Tuesday, November 5, 2013

KingJoy 京兆尹 @ Beijing, China

As Miss Veg has not been in SG for quite some time, I have been missing out on Greenzilla and other new shops opening in SG!
Anyway, there are quite a number of good places to hunt around here in Beijing, China.
If you happen to come visit, this is a restaurant that is hard to miss.
KingsJoy, just open for the past 1 over years has received rave reviews on the web and won the best restaurant award by Timeout.
The exterior design itself has won its exquisite selling notion, bringing vegetarianism to a higher level - a lifestyle.
While it bears the same branding as the King Join Restaurant in Taiwan, the cuisine served here is different. Taiwan's outlet focused on the more traditional pastries that were popular in the olden dynasties while the Beijing outlet focused on modern new cuisine.
Do note that the minimum spending per pax is close to RMB 400, which is around SGD 80. I have not had any meals that expensive before!

Beautiful Exterior of the Restaurant

 This is a restaurant in a Hutong Setting. It is rather huge, with many rooms available for private gathering.
 The Setting Outside, in the 四合院 itself. Would be even nicer if there is Snow!
Lovely Table Setting
The E-Menu
I realized that quite a number of restaurants in China use the Ipad as a Menu. I guess most places in SG will use that soon!

As we didnt know what to order, the waitress suggested that we order the set menu. So my parents ordered the RMB 399 Set while I settled for Ala Carte.
If you are really keen to try almost everything, settle for the set, which comes with 8 items.
I wont review item by item, but my chef mum loves every single dish served. She said you will never get to eat this in Singapore at all.
Freshly Made Plum Juice
 Healthy Set RMB 399

This is the supposed "Cold Dish", comprises of 3 dishes: green beans mixed with olive, Yummy Raddish with Bean sauce and Steam pumpkin. To be honest, I was never a fan of such food, but wow, they were made to almost perfection, and I actually liked it!

 Nutritious Soup
Next was Soup, made with Wolfberry, Walnut, Mushrooms and steamed with just a little salt. Yums!

Next was some healthy rice which I was unable to make out. Healthy dish though. My dad said tasted like the yellow beans.

Creamy Chessy Cabbage. Perfecto!

Basil Sauteed Mushroom with Homemade Nutty Bread
At this point my parents were extremely full, and there was Mushroom Rice and Dessert to serve still. A Pity I didnt take a picture of the mushroom rice, but here's how it looks from other's pic in the web:-

Last but not least - Dessert!
 Mango Pudding with a Sweet Mooncake

 For the Ala Carte Items, we ordered the Glutinous Rice, cooked just right and there's a lot of ingredients inside!

 The Popiah is just so-so but ingredients inside is full of mushrooms instead of our usual turnip.

 Carrot Cake
 Yuan Xiang still serves the best carrot cake to date. Unfortunately, we had to cancel this order as this comprise of garlic. Do note that it is not written in the menu. I've already feedback to the management on this. They do serve Dairy, Onion, Garlic, Chives (the 5 pungent roots) products in their dishes. However, the waitress will be very patient to advise which are the ones to advise.

Zhajiang Noodles - of cos, my favourite!

 Cooked Chestnut - On the House

What won me over was the butler kind service provided. You do felt like a royal dining here as the waitress would change your side plate as and when it is dirty, change your napkin immediately if it drops on the floor etc. The attention to detail and willingness to listen to feedback was impressive.

We paid a total of RMB 1248 for the entire meal, which is close to SGD 90 per pax, but its an experience of a lifetime. May not visit them that often, but as a vegetarian, do pamper yourself while you can!

BTW, if you are really planning to go, do call beforehand as its quite fully booked on most days. Also, if you go on the 1st or 15th of the lunar month, call and inform them that you are eating because it is the 1st or 15th. The 2nd person enjoys 50% off! Do note that set meals are only available for 2 pax and above, and you are required to order the same set.

Number 2, WuDao Ying Hutong, right opposite the Lama Temple (雍和宫)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

素食飘香 Piao Xiang Vegetarian @ Bedok *CLOSED DOWN*

Newly Open full vegetarian coffee shop in Bedok! Its really exciting to see this cafe opening at last since i've went pass it various times.
I find myself very fortunate to be staying in Bedok as I'm very often spoilt by choice! If I count correctly, Piao Xiang is the 9th Vegetarian place within the Bedok Interchange Central Area (Not Counting Lin Lin, or those in Bedok South and Bedok North Markets!)

The Exterior of the Cafe/Restaurant

I have no idea if this is the operated by the same boss of the same cafe located at the first level of Fortune Centre as I didnt see him around. Piao Xiang serves a wide range of local Chinese cuisine. In addition, they even have fully veg bakery inside the coffee shop. I was impressed at first sight. I can have a mock floss bun, hot dog bun in my town! I noted that they do serve eggs. Hence, vegan friends, do enquire if their breads and buns contains dairy too.
Other than a small stall selling the usual economic vegetables mix rice (什菜饭) they too serve daily specials and Tze Char Dishes. There are multiple pictures of the dishes they are able to whipped up - Including Roti John, Yong Tau Foo and even western food like Chicken Chop etc.

