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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bombay Cafe Xpress - City Hall

Another Indian buffet tempted us. Unfortunately their Internet lunch time buffet is quite misleading. They advertise it as $7.70, but what they (conveniently) fail to mention is this applies only to take away. This false advertising really annoys me, so already i'm in the mood to slate this place. The real price for the lunch time buffer is $14.90 per person (++). Bombay Cafe is considered probably the most upmarket Indian vegetarian place in Singapore. If you wish to go for this lunch time 'special' you must go between the hours 11:30am-2:30pm. It's only available on weekdays. The promotional offer also shows several drinks and ice creams - This is all false advertising also, the only drink part of the buffet is - you guessed it - water.

CLOSED DOWN - As of 17/06/2012

Bombay Cafe Xpress
Location:
#B1-020 Suntec City Mall
Contact: 62388239

Opening Hours: Lunch Buffet - Weekdays 11:30am-2:30pm

We ordered one of each of the naan's they had on offer. From left to right we have the Garlic Naan, Butter Naan and Plain Naan. The garlic naan was not too over-powering, and (although a little thick in places) overall the naan's were crisp and light and very moreish! For my own personal preference i would have liked to see them a little more charred (see Sagar Ratna) just to enhance the aroma a little more. But overall i can't be too critical on what were quite high quality naan's.

8/10

This is starter than you can order from the menu as part of the buffet. I didn't catch the name of this dish, but i suspect it's the Papdi Chat. This dish is a delightful blend of sweet and sour, along with a heavy undertone of star anise. Overall the dish is really unusual and tasty. Perhaps all the different varieties of flavour packed into one thing can be like being hit by a truck. But, i find that overall they all work well together, and make for a nice little dish!

8/10


If you recall back to my Namaste post, you will remember i sampled Pani Puri (Gol Gappa) for the first time. Well, Bombay Cafe had it as part of their buffet, so i was curious to try their version. I found the green/black liquid that is meant to be poured into the cups to be much weaken than the Namaste version. The cups were made very thick and hard here, also. I prefer the lighter and thinner cups that i tried previously. Overall a nice light snack, but i would have liked a bit more tang in the liquid.

5/10

As boasted on their promotion, there was indeed eight curries available. Which was impressive. However, only one curry (apart from the daal) was non-vegetable, which is the Mutter Paneer (pictured). For such an upscale buffet, i would expect at least two of the curries to contain paneer, and at least one to contain a mock meat. Although the vegetable curries were tasty, i found them a little basic. The mutter paneer, was a disappointment. The paneer was incredibly soft, and the curry was really lacking in flavour. It had a nice creamy texture, but hardly any trace of Indian spices, which i come to expect from mutter paneer. The other curries, which contained the likes of bitter gourd, potato, mushroom and long beans were appetizing, but like i said, this is supposed to be a top-end eatery and the food should match that impression.

7/10

The first of two desserts that we tried. Unfortunately i didn't get the name of this dish either. The yellow liquid is not as thick as i suspected it would be. It's almost like a weak custard, but packed with much more sugar. The disc type item, which you can see in the picture absorbs all of this liquid, which makes it fun to eat. However, i didn't find the texture too appealing. It almost has the texture of soaked tissue paper.

6/10

Those familiar with the typical Indian Desserts will know they're usually very high in sugar. Thankfully, these small cakes that were on offer we're toned down (sugar wise), which made them much less overbearing. This is a good thing. Whilst Indian desserts (except kheer) are not really my thing, i did appreciate how these were made, and would recommend them to anyone who likes these type of things.

7/10


Conclusion - After i got over my initial anger about the advertising of this promotion, and sampled the food - As much as i hate to confess, the food was actually quite good. However, i wouldn't recommend this as the best Indian buffet i have tried by a long shot. Why? It's over priced. For $15 dollars less you can try the buffet at Sagar Ratna, which is a fantastic value for money buffet in my opinion. Although Bombay Cafe Xpress boasts a variety of options, including many curries, naan's and desserts, at the end of the day, i just didn't find it worthy of $35 dollars (for two). The decor is lovely, with it having a very luxurious feel. The waiters were quite cold and spoke indecipherable English. Overall it's not bad. My main issue is with their advertising.

