This new outlet was brought to my attention from the Vegetarian Society Forum. It interested me as I know how little vegetarian food is available in the Kovan area, so certainly I was pleased to see a new restaurant opening its doors. More so, when I discovered it was an organic eatery. Location wise, this place can really be horrendous to find. It is conceivable to walk from Kovan MRT, but expect a 15-20 walk through bamboozling HDB's (GPS recommended). If walking isn't your thing, then be prepared to take train then bus. This is a family run restaurant, with the teenage children helping out with waiting of tables. There is no Chinese or English 'vegetarian' sign anywhere on the inside or outside of this eatery - This is a problem, which needs addressing.
Location: Blk 121, Hougang Ave 1, #01-1348
Opening Hours: Daily 1.30pm - 9.00pm
UPDATE - This establishment has now CLOSED DOWN (as of 20/11/2013)
Immediately after opening the menu, I did feel a tinge of disappointment wave over me. The menu is incredibly thin on content, with there only being a handful of items in total being sold. I did ask the waiter if this menu will be expanded in the future, he responded that the menu was still being worked on. If a restaurant is to open for business, then there should at least be a respectable menu available to the customers, so lets hope they start developing this menu quickly. On a side note, the price of the tea at Bamboo House is incredibly expensive, with one pot of osthmanthus tea costing $15.00. Not sure who is able to afford that price, just for tea.
Currently on promotional offer, this is the Organic Soya Milk. As soya milk is not really popular in England, I remember the first time I really drank a lot of it was in Asia. Over time, it has grown on me, and now I use soy milk to replace cows milk whenever possible, and I urge everyone reading this to do the same. This warm soy milk tasted good. I specifically requested less sugar, to suit my preference. The only thing that I found irritating was the high amount of foam at the top of the drink. About one quarter of the cup was filled with foam. Nevertheless, it was a comforting drink, on a cool evening.
Price: $1.50. 6/10
One of the few main courses that was on the menu was the Golden Rice (Organic). I have a few issues with this rice, starting with the most obvious - There is not enough ingredients in this rice. In fact, there is only one significant ingredient inside, which is sweetcorn. If a restaurant is to sell such bland rice, then there must be flavourful side dishes available to order, which can accompany the rice. But there were none. Subsequently, I am completely puzzled as to what role this rice is supposed to play. It is too bland and lacking in any creativity to be a meal on its own. Confusing dish, which didn't do anything for me.
Price: $3.50. 4/10
Although already losing the will to live after the rice debacle. I picked up the pieces of my life, and moved on with the Miso Ramen. Once again, this dish was incredibly simple. It consisted of miso soup, noodles, seaweed and cashew nuts. For me, at a restaurant level (or even food court level) this is lacking in ingredients. This is something I can quite easily and quickly make at home. Therefore, when I visit eateries, I want them to do something slightly more special. For this dish, although the taste was fine, it was too basic. Perhaps simple is a good thing, but there is a level where I expect the chef to exhibit at least a semblance of skill and creativity - I saw none in this dish.
Price: $5.00. 5/10
Conclusion - The owners of Bamboo House has some serious self-reflection to be done. Hopefully as their experience in owning a restaurant matures, then we will see a drastic change in the menu and quality of the dishes available at this eatery. If this level persists, then in all honesty, I don't see this eatery surviving long at all. Apart from the quality, this place is also incredibly difficult to find geographically, which won't help their clause. But for now, they might benefit from staying hidden.
Food - 4/10
Service - 6/10
Value - 4/10