Are you one of those who have to have meat at every meal? And if you don’t, you just feel like something is missing and you leave feeling unsatisfied? Well, that makes the two of us. I need to have meat. Even if I’m tucking into a healthy salad, I have to have some kind of meat in there to break the texture.
But this single-minded obsession with meat wasn’t healthy and, as I learned, causing me to miss out on a lot of places with food that are as tasty as they are wholesome. And, ever since I “accepted” that I was going to have to eat at organic and vegetarian cafes (the boyfriend, unfortunately, is a big fan of “clean eating”), my dining options have widened considerably. If I wasn’t feeling a full and heavy meal, an organic/vegetarian cafe is a good alternative – better than simply popping into Subway or a fastfood joint.
So here are four places highly recommended by folks around us, approved by the team, and loved by carnivores like Denise and I.
The Living Cafe
779 Bukit Timah Road
At The Living Cafe, the food does not contain red meat, cow dairy, white sugar, preservatives, additives and artificial colouring. While not strictly vegetarian, they do have a wide range of raw/raw-fusion dishes. I go there whenever I feel my system is a bit choked up with junk and gunk. They do a wonderful raw-food burger (TLC Burger) and I love their Flaxseed Chips. But initiates, you can try the Grilled Chicken Or Fish Brown Rice Bowl. Packed with flavours and textures, it is one satisfying, healthy meal in a bowl.
North South East West
200 Tanjong Katong Road
Despite what several websites and people may tell you, it is still in operation. I was amazed by how popular and crowded this 100% vegetarian restaurant got at lunchtime. The menu is EXTENSIVE. You’ll find local delights like laksa, satay beehoon, Hainanese “pork” chop rice, and Western dishes like baked rice and “fish” nuggets. I tried the Hainanese “pork” chop rice and found it tasty without being greasy or too salty. The curry was flavourful and very addictive. It can get quite hectic so don’t expect this to be some Zen, chill-out place.
The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #B1-52
Tai Wah Building, 110 Killiney Road
The outlet at The Central is always crowded, I prefer the one at Killiney. Now, if you are in a rush, or expect your food to reach your table in under 10 minutes, don’t go to Real Food. Here, they make everything in small batches and from scratch. The person taking your order will also alert you if something you want is going to take a while to make. I love their Dumpling Noodles, a plate of it has like 5 full dumplings! If you are looking for something sweet, the French toast with apples and cinnamon is AWESOME (it’s so yums, I have to post up the picture too!).
The Rail Mall, 434 Upper Bukit Timah Road
If you order the nasi lemak or the bak kut teh, you are going to be IMPRESSED. SunnyChoice doesn’t “fake” the meat-component of these dishes. Instead they just cook stuff like mushrooms, toufu, and eggplant creatively to give these dishes the textures meat-eaters expect to have. The bak kut teh is my all-time favourite – it’s got a strong herbal taste and the mix of veggies and toufu guarantees a filling and satisfying meal. Another thing to order at SunnyChoice is the Hakka Abacus – bite-size discs made from yam. Only, instead of minced meat, they are using a flavourful stir-fry of shredded mushrooms and carrots. Again, this is such a yummy eat, I have to show it here.
About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits and hasn’t stopped thinking about the french toast at Real Food. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.
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