Overall Rating
Food - 7/10
Ambiance- 9/10
Service - 7/10
Value - 4/10

Monday, March 29, 2010

Deli-Vege Restaurant - Chinatown

A restaurant quite popular already in the vegetarian circle of Singapore. This establishment boasts food without any white sugar, egg, onion, garlic or MSG. Although this is not vegan. Inside on the ground level is fantastic vegetarian iconography. The menu also has fantastic little quotes and pictures. Easy to get to this place, assuming you're coming from the MRT, you want to head for the Chinatown Point exit. From there it is about a 5 minute walk. It's an upper-end eatery so expect to see high price tags here...

Deli-Vege Restaurant
Location:
200 South Bridge Road SEE BELOW
Contact: 62239686

Opening Hours: Daily 11am-11pm

MOVED TO - Chinatown's Kreta Ayer hawker centre at #02-122 - REVIEW HERE

The first dish to be reviewed is the Fish Sizzling Plate. We did get the smaller sized option (mainly due to price issues). But even with that being said, i found this dish too small for the price. The dish overall was good, with some excellent flavours inside. The mock fish in particular had a very fishy taste to it. Only the size that let it down really. I had a major issue with how early this dish arrived (see conclusion).

Price: $10.00 (small). 6/10


Next up was the Arhat Vegetables. We ordered the medium size for this dish, and were sufficiently pleased with the size. The vegetables tasted really good, and were not over fried. However, the authenticity of this dish may be suspect. As it contained no corn or button mushrooms.

Price: $12.00 (medium). 7/10





Definitely a dish that i struggled to appreciate. This is the Homeland Tofu. I'm someone who naturally prefers harder tofu, and this is more leading towards the softer variant. The black chili that is on top was not very nice. When eating the whole thing at once, i found the taste was not pleasing. It tasted more like chemicals to me. Not a dish that i would order again.

Price: $10.00 (small). 3/10



This Cheese Mushrooms is something that immediately leaped out from the menu and appealed to me! With my love for all things cheese related, this seemed like a fascinating dish. The result was, it was nice, but flawed. Unfortunately with it being cooked on a hot plate, it means after a short period of time, most of the cheese has stuck to the plate, making it inedible. The taste was good, but this flaw meant most the dish stayed glued to the plate. This dish does contain real cheese, vegan's run.

Price: $10.00 (small). 6/10


Conclusion - Some major criticisms that i had of Deli-Vege overall were, firstly, as we were placed upstairs (part of a big group) the interior design of upstairs is no where near as good as downstairs. Instead, it just feels like an old house. Not only that, the tables are huge, with easily 10 chairs around it (we were a group of five). They didn't bother to move the other chairs, which were cluttering everything. One final point about the upstairs is that the air con isn't sufficient to cool the place, so it can become quite stuffy. My biggest gripe was that they served the fish dish at least five minutes before they served our rice. It was only when we asked them 'where is the rice?' that they went to get it, by then the dish wasn't warm. This is not a standard that is acceptable in a '++' high end establishment. A few highlights and lowlights. Overall works out to be a so-so place. Probably one of the weakest in the high-end vegetarian eateries that i've tried.

Overall Rating
Food - 6/10
Ambiance- 9/10 (downstairs) 3/10 (upstairs)
Service - 4/10
Value - 5/10

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Surn Yi Mei Shi Guan Vegetarian - Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

We come to the end of my food forays in Cambodia. This is the final post, then in a few days i'll be back to reviewing Singaporean eateries again! This place is located relatively central to the main city area, but it's not in a location (or road) where many tourists would go down, therefore this place is certainly not aimed at them. Waiters don't speak any English or Chinese so you will need to point.

