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Monday, May 14, 2012

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Yuan Xiang Vegetarian Food - Bedok

I've had this small little stall recommended to me be a couple of people now (sorry, I neglected to remember your names).  Can there be any greater pleasure in Singapore, than settling down in a hawker centre with one of our innumerable delicious dishes and a kopi or teh (or kopi-o and teh-o for this newly transformed vegan) along side it?  I doubt so - So make sure never to take this for granted.  Overseas no such luxury is available.  Without further delay, lets begin the review...
Yuan Xiang Vegetarian Food
Location: Blk 211, New Upper Changi Road

Contact: Unknown
Opening Hours:  Daily 10am - 10.30pm

CLOSED DOWN - As of 12/03/2016.

This stall deals strictly with zi char dishes, with there being no white/brown rice and dishes options.  Luckily though, the zi char dishes are quite affordable, as was the case with this Pineapple Rice.  The portion size was generous, and there was enough wok hei flavour (my favourite aspect of Chinese cooking) to leave me feeling content.  Ingredients wise, there is nothing special, just the typical peas, carrots, pineapple etc.  Overall a satisfying start to my eating experience at Yuan Xiang.

Price: $3.50.     7/10

The next dish that found its way to my table was the Char Kway Teow.  For those vegan eaters, make sure to specify that you don't want eggs in this dish.  The kway noodles hit the mark in terms of texture, as did the other ingredients in the dish.  However, I found that flavour wise the dish was a tad too bland.  Char kway teow simply must be packed to the brim with smokey flavour - Unfortunately for this dish, that essential flavour was only present as a subtle undertone, rather than leaping out from the dish, as it should be.

Price: $3.50.     6/10

Conclusion - Come prepared with a Chinese dictionary when coming to this outlet, as a number of the dishes have only Chinese characters, additionally the friendly auntie that works at this stall can speak little English.  Food wise, I found the dishes I sampled to be average in quality.  There is a menu packed with a myriad of different dishes, but unfortunately I was alone on this particular day, and there is only so much one stomach can take!  Good place to eat for those in the Bedok area, not somewhere I would consider travelling long distances to eat at though.

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

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant - Boon Keng

This review has been a long time coming. Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant ranks as one of the most popular vegetarian establishments in Singapore. Famed particularly for their buffet options. There are two types of buffet available. The Steamboat Buffet (Mon-Thur) and the Asian Buffet (Fri-Sun). As I visited on a Thursday, only the steamboat option was available. Seen as though I am not a huge fan of steamboat, I decided to order their a la carte menu instead - Which offers a vast array of options also. This restaurant certainly has a touch of elegance, located within the pristine Quality Hotel. But, lets find out if the food is anything special...


 
Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant
Location:
201 Balestier Road, #02-00 Quality Hotel
Contact: 62540090
Opening Hours: Daily 11:30am to 3:00pm & 5:45pm to 10pm


Starting with the Dim Sum.  I have to confess, dim sum has never really been my favourite thing to eat, and perhaps the reason for that is that there has not been a good meat-free dim sum invented yet.  The dim sum from Lotus certainly met my expectations of what a typical vegetarian dim sum is always like.  Yet, nothing exceed my expectations. There were three pieces siew mai dim sum in total.  A good way to open a meal, but a little too doughy in texture, and lacking in any real flavour.

Price: $2.00.     5/10


The Minced Meat Eggplant was certainly the standout dish that I sampled that evening.  What was unique was the purple skin of the eggplant was, in fact, removed during the preparation.  This does make a significant difference in the texture, as the eggplants seem much more creamy and soft, without the hindrance of the skin - I am surprised more restaurants are not testing out this skinless eggplant style of cooking.  A quick mention on the sauce, with was flavourful, but a tad heavy on the salt.  Very satisfying dish overall though.

Price: $8.00.     8/10


One of the specialty dishes, which Lotus Vegetarian boasts of, is the Herbal Chicken Soup.  This dish certainly did surprise me, but largely for all the wrong reasons.  The biggest error in this dish was a lack of any herbal taste at all, therefore the title of the dish is very deceiving.  The broth was just a normal typical conventional style, with quite trite ingredients inside.  Comparing this to traditional herbal chicken, there is a vast difference in quality.  Hopefully this dish can be improved upon in the future.

Price: $12.00.     4/10


From the disappointing, to the delicious - Here we have the Steamed Fish.  Starting with the mock fish, due to it being steamed, it has a much more healthy feel to it, unlike the fried type.  Additionally, this had an extremely strong fish taste, which I loved.  The layout of the dish was perfectly done, with soft silken tofu laying on the bottom, followed by the fish, shredded vegetables, and finally wearing a crown of fresh coriander on top.  The coriander in particular suited well with the mock fish.  The presence of the preserved sour plum really added to the authenticity of this traditional teo chew dish.

Price: $10.00.     8/10


Conclusion - As you have probably gathered from this review, my experience at Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant was a mixture of highs and lows.  The steamed fish and eggplant were outstanding dishes, which I savored.  However, it is impossible to ignore the disappointments, which especially came in the form of the herbal chicken - A dish which requires the chef to seek serious self-evaluation.  Price wise, of course, this is an expensive restaurant, perhaps the buffet would represent better value...

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