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Sunday, January 26, 2014

ROTI - Alka's Kitchen - Clementi

Reflecting back on 2013, one of the most promising new eateries that opened up was certainly ROTI-Alka's Kitchen.  Inevitably I was bound to return once again in 2014, this time I wanted to focus my review on one of their special festive set meals.  For those wanting to read my first thoughts on this eatery, you can check out my first review HERE.

















ROTI - Alka's Kitchen
Location: #B1-22/23, 154 West Coast Road, West Coast Plaza
Contact: 67740422
Opening Hours: Daily 10.00am-10.00pm


Here is a poster which promotes the consumption of whole grains.
Those who visit ROTI-Alka's will probably see owner and head chef Madam Alka C Mehta working away in the kitchen.  For what its worth, I think Madam Alka is one of the most talented vegetarian chefs in Singapore.  I love her food, and more importantly, I love her attitude and infectious fascination with the world of food.  Even though she has been cooking for 24 years, been a winner of numerous cooking competitions and has a masters degree in Food Science & Nutrition - She is still humble, and still has a completely open mind to learning new things.  This mindset is rare in the world of food these days.
The signature dish at Alka's is the Roti Wrap, which the restaurant coined its name.  This wrap is entirely customizable, where customers can choose the ingredients inside, as well as the type of paratha/roti.  I got the spinach roti.  I really loved the roti wraps during my first visit, and I was pleased to see they were just as delicious as the first time.  Definitely a dish you must order when visiting Alka's.

Price: $6.50.     8/10


For this review, the dish I am most excited to share with you is the Mutton Tikka.  This skewer style dish is so ridiculously good I could barely contain the fireworks show that was taking place within me.  This dish consists of two skewers, with mock mutton, capsicum, tomato and red onion stabbed together.  Although Alka's doesn't have a tandoor (yet, they will soon), there is still a lovely smokey aroma on the ingredients.  Even more impressive - This is vegan.  All tikka tandoori style items usually have yogurt in the marinate, to thicken the mixture and add sourness.  Chef Alka has amazingly been able to make the marinate without dairy, so vegans can enjoy.  If things weren't amazing enough, the skewers are served alongside a sensational sesame sauce/chutney.  I could happily drink this sauce by itself, and it matched expertly with the skewers.  A little less salt, and a sprinkling of lime would have made it even more perfect.

Price: $6.00.     9/10


Regular visitors to ROTI-Alka's will often see special promotions and set meals, which usually coincide with festive periods in Singapore.  At the time of visiting, there was a special 5-Course Chinese New Year Indo-Chinese Meal.  The following dishes were ones I sampled from that aforementioned meal...
Indo-Chinese food has been attempted in a couple of restaurants in Singapore - But none that are 100% vegetarian.  I really like the idea of fusion food, as it creates a unique niche market for Alka's.  First up was the Manchow Soup.  This soup certainly manages to capture the traditional Chinese flavours.  Personally, when I ever eat a soup like this, I need to add black rice vinegar.  This sweet and sour vinegar really takes otherwise mundane soups to another level.

7/10 


One of the appetizer dishes on the menu is Steamed Momos.  The name 'momo' is something many people have heard of, but few people actually know what it is.  Momo is essentially a white-skinned steamed dumpling (not too dissimilar to Chinese 'jiao zi') that is popular in Nepal (its birth place), Tibet, Bhutan and certain regions of Northern India.  These dumplings are very filling, and have a good moist and chewy outer skin.  Steamed dumplings are not something I particularly enjoy - But if you do, then surely you will enjoy this appetizer.

7/10


Maybe I was an Indian in one of my past lives.  Indian food puts a smile on my face, and satisfies my stomach more than any other food cuisine can.  Pani Puri is an example of an Indian chaat that has managed to break into mainstream popularity.  It is a simple dish, that is fun to eat and is full of flavour (like all Indian food).  The key to good pani puri is the quality of the chutneys used.  Also, the olive green murky tamarind water, which should be poured into the hollow shell, needs to be perfect.  This water can be an acquired taste, as it has a strong eggy smell - No this is not real egg - This is kala namak, also known as black salt.  Lovely snack.

