There is a new vegetarian restaurant on the block, and its name is Herbivore. This restaurant has been open for a few weeks, and has generated a lot of buzz within the vegetarian community. I myself was a little cautious of going, after hearing a couple of fairly negative reviews online. But, as a food reviewer it is my duty to visit, and let my loyal and beloved readers know how it is. Many will remember this slot in the Fortune Centre used to be occupied by Luo Han, a restaurant which I really liked. Herbivore is a much higher end restaurant than its predecessor, so expect higher prices. No onions, garlic or egg are used in any of the food.
Herbivore Japanese & Western Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: 190 Middle Rd, Fortune Centre, #01-13/14
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm & 5pm-10pm. Sat-Sun 11.30am-10pm
The creator of Herbivore, is in fact, the owner of the successful Zen Japanese Restaurant. Therefore the interior design, and aspects of the menu are similar to the aforementioned restaurant. Particularly so in regards to the Japanese section of the menu, which has Zen signature dishes, such as sashimi and sushi. The Western section of the menu represents the most expensive dishes, however, style wise they are quite unique, and portion wise they are large. On the weekends this place is extremely busy, I waited around 20 minutes for the food to arrive. Contrary to what I heard in other reviews, the staff were all friendly and patient, irregardless of how overwhelmingly busy they were.
First dish of the evening was the Chicken Cheese Burger, the dish comprises of three elements - Fries, salad, and finally the centerpiece being the burger. The fries immediately tantalized my taste buds, they were fluffy, light and packed with flavour - I struggled to stop eating them! The burger also had many laudable traits. Firstly, the decision to toast the buns was wise, as it added a welcome textural crunch to the burger. Inside was typical trite burger ingredients - Such as tomato, lettuce and cucumber, as well as sliced cheese on top of the patty. The patty had a fine tasting crunchy batter, which worked harmoniously with the other ingredients in the burger.
Price: $9.90. 8/10
The price of this Beef Steak (Creamy Spaghetti Pasta) Set is enough to turn a customers hunger into queasiness. If a dish costs almost $20, then it has to be of a very high level in quality. To my surprise, this was. Again in this dish, those deliciously fluffy fries were present, which reduced me to giggling like a school girl with delight. The focal points of the dish were the mock beef steak and creamy pasta. For me, these two dishes didn't quite gel together. The beef steak was packed with flavour. But, I would argue the wrong genre of flavour - As its sweet chili sauce is certainly not something you would find in authentic Western cuisine. Combatting this flavour packed steak, was a quite bland spaghetti pasta. The omission of onions and garlic really impacted this spaghetti, as garlic is really an indispensable ingredient in this style of cooking. Unexpectedly, the hero of this dish was the creamy tomato soup. This was an unbelievably delicious soup, which I found myself constantly returning to. The balance of the acidic/sharpness of the tomato, the amount of cream and the seasoning was absolutely perfect. The dessert aspect of this set meal was a orange flavoured jelly.
Price: $18.90. 8/10
Conclusion - Despite what I read online, I had a largely positive experience at Herbivore. Although the prices may appear a little unreasonable, rest assured that the portions are larger than normal. Additionally, there is no GST or service charge, which cushions the blow of the high prices. Presentation wise, the dishes looked fantastic, and flavour wise overall I was pleased. Some areas of the cooking could certainly be improved on, then again, other areas were absolutely perfect. Both Herbivore, and the sister restaurant Zen are worthwhile visits for food lovers in Singapore.
Food - 8/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 6/10