Surn Yi Shi Guan Vegetarian
Location:
13C, St 184, Phnom Penh
Contact: (+855)
016664666
Opening Hours: Unknown
Just wanted to show you all this, i'm not really one who cares extensively about how the layout and decor of a restaurant is (although it is important), but these hanging benches i found very unique, and worth mentioning! Overall layout of the place was nice, but perhaps a little run down.







Out of fear of drinking the water that they presented us with, we ordered this Mango Juice. It was a little watery, but very tasty overall.

Price: USD$0.50 (2,000 riel). 7/10













The first dish we tried was the Vegetarian Steak With Rice & Soup. The rice was well cooked here, nice and hard. The dish consists of various mock meats that have been deep fried. The small pieces (that you can just about see in the picture) are mock ham, whilst the bigger pieces are mushroom meat. They were fried well overall.

Price: USD$2.50 (5,000 riel). 7/10



We also sampled the Cool Noodle. The noodles in this dish were very springy in this dish. They were the thick yellow type noodles, which i quite like. There was an ample amount of mushroom stems in the dish, which are my favourite kind of mock meat! This dish was surprisingly spicy!

Price: USD$0.80 (3,500 riel). 6/10





Conclusion - The staff were quite mortified when foreigners came into their restaurant. Probably extremely intimidated about having to speak English. But pointing worked, and the staff were really nice, trying their best to accommodate us. The food was cheap and of a good quality. I prefer the local vegetarian places, and although this place wasn't as good as Mercy House, i still enjoyed it a lot! So that's it for Cambodia! Hope you enjoy my posts, will be back to Singapore food places from now onwards!

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

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Indian Kitchen Restaurant - Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

Another Indian place that we visited during our trip to Cambodia. This time in the capital city of Phnom Penh. Not 100% vegetarian, but like almost every Indian restaurant, they have a good variety of vegetarian options. The restaurant is Indian run, which must generate a lot of income for them. They charge the food similar to a Singaporean Indian restaurant, yet they pay a fraction of the rental costs. These poorer countries are opening up profitable markets for those willing to take the chance. Anyway, let's talk food...

Indian Kitchen Restaurant
Location:
#162, Trasak Paem (St. 63), Near Lucky Super Market, Phnom Penh
Contact: (+855)012362310

Opening Hours: Unknown


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.


Similar in many ways to the ones that were sampled in Siem Reap. This Plain Naan was a little too flat for my liking, and could have done with being more fluffy. But that is by Singapore standards. Overall it is more than enjoyable, and i've tried many more that were much poorer in quality in Singapore.

Price: USD$1.00 (4,000 riel). 7/10


Here we have the Aloo Gobi. Again, for those unfamiliar with Indian food, 'aloo' is potato and 'gobi' is cauliflower. In this dish they were very generous with the amounts of the aforementioned aloo and gobi. However, i'd have liked a little more sauce. Obviously, aloo gobi is essentially a dry curry, however, this dish was bone dry! Just a little more sauce would have improved it. Also, this dish didn't seem particularly spicy, nor did it tend to have any flavour at all really. They should have included more powerful spices to help boost up this curry.

Price: USD$3.50 (14,600 riel). 6/10

The second curry we tried was the Khadai Paneer. This was actually a really tasty dish, and i found myself preferring this one considerably to the bland aloo gobi. The flavour of this curry was quite delicious, with the paneer cubes being very firm, but perhaps lacking in cheese taste. Of course, this is a high priced dish, but overall it's one of the more impressive curries that we tried in Cambodia.

Price: USD$4.50 (18,800 riel). 8/10


Conclusion - Another good little eatery. Phnom Penh is a bustling city that's ripe for opportunity in the realm of food. You'll be able to find all sorts of different cuisines crammed into this city. Indian food (being eternally popular with Westerns) can make good money in countries like this. The food at this establishment certainly left me feeling reasonably fulfilled, even though it's certainly not the best Indian food that i've tried.