8/10
In the quest to offer more familiar dishes to the local crowd, Laksa has been added to the CNY menu.  To manage your expectations, this is not a 'traditional' (if there is such a thing) tasting laksa.  Instead, this is more fusion-style.  Inside the bowl, one can kind beancurd, mock prawn, mock chicken and other tasty goodies.  Although a valiant attempt, I found the laksa gravy a little one dimensional.  Particularly lacking in the typical punch of lemongrass.  A reduction in the overpowering garlic flavour would be better too.  With some adjustments I am sure this dish will improve leaps and bounds.

6/10
Another vegan dish on their menu is the Chicken Manchurian.  Aside from Gokul, Alka's is one of the few Indian restaurants that actually use mock meats in their cooking.  Generally, you won't see Indian restaurants using mock meat.  The flavours of this dish are quite similar to the manchow soup.  Instead, the sauce is much starchier and overall is quite pleasant.  It especially goes well with the mock chicken.

7/10



In Chef Alka's quest to make more items vegan friendly, she has concocted a vegan Suji Halwa dessert.  For those who know Indian desserts, you will know they are very milk, ghee and sugar heavy.  Therefore, to create a vegan Indian dessert is an achievement alone.  The suji (semolina) was well roasted and had great flavour.  Chef Alka uses considerably less sugar to make it more healthy.

7/10


Conclusion - ROTI-Alka's is an eatery that is ever evolving and improving, so it will be interesting to see what direction it goes in the future.  I like how they are now offering fusion food, but still have their delicious Indian items available as well.  Needless to say, the mutton tikka is a dish you simply must order.

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

Friday, January 24, 2014

Loving Hut - Eunos

2014 is just beginning, but we already have one exciting new vegan eatery that has opened its doors in Singapore.  Loving Hut, of course, is an internationally known vegan food franchise.  Throughout all of Asia, wherever you go, there will probably be a Loving Hut in that country.  Needless to say, this place is 100% vegan.  Although I consider Singapore to be a vegetarian food lovers paradise - We still don't have enough vegan eateries (less than 20 by my estimation).  The vegan diet is becoming increasing popular, so let's hope this is met with an increase in vegan establishments.












Loving Hut
Location: 229 Joo Chiat Road

Contact: 97874389
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11.00am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-9.30pm. Sat-Sun 10.00am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-9.30pm


The interior look of this restaurant is perfect.  It is easily the best looking Loving Hut I've been to.  Calming music and a simple, yet trendy ambiance greets customers.
In Singapore, I've always been somewhat underwhelmed by Loving Hut.  Having visited their outlets in other countries, I always found that the menu on offer in their Singapore outlets was much less creative.  Therefore, when looking at their new refurbished menu at Joo Chiat, I was excited to see that more original and innovative dishes were added.  In fact, it became quite difficult to choose what to order, as I wanted to try so many things!  Everything on the menu is 100% vegan.  I was a little surprised to see that some dishes do have onion and garlic - But it is clearly indicated on the well designed menu.
First dish to the table was the Three-Cup Chickin' Organic Brown Rice.  This dish consists of organic brown rice, steamed cauliflower and broccoli, clear Chinese soup and mock meat.  Price wise, some customers may find this dish a little costly, for what you get.  Moreover, mistakes in salt levels were made in the soup and mock meat sauce - Both were really way too salty.  Having said that, the texture of the mock meat is really excellent.  It is quite different to typical mock meat, as it has a welcome crunchy texture - It was fried in a batter first, which gave it a texture similar to ribs.  Just a shame it was weighed down by high salt levels.

Price: $9.90.     7/10


After seeing the Loving Hut promotional posters, the dish I was adamant in trying was the Papa's Portobello Burger.  The burger had a portobello mushroom, onion ring and tomato sauce inside.  The portobello was beautifully juicy and made as an excellent replacement for a typical patty.  The tomato sauce was excellent as well, sweet yet tart.  The onion ring added an interesting textural crunch to the burger.  Also, it is worth noting this burger is not as hopelessly messy as some.  For the sides, there is a salad with balsamic vinegar reduction and sweet potato fries.  I loved the originality of using sweet potato, but in terms of taste, they were lacking in seasoning.

