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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Loving Heart Cafe - Aljunied

For those that don't know, Geylang is an area well know for its abundance of vegetarian eateries (as well as other things). It is an area I have only really scratched the surface of, and in the future I will certainly increase the amount of reviews I do in this area. For today though, we have Loving Heart Cafe, which I have been told is not owned by the famous international Loving Hut brand.  With that being said, you will find the decor, ambiance, menu and other such features to be identical to that of Loving Hut.


Loving Heart Cafe
Location: Blk 134 Geylang East Ave 1, #01-219
Contact:
67442029
Opening Hours:
Tue-Thur 10am - 10pm. Closed Wednesday.


CLOSED DOWN - As of 22/10/2014

The logo, decor and ambiance of the place resembles the Loving Hut restaurants. However, this is not an air conditioned eatery. Menu wise, the dishes are listed behind the counter. The menu is quite varied, with there being Western, Japanese and Chinese dishes on offer. They also have vegan roti prata, which I was tempted to try, but unfortunately stomach space didn't allow. Moreover, they have an Indian chef to make the prata, so it would be interesting to see what the quality is like. The place was somewhat quiet and subdued when I was there, but perhaps on weekends the customer traffic becomes higher.

Speaking of the Indian chef, he was the one who cooked this Black Pepper Burger for me. The first thing to highlight, that was done very well for this burger, was the charring of the bread. He used the Indian tava (famously used for making breads, such as prata and chapati) to toast the bun. Although toasting bread may seem like something a child can do, there is still skill required to get it perfect. The black pepper sauce was strong and complimented the mock meat patty soundly - Making the patty all the more juicy and succulent. The other ingredients were a little cliched for my liking, with there being only tomato and lettuce. Price wise, this was a real standout as well, probably the best value burger in Singapore.

Price: $2.50. 8/10

Final dish of this eventful lunch, was the Hainanese Fragrant Rice (Set) - Which can be more conveniently translated to chicken rice. One of the key components to chicken rice is the chilli sauce, rather unconventionally this sauce didn't have the biting sharp spice one would usually expect. Instead, it was verging on sweet - I must say, this was a welcome difference. The mock chicken was derived from beancurd, which is not my favourite type - However, it is certainly more healthy than using gluten. The rice had good flavour, and the coriander soup complimented the food nicely. Another plus point is the food arrived almost instantaneously, and was good value for money.

Price: $4.00. 7/10

Conclusion - If I lived nearer to the geylang area, there is no doubt that this would be an eatery that I would keep returning to. This statement is more impressive than it sounds, as there are simply countless vegetarian eateries submerged within the geylang streets to choose from. But so far, this may rank as the one I enjoyed the most. I do plan to return one day to experiment with more items on their menu, lets hope that they are just as tasty as the ones I tried during this review.

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

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bamboo House - Kovan

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.


Bamboo House
Location:
Blk 121, Hougang Ave 1, #01-1348
Contact: 63832100
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.

Overall Rating
Food - 4/10
Ambiance- 5/10
Service - 6/10
Value - 4/10

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Komala Vilas Vegetarian Restaurant - Little India

In total, there are three Komala Vilas outlets in Singapore, all located quite close together, in the Little India area. Just a few months ago, I reviewed their most long standing outlet, on Serangoon Road (review here). I was inspired to promptly review their Buffalo Road outlet, due to the influx of comments I received from my readers - Mainly Deepak and Rama - Who suggested for me to try other drinks and dishes. Therefore, it seemed only polite to oblige. Little India MRT is where you will need to alight, taking Exit E, will lead you to emerge conveniently just outside Buffalo Road.


Komala Vilas Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: 12 Buffalo Road
Contact:
62933664
Opening Hours:
Mon–Sun: 7am – 10.30pm

One thing which certainly appeals to me about this Buffalo Road outlet is that it remains out of the limelight from tourists, unlike the Serangoon Road outlet, which is regularly feature in Lonely Planet, and other Singapore travel books. This lack of exposure gives this outlet a more authentic and genuine feel. Menu wise, the food is almost identical to Serangoon Road, with all the food being reasonably priced South Indian delights. Komala Vilas could have easily gone down the same road as Ananda Bhavan, and use their success to increase the menu pricing to a ridiculous extent - However, even throughout their success, they continue to provide extremely affordable food - This must be commended.