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

Thursday, March 18, 2010

K'NYAY Khmer & Vegan Cuisine - Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

We move onto Phnom Penh, where i've got the final three reviews from Cambodia for you all! This place opened in June 2007, check out their website here - www.knyay.com. Although it makes a lot of noise about being a vegan eatery, this place is, in fact, not 100% vegan (or vegetarian). They do sell meat dishes on the menu (albeit not many), which is a shame, because the vegan food they sell is more than good enough. But appealing to a wider audience must be a concern for them. So let's get onto the food...



K'NYAY Khmer & Vegan Cuisine
Location: 25K Suramarit Blvd, ST268, Phnom Penh

Contact: (+855)023225225
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12-9pm, Sat 7am-9pm, Closed Sundays.

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.

As well as the wonderful food from K'NYAY, we also tried some of their drinks. Here is the Mint Tea. Made using fresh mint leaves.

Price: USD$1.00 (4,000 riel). 7/10









And here is the Lemongrass Tea. Which was good, although it tasted more of lemon, than lemongrass.

Price: USD$1.00 (4,000 riel). 6/10









Probably my favourite curry! This is the Sweet Potato, Pumpkin & Coconut Curry. Although all the curries had superb taste to them, they do tend to be a little overwhelming, and after half the dish the eater may get a little sick of them. This curry however is not like that. It's very moreish! The curry is mild and creamy and the portion size (as with all the curries) is very big. The black object you see in the center of the curry is a whole star anise. This is a must try curry, if you go here.

Price: USD$5.00 (20,900 riel). 9/10

The whole reason we came to K'NYAY was to try this curry! It is so unique, that we couldn't resist going to check it out! This is the Jackfruit Curry. Obviously something that i've never tried before. All these curries come with a side plate of wild rice (although i suspect it's just simply brown rice). This curry has a surprisingly delicious taste! The curry is very sweet, yet a little tangy. The curry is mild, and i was pleasantly surprised by how much of a strong jackfruit taste it has. Moreover, it has real (cooked) jackfruit pieces inside, which were brilliant! Very unique, and a must try!

Price: USD$5.00 (20,900 riel). 9/10

To take a break from the curries, we also sampled this Sweet Potato & Spinach Gnocchi. The first thing that alarmed me about this dish is the size of the gnocchi, they're huge! This is a lack of authenticity, as traditional they should be smaller (more meatball-like). The tomato based sauce is delicious, and really done almost perfectly. It is tangy and thick and obviously made from scratch. The quality of the gnocchi was good, they included pine nuts inside, which was a welcome treat. Only the size of the gnocchi's let this dish down.

Price: USD$5.00 (20,900 riel). 8/10

These curries are not good for a photographer, as they all look very similar. And in fact, they all have a similar principle taste as well. This is the Banana Curry. Again, another really great tasting curry, probably my least favourite of the three we tried, but still worth giving a go! Inside are real bananas. However, they're raw, this curry would have been much better if the banana's were cooked, which would release their sweetness and make them softer and more juicy to eat. But still a tasty curry.

Price: USD$5.00 (20,900 riel). 7/10


Conclusion - This is definitely a Western inspired establishment, and the high prices are there to match this influence. If you're coming to Cambodia on a budget, then definitely steer clear of this place. I thought it was a real shame that this eatery didn't make itself 100% vegan. On their website, and in all the promotion that they do, they're very clear on emphasizing their vegan menu. But please don't be fooled, the meat dishes on the menu are not mock! The thing this restaurant has going for it is true uniqueness. There is no where else in Cambodia where you can get food like this. Not only is it unique, but it is high quality food, too. That being said, this place (we visited it twice) doesn't do good business. So i'm hoping they have a rich Western investor that doesn't care about making profits.