Price: $14.90.     8/10


Here is a look at the inside of the burger.  All credit to Loving Hut for doing there best to serve a burger with originality.  I am sick to death of visiting eateries and getting mock patty, tomato, lettuce and soggy bread.

The last dish we sampled was the Nyonya Rendang.  This dish provides an interesting twist on traditional rendang by wrapping the curry in a thin crepe.  Considering this crepe is vegan, the texture was extremely impressive - It was not stiff and hard like I feared.  The rendang itself is basically mock meat (mushroom stem) flavoured with typical rendang spices.  I couldn't help but think, why not add more ingredients into the rendang curry?  Such as green peas, potato and a touch more sauce.  I believe this would have elevated the dish to an even higher level.  Again this dish comes with sweet potato fries and salad.

Price: $13.90.     7/10


Conclusion - Definitely price is going to be a factor for many customers visiting Loving Hut.  These three dishes cost me a total of $42.55 ($3.85 in additional costs), which certainly makes Loving Hut (Joo Chiat) one of the more expensive meat-free eateries in Singapore.  The quality of the dishes were definitely above average, and I applaud them for reinvigorating the Loving Hut brand this way.  Certainly a place I would consider for special events or gatherings.  However, the price may prevent me from being a regular customer.

Overall Rating
Food - 7/10
Ambiance- 9/10
Service - 7/10
Value - 6/10

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Foy Yin Vegetarian Food - Yio Chu Kang

Foy Yin is one of those classic olden style vegetarian stalls, which have been around seemingly forever and have built up a local die hard following of customers, who have been visiting their stall for the majority of their lifetime.  How long has these stall been at block 628 exactly?  It has been over 25 years now.  This stall even survived a quite horrendous fire, which occurred at this hawker centre some years ago.  Perhaps it is safe to say this stall is indestructible.  Foy Yin is most know for its classic bee hoon and dishes.  But this stall has a variety of interesting dishes throughout the week.  For example, they serve a non-mock meat duck rice (using mushroom head) and they do occasionally sell dishes like prawn noodle, lei cha and hokkien mee also.  These dishes don't have a fixed serving day, so it is difficult to predict what will be sold on what day.







Foy Yin Vegetarian Food
Location: 628, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, #01-70
Contact: None

Opening Hours: Daily 6.30pm-10.00pm.  Closed on alternate Mondays. 


This ah ma was selecting the ingredients she would like to have included along side her bee hoon.
So here is my plate of Bee Hoon and Dishes.  As you can see, I selected broccoli/cauliflower, tofu and mock char siew.  Sometimes I find it a little difficult to write about rice/bee hoon and dishes, as most stalls are pretty much selling the same types of dishes, all cooked the same way - That is the case for Foy Yin as well.  All the food is cooked well, but frankly it is just the same type of food you can expect in all the typical vegetarian rice/bee hoon and dishes stalls.  Unfortunately other more glamorous dishes were not available when I visited.

Price: $3.00.     6/10


Conclusion - I believe what makes Foy Yin so special is the bond the staff have with their regular customers.  As I was sitting there eating my bee hoon, it was clear to see that most customers eating there are long time regulars.  I would certainly be curious to go back on days where they have more interesting dishes available.

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

Friday, January 17, 2014

Little Prince Cuisine - Ngee Ann Polytechnic

I've always empathized with the invidious situation many vegetarian/vegan students are faced with in Singapore. Unfortunately, most primary/secondary/junior college/polytechnic establishments don't have any meat-free options for their students.  Thankfully, students at Ngee Ann don't have that problem, thanks to this deceptively brilliant stall, located at their Koufu 'Makan Place' food court, which is at block 51.



