This is the fourth (and last) part in a series of posts on the vegan and vegetarian food I found during a recent trip to Singapore. See parts one, two and three for more information on the restaurants I visited.
After two intense Southeast Asian dinners in a row, I wanted something a little mellower for lunch the next day. I decided to revisit a place that I had tried on my last trip to Singapore – Original Sin, a Western-style vegetarian Mediterranean restaurant at the ex-Pat enclave called Holland Village (Blk 43 #01-62 Jalan Merah Saga Holland Village, Chip Bee Gardens).
While the menu is very solid for vegetarians, it’s pretty limited for vegans. We started with the Mezze plate, which included small portions of hummus, baba ganoush, falafels, pita bread and a delicious dip called Koresh – a pumpkin and carrot infused spread with caraway and fennel seed. The platter also included tzatziki and feta, but they were easily avoidable. All of the dips were delicious, and I should have ordered the large platter instead of the appetizer size!
For my entrée, I ordered a pasta dish that I can’t recall the name of (and it isn’t on the online menu).
It was prepared with a light olive oil infused with garlic and chili pepper (okay, so maybe I just can’t do “mellow” when something spicy is on the menu!), plus included a variety of fresh veggies including tomatoes, spinach and edamame. It was good, but I thought the dish was a little heavy handed with the garlic and chili. It actually upset my stomach more than the Thai and Indian food did!
My dining-mates ordered an interesting mix of vegetarian entrees, including the lasagna, supremo pizza, and the Absolut pasta.
Out of them all, I was most jealous of the pizza – it looked beautiful. Too bad they haven’t discovered Daiya vegan cheese substitute in Singapore yet!
As much as it was a nice setting and good food, I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to go back to Original Sin if I make it to Singapore again. It’s great for vegetarians, but does not offer as much for vegans, and it isn’t serving anything I wouldn’t be able to eat in the States.
My last meal in Singapore was a very happy surprise. There were still three vegetarian restaurants on my list that I wanted to try – Zen Japanese Vegetarian at 122 Middle Road, Living Greens at 325 Beach Road, and Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant Chinatown at 282A South Bridge Road.
Since I had a half day before our flight home with no meetings to attend, I decided to make a quick shopping dash for souvenirs in Singapore’s Chinatown. Eight Treasures was right by the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in the heart of the tourist area in Chinatown so it got the nod. The menu was vast (far more than what’s online), and claimed to be “100% vegetarian” – which, based on what I saw, I think meant it was totally vegan. There was a wide variety of mock meats and seafood – more than I’d ever seen – plus interesting bean curd and veggie dishes. Many dishes had photos accompanying them on the menu so you could get some sense of what was in it. They had interesting specials and the mock meats intrigued me (vegetarian suckling pig?) but, I decided to play it safe since I was about to get on a 17-hour flight. I ordered what I thought would be a basic tofu and veggies dish. It doesn’t show up on the online menu but it was called either the Family Bean Curd or the Eight Treasures Bean Curd. My dining companion ordered an eggplant dish that also does not show up on the online menu.
Both items were entirely unique. When the tofu dish arrived, I thought it might actually be in a pesto sauce.
It was a light, clear sauce, almost like a Moo Goo Gai Pan sauce, but loaded with an herb that we just couldn’t identify. We thought it might be cilantro, or maybe parsley, but it was such a gentle flavor that neither of us could be certain. Either way, it was delicious and I don’t think I’ll ever have anything like it again. The tofu and veggies were fresh and full of flavor. I kept saying, “Okay I’ve had enough, I’ll stop eating now,” and then ate more.
The eggplant dish was similarly distinctive.
It was beautifully prepared, with all the vegetables looking bright and fresh. The purple eggplant was glowing. The red sauce wasn’t spicy, but instead had a nice light flavor that wasn’t too sweet, wasn’t too sour. I didn’t know what to expect from Eight Treasures, and it ended up being the perfect final meal for me in Singapore.
I really hope that I have a chance to go back to Singapore again and try more vegetarian and vegan food from around the region. I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface of what’s available!