Saturday, April 21, 2012

Beets Modern Vegetarian @ Dempsey

Thanks to a tipoff from Miss J, I finally went to Beets - a new vegetarian restaurant that has sprouted in Atas Dempsey. I truely am very happy to see new vegetarian places opening to encourage vegetarianism.
Located right opposite the Botanical Gardens, Dempsey is a place that has been around for a couple of years and has attracted many due to the many restaurants/cafes in this area. As to why I've mentioned "atas" is because this is also one place where you can see a gathering of luxurious cars (the Lambos & Porches) most of the time . I've been there a couple of times and while many of the restaurants/cafes there do offer vegetarian options, nothing beats the establishment of a real vegetarian restaurant here. So thanks to the boss who came up with this idea.

The Exterior Setting

I guess the instant lure that draws me to Dempsey on occassion is the perfect setting - among rustling trees and an interesting "waterfall" like water feature within Blk 22 - where beets is located. This tranquill setting has already scored certain points in my mind, also to mention, the restaurant itself offering two dining settings - An Indoor Modern Space which can hold a capacity of 30pax or an Al fresco setting in a elevated platform which is walled by glass, both air-conditioned. In addition, patrons who love outdoor settings may too, opt for the outdoor dining experience.

The Indoor Setting
Clean table with fresh flowers awaiting us.... Lots of breathing space and it is refreshing to be able to see so much green and flowers outside the restaurant. This kind of setting does reminds me of "the green room" in Bishan.

The Menu
There are 2 pages for the food selections available at Beets. Not too many in my opinion, and prices are comparable with the Original Sin - another of my favourite fine dining places. A point to note is that for food that are served with Cheese, these are not suitable for Pure vegetarians, as I've confirmed with the waitress that the cheese do include rennet (sadly). In addition, do keep them informed if you do not take Onion/garlic. In addition, the cutlery used here are branded! ("WMF").. which I wonder if I could take them home after using.

Alongside the interesting menu that they have, Beets too offer a wide range of alcohols, ranging from housepours to spirits and hard liquor. For those who do not take alcohol, Beets has a separate menu offering healthy juices.

Bread with Olive Oil/ Vinegar FOC
Like most fine dining places, we were served with yummy bread to dip in Olive Oil/ Vinegar. Yes, this is free. I would have loved it if the bread is slightly toasted. Nonetheless, still yummy.

Roasted Tomato & Pepper Soup $8
As there are only 2 soup options, we chose the roasted tomato & pepper soup since I can't take leeks. Serving is huge! This is definitely suitable for 2 persons. I am a fan of tomatoes so this soup was certainly yummy and tasty, and does not have the raw taste of tomatoe. Served with crispy country bread which could be better if the bread is placed outside to maintain its crispyness. I noticed that this was supposed to be served with cheese from the menu but the waitress was definitely attentive enough to leave it out.

Tofu Burger $20
This is recommended in the magazine as well as some online sources, so we decided to try it out. Another huge serving I must say. And yes, the price is certainly not cheap, and I suddenly thought that Vegan Burg ain't so expensive afterall. Served with Salad as well as Chips (Combination of Tapioca & Sweet Potato). I personally liked this dish. One reason is that the chips serve as good replacements of Fries, though they are also deep fried. I totally enough the crispyness of the chips and thought that Beets can actually sell this as a Side Dish. Now to the Burger - Comprises of a big piece of Seaweed Tofu Patty (totally homemade), sandwiched between Toasted Buns, Grilled Pumpkin, Truffle Aioli and relish. Truffle Aioli is a kind of dipping sauce which you see on the top of the Patty, tastes very much like cream sauce. Totally suitable for the patty though. The patty is crispy on the outside, and chewy tofu on the inside. If you are not into mock meats, this is the kind of burger that can satisfy you. Again, another lure of the burger is the grilled pumpkin. Not oily, totally grilled. I loved it.

