in any apology. The two ingredients which you put inside are a potato type mixture. But more importantly, this vile smelling watery concoction (which you can see right at the back of the picture). I have two things i can compare the smell of this concoction to, i'll go with the less vulgar one, and say it smells like rotten eggs.

Oddly enough though, as bad as it smells, when it's all combined together (as seen here) it actually tastes quite nice! I love trying new things, and this is one that overall i was very pleased with. The price is certainly not something that pleases me though, it's way too high for such a simple and basic dish. But the main issue was the hair, it's completely unacceptable for me, and it will affect my perception of the restaurant in quite a significant way.

Price: $3.00. 7/10

As always, we had to sample the Plain Naan. And in the case of Namaste, it was quite a disappointment. The price is really good, but unfortunately the quality is lackluster. The naan's were not fluffy at all. They were very flat, hard and uninteresting. It's almost as if they didn't cook them in a tandoor. Or if they did, the tandoor must not have been sufficiently heated. I've had worse naan's, but i've certainly had much better also. Pretty disappointing.

Price: $1.50. 4/10

We sampled two curries, the first one being the Aloo Masala. The problem with both these curries are they come in this small container, they should increase the portion size by about 1/3. This is quite a typical dish, which certainly has nice flavours, but nothing extraordinary leaped out at me. Slightly better than the other curry, but still it's got nothing on the quality of curries which you can find at Sagar Ratna or Gokul. Price is forgivable.

Price: $5.50. 5/10

This Malai Kofta had two major errors. Firstly, this curry was listed under the 'paneer' items (all the paneer items at this eatery are expensive). Yet this dish didn't have any paneer inside, thus falsely advertising it. So that was a shame. Secondly, it had an overwhelming amount of salt in it. Not only in the kofta's, but also in the curry. It made it not pleasurable to eat overall. Same problem with the previous curry is that the portion is not big enough, especially for $9 dollars this curry is really a joke, and should be avoided.

Price: $9.00. 3/10

Conclusion - It's only been open a few weeks, and i'm hoping that they receive some helpful feedback on how to improve this eatery, as it does have potential. It's in a nice location, and could thrive. No GST or service charge here, which is commendable. But the waiters are really quite miserable, and no apology for the hair is unacceptable. Usually a newly opened restaurant has the staff bouncy, happy and eager to do well, at Namaste it couldn't be more opposite. I could have been tricked to thinking i was at a funeral. Food quality is average, the pani puri i really enjoyed, but the curries were certainly not up to standard, neither were the naan's. Here's hoping this place improves, but if it continues at this level, i won't be returning.

Overall Rating
Food - 5/10
Ambiance- 3/10
Service - 3/10
Value - 6/10

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chinese New Year 2010!

Unfortunately i'm running a little low on restaurant reviews, but this weekend i will be eating lots, and by next week i will have some good Chinese and Indian reviews to share with you all. Meanwhile, i decided that i would post my culinary highlight of 2010 CNY. I'm actually not a huge lover of the food that is on offer at CNY, but this was my highlight...By far!

I shall name this simply Ah Ma's Curry. Of course to compare a Chinese curry with an Indian curry, you will see a ton of differences. Generally i prefer Indian curries (due to their complexity of tastes and spices), but this curry just left me wanting more and more! To which i was promptly scolded for taking more and more! Before i talk about the curry taste and texture, i will fill you in on the other ingredients. Added to this curry is bean curd sheets, potato and cauliflower, all which go perfectly with this type of curry, especially the potatoes!

Ah ma decided to make this curry exceptionally thick this time around, which is something that i adore! This curry was really very very thick! The taste is a blend of curry and coconut cream. What separates it from a dish like laksa is the taste is more milder, and more creamy. Don't be fooled though, it still has a 'kick' to it.


Conclusion - Like i said folks, this weekend i will be putting my reviewers hat back on and going out into Singapore to find some new and exciting eateries! So you can look forward to that next week! If anyone is interested in the recipe for this dish, i might be able to get it....Let me know. It's really a delicious meal, but not one you should eat loads of, as it's hardly health and can be quite heaty if you eat too much (i found out the hard way!).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nature Vegetarian Catering Pte Ltd - Bukit Merah

Sorry for the long absense, i (like most Singaporeans) have been caught up in Chinese New Year, and sadly it's left little time for me to do my posts. But fear not, i am back! And will be posting regularly again! And to mark my return, we have a really good eatery here! Yet another eatery using the name 'Nature' (makes life very confusing). It's close to Redhill station, but i'm unsure if it's walking distance or not.