Little Prince Cuisine
Location:
535 Clementi Rd, Blk 51, Level 2 Ngee Ann Polytechnic (Makan Place)
Contact: 91871461/97815334
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10.30am-7.45pm.  Sat 10.30am-1.45pm.  Closed Sunday.

CLOSED DOWN - As of 13/02/2017

 
Looks can often be deceiving.  From a distance, Little Prince looks just like a typical run-of-the-mill food court vegetarian stall, nothing unusual.  However, upon looking closer, it is really mind-blowing how much variety is available.  There are over 30 dishes to choose from, plus rice and dishes (available in the morning/afternoon), plus daily specials. Impressive.


Not only does this stall have great variety, but the prices are insanely cheap.  Most of the Western dishes range between $3-$5, you won't find that price anywhere else in Singapore for Western food.  The menu is void of egg, onion and garlic.  Some of the pasta and soups have cream, but chef James is working to replace these with soy, so that vegans can also consume.  In general, the menu is very vegan friendly though.  No MSG is used in any of the cooking also.


The head chef of Little Prince Cuisine may be familiar to some of you.  James Ang was formerly the head chef at famous Singapore vegetarian restaurants Deli-Vege and Vege Sensation.  James is a talented, yet extremely humble chef. 
I kicked off this marathon of Western delights with the Fish & Chips.  Out of all the Western dishes we tried, this one was my favourite.  The mock fish patty had a nice crumbly outer exterior, matched with a juicy soy based mock meat.  Along the outside is seaweed, which adds that authentic 'fishy' flavour.

Price: $4.50.     8/10


Next Western dish we sampled was the Chicken Chop.  For vegans who are wondering about the sauce used in these Western dishes, they are totally vegan.  James uses soy based sauces. The components for all the Western meals is pretty much the same - Salad, french fries, mock meat and sauce.  I found that the french fries were a little hard and rigid.  I would have preferred softer (perhaps thicker cut) fries.  The chicken chop mock meat was tender and juicy, once again being derived from soy.

Price: $4.50.     7/10


For those who have visited Thousand Vegie/Deli-Vege in the past, the mock patty used in this Little Prince Fried Chicken may look familiar to you.  The fried chicken mock meat used is the same, however Little Prince's version is not as juicy and succulent. Price wise, once again this is a dish which represents superb value.

Price: $4.80.     7/10


Lastly, we selected the Aglio Olio Spaghetti.  Obviously traditional aglio olio relies heavily on the use of garlic.  Little Prince is a Buddhist eatery, so no onion or garlic is used in the food.  This aglio olio doesn't really miss the garlic, and has a lot of good flavour.  The spaghetti is cooked very well, and there are many ingredients added inside.  Perhaps this isn't the most traditional looking or tasting aglio olio, but it still a decent dish nontheless.

Price: $3.80.     7/10


Conclusion - Chef James isn't limited to cooking purely Western dishes.  Other signature dishes, such as his minced meat noodle and chicken noodle are also available at this stall.  You can't argue with the value and portion size.  Ngee Ann is a pretty inconvenient place to get to for most, but a visit to Little Prince and Chef James is worth the journey.

Overall Rating
Food - 7/10
Ambiance- 7/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 9/10

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ah Teck 'The Best Durian' - XO, D13

I'm very excited to write this review of Ah Teck's 'The Best Durian' stall, because this stall was the catalyst which allowed me to really become interested in the world of durians.  Seven years ago, I first experienced the taste of durian (in the form of a birthday cake), and was perplexed as to why anyone could enjoy something that essentially tasted like rotten onions, which have fermented in a used gym sock.  Fast forward a few years, and I was eager to give durian a second chance.  After being continuously scammed by almost every durian seller I encountered, I finally met my very first honest durian seller - Ah Teck.


 
Ah Teck 'The Best Durian'
Location: Block 681, Hougang Avenue 8
Contact: 91039312

Back when I first met Ah Teck, it would have been laughably easy for him to con me.  I knew almost nothing about durian.  The only durian I knew was mao shan wang, and I had no idea how to pick a good durian.  Plus, let's face it, I'm an ang moh buying durian - This is a dastardly durians sellers dream.  Even though I was essentially a limping antelope in a room full of lions, Ah Teck never took advantage of my vulnerability.  He gave me good quality durians, and always at fair prices.  For that reason, Ah Teck will always be a friend to me, and always someone I think of and smile, when it comes to durians.


