Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wedding Review - Qian Xi Lou @ Paya Lebar

I've always wanted to write on wedding dinners that I attend. It is good to find that most of the restaurants/hotels in SG offer vegetarian options for guests. I guess this was some concern for some people as we do not know if they do offer and I've heard of fellow vegetarian friends turning down invitations when they hear its not from a real veg. place. As per my understanding, most chinese places understand the term "Vegetarian" and will usually prepare the food separately. Hence, strict vegetarians need not worry about this. I've created a new Label under "Veg Wedding Dinner" so that you can prep yourself should you be going these places some day.
This year seems to be a mad rush for people as I've got a total of 7 invitations to date! For us Chinese, the best month to get married is the 8th Month of the lunar calendar. This was a wedding lunch I've just attended.
The Lunch Menu~

In a typical setting, lunch or dinner, a full course usually comprises of 8 mains and 1 dessert.

Cold Dish

Cold Dish usually comprises of 5-6 small bites like the above. At Qian Xi Lou, we had mini spring rolls, Taro Samosa, Taro Roll, Ba Kwa, Seaweed Roll and Taro Wu Xiang. Aint too bad if you do not mind eating Taro (aka Yam). However, what I did not really like about it is that most of these dishes are deep fried. It is therefore recommended to drink chinese tea to remove some excess oil.

Shark's Fin

Usually after the 1st dish, we will be served with shark's fin or soups. The veg version of shark's fin comprises of mainly mushrooms and enoki mushrooms. The "shark's Fins" here are actually Tang Hun (glass noodles). Aint too bad as the "soup" is stewed for some time and has a strong mushrom aroma. Some places use the Konnyaku jelly Stripes in replacement.

Cereal Prawns

I love the cereal here, frangrantly pan-fried and added with sugar for the sweet after-taste! However, it would have been better if the prawns are fried in batter.

Fish in Sauce

This was my fav. dish of the day. The Fish is made of tau kee (豆支) and the fried. Lastly Served with Veg. Oyster sauce. I like the texture as it is chewy. Definitely differnt from the real one. Tasted like Bai Ye Tofu.

Monkeyhead Mushroom

I've always like monkeyhead mushrooms as it is a really difficult dish to cook well. So far i think only Lingzhi is done the perfect job. The moneyhead mushroom has to be soaked before marinating and fried, then to cook into sauce. Sadly, the chef was not able to deliver this dish. The mushrooms were way too hard.

Yam Ring

Just as I thought we had enough of Yam (from the first dish), we were served with this Yam Ring. It is deep fried and then served with some mixed veg in the middle. Not too bad as the yam was crispy on the outside, and really soft inside, but I did not fancy the mixed veg in the middle.

Abalone & Mushrooms with Spinach

Was sharing with my mum the chef had an easy way out as most of the dishes uses the same sauce! Spinach was not fresh as I had a hard time chewing it. The mushrooms are of good quality!

Braised Noodles

Normal thin noodles cooked with lots of mushrooms and carrots. A little salty.

The Dessert - Yam Paste (Or Nee)

Again its yam! This dessert is a very common and popular Teochew dish and most people would use this as dessert as it is very difficult to make it well. First you heve got to steam the Yam, mash then fry with "lard" till fragrant. Of cos, the veg version omits lard! it is then served with Ginko Nuts and Coconut Milk. A really sinful and fattening dessert. The texture here was really well done. Very smooth but a little too sweet for me perhaps due to the rich coconut milk.
Noted that I did not include any price, as it has been "included" in the red packet you provide. Most places for such vegetarian set would have cost Between 600 to 800 bucks.
Location: Katong Complex (Paya Lebar), 4th Floor

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tian Ran Vegetarian Food Supplier

Went there with my parents a couple of weeks back when we need to stock up on our mock meat items. There are quite a number of vegetarian food suppliers in Singapore and we have 1 located in one of the factories at Bedok.
I must admit that for newly converted vegetarians, it is definitely not easy to resist temptations. Tian Ran offers quite a wide range of vegetarian products from ham, fish to fishballs etc. As most people do have the misconception that vegetarian products are made from flour, most food products do NOT come from flour, but soy protein that is derived from soy beans and flavourings. For certain products, there are some that are made of gluten and you can feel gelat.

Store Front

Quite a small area from the front, and you can select from some of the fridge outside. If you are looking for certain products, its good to look thru the menu. Then helpers will get for you.

Our Stash

Recommended Items:

Konnyaku Fishballs, Fishcakes, Teochew Fishballs - All these are widely sold in most vegetarian stalls in singapore.

Wei Qi Char Siew - I used this for my mariated char siew rice and feedback was good!

They offer free delivery with $50 orders and above to nearby locations. Its good to surf the web and call before you want to go!

May not be as good as friendly supplier, but good enough if you need just some common products.

Location: BLOCK 3017, #03-30
Bedok North Street 5,
Gourmet East Kitchen,
Singapore 486121

Tel: (65) 6445 1686
Fax: (65) 6445 3007

Website: http://www.tianranveg.com.sg/index.php

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Vegetarian Food @ Giant Tampines

This stall has been around for sometime since Giant open at Tampines. I went there a couple of times, food is really not bad!