Nature Vegetarian Catering Pte Ltd
Location: Blk 11 Jalan Bukit Merah, #03-4462

Contact: 68977370
Opening Hours: Unknown

First dish we chose was the Fried Rice With Salted Turnips. This dish had an okay portion size, unfortunately i forgot the price of this dish, but i think it was around $3. The wok hei taste was very strong and overall an appealing dish!

Price: $3.00?. 7/10

Here we have the Fish Head Curry. I'm usually a big lover of these thick curry based dishes, and this is no exception! The mock fish was not too soggy, and overall had good taste and texture. The taste of the curry is particularly outstanding, and made me keeping wanting to take a spoon full of it! The price isn't exactly cheap, but the quality is of a high standard and the portion size is commendable. The curry can be more accurately resembled to Indian flavoured curry, rather than the sourish assam curry.

Price: $8.00. 8/10

The second mock dish that we sampled was the Lemon Chicken. This mock meat was made of soy, and had a chewy and 'meaty' texture. They were very generous with the amount of sauce that they used, and the amount of mock meat was also credible. The mock meat was really nice, but i wouldn't really say it tasted of chicken. It much more closely resembles pork, perhaps they should call it lemon pork instead. Interesting dish overall!

Price: $8.00. 8/10

We did want to get a veggie dish also, so we opted for the Beansprout With Salted Fish. The cubes of salted fish were not overly salty, which was a relief. The whole dish has a fantastic wok hei taste (my favourite!). Although this is a slightly cheaper dish, it is also a significantly smaller portion, so no real value for money here. This dish also includes mushrooms and peppers (capsicums).

Price: $5.00. 7/10

Conclusion - As you've probably guessed by the name, this eatery also has a catering franchise. They pride themselves on using no MSG. Overall the menu is really huge and impressive, there were loads of dishes that i had the urge to try, but had to settle with these ones. Might be worth coming back to do a second review of this place. I think the overall price is worth it, as although the dishes are pricey, the portion sizes are large and the quality of the food is really good! Certainly worth the trip!

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

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

North South East West Vegetarian Cuisine - Marine Parade

No MRT station anywhere close to this place really, due to this area being built on reclaimed land. But, if you're a Sengkanger like me, you can get the free coach on the weekends and public holidays. I believe there are other locations in Singapore that have free coaches to Marine Parade also. This is a mid-range eatery located inside a food court (but separate from the stalls). There is also a vegetarian Indian stall located in this food court, which i was tempted to try.

North South East West Vegetarian Cuisine
200 Tanjong Katong Road
Contact: 81000049
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Closed Mondays)

As well as having a vast selection of different foods to try, this place also had a few interesting drinks that we couldn't resist. First up, this is the Peach Vinegar Drink. Quite a reasonable price, and i really adored this taste! The sharpness of the vinegar is certainly present, but it's combated well with the delicate and sweet peach taste! Great!

Price: $1.80. 8/10

This eatery sells two malt drinks, black and white. I was tempted and decided to sample the White Malt Drink. This drink tastes identical to beer. With myself not being a big beer fan at all, i didn't really like this. You can rest assured there is no actual alcohol in this drink, but i don't think anyone really drinks beer because they like the taste, so a drink like this is a little pointless i feel. Perhaps this is just not suited to my taste, and maybe other people will be able to appreciate it more!

Price: $3.50. 5/10

I love these type of snack foods. This is the Mustard Cheezy Balls. In total, there are five pieces, which maybe is a little unjust for the price. But these are quite delicious! The cheese is very gooey inside, and explodes out upon the first bite! The outer shell is delicious and chewy. This snack is just the sort of thing i adore! Mayonnaise is poured on top for extra flavour.