Overall Rating
Food - 9/10
Ambiance- 8/10
Service - 6/10
Value - 5/10

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mercy House Vegetarian - Battambang (Cambodia)

This is the first restaurant from Cambodia with a 'local' feel to it. This place (although perhaps owned by Chinese) is aimed at local Cambodian's. We were the only foreigners who were frequenting this place. Mainly due to Battambang barely having any tourists anyway, and the place probably not being considered 'safe to eat' by most visitors. But, we ate at this place 3-4 times, never had any problems. The male waiter here can speak limited English, as well as Chinese. Without a doubt the best place i tried during the trip, let me show you why!

Mercy House Vegetarian
Location: La He Road (diagonally opposite Asian Hotel)

Contact: (+855)012243402
Opening Hours: Daily 7am-7pm.

Starting off with the drinks. This Honey Green Tea is a lovely combination, and in the end i ordered two of them! They use a lot of honey inside, thus it is quite sweet! I've started drinking this every night back in Singapore!

Price: USD$0.50 (2,000 riel). 9/10













Another beverage we sampled was the Passion Fruit Green Tea. Inspired by the honey version, i simply had to try this. Unfortunately this drink was really way too sweet! I'd be curious to know how much sugar they add to it. The passion fruit tastes good, but everything was overpowered by the amount of sugar! Make sure you ask for these drinks hot. If you ask for cold they will add ice, and of course, that increases your risk of getting sick.

Price: USD$0.50 (2,000 riel). 6/10









This is without a doubt the best thing i tasted whilst being in Cambodia. This Hamburger is a testament to keeping things simple. This burger is textually perfect, it is not soggy, and feels just like a regular burger. The mock meat patty is made of mushroom stems, which is one of the most authentic replicas of meat there is. Overall the taste is just delicious. It looks like nothing special when it arrives, but they've really got it so perfect. If you ever come to Mercy House, this is simply a must try!

Price: USD$0.60 (2,500 riel). 10/10

This dish is the Fried Rice With Egg. Generally no complaints about the dish. We tried a few of the fried rice dishes, it's not the best one (see below), but it's definitely worth it's own merit! The eggs are cooked well. Lots of chopped carrots and long beans inside, and the rice texture is good.

Price: USD$0.85 (3,500 riel) 7/10





I wasn't sure what to expect when i ordered the Barbecue With Rice. Obviously with a name as ambiguous as that, it naturally sparked my curiosity! As you can see, the dish is two skewers, with a variety of mock meats and carrots. The mock meats were very tasty, however the 'jelly' balls are not something i am particularly fond of. One of the more pricey dishes on the menu, but still really cheap compared to some of the places that we ate in Cambodia!


Price: USD$1.30 (3,500 riel). 8/10

We got a noodle dish also. Here is the Char Jeang Dry Noodle. The noodles in this dish were a little soggy, but the dish had a lot of ingredients! One of the ingredients that was included was mock luncheon meat, which tasted nice and smokey. For only $1 dollar there is not many complaints that i can give, it was a decent dish.

Price: USD$1.00 (4,200 riel). 7/10




Although i loved the hamburger at Mercy House, this dish may be equal, if not better. This is the Fried Rice With Basil. It is very simple (that's what is so good about all this food). But this fantastic aroma and flavour is not easy to achieve. Upon trying this dish you will fall in love with basil. They cook this basil wonderfully, its smell and taste is divine. The dish is a tad spicy. Also included is some mushroom stem mock meat, which is a good addition. But it's the basil that steals the show! Top marks for me, faultless dish.

Price: USD$0.85 (3,500 riel). 10/10


Conclusion - I'm sure if you look at my other Cambodia posts you will be able to see the huge difference in price. This is true local food, aimed primarily at Cambodians. The food at Mercy House is absolutely outstanding. The service is good, and the restaurant feel is nice, and usually very quiet, even when there are quite a few people inside (perhaps Cambodian's prefer to eat quietly?). The must-try item is the hamburger, which i can't sing its praises enough! The hamburger is closely followed by the basil fried rice, which is another superb dish. Those two dishes, with a honey green tea on the side, that's a truly brilliant meal for me. The best eatery we tried in Cambodia. You must go!