What I like of this place is the ventilation was good despite a very hot day, and you don't reek of the coffee shop smell after eating.

The Bakery Corner
 I noted they do have cheese in some of the breads. So may not be suitable for Vegan Friends.

Hotdog Bun $1.20
I personally think this is the most affordable bite as the hotdog is one of my favorite! Its the konjac sausage (蒟蒻香肠) wrapped with yummy bread. 

Chicken Rice $4.50
Decided to order the special - Chicken Rice today and to be honest I had a shock at the price - $4.50. I guess its due to the high rental charge. The chili was a disappointment as it wasn't the normal chicken rice chili which I would expect. Portion is ok. On the rice:- does have a taste of ginger, but I personally preferred Li Wei's or Yuan Xiang's. The "Chicken" is the normal drumstick wrapped with beancurd sheet - Deep Fried. The vegetables was not just okay. Certainly hope there could be more - either serve with a soup or make it more affordable since the $2.50 Veg Chicken rice is available at the 216 Market Stalls located 5 mins walk away.

Nasi Lemak $4.50
This is another special - Nasi Lemak. Rice was just ok, not as fragrant. But it does have more dishes compared to the chicken rice - Comes with Sambal Longbeans, Mock Ham, Fish, Otah and a Sunny Side.
Again, if you dont take eggs, do inform the lady early. Price wise, I do find it pricey as well. The chili is tasty.

All in all, its good to see another veg eatery available for us, especially at night. I had a brief look at the menu (no pictures) and am glad they do serve a wide selection of tze char dishes. Perhaps its more worth ordering in a group.

Do support while you can!

Bedok Central, Blk 219 #01-122 (Opposite Bedok Point)
Opening Hours: Till Late (10+ daily)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mama Panda Kitchen @ River Safari Singapore

It is good to see vegetarian options available at our places of Interest. This post is contributed by my sister Clarice, who just went to River Safari.

There is only 1 food option at Mama Panda kitchen located beside the Panda exhibit at River Safari.
Vegetarian Bamboo Rice set priced at $13.90, which consists of rice with bamboo shoot, yam, mixed vegetables and mushroom. all the ingredients and rice are steamed in the bamboo container, hence it's quite a healthy dish. The set comes with a bowl of seaweed soup and longan beancurd dessert. (option to exchange for mango pudding).
Side dish ordered spring rolls (2 for $3.90) which I've confirmed with the staff it's vegetarian.
Must try at the cafe is the panda bun which has lotus filling. $2.90 for a piece.
Drinks not included in the set meal and you can buy the soft drinks at $3.90 which comes in a cute panda cup to keep.
I've paid $38 for 2 vegetarian sets, spring rolls as side, panda bun and a drink.
As the bistro is the only food outlet in River Safari, do go early during meal times to avoid long queues at the counter.

Location: Mandai River Safari

Friday, April 5, 2013

Kinsahi Restaurant @ Johor Bahru

This month seems to be the month of Japanese cuisine as I brought my parents over the causeway last weekend for yet another Japanese Feast!

This time is at Kinsahi Japanese Restaurant, located right inside KSL Shopping Centre in Johor Bahru.
I Brought my sister there before and she mentioned I must bring my parents there too, since they wont complain about the prices.
Anyway, Kinsahi is operated by BHX Delight Holding in Malaysia and has quite a few outlets spread across the country. However, not all outlets serve vegetarian cuisine. See – they even have a separate menu full of vegetarian options! I am really impressed. I went to the website and realized that Arashi Japanese Restaurant is also under the same holdings, and Arashi too, serve a vegetarian menu.
Note that this is not a full veg establishment.
Here’s Kinsahi for you:

The Shop Front
All of its Restaurants has the same logo. Do note that Not all outlets have the vegetarian menu!

The Interior Setting
Modern and Stylish

The Vegetarian Menu
They serve quite a wide range of vegetarian options - from Ala carte to Set meals as well. However, I noted that they do use a lot of Mock items. So do enquire if you are not into Mock Meats.

Set Meal RM 29.90
The mum ordered this BBQ Meat with Soup to try. It comes with a bowl of rice. The BBQ meat was really yummy! I have never tried this Mock Meat before in SG. It only costs S$12. Quite worth.

Gyoza Set RM 26.90

I tried this Gyoza set previously. Comes with Potato Salad, Gyoza (Veg Dumplings), chicken chop, Seaweed. It is served with Miso Soup and Rice.

 A pity I have forgotten the price of this. It is basically fried tofu, but served with melting caramel (or Condensed Milk) on top. I find it a interesting dish. Not suitable for Vegans though.

V. Inari Maki RM 22.90
One of my favourite Maki. You may request to omit the Mayo on top if you are vegan. The ingredients comprises of Veg prawn and tempura then wrapped with Inari Skin (Beancurd Skin). Makes it an interesting dish as the taste is memorable.