Price: $3.00. 8/10

We wanted to sample a Chinese dish also, to get an even perspective of this eatery, therefore we opted to try the Hainanese Beef Noodle. The radish inside this dish is beautifully stewed, leaving it juicy and fragrant. The beef texture (mushroom stems) is really nice, and the soup base had great flavour, but perhaps a little too oily. One thing i can never accept is hair in dishes, it's happen to everyone i'm sure, but it gives me a very poor reflection of the eatery when that happens to me, and indeed, it happened in this dish. But i will not be too harsh on them. It's still a really good dish.

Price: $5.50. 7/10

Finally, to sample their Western food i tried the Mexican Cheezy Pork Chop. Quite a typical Western dish really, the trite meat patties, cold beans, fries, and salad made up this dish. With the sweet corn being a welcome inclusion. The texture and taste of the pork 'chops' was good, but just a typical patty really. Good dish, but it's a steep price tag for a dish, which is very archetypal of Singaporean Western food.

Price: $6.80. 7/10

Conclusion - Being a mid-range eatery, with prompt service one thing i must applaud them on is having no GST or service charge at all here! This is always something that scores high points with me, mainly because i see so many eateries that charge service without actually providing much of a service. The food at this establishment is definitely above average. The hair in the food did taint my perception of this place a little, but overall there are a lot of positives from this place, and i would definitely recommend someone to go and try it out! The cheese balls are a must! But this menu is really vast, and you would need to come back 4-5 more times in order to sample a majority of the dishes on offer here.

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

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Indian Summer (Buffet) - Farrer Park

We return to one of the best vegetarian Indian restaurants in Singapore to sample their buffet. Actually, i went here last night with no intention of reviewing. However, i discovered they do buffet's (presumably on Fridays and weekends) so thankfully i brought my camera and notepad just in case! Sagar Ratna have an a la carte menu, which you can learn more about from my first post on Sagar Ratna. But this buffet is so cheap, it would be silly to order from the menu! Amazingly this place doesn't seem to do fantastic business, but it's got a lot of competition on Syed Alwi Rd. Ok, so here we go...

Indian Summer
Location: 103 Syed Alwi Road

Contact: 63417797
Opening Hours: Buffet begins at 7:30pm.

Total Buffet Price = $12.00 per person
(updated 04/05/2011)

Note (07/09/2013) - CLOSED DOWN
Giving me an unlimited selection and amount of naan's is a dangerous thing! In this picture we have the Garlic Naan. But we also ordered the butter and plain naan's. The naan's from Ratna are exceptional. They're charred in such a wonderful way, which gives the naan's a divine aroma and a taste to die for! Slight complain is that the naan's are not as even as other places we've sampled. They tend to be really thin in some areas, then very thick in others. I would prefer a more even thickness. Nevertheless the naan's are simply the best that I have tried so far in Singapore.

Price: N/A. 9/10

I've never had a daal as thick and creamy as this before, and boy do i love it! This is the Daal Makinni. Obviously it's very creamy for a reason...To fill you! But nevertheless, this is how i love my curries, it's not a spicy curry, therefore might appeal to a wider range of people.

Price: N/A. 8/10

Closest to the camera we have the Veg Manchurian and at the back of that is the Noodles. I didn't really eat either of these, i never tend to eat these sort of dishes when going to Indian restaurants, but my friend sampled both, and thought that the noodles were good (influenced by Indian spices, so different to typical noodles) and the manchurian was ordinary.

Price: N/A. Noodles 7/10. Manchurian 5/10

Now onto the good stuff! First we have on the left hand side the Mutter Paneer. This curry tastes fantastic, however, this restaurant is very cunning. This curry consists of almost 95% peas, and only 5% paneer. So, the name is a little misleading. They definitely should have included more paneer. On the right, is the Jeera Aloo. I didn't eat too much of this dish as potatoes are very filling, but the taste was lovely!

Price: N/A. Mutter Paneer 7/10. Jeera Aloo 8/10

Closest to the camera we have the Vegetable Rice dish, the rice - as my friend so eloquently put it - tasted like an Indian provisional store, which i don't think is a good thing. The rice did taste...old. I would have preferred just plain basmati rice. In the middle is the best Sambar in Singapore. This sambar (i don't know what they put in it!) is so delicious, i could just drink it by itself. It has a zesty and tangy taste, and undertones of all different spices! Last and certainly least is the Tomato Soup, which is made of 90% corn starch! It's horrible and i advise you stay well away from it.