Claypot Noodles $3.50

Im not exactly a fan of Claypot noodles, but wanted something hot and a little soupy so tried this. I liked this kind of noodles and not the yellow fat noodles. Full of vegetables and mushrooms. The taste is not too bad as well. Other than this, the stall also sell your usual mixed vegetables rice.

Other recommendations: Laksa

Location: 21 Tampines North Drive 2, 2nd Floor, inside food court

Opening Hours: daily till 8pm

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Carrot Cake Stall @ Aljunied *CLOSED DOWN*

CLOSED DOWN* I have no idea where this stall owner has went.. please let me know if you have any information.

I do not recall it having any stall name, but just a simple 'vegetarian' word and the food sold. The owner used to operate at the circuit road hawker centre but he has moved a couple of times since the hawker centre is under renovations. The uncle does not sell a lot of variety, but specialises in Fried Oyster Cake and Carrot Cake. I personally liked his version as it is more authentic than others. Even my non-veg friends like it.

Fried Carrot Cake $2

I took this a couple of months back when he was still located opposite geylang library. I heard he has since moved. Anyway, Fried Carrot Cake and Oyster are local delicacies that I adore. Although Im trying hard to go vegan, I find it hard to resist this still. Carrot Cake is actually fried using Rice Cake, Lots of Eggs and preserved raddish. It can be fried with or without dark sweet soya sauce.

As for Oyster Omelete, the "oyster" is replaced with straw mushrooms in the veg. version.

Other Dishes: Fried Kway Tiao

Diet: Lacto-Ovo- Vegetarian , Contains Eggs

Friday, September 11, 2009

Loving Hut Japan (Tokyo)

I've not been to the Tokyo Branch so this is thanks to Gwennie for finishing this review on my behalf! It is not easy to find pure vegetarian food in Japan as most of the dishes, sauces, soups etc contain meat/seafood content. Its a real content to find Loving Hut going all out to reach out to places like Korea and Japan to introduce the vegetarian concept.


Like our local outlets, has 2 menus (one for drinks and the other for food) as well. One good thing is english is available and helps us to decide what we want to eat. Most of the meals comes in a set, which is quite typical in a Japanese setting.

If you do visit Japan and would like to draw up your own itinery, I guess food places is a challenge, and you may visit this site "Vegan Japan" and look for details. It is pretty interesting and Gwen found out about this website as it is done by one of the famous Vegan Restaurant visitor - Herwin Walravens. This info is also available in the restaurant.

They do not serve ala-carte items when gweenie visited that day so they ordered 3 different set meals.

Dim Sum Plate

Steam Rice Dumpling Plate

Steam Vegetable Dumpling Plate

Each set comprises of 6 little dishes, 5 of which are the same while 1 main is different. You may see that they have something like our vietnamese Roll whereby they include veg and mint leaves in the wrap. In addition, there is a seaweed salad available. Then a vegetable soup that is similar to our sharks fin soup. All of these dishes are either steamed or raw, making it really differnt from the fried items we see in Singapore. I guess its also due to the diet in Japan.

Portion is really BIG and they felt really full after that. Gwen's comments are that the food are tasty, but a little on the bland side. Nonetheless, one will feel really healthy after a visit. Each Set costs 1000YEN (SGD 16), which I think is still affordable given their high living standards. Perhaps 2 persons can share 1 set.

Anyway, with more vegan outlets opening in Japan, it does give us a reason to visit real soon!

Location: I do not have the add in English. So Please copy and Paste this if you do intend to visit!

〒160-0004 東京都新宿区四谷三丁目6-15-2F                    TEL:03-6807-9625

Opening Hrs: 11.30AM - 9PM

Website: http://www.lovinghut.jp/index.html

*Japan Vegan Places Guide: http://veganjapan.net/pocketguide-e.html

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fo You Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant (佛有缘素食餐馆)

I've always been wanting to write about this place since my last visit. Like Loke Wor Yuen, Fo You Yuan is another pioneer vegetarian restaurant in Singapore. It is a typical chinese vegetarian restaurant that brings you one of the more authentic dishes. I am quite surprised that this place can sustain for such a long time despite the strong competition in the market.

French Roasted Mushroom (法式烤菇) $24

I've deeply remembered the vegetarian escargots I tried before at Furama Hotel when they had a vegetarian fest more than 10 years back. Little did I know that they have this dish at Fo You Yuan as well! In replacement of the real "snails", fresh mushrooms are use instead. Placed in a special baking container, the fresh mushrooms are marinated with herbs and topped with mozarella cheese and baked till golden brown. Really juicy,chewy and fragrant.

Nonya Curry Fish

I can still vaguely remember the taste of the curry. Aint too spicy, but is full of the authetic curry paste. Fish slices are homemade, which was soft on the inside but cripsy on the outside.

Stir Fried Spinach

Aint oily and very fresh!

All in all, the setting of the restaurant is very traditional and chinese-styled. This is one of the places you can go back to if you do get bored of fusion food.

If you do intend to visit on a weekend, I would suggest you to place a reservation as it is really crowded.

Other dishes: Popular Fried Bee Hoon

Diet: Lacto-ovo, some dishes contain cheese

Location: 155, Kitchener Road
TeL: 6744 8009

Opening Hours: Till 10PM daily.

website: http://www.foyouyuan.com.sg/