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

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Curry Walla Indian Cuisine - Siem Reap (Cambodia)

One thing i must claim guilt to is being very curious how Indian food tastes in different countries. I've tried Indian food in New Zealand, Canada, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Australia and now Cambodia. This Curry Walla has gained notoriety with tourists mainly due to it being recommended in Lonely Planet. It has two outlets in Siem Reap (the one i'm reviewing being the original). I suppose the most asked question is 'is it run by Indian's?' - the answer is yes. This is not a 100% vegetarian eatery, but like most Indian establishments they have a strong vegetarian section.

Curry Walla Indian Cuisine
Location: #B05, Sivatha Blvd, Siem Reap

Contact: (+855)092459723
Opening Hours: Unknown

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.

I ordered this Malai Kofta to be medium spicy. Differently to malai kofta's in Singapore these is not a mild and creamy curry. I like the flavour of this curry, but perhaps it's not authentic. They were generous with the kofta's (giving three). Overall the curry is pretty well flavoured and has a rich texture. Not as diverse in ingredients as a typical Indian curry should/would be, but i'm not complaining too loudly, i enjoyed it overall.

Price: USD$3.50 (14,600 riel). 7/10


The Plain Naan was better than i had expected, but still not up to the Singapore standards. The naan's had a lot going for them, but unfortunately they were just too flat. A good naan has to be fluffy. This naan is successful is being well charred, but for some reason it just doesn't seem to have that taste and aroma that i expect to see present in a naan. Perhaps good by Cambodian standards, though.

Price: USD$1.00 (4,000 riel). 6/10

The final dish we sampled was the Aloo Chole. I'd have to say this was the most lackluster of all the dishes. The potatoes were well cooked and the curry was not bad. But overall it was quite ordinary, nothing leaped out at me, and i found myself going to the malai kofta the majority of the time.

Price: USD$3.25 (13,500 riel). 5/10




Conclusion - For those with a craving for Indian food whilst in Cambodia, i'm sure Curry Walla with scratch that itch. And i'm sure thanks to Lonely Planet's praises, this place is making good business in Cambodia. Looking at the bigger picture though, if i were reviewing this place as a Singaporean Indian eatery, i would say overall, this is a below average place. Perhaps that is a tad unfair, as of course, this is Cambodia - Not Singapore! I wouldn't suggest veering away from this establishment, but for those wanting a meal that is tantamount to what they would get in Singapore, they might feel a little underwhelmed. Especially as the price (after conversion) is about equal to what they would be paying in Singapore.

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

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chamkar Vegetarian Restaurant - Siem Reap (Cambodia)

So, i've made it safely back from Cambodia! And i have a lot of culinary treats for you all. I managed to sample a lot of the vegetarian cuisine in Cambodia (although there isn't a great deal of it). So the next few reviews will all be dedicated to Cambodia. On a side note, it is a beautiful and fascinating country, and with its close proximity to Singapore you really should go! I only had time to try one vegetarian place in Siem Reap (popular touristy town close to Angkor Wat). So let's check it out.

Chamkar Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: The Passage, Old Market, Siem Reap

Contact: (+855)092733150
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm. Sun 5pm-11pm

Note - Cambodia uses a mixture of US dollar and Cambodian riel as currency. Dollar to riel conversion is roughly:-
USD$1 = r4,000

The Organic Plain Rice that comes with the curries was served in a lovely ceramic bowl with a wooden spoon made the rice look much better than it really was. It was mushy and flavourless, a waste of good rice indeed. Rice, being the accompaniment to most meals in Asia, really must be cooked well, otherwise it will lead to the whole meal suffering.


Here we have the Green Papaya Inclination. With papaya being the 'fruit of Cambodia' it's common place to find it in a plethora of dishes, including this one. Inside this dish are small 'grains' which almost have the texture of minced meat. There is a heavy garlic tone that wafts through the whole dish. Overall, the dish is light tasting and not overly spicy (contrary to dishes one might be used to in Singapore). Perhaps the portion size could have been a little bigger, but overall a commendable dish.