Fried Rice Set
Do note that there's Eggs in the fried rice.Tastes more chinese than Japanese. Yumms

Location: No. 33, Jalan Seladang, Johor Bahru, Johor 80250, Malaysia

KSL City Shopping Centre, Level 1

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bespoke Japanese Vegetarian Dining (藤素食) @ Sunshine Plaza Bugis

Hi Everyone, I truely am overwhelmed by the number of likes on my facebook page. It's very rewarding to see more and more people being open to vegetarian food. It is through one of my friend's facebook that I got to know of this new establishment.
So the curious me decided to try it out last night! Located right opposite the vegetarian building (Fortune Centre) is this new place, Bespoke Vegetarian Dining. Not a new concept as the Chief Chef was originally from Zen Japanese Vegetarian. They are not the same owners as verified.

Here's the entrance of the restaurant
I tried to Google what Bespoke means but to no avail. It does mean Customization. Perhaps the idea behind was to make customised vegetarian japanese cuisine.

The Restaurant Interior
The Chinese Character (藤) as written. 藤  in english means "Cane" or "Wisteria", which is a kind of flower. I overheard the owner using this character for Cane.. not sure of the reason why.

Quite nicely layout of the cafe, Modern and Zen Style

The Menu
Professional Printed. The Menu has more than 50 choices available. They do serve Ala Carte or Set meals similarly to the previous Zen.

 As I wanted to try the Sashimi & Pork Cutlet, decided to order this set to try!
Yummy Green tea. A pity the pot wasn't well made as the water did not flow out well.
The Sashimi Set $35

This is the Sashimi Set which is suitable for more than 2 persons to share. Its a HUGE portion! Comprises of the following:- Fresh Salad with Japanese Sesame Sauce (The avocado slices are really good!); Pork Cutlet (Crispy); 6 Slices of Sashimi (Vegetarian of cos!); Fresh Greens (Stir Fried Long Beans spinkled with Veg Pork Floss; Steamed Pumpkin; Pickles; Miso Soup, A bowl of Rice; Dessert (Panna Cotta)
So how did they taste? The Salad. I love the sauce as its mixed with Sesame and Miso Dressing.
The Pork Cutlet:- I saw it costs $10 on the Ala carte menu and the picture of this was so appealing! Definitely yummy and I couldnt make out what flour was used for the coating. Good Job on this!
Sashimi:- Made from Konnyaku, which is available in the market as most vegetarian suppliers sell this. Aint too bad, but people who are not into vegetarian mock may find it too chewy.
The Long Beans tastes really good, but a tad too oily.
The Pumpkin:- Yummy and fresh.
Couldnt comment much on the miso soup as it always tastes too salty for me.  (Opps I've forgotten to remove the cover of the soup bowl here!)
The Dessert:- I found out that this is vegetarian Panna Cotta as most Panna Cotta is made with Gelatin, which we cannot consume. This was really creamy, like a pudding. Served with Fresh Cream and Strawberries. Not suitable for vegans though.
Pricy but worth sharing!
Buckwheat Noodles Soup $9
Mr Tea wanted to try this Buckwheat noodles soup. I've always envied those who post pictures of the japanese Ramen. This is a really good alternative. Comprises of Japanese Buckwheat Noodles, Vegetables, Tofu Skin and Japanese Mushrooms. I can't make out what is in the soup based but the noodles was really chewy. On the side was something that does tastes like Quinoa which is a little crispy. Again, this can be shared as the serving is big.

Shitake Mushrooms with Cheese $12

This is one of the recommended by the manager of the shop. As the picture on the menu was too tempting, I decided to order even though it costs $2 per piece of mushroom! This is pure heavenly, and it is a MUST-ORDER. The fresh Japanese Shitake is firstly deep fried with tempura flour, then topped with Japanese Cream, and covered with a piece of Japanese Cheese on top. Lastly it is baked to make the cheeese melts. This totally won me over. I was told they have sold over 100 plates even though they are only opened for 3 weeks! Impressive creation I must say, as this is something that I would not be able to make it myself. The sauce was a little saltish, but it made the entire dish perfect. If you ask, I will just go back for this dish alone. WOW Factor:- 5 Stars worth. Of cos again, it may not be suitable for vegans.

Spring Roll with Cream Cheese $8
Again i couldnt resist when I spot the word "cheese" so decided to try this. Comes with 6 pieces and the dish was served really hot. As the skin was not made with your regular Popiah (Spring Roll) skin, it was a little too hard for me to bite. The ingredients comprises of corn, some raddish, carrots and cream. I found the corn taste too over-powering so sadly this did not impress me much. But well, if you are into Spring rolls, its okay for a try if you have strong teeth.

All in all, it was a great experience as our server was friendly and service was good. They too, kept asking us for feedback. Not your everyday place to go unless you are extremely rich. But for once in a while indulgence, its worth visiting. It does charge service charge and GST. Also note that water is not served free.
I heard that they are going to do promotions next - 30% discount next month or so. Please call them to enquire. Like they always say, competitions are good! So, lets hope to see Zen opening soon. I too wish Bespoke all the best and i'll Sure be back for more of their Chef Recommendations :)

Location: SunShine Plaza
91 Bencoolen Street #01-50 Singapore 189652
Tel: 63377050
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (11.30am to 3pm; 5.30pm - 10pm) Last Order: 9.30PM
Catering Services are Available