One item Rama was very keen on me to try, was the Filter Coffee. Before even drinking this coffee, I was impressed by how it arrived, the waiter literally 'pulls' the coffee (a process of flinging the liquid from cup to saucer to generate air within the drink) right next the customer. I have seen this done many times in the cooking area, but never before right next to the customer. Frankly, for myself, this was a wonderful experience. Taste wise, the coffee was very fragrant, and went perfectly with the bhattura (discussed below). It was not too creamy, and the sugar level was just right. Those looking for a nice warm drink to go with the food, I would certainly recommend this, or the masala tea.

Price: $1.30. 7/10



Kothu Parotta, originating from the Tamil Nadu state of India, was a refreshing and new experience for me. The term 'parotta' relates to our well known Singapore prata. However, the twist in this dish, is the parotta is chopped into pieces and cooked in spices. The term 'kothu' literally means 'minced'. The traditional version of this dish will include meat and egg, these two ingredients are not present in this version, though. The flavours were delicious, and I just couldn't stop eating it. Not only was the parotta delicious, but this dish came with the best vegetable kurma I have ever tried.

Price: $2.90. 9/10

Although this looks like some paranormal blob from the planet Jupiter, I can assure you this is a food item. The Bhattura could barely be contained in the metal tray, which it was sitting in - It was absolutely huge! Having previously eaten the bhattura from Serangoon Road, I was taken aback by how much bigger this version was, it is at least 1/3 bigger. Not only is it a huge portion, it tasted absolutely delicious. The only downside to bhattura is that for many people, it will be too oily. Underneath this behemoth, is channa (chickpea) curry, and fresh onion and lime. A dish eaten best with the right hand, if not, using cutlery will be a troublesome task.

Price: $4.20. 9/10


We move on to a popular South Indian snack, the Onion Uttappum. For those wondering how uttapum is created, the batter is identical to that of dosai, only difference being, the batter is not spread as thinly on the tava. When cooking on the tava, ingredients and spices are added to it. For this dish, we have green chilli and onion added. Personally, the green chilli added too much heat, and ultimately I found myself picking them out. That aside, it was an enjoyable snack, especially with the delicious sambar and chutneys that accompanied it.

Price: $3.00. 7/10

Certainly the best value dish on the menu is the Rice Meal. This thali style dish has a numerous selection of curries, curd, vegetables, dessert and rice. What stood out in particular, was the bhindi (ladyfingers) dry dish, which was flavoured beautifully. What is special about this thali meal, is that it is effectively a sit-down buffet. The customer may request for more curries, more dessert, more sauces, and more rice - Until their needs (or stomachs) are satisfied. This really makes the price tag for this dish great value, as you can simply eat as much as you desire for that price. The food being served on a banana leaf enhances the flavor of the food, and adds to the authenticity of the dish.

Price: $6.55. 8/10

Conclusion - Komala Vilas are a chain of restaurants that have undoubtedly grown on me. The first time I visited one of their restaurants was over four years ago, since that time, my love for Komala Vilas has manifested to what it is today. Although I am a North Indian food addict, I can appreciate the value and quality of the food here. The Buffalo Road outlet, which I reviewed here, was just as great as the Serangoon Road outlet - If not better. The bhattura, kothu parotta, and rice meal are all must try dishes. But more important than the food, it is an enjoyable cultural experience for any non-Indian customers.

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

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cafe Salivation - Farrer Park

As I recently informed my twitter followers (@hungryangmo), I was craving to do a follow up on Cafe Salivation, since my first post, over two years ago. It was pleasing for me to see that nothing much has changed in all those years. The menu, interior design and vibe has remained virtually identical, since my last visit. As I have mentioned before, Cafe Salivation is owned by the same person as Raj Restaurant - Which is just next door. If you are eating at Raj, you are able to order things from the Cafe Salivation menu, but not vice versa. I've mentioned this countless times, but I'll say it once more - Syed Alwi road is truly one of the best vegetarian areas in Singapore, it is a crime not to visit and enjoy.


