Dining out with dietary restrictions isn’t always fun. And while it may seem unfair that our meat-eating counterparts can benefit from dining at virtually any restaurant, there are a handful of amazing vegetarian eateries (and menus) that are anything but bland and boring. From Indian to vegan to experimental – we’ve tried and tested the very best dining spots for the herbivorous.
Entirely plant-based: Afterglow
24 Keong Saik Rd., 6224-8921
Prior to Afterglow’s descent into the hip Keong Saik neighborhood, vegan fare was a hard find in Singapore, and if it was found, munching on raw leaves and sprouted almonds wasn’t exactly a sexy affair. Big food cities (think: NYC, LA and London) glamourise the vegan diet and Anglow has given us a taste of that. Though the items can be heavy on the wallet and light on the plate, the food here here is deliciously wholesome, the ambience is cosy and the service is refreshingly attentive and warm.
Order: Raw vegan nut ‘cheese’ platter with crackers ($16), Drag-Pom salad ($16) and Afterglow kimchi nori rolls ($12-18)
Authentic Indian food: Ananda Bhavan
221 Selegie Rd., 6339-3643 & more
Said to be Singapore’s first Indian vegetarian restaurant, Ananda Bhavan opened in 1924 on Selegie Road. They have had decades to perfect their dishes and the outcome is fresh, full-flavoured and authentic North Indian, South Indian and Chinese Indian dishes. There’s a health-slant too: no MSG, additives or preservatives in their kitchen. Tip: They make home deliveries too! Simply order through their website.
Order: Biryani set meal ($9), curd rice ($4) and palak paneer ($7)
Easy on the wallet: Real Food
110 Killiney Rd., Tai Wah Bldg., 6737-9516 & more
There’s a philosophy behind Real Food that we observe and respect: ethically sourced ingredients which go into food that’s both affordable and good for your body. There are simple but satisfying Asian dishes (fried rice, rojak and spring rolls) served alongside western health staples (salads, smoothies and sandwiches). Their largest outlet is at Killiney and it boasts a spacious dining room and a small grocery that offers fresh produce, condiments, health supplements as well as beauty products.
Order: Fried or steamed dumplings ($7), stuffed veggie salad ($9.80) and the portobello burger ($13.80; pictured)
Similar restaurants: SunnyChoice and New Green Pasture Cafe
Toothsome Chinese cuisine: LingZhi Vegetarian
#05-01 Liat Towers, 541 Orchard Rd., 6734-3788
Vegetarian Chinese food has a bad rap for being laden with MSG, artificial colouring as well as hexane-filled mock meats. TungLok, the company behind lauded Chinese restaurants Shin Yeh and TungLok Heen, operate LingZhi Vegetarian, a plant-based Chinese restaurant. Thankfully, the chefs at LingZhi refuse to prepare the dishes with gluten, mock meats, additives and artificial colourings and as a result, the dishes here are fresh, vibrant and filled with nutritional goodness.
Order: Vegetarian satay ($16), crispy wild mushrooms with aeroponic vegetables salad ($22; pictured) and braised ee-fu noodles with shredded vegetables ($14)
Similar restaurants: Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant and Zen Fut Sai Kai Vegetarian Restaurant
Photo: LingZhi Vegetarian
Fancy tasting menu: Tippling Club
38 Tanjong Pagar Rd., 6475-2217
Dining at the city’s most exciting joints often isn’t so exciting for those with diet restrictions. Tippling Club, however, has offers a vegetarian tasting menu. The dishes change every few months but they include Clift-esque dishes which are made with cutting edge techniques such as vaccum distillation, freeze clarification, vegetable-based enzymes and sound emulsification. Those on a gluten-free diet will also be happy to know that all of the dishes served at Tippling Club contain zero gluten.
Order: Six-course Classic Vegetarian Tasting Menu ($135 or $245 with drink pairing) or the 11-course Gourmand Menu ($230 or $380 with drink pairing)
Photo: Tippling Club
All other photos by Shawn Danker
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