Ah Teck has been selling durian at this particular spot in Hougang since 1991 (I was just four years old).  Over those 20 plus years, he has developed a loyal following of customers, mainly from the Hougang area.  His best selling durians are black pearl and mao shan wang.  Ah Teck was born in Muar, Malaysia - His durians come from his cousins plantation in Malaysia.  His opening times are 3.30pm-12am.  Customers are advised to call in advance to make their order, as his durians can sometimes sell out - Especially on weekends.


D13 durian must surely rank as the most common durian in Singapore.  You can find D13 everywhere almost all the time. D13 is a durian I seldom purchase, simply because it is a big seeded durian with quite simple flavours.  Having said that, you can still find pretty good D13 around.  You may often hear the word 红肉 'red meat' used as an alternative name for this durian. 

Price: $10.00/kg.     7/10
Let me get this off my chest, because a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to selecting good XO.  For lesser educated durian lovers, wet durians automatically mean one thing - No good.  This is true for some species, but completely false for others.  People seek XO for its alcoholic aftertaste, which can send your whole mouth into a buzzing frenzy.  This aftertaste is only present in XO durians, which have undergone an extended period of fermentation inside the shell.  Harder/Thicker fleshed XO will not have had this extra time in the shell, and thus will not have the aftertaste.  Therefore, if you're looking for a flavourful XO, more watery flesh is ideal.  The XO at Ah Teck's stall was deliciously creamy and had a slight alcoholic buzz at the end.

Price: $12.00/kg.     8/10





Conclusion - I have visited many of the durian sellers in the North of Singapore, and so far Ah Teck is the only honest seller I've come across.  Be very careful, block 681 and 682 have a number of durian sellers, make sure to look for Ah Teck's stall, and don't get lured into buying from the others.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Victor Veggie - MacPherson

We all know Circuit Road is a hotbed for vegetarian food, with numerous 100% veg stalls located within block 79A.  I've often found Circuit Road to be a tad overrated - Yes, it is great so many vegetarian stalls are running there, but in general most of the stalls pretty mediocre, in terms of quality.  The focus for this review will be Victor Veggie.  This stall should not be confused with the famous satay/otah stall Victor's Vegetarian Food, which is located inside the same block.


 
Victor Veggie
Location: 79A, Circuit Road, #01-92
Contact: Unknown

Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 2.30pm-11.00pm.  Closed Sunday


This stall deals almost exclusively with yong tau foo.  For those unfamiliar with this style of dish, let me briefly explain.  For yong tau foo, customers are required to select whatever tofu, vegetables, stuffed beancurd, mock meat and other items are available and place them into a bowl.  After which, these items are boiled in a clear soup, usually with noodles added and served.  This style of eating has been around for over 40 years, and can be found not only in Singapore, but also in China, Malaysia and Thailand.  The name yong tau foo literally means 'stuffed beancurd', which was the original ingredient used when this dish was first concocted.  There is a 'dry' version of yong tau foo also, where the ingredients are re-fried and served to the customer with sweet sauce.
Personally, yong tau foo is a dish I've seldom eaten in Singapore, mainly due to my skepticism of the hygiene of the food.  The food items are usually left out in the open for many hours, often exposed to the uneducated manners of the general public.  This fear is quite misplaced though, and it is important to remember that when the items are cooked in the high temperature of the clear soup (or re-fried), then almost all the bacteria accumulated from the hours of dormancy is wiped out - At least I hope.


So here it is, Yong Tau Foo (Wet).  As I mentioned earlier, everything is customizable for this dish, you can even choose the type of noodles you want (I chose bee hoon).  At Victor you can choose six ingredients for $3.00 (plus $0.50 extra for noodles or rice).  There is quite a lot of variety available for the ingredients.  I chose eggplant, stuffed bittergourd, bok choy, enoki mushrooms, tofu and others.  I particularly liked the dark sauce, which customers can pour for themselves.  The soup itself is not as bland as I thought, and all the ingredients matched pretty well together.