Cafe Salivation
Location:
176 Race Course Road
Contact: 62981412
Opening Hours: Daily 10am-10:30pm

This time around, I wanted to order completely new dishes, starting with the Spicy Scrambled Paneer with Toast. This dish is under the breakfast section, and the customer can ask for the spice level and bread type to be modified to their liking. Scrambled paneer quite accurately mimics scrambled eggs. This variety of paneer is something used in several other Indian dishes, such as badhal gobi. The paneer in this dish was juicy and moreish, with strong peppercorn and green capsicum flavours. I intentionally requested less spice in this dish, as I was fearful of how spicy it would be - Unless you can take very spicy, you might want to follow the same tactic as me. Nice dish overall, that reminded me of my breakfast eating days back in England.

Price: $5.00. 7/10

In my first review, I sampled the feta cheese burger, which overall was a pretty tasty burger. Second time around, I gave the Soya Burger a go. Although two dollars cheaper, I found the standard to be just as food as the feta cheese burger. Although the burger is small in size, it has a nice patty and isn't too soggy. If one was to compare this burger with Vegan Burg, then this would not be able to compete. But of course, it is an unfair comparison, as Vegan Burg specialize in burgers. Overall, the burgers are above average, and is always something I find myself ordering when visiting Cafe Salivation.

Price: $5.00. 7/10

Pasta is something I hardly ever order in Singapore, as my experience is that Asia chefs simply don't know how to cook pasta properly. I decided to put my skepticism aside temporarily during this meal, and in the end, I was pleased that I did. This Linguine A La Fungi was a deliciously creamy pasta dish, which I couldn't stop eating. The main ingredients were mushroom and green capsicum. Although this is certainly not a healthy pasta, as there is a lot of cream added, it is nevertheless delicious. A dish you should certainly order, if you wish to experience top quality pasta in Singapore.

Price: $8.00. 8/10

One of the most expensive dishes on the menu is the Mexican Casserole. My mind was conjuring up many outcomes of what this dish might look like upon arrival. Much to my disappointment, this dish is merely baked rice. There is a thick and oozing layer on cheese, which rendered the future vegan inside of me screaming with terror. Underneath this layer, is tomato infused rice, with a variety of ingredients inside. Although taste wise, it was fine - I was hoping for something a little more original and unique, especially considering the lofty price tag. If you're a baked rice fanatic, then you might want to consider ordering this. If not, there are certainly more captivating dishes on the menu.

Price: $8.50. 6/10

Pizza is probably my most beloved food item, and due to this passion for pizza, I tend to be somewhat picky on what makes a good or bad pizza. The quality of the pizza at Cafe Salivation is nothing outstanding, however, dishes like the paneer pizza, offer a unique twist on this classic Italian dish. On this particular evening, I went with the Neopolitan Pizza. The pizzas are a little on the small side, in terms of size. This particular pizza had mushrooms, diced tomatoes and green capsicum as its toppings. The base had good texture, and the tomato sauce was rich and tangy. Something I would order again, but mainly as I'm a pizza nut!

Price: $7.50. 7/10


Conclusion - Looking at Cafe Salivation overall, I find myself struggling to think of anything overwhelmingly negative to say about it. The interior decor is absolutely beautiful, the staff are endlessly helpful, the prices are reasonable, the food which is being offered is unique and special, the portion size is acceptable, and most importantly - The food is delicious! Cafe Salivation made its way onto my
Top 10 list a long time ago, and I don't see its position being in danger anytime soon. A superb restaurant, which anyone and everyone can enjoy.