Vegetable "Cheong Fun" Roulade $19
Nicely presented. As per the waitress, this dish is another "popular" choice among its patrons. It is basically our Chee Cheong Fun (steam rice roll) with a burnoise of vegetables and mushrooms wrapped within, and served with Shitake Sauce on top. I tried to make out the "vegetables mix" within the skin, and could only guess carrots and minced mushrooms correctly. If the skin was homemade, I would have given it a better score. Otherwise, personally I would not spend this money on two pieces of chee cheong fun with normal ingredients. You may like it if you are a mega lover of chee cheong fun.

Potato Roesti $6
The last we have is a side dish - Potato Roesti, which is served like a potato "pancake",whereby the potatoes are shreded into thin strips. This is served with eggplant stew and mint yogurt. which was removed, as the yogurt is not vegetarian. Nonetheless, this eggplant stew impressed me, given the fact that I am not a fan of eggplant or bringals. Other than it being a little oily, this roesti serves okay as a side dish. Not too big a serving though.

All in all, being 2 months in operations to date, Beets does has an edge now given their unique dining experience.  However, they may require to build further on their menu, and perhaps remove dishes that comprise of non vegetarian cheese so that we do feel safer eating. What impressed me the most is the great service provided by all their staff. Their extensive knowledge of the dishes and attention to details (e.g changing of side plates, refilling of water, requesting for feedback) made me felt important. There are other dishes like the portobello mushroom and noodle soup that are calling me at the back of my mind.
We paid a total of $62 for the soup, 2 mains and a side. Water is free.
Beets may not be your everyday place to go for meals, but it is worth for an occasional indulgence or a romantic weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle. Aint too bad for a chillax experience once a while.

The really nice and romantic view at Night~

Location: 22 Dempsey Road
Tel: 6475 6869
Fax: 6475 2022
Opening Hours: Lunch 11.30AM - 3PM (last order 2.30PM); Dinner: 6PM - 11PM (Last Order 11.15PM)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Shan Yuan Veg @ Bendemeer (善缘素食)

It has been quite some time since I last blogged. Thank you folks, for still visiting me once in a while. I do note that there are couple of new cafes/restaurants offering new veg menus these days. This is really great news! Do check out the left hand side for updates. And of cos, thank you so many of you for still emailing me, or sending me updates via comments. I do read them.
This is from a stall @ Bendemeer. Went there one of the evenings for dinner. Anyway, bendmeer is not easily accessible unless you stay around this area, as there is no MRT stops nearby. My friend's mum grew up in this area and well, the few blocks around this food market are mostly 1-2 rooms flat but just recently renovated. It is good to see this stall with quite a number of patrons in the evening. Do note that they do not serve your usual mixed veg rice, only tze char and a couple of easy to make meals like kway chap etc.

Stall Front

Oyster Cake $3
I am quite an avid fan of oyster cake if you ask me.. in many of my earlier posts, i've always adore oyster cake. Sadly this oyster cake didnt manage to WOW me as I couldnt make out what I was eating - oyster cake or carrot cake or veg ham cake. Yes - these are included in "oyster cake". Very soon I will be doing a post on my favourite oyster cake which I've tried and the best in my mind so far.. that was really mind blowing.. so good that you wouldn't mind travelling across the crossway just for a bite of it.

Omelette Rice $3.50

The only food I find interesting from this stall is this - Omelette Rice, as the rice is nicely fried with yummy fried rice within. Sadly I didnt take a picture of the rice inside!

Mee Rebus $2.50

The mee rebus sauce was okay, but I rather the ingredients be the norm of beancurd and tau pok.. that would have suffice. Anyway, aint too bad.

Hokkien Mee $2.50 
If you have realised, a lot of vegetarian places do not serve hokkien mee at $2.50 anymore. At this price, what more could we ask for? The serving is big and can be comparable to "Zi Zai" vegetarian. I think this mee is really well done.

Kway Chap $2.50 
Yummy kway chap.. soup was tasty.

All in all, this is a Hawker Centre with Market, so do not expect great service as the owners are really busy cooking at all time. I will definitey come back some other day for Lor Mee and Dry Mee some day.

 Opening Hours: Till 7+PM daily