Price: USD$4.75 (19,800 riel). 7/10

Next dish we tried was the Stirring Curry. As with a lot of the curries in Cambodia, they rely on coconut milk, which thankfully i adore! Although, the thickness of the curry, i believe, emanates from the mashed potatoes that are used. This, along with the coconut milk makes the dish creamy, smooth and rich. The portion size is good, and contains a heady amount of ingredients. The dish is labeled as a 'green curry', but do not expect it to contain green curry paste, like the classical Thai green curry. I do not believe this dish contains the paste.

Price: USD$4.50 (18,800 riel). 7/10


Conclusion - Upon entering this eatery, two female ang mo's (who i'm presuming have a vested interest in this place) approached us and claimed 'you're about to eat the best food in the world!'. I restrained from shouting 'Do you know i am the Hungry Ang Mo!?' and instead pleasantly smiled. The food is not the best in the world by any stretch. But it's certainly not bad. The price is very high, even compared to Singapore standards. You can find in Cambodia vast differences between the price of eateries. These Western influenced/owned places will charge US$4-7 per dish, as with the local run vegetarian places, you will find yourself paying US$4-7 per meal. Overall a nice place to eat. Lack of air-con might put-off some people (but this is Cambodia). I would recommend this for anyone who doesn't place much emphasis on cost. But for those wanting to stretch their cash, there are cheaper vegetarian options, that also sell good quality food.

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

Monday, March 1, 2010

Yuan Yuan Thai Vegetarian Restaurant - Aljunied

What i believe is the only 100% vegetarian Thai restaurant in Singapore? I was introduced to this eatery many months ago by food blogger Janice. Janice adores this place, so i will be treading very lightly as a review this place, haha. It's located within a 5 minutes walk of Aljunied station. And really, this area has tons of vegetarian places, which i will be exploring once the circle line links Serangoon and Paya Lebar! But as for now, it's a little inconvenient for me to get there. So let's take a look at the dishes.

Yuan Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: #45, Geylang Lor 27

Contact: Unknown
Opening Hours: Until 11 daily. Closed on Mondays

CLOSED DOWN - As of 03/08/2011

The Mango Salad here is very difficult to order, mainly because it's not advertised on the menu at all. When we asked where it was, she pointed to the papaya salad? Left me quite confused. That aside, this mango salad was quite nice! It came in a generous serving size. Lightly spiced and topped with roasted peanuts, I thought that it was really quite authentic and delightful. The authentic version would contain onions though, which was a detriment to the dish.

Price: $6.00. 8/10


This dish is the Braised Duck With Rice. If you're wondering why this dish has so much sauce, it's cause we asked for more! The rice is this dish was nice and hard, and the sauce was sweet and herby. Perhaps they should have included one or two more slices of duck, but for the price i can't complain really. Overall not bad at all!

Price: $4.00. 7/10


Straight from the hottest corner of hell, the Tom Yam Mixed Vegetables is a notorious hot and spicy dish. It's spice is different to other dishes, in as much that it's a stingy type of spice. Makes you feel like your lips are being pricked with a sewing needle. But it's delicious! The soup is sour and tangy and is generously filled with ingredients. The portion size for the price is very good, as it is with most the dishes from Yuan Yuan!

Price: $6.00. 8/10


The final dish we sampled was the Fried Basil With Mutton. The mutton was made out of mushroom stems, which always give a very authentic meat texture. The dish contained green chili's and long beans, as well as the mock meat. The portion size was good, and overall i can't really think of anything i didn't like about it!

Price: $6.00. 8/10




Conclusion - It is indeed an excellent dining experience. With Thai food gaining in popularity quite significantly over the last few years, it's good that vegetarians have an outlet in which they can sample this cuisine. The interior design of the restaurant is not too appealing. Half of the restaurant has tiles that look like they belong in a lavatory on the walls. But the food is of a high standard and the price is very commendable! I would definitely recommend paying a visit to this place!

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