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shui Xian Su Shi Yuan Vegetarian Food - Malacca

As most people who visit Malacca tend to stay in the Jonker Walk area, the vegetarian restaurant, which I am reviewing today will undoubtedly represented the closest geographical meat-free eatery people can visit. Although this humble restaurant is the closest, be warned about their awkward opening times. Moreover, as is the case with most small restaurantsoverseas, they are also likely to just close randomly - Even they they're supposed to be open. An additional warning, this restaurant has a lot of mosquitoes hovering around, so prepare to donate blood as well as money, at the end of your meal.

Shui Xian Su Shi Yuan Vegetarian Food
Location: Jalan Hang Lekiu

Contact: Unknown

Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 7.30am-2.30pm. Closed Sunday.

What I found intriguing about the menu at this restaurant, is the inclusion of some of the traditional Malacca dishes, which I was itching to try (but inhibited by them always having meat in them). Along with the local specialty dishes, there are also more familiar faces. Price wise, the dishes are dirt cheap, especially after making the conversion back into Singapore currency.











One of those unique and special Malacca dishes is the Chicken Rice Balls. This is an extraordinarily unusual twist on the classic chicken rice dish. The key difference comes in the rice, which instead is made into golf ball sized shapes. The chicken comes separately, on the side, with the other usual accompaniments, such as cucumber. The mock chicken was derived from beancurd sheets. Perhaps I am more of a traditionalist, but the rice balls didn't seem to have enough flavour in them, and most importantly, didn't have the same enjoyment factor, compared to authentic rice. This dish is certainly a nice novelty, but I'd take the classic version instead.

Price: RM3.00. 5/10

Moving on to a more conventional dish, here we have the Wan Tan Mee. Customers can choose between three different sizes for this dish, all varying in price. Dry/fried wan tans are one of the things I love the most - Therefore, I was dismayed to see no actual wan tans in this dish! Instead, they were replaced with just the wan tan skin, without any filling. Obviously this was an immense disappointment. The noodles and other components were solid, but without real wan tan, how can this be wan tan mee?

Price: RM2.80 (S). 5/10


Conclusion - Location wise, this place is very convenient for most tourists, and it is certainly pleasing to see a vegetarian restaurant, which is so easily accessible. Quality wise, however, I found this place was below average. Price wise it was certainly good value, and it did make me happy to get to try chicken rice balls. Perhaps this is the pampered Englishman in me speaking, but having mosquitoes take their meal from me, while I take my meal, was a little off-putting too.

Overall Rating
Food - 5/10
Ambiance- 3/10
Service - 6/10
Value - 8/10

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Man Yuan Fang Vegetarian Restaurant - Malacca

I recently spent a long weekend in Malacca, mainly just to kick back and relax after a stressful few weeks at work. The other reason being, I was curious to unearth some new and exciting vegetarian food in this previously unexplored area of Malaysia. Malacca is a popular weekend getaway for Singaporeans, and therefore I came to the conclusion blogging about this would be quite relevant to local Singaporeans. Man Yuan Fang is about 15 minutes walk from the famous Jonker Walk stretch. It can easily be found next to Plaza Mahkota, which is also a stones throw away from the grande Mahkota Parade shopping centre.

Man Yuan Fang Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: No. G35 & G37, Jalan PM 4, Plaza Mahkota, Malacca

Contact:6-288 1110
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12.00pm-9.30pm; Sat-Sun 10.00am-9.30pm. Closed Tuesday

I was immediately taken aback by the vast amount of dishes available at Man Yuan Fang. There was literally pages and pages of unique and interesting dishes to choose from. It was the back page of the menu that caught my eye the most - Dishes such as duck rice, chicken rice, and bak kut teh. What took me even more by surprise is that everything I ordered was available. A common undesirable trait of restaurants with a large menu is inevitably half the menu never seems to be available - Therefore, it was good to see Man Yuan Fang didn't fall into that trap.







Perhaps even more intriguing than their menu, is their selection of teas. For those that recently browsed through my Water Drop Tea House review, you will know I certainly have a soft spot for various types of tea. Man Yuan Fang has one of the most interesting arrays of tea that I've come across so far. The one I opted for was their most well know, which was the Jasmine Tea. All the teas on offer are completely natural, using no tea bags. The teapot looked beautiful with the various flowers glistening in the golden brown liquid. Flavour wise, it was slightly sweet (from the chrysanthemum) and had mild and mellow flavours. A nice calming drink, which matched well with the meal.