Price: $3.50.     7/10


Conclusion - Yong tau foo soup is a perfect meal for colder evenings in Singapore.  Before ordering this dish, I did have quite a low opinion on this style of food, but Victor Veggie did change my opinion somewhat.  If you're someone who enjoys yong tau foo, then Victor is definitely a place you should check out.

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

Friday, January 10, 2014

Simple Food - Ubi

2013 was a year of great transition and change for Simple Food.  Some may recollect a couple of ancient posts of mine reviewing their old Pasir Ris and Tampines outlets.  Subsequently, both these outlets have closed, and merged together to create this new outlet, which is at Bedok North.  Bedok is probably the best area in Singapore for veggie food.  There are really countless wonderful vegetarian stalls, which can all be found in Bedok.  For those residing in Bedok, consider yourself very lucky - You have no idea how much I envy you!



Simple Food Vegetarian
Location: #01-511, Blk 537 Bedok North Street 3
Contact: 64491437
Opening Hours: Daily 10.30am-10.00pm 

Note - This eatery has MOVED once again, now it is at 50 kaki bukit place, #01-02, Singapore 415926


The menu at Simple Food is quite vast, serving a number of Western, Chinese and local dishes.  For customers who have visited their old outlets, then the menu will be very familiar to you.  Simple Food have a frequently updated facebook page, which I recommend you visit, to stau updated.
The owner and head chef of Simple Food is James Teo.  In 2013 James became the first Singaporean chef to win double accolades at the Taipei International Cooking Competition.  He won the Gold Merit award in both the international category and the exquisite taste (美味大师) category. 














Simple Food offer a number of set meal options for customers.  All these set meals are similar in the sense that they all come with a drink and a side bowl of mushroom soup.  I went for the Spaghetti Set.  The mushroom soup is NOT vegan.  Thankfully I was eating with my non-vegan friend.  Shitake mushrooms were used.


For the set meal, customers can select any spaghetti dish that they wish.  I decided to get the Aglio Olio Pine Nut.  The usual price for this aglio olio is $6.80, if you are not interested in the set meal.  The spaghetti was very well cooked, almost as expertly done as Veggie Cottage.  There was a good variety of ingredients used and the dish didn't really miss the garlic, which should traditionally be used in aglio olio.  One suggestion for improvement might be to lower the spice of this dish.  The picture I took may look innocent enough, but this dish is fiery hot, with a minefield of sliced red chilli lurking within the spaghetti.

Price: $9.50.     7/10


The next dish we tried was the Monkey Mushroom Mee Suah.  Monkey head mushroom ranks as one of my most favourite ingredients, adding such sensational texture and flavour.  This mee suah dish was easily the best dish we ate, and is probably the best mee suah I have ever eaten.  The soup base was packed with flavour.  Instead of resorting to using MSG like many eateries, James avoids using MSG and flavours all his dishes naturally.  Once again, there was a great diversity of ingredients used, all matching well with this five star quality soup base.

Price: $6.50.    9/10


Simple Food also have a number of daily specials throughout the week.  On this particular day it was the Curry Mutton.  Initially, the price may seem a little steep, but I found the presentation and portion size justifies the price.  The key component is obviously the curry, which was rich, creamy and fragrant.  The curry had a healthy variety of ingredients, with the ladyfingers being my personal favourite - Cooked perfectly.  Sliced tofu, soup, rice and two poppadoms make up the rest of this dish.

Price: $8.80.     7/10


Conclusion - Although Bedok is a mecca for vegetarian food, this particular location is a little inaccessible for potential customers.  I would urge customers not to be put off by this inconvenient location, and head down to pay Simple Food a visit.  If you're visiting, the mee suah is an absolute must order.

