Believe me, it was quite a challenge making the journey to Farrer Park and resisting from eating all the glorious Indian food, which that area has in abundance. But I managed it, I seldom venture down the back alleys behind City Square Mall, and was surprised to see quite a new vegetarian Chinese places lurking there. This is one of them. I must extended a big thank you to Yi Xian who originally recommended this to me in a comment. Readers, please take the time to comment and recommend vegetarian places you like, I greatly appreciate it. Ok, on with the review....
New Fut Kai Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: 282 Jalan Besar
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun: 10am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 9:30pm
Here is a quick look at the interior design of the restaurant. As you can see by the picture, this place was completely empty. We were the only customers there that night, and I foresee this is a reoccurring issue for this establishment. Mainly due to the slightly inaccessible location. It was quite nice to have the whole restaurant to ourselves I must say.
And one more pit-stop before we get to the food, which is the menu. In the case of New Fut Kai, I discovered a lot of niggling irritating aspects to this menu. Firstly, the images of the food in the pictures are without any reference. Thus, you don't know which dishes are actually in the pictures. Secondly, there is no page numbers at the bottom, so you can't find something that your dining partner has found, for example. A redesigned menu would greatly benefit the experience for the customers.
Something that may get your bottom lip quivering is the high prices of the dishes at Fut Kai, and it seems the management have sensed this. Hence, there are many $3.50 dishes (not shown on the menu) that are available. One of those is the classic Nasi Lemak. I found the fish a little mushy inside, and quite average. All the other components were quite nice, I especially found the mock ikan bilis (deep fried seaweed) quite charming. One high point of this entire eatery is their delightful and fragrant red chili (pictured in the centre of this image). In the case of the nasi lemak, the chili had an almost pungent shrimp flavour, and for me was the most tasty component in the whole dish.
Price: $3.50. 6/10
Another one of the more affordable dishes is this Wan Ton Mee. Again, I must highlight the high level of quality of the chili. In this case, the red chili had an overwhelming lemongrass flavour, that when eaten with this dish really was a winner. The wan ton was quite good also, but perhaps a little over fried. One thing New Fut Kai really have nailed perfectly is their mock meats. And in the case of this dish, the mock meat was beautifully smokey and glistening with a delicious sauce. The noodles were also not too bad, and on a whole I liked this dish a lot. Once again, you will not find this dish on the menu.
Price: $3.50. 7/10
Onto the slightly more pricey dishes, starting with the Gong Bao Monkey Head Mushroom. This dish comprises of the chewy mushroom derived mock meat, which is alongside green capsicum, cashew nuts and most vitally dried red chilies. The chilies give good flavour, but shouldn't be eaten (unless you can take extreme heat). The star of the dish is the super sweet and smokey sauce, which I just couldn't get enough of. The mock meat in harmony with the sauce made for a delightful combination. A dish that I would certainly get again.
Price: $10.00. 8/10
Again another dish that can't be found on the menu, but the waitress recommended it, so we thought we'd give it a go. This is the Braised Vegetarian Meat with Bun. Although the price tag for this dish is high, I must say they were very generous with the serving. We received six bao's (bun's) and six slabs of mock meat. Of course this style of dish should be well-known (and well-loved) with most Chinese Singaporeans, and I must say this was a good version of this classic dish. The only slight qualm I had was the braised mock meat need more sauce to accompany it, and I would have loved that sauce to be a tad more flavourful. Little wrong with this generously served feast though.
Price: $12.00. 8/10
Conclusion - Overall I was quite pleased and impressed with the food that I sampled from this restaurant. The only things that would detract me from visiting this place again is its awkward location, and the high pricing. Not only are the dishes expensive, you must also be blackmailed into paying all other small charges, such as the entree pickles. For the food itself though, I don't have many complaints and I could recommend that you pay it a visit.
Food - 7/10
Service - 6/10
Value - 5/10