Price: RM10.00. 7/10

To start the meal off, I decided to go with a simple Crabmeat Omelette. The omelettes come in three different sizes, I went with the small. I am always apprehensious about ordering omelettes at restaurants, as they never seem to achieve the texture and flavour that I am looking for. The texture which I aim to avoid is the slimy and gooey undercooked style. To my delight, the omelette at this restaurant was not cooked that way. In fact, it was exactly the texture I was longing for. The mock crabmeat doesn't have enough noticeable flavour, and subsequently gets lost in the omelette. With that being said, this probably ranks as the best omelette I've ordered in a restaurant to date.

Price: RM6.00. 8/10

Onto the Roasted Duck Special with Rice. This was the dish I immediately ordered from the menu, and was sincerely looking forward to seeing what arrived. Starting with the mock duck, texture wise I really liked this soy derived mock meat, with its moreish crusty outer skin. It certainly made a refreshing change to the soggy gluten mock duck from Singapore. Taste wise, however, it bizarrely resembled sausage or pork - Certainly not duck. The dish comes with a variety of side components, one of those is boiled eggs quartered. For those that don't take eggs you can request not to have them included. A very satisfying dish overall.

Price: RM7.90. 8/10

It seems a crime to visit Malaysia and not sample this famous local dish. Here we have the Man Yuan Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken (KFC). As the name suggests, the chicken is indeed KFC style, and probably was one of the best mock fried chicken concoctions that I have tried, even better than the famous DFC from Deli-Vege. The texture is chewy and juicy, and more importantly it doesn't leave the customer with that greasy queasy feeling after eating it. The only downside to this dish was the rice, which didn't have enough coconut flavour for my liking. A small grey cloud in an otherwise bright blue sky, though.

Price: RM7.90. 8/10

All good things have to come to an end, and unfortunately the final dish I ordered - The Spare Rib A La Peking - Left a bitter taste in my mouth. Being one of the most expensive dishes on the menu, I was expecting great things from this dish. Unfortunately, this dish was a monumental disappointment. The first problem was in the portion size. In total, there were only six pieces of mock meat, which should have probably been doubled to justify the price. Secondly, the taste of the peking sauce was way too sweet. The sauce tasted merely like sugar sauce, and lacked the depth and complexity that a good rib sauce should have. A dish I really regretted ordering.

Price: RM10.00. 4/10

Conclusion - This would have been a sparkling and almost flawless review, if not for the last dish, which brought a real downer to the meal. Even though the spare ribs were a disaster, the rest of the dishes were incredibly impressive. Whenever I eat at vegetarian restaurants outside of Singapore, I am quite skeptical as to the level of quality of the food. Man Yuan Fang has proved that there is some fantastic vegetarian restaurant in other parts of Asia. Be careful of the opening hours when visiting, often they just seem to randomly close whenever they feeling like it - Perhaps wise to call ahead.

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

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Udipi Ganesh Vilas Pure Vegetarian - Marine Parade

As we near the end of the year, I tend to look back on all the new vegetarian restaurants/stalls that I visited in 2011. During this moment of reminiscing, one place which definitely leaped out at me was Udipi Ganesh Vilas. For those who read my first review of this restaurant, you will be aware that a renovation was taking place recently - I was concerned about this renovation, mainly as I was nervous the prices would increase considerably. This review is a post-renovation look at Ganesh Vilas, to see if there has been any marked changes, as well as to sample more of their dishes.


Udipi Ganesh Vilas Pure Vegetarian
Location:
10 Ceylon Road
Contact: 63454405/63487708
Opening Hours: Daily 7.30am - 9.30pm

To my relief, the look and feel of Ganesh Vilas has remained almost identical. Even more vitally, the prices have also remained the same. This second time around I wanted to try completely new dishes, starting with the Garlic Masala Pulav. Garlic is probably my most beloved single ingredient, therefore items like garlic naan and garlic rice immediately catch my attention. This rice was well flavoured,and the portion size was quite reasonable for the price. The texture of the rice was a little too soft and mushy, but overall it made for a good accompaniment to the rest of the food, which I ordered.