Overall Rating
Food - 8/10
Ambiance- 6/10
Service - 7/10
Value - 7/10

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Roasted Potatoes

Traditional Roasted Potatoes Recipe

After posting a couple of pictures of my glorious Christmas dinner feast on my facebook page.  I received a number of comments requesting that I post my recipe for making perfect Roasted Potatoes.

This is actually a very simple recipe, but cooking them to perfection is still quite a challenge.  Roasted potatoes are probably one of the most iconic English foods.  It is not only served at Christmas, but traditionally every Sunday, when families gather together for what is known as 'Sunday dinner/roast'.




Ingredients

Potatoes - 1kg (reduce or increase amount depending on the number of people)
Oil - half a cup
Dried Parsley - to taste
Pepper - to taste
Salt - to taste

Instructions

1.  Firstly, chop the potatoes and boil them in hot water for around 25-30 minutes. Cook the potatoes until they are roughly 80% cooked.
2.  Remove the potatoes from the water and peel the skin from them, this is often a long and tedious task.
3.  On an oven tray, line it with aluminum foil.  Cover each of the potatoes in olive oil, and then place them on the foil.  Make sure there is space between each of the potatoes and ensure oil has covered all the potatoes.
4.  Once on the foil, sprinkle pepper, salt and parsley evenly over them all.
5.  Place in the oven on 200 degrees Celsius for around 30-40 minutes, until you see a dark golden brown colour on the potatoes.  You may need to shake them around half way through.
6.  Remove from the oven and enjoy!  These potatoes should be served fresh, and eaten on the same day.  Leaving them overnight will cause them to lose their glorious crunchy outer skin.




Friday, January 3, 2014

Just Greens Vegetarian - Toa Payoh

I believe every vegetarian in Singapore has at some point come across the name 'Just Greens'.  That is because Just Greens has several outlets all across Singapore.  Originally, their central hub was at Joo Chiat Place, but this restaurant has subsequently closed.  There is, however, a total of five (presently) Just Greens stalls which are located at Clementi, Simei, Tampines, Sengkang and Toa Payoh.  A detailed address list for these aforementioned locations can be found here.  Owner James Lim prides himself on providing non-toxic, healthy food, which brings the family together.

 
Just Greens Vegetarian
Location:
#01-402, Blk 186 Toa Payoh Central
Contact: 63450069/68097286
Opening Hours: Daily 8.00am-11.00pm

CLOSED DOWN - As of 25/10/2014


The menu has been kept pretty simple, which is usually a good thing from my experience.  I started things off with the Veg Chicken Rice.  Yes, I know what you're thinking, and I do agree that the price is a little crazy for chicken rice.  But, I found the portion size to be larger than usual, with soup included on the side.  The mock chicken used is the white 'steamed chicken' kind.  Personally I find this mock meat can be a little doughy in texture.  The highlight of this dish for me was the orange chilli sauce.  It had that perfect balance of spice and sourness, and when combined with the rice, it was just heavenly.

Price: $4.50.     6/10


When you eat at Just Greens you will quickly come to one realisation - They love using mock meat.  There is literally mock meat in everything.  The clear Chinese soup (which is served with all dishes) even has mock pork swimming in it.  The Veg Claypot Rice is no different.  In fact, there is a total of three different types of mock meat inside this dish.  Too much, in this humble writers opinion.  You will also notice cherry tomatoes are used in almost all dishes too.  On the positive side, the rice was cooked very well, with there being a wonderful layer of burnt rice at the bottom - Delicious, but quite toxic.  Overall this rice has great flavour, it just needs less mock meat.  Again, this dish is served with that sensational orange chilli sauce on the side.

Price: $4.50.     7/10


Conclusion - I anticipate a number of people may be a little put off by the prices at this Just Greens stall, especially for dishes such as chicken rice.  In their defence, I must say that extra effort is made with all dishes, so it doesn't feel like the travesty of justice that it may appear to be.  One thing they could improve on is actually putting the prices on the signboard, as there is currently no price indication anywhere around the stall.  Overall a decent stall, one which I would certainly return to again.

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