Price: N/A. Veg rice 6/10. Sambar 10/10. Tomato soup 3/10

This is one of my biggest temptations, the heavily sugar filled Indian desserts, which will lower your life span by approximately 6 months every spoonful. This is the Rice Kheer, which i wouldn't like to imagine how much sugar is inside. This version was a little thicker than others that i've tried. It has a very rich cardamom taste, which makes it very moreish. But don't eat more. One cup only! I'm saving your life.

Price: N/A. 8/10

Conclusion - $12 dollars is fantastic value for this buffet! Although this restaurant is very cunning by adding dishes that are high in filling ingredients such as corn starch. potatoes, cream and peas. And also being way too stingy on the amount of paneer used. That aside, i enjoyed this buffet immensely, and have no qualms at all with the price! Taking into consideration also that there is no GST or service charge attached to that $10! I think this buffet is only available on weekends and fridays, but i'm not 100% sure, there seems to be no advertisements stating when it is available. I certainly recommend coming and trying this, most the dishes are very delicious!

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

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Luo Han Vegetarian Health Food - Bugis

Fortune Centre is probably the best place in Singapore for vegetarian, in regards to amount of places available in one complex! Most the stalls in this centre are vegetarian, and i should have really posted more from here previously. But it's better late than never. This is a very popular vegetarian restaurant, with mid range pricing. It's generally quite busy, so it might be wise to go during non-peak timings, otherwise it can be a very stressful experience.

Luo Han Vegetarian Health Food
Location: 190 Middle Rd, Fortune Centre #01-13/14
Contact: 63331612
Opening Hours: Unknown

CLOSED DOWN (as of 05/06/2011) - Replaced by Herbivore Japanese/Western Vegetarian Restaurant - Review HERE

This Nasi Briyani was stated as being 'only available today'. With that day being Sunday, i'm assuming they serve it every Sunday. The briyani rice was particularly delicious, well flavoured and light. The mutton curry i found very rich and thick (which is how i usually love my curries). However, i found it may have been slightly too heavy, and too packed with different spices. It could be guilty of overwhelming the eater. The poppadom was surprisingly crispy (usually it arrive soggy with the nasi briyani). The price might seem a little steep, but i think it's justified as the portion size is huge!

Price: $4.50. 7/10

There was a long queue at the noodles station and I decided to join in the fun. The Dumpling Ramen comes with 3 generously sized dumplings and a choice between soup or braised gravy. I had the one in braised gravy. The gravy was nothing to shout about but it does goes nicely with the deliciously springy -I'm assuming- handmade ramen. What really made the dish was the dumplings which I stop raving bout. It was meaty and bursting with filling. Could really do with an extra dumpling though!

Price: $4.50. 8/10

This has gotta be the only Claypot Rice with the most ingredients ever! There were char siew, tofu, an assortment of mock meats and salted fish! The sauce drizzled tasted faintly of Chinese herbs. A different take on the traditional claypot rice but tasty nonetheless. The flavourful charred rice on the bottom left me yearning for more. yummm.

Price: $4.50. 7/10

Couldn't decided which of the claypot pictures to use as my friend took two exceptional pictures! (wish i had those sort of photographic skills). So, i decided to post both, besides, it gives a good longer distance view of the claypot!

The biggest disappointment from Luo Han is the Standard Rice. What's disappointing is how reluctant they are to give you a decent serving of the sides. Which is a shame, because the sides are really quite good! The black mock pork was fantastically caramelized, with a great smokey flavour. The fish had a very 'fishy' taste, and overall was above average. The long beans, however, wernt special. They didn't have enough wok taste for me, so a little underwhelming. Overall good food, but i'd have liked a little more of it for the price.

Price: $3.50. 6/10

Conclusion - This is a very good vegetarian eatery, and those who are making the trip to Fortune Centre won't be disappointed! You'll really be spoilt for choice in the Fortune Centre, but i recommend this place very highly. Like i said originally, you might wish to consider coming during non-peak timings. We unfortunately went during the busy period, and it can really be like a wild circus. No seats, people shouting and screaming, hustling and bustling (typical Singapore). All the food we tried at this place was of a good quality, the best probably being the claypot! But lots of options to choose from! Enjoy!

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