Price: $3.50. 6/10

Next up we have the Aloo Gobi Masala. The literal translation of this dish is potato and cauliflower curry. This dish is traditionally served dry (without sauce), however, the menu did have both options available, so I decided to try the sauce version. Overall, the curries at Ganesh Vilas are all very similar, with there being only slight tweaks to the dishes to set them apart. The curry is certainly delicious though, with there being less oil and salt, compared to the typical restaurant style curries. The cauliflower and potato were cooked well, and the fresh coriander on top was warmly welcomed. Good dish overall.

Price: $3.50. 7/10

Aloo Palak is a dish, which is practically identical to the famous North Indian dish palak paneer. Instead, for this dish, the paneer (cheese) has been substituted with potato. Visually, the beautiful glistening green curry looked divine, and taste wise I was not disappointed also. Although I am someone who prefers paneer, I did find that the potato matched well with the spinach curry. Flavour wise the curry was good, and had strong garlic flavours. One of the more expensive dishes on the menu, but still good value overall.

Price: $4.00. 7/10

This time around I decided to stray from my traditional curry eating frenzy, and go with one of the set meals. This is the North Indian Meal, which consists of of selection of curries, sambar, daal and curd. In addition to this, there is two chapatis and one poppadum. Lastly, there is one small (and extremely sugar-filled) dessert. For the price, I found that the set meal was good value. Perhaps this set meal would appeal most to those who are not too familiar with Indian cuisine, or simply can't decide what to order. As this dish has so small small components, it gives the customer a chance to sample multiple dishes all combined into one meal.

Price: $6.00. 7/10

Conclusion - I breathed a sigh of relief when I walked into Ganesh Vilas to find that the place (except from a fresh lick of paint) has remained practically unchanged after the renovation. This restaurant represents real authentic Indian food that is offered at prices, which won't hit the customers hard. Whether you're a fan of Indian food or not, I would recommend visiting this unique restaurant.

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

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Jin Shun Zhai Vegetarian - Kovan

Since starting this blog over two years ago, one thing I tried to always take pride in doing, was visiting every and any place that my beloved readers recommend to me. Therefore, a few months ago I received a comment urging me to try out this simple and humble hawker centre stall in Kovan Food Centre. I did try on a couple of occasions to visit this place, only for it to be closed, but eventually on the third time of trying, I visited and it was open. Enough small talk, it is time to find out whether this small little stall has delicious or mouth-watering food or not.


Jin Shun Zhai Vegetarian
Location: Block 206, Kovan Food Centre, #01-46

Contact: Unknown
Opening Hours: Closed on weekends

The amount of variety at Jin Shun Zhai is not very vast. In fact, there is only a handful of food items available. These are only rice and dishes options. First of all, I got the Brown Rice with Dishes. For this, I went with the bittergourd (one of my personal favourite vegetables), mock duck, and mock goose. I was particularly keen to try the duck and goose as this is known to be a signature from this stall. Overall the texture of the duck was most satisfying for me, the goose was also not too bad, but was a little chewy for my liking. The bittergourd was cooked well.

Price: $2.50. 6/10

For my next helping, I decided to go for the White Rice with Dishes instead. To accompany the white rice, I went with cauliflower, egg and more mock duck. The egg was the highlight of this dish. It was flavourful, and packed with awesome charred taste. The other dishes were all mediocre, with there being nothing that really struck me as being great or terrible about them. Overall a satisfying meal, which one would expect from a typical hawker centre stall.

Price: $2.50. 7/10

Conclusion - It is a simple vegetarian stall, with little options for customers overall. Perhaps on other days of the week there is a greater variety of options available, but when I visited, there was only a handful of dishes to choose from. However, the dishes that were available did taste good. In particular, the mock duck and egg were delicious.

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