How to eat vegan in Singapore – Part 1

I had never considered visiting Singapore but when last year Jetstar had a buy one get one free flight deal, I thought it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I had no one to go with but I decided that it was time I experienced travelling solo anyway. I booked the trip to coincide with my 25th birthday and began to plan. When I booked the flights I had just started dating my partner and months later he decided to also join me on this trip.

A week before I left for Singapore I started to wonder how easy it would be to find vegan food over there. I began to compile a list of eateries and to my surprise, Happy Cow had SO many veg*n restaurants listed! During the 8 days that I was in Singapore, not once did I eat at a non veg*n restaurant, that’s how easy it was.

This post is about what I ate at the Fortune Centre. The Fortune Centre is multi-level shopping plaza with at least 10 veg*n eateries inside. It also has a veg*n grocery store which is located on the ground floor. The restaurants I ate at were Herbivore and Gokul’s while at the Fortune Centre however I also had Hotcakes (dessert), Pine Tree Cafe and Vegan Deli on my list that I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to visit.

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Gokul’s Vegetarian Restaurant

*Note – Gokul’s Vegetarian Restaurant has a few stores, this is the one at the Fortune Centre and is not to be confused with the one in Little India which has over 100 menu items. I assumed there was only one Gokul’s however this is one of the smaller stores and not everything from their small menu was available when we went up to order. I recommend getting there early, it gets packed!

Mutton Murtabak – This was probably one of my favourite dishes that I tried in Singapore. The bread was really flaky and the filling was delicious. The mutton was slightly chewy but I enjoyed it. The dish came with a sauce which was flavourful and not overly spicy, just what it needed.IMG_4149
Rava masala Dosa – I suspect we were served a regular masala dosa as opposed to the rava one we ordered. It was like any other dosa I had tried before, nothing special really.
Mamak Mee Goreng – I personally found this dish a bit too bland for my liking however my partner seemed to enjoy it. It came with a sambal on the side which was super spicy and a nice touch. The flavour was improved when I added the left over sauce from the murtabak.
Mysore Mutton – The mutton was the same fake meat used in the murtabak. The sauce was delicious and well spiced. Definitely needed some bread or rice to go with it though.IMG_4152

All this plus a can of coke came to $25.50 SGD.

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Mamak Mee Goreng

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Herbivore

We visited Herbivore for my birthday dinner and we were both somewhat disappointed with the small size and high price of the dishes. The staff were lovely and attentive, constantly refilling our water glasses. Each table has an iPad which is used to order from the menu. The decor more upscale than the rest of the eateries in the fortune centre. Apologies for the lack of proper menu names, I can’t seem to find the menu online anywhere. I didn’t take many pictures either as it was quite dark inside so I ended up using my phone.

Miso soup – Just a regular miso soup with some nori and mushroom pieces.
Gyoza – The gyoza filling was great however the wrappers were unlike any I’ve ever had while eating gyoza/dumplings. They were super crunchy and reminded me of spring roll wrappers.
Teriyaki Chicken – The chicken was slightly burnt around the edges possibly from the sugary sauce but it was still quite tasty.
Mushroom Skewers – I can’t remember what sauce was on the mushrooms but it was delicious and the mushrooms were nicely cooked.
Meatball Maki – The standout dish of the night for me, the meatballs were fantastic. I couldn’t pick what they were made of, they weren’t seitan based. The nori which was wrapping the rolls was battered and deep fried which I thought was brilliant and not something I had experienced before.
Tuna in Yam – This was our least favourite dish of the night, the tuna pieces were ok but the yam was extremely odd. It was very bland and watery, the texture was also unexpectedly stretchy.

All that set us back around $60 SGD and was our most expensive meal in Singapore.

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Meatball Maki
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Tuna in Yam

Stick around for the next instalment, coming soon! 🙂

 

 

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Japanese katsu curry

After a very long hiatus, I’m back with not one but TWO recipes! I hope you love them as much as I do 🙂

Without further ado…

I present my Japanese katsu curry! I’ve served it with tricoloured quinoa but it would be great with rice or even flatbread. In this instance I’ve used firm tofu cubes but in the past I’ve used tofu puffs and vegan prawns.

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This is the curry paste I used.

Ingredients
Roux
3 tablespoons vegan butter
1/4 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 tablespoon chilli powder
Fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce*

Curry
250g firm tofu cut into chunks
4 medium carrots cut into chunks
4 cups water
3 large potatoes cut into chunks
1 large white radish cut into chunks
1 vegan chicken stock cube
1 tablespoon garam masala
50g frozen peas
1/3 packet of “S&B golden curry” paste

In a large pot add the tofu, carrots, water and vegan chicken stock cube. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Add the potatoes, radish and garam masala. Simmer with a lid on for approximately 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

While that is boiling make the roux in a medium sized pan. Melt the vegan butter over a medium heat. Add in the flour, garam masala and golden curry paste. Keep stirring until a thick paste has formed and then add the cayenne, pepper, tomato paste and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Keep cooking this mixture over a low heat until the paste becomes dry and crumbly. Turn off the heat and set aside until the vegetables are ready.

Once the vegetables are cooked, spoon approximately 1 cup of the water into the roux mixture and whisk it until it is smooth. Pour this back into the other pot and stir over a low heat until it has thickened. Add the peas and adjust salt if needed.

*Make sure you check the ingredients of your Worcestershire sauce as it is usually made with anchovies. I use the Spring Gully brand which is available in Woolworths in Australia.

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Cheats (bulk) vegan laksa

Laksa is a creamy spicy noodle soup and is a popular Malaysian dish. For the last two weeks, I’ve been craving laksa. It isn’t something I usually buy when I eat out as most laksa’s use shrimp paste.

This recipe is for a bulk batch, halve the recipe if you don’t want to make so much. I like to portion and freeze meals for nights when I can’t be bothered cooking!

Ingredients
2 cans of coconut milk
2 bunches of bok choy
1 medium carrot
10-12 small button mushrooms
10-15 green beans
50g rice vermicelli noodles (per person)
250 firm tofu
small handful bean shoots (per person)
laksa/massaman curry paste
coriander to garnish

Optional ingredients
baby corn
broccoli
faux prawns
fresh red chillis

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This is the curry paste I’ve used. I’ve had to use massaman paste. This is because I couldn’t find any laksa paste without shrimp paste.

Method

Start off by chopping up all the vegetables. Halve the button mushrooms, chop the green beans in half on a diagonal, thinly slice the carrot and quarter each bok choy leaf. Slice the tofu into large chunks. Rinse off the bean shoots. If using other additional vegetables, keep them some what chunky.

Blanch the bok choy in some boiling water until just soft. Remove bok choy and set aside. In the same pot of boiling water, cook the rice noodles until al dente then drain.

Add the curry paste in a pot and stir in the coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then add in the mushrooms, carrot and tofu. Simmer on a medium to low heat for 5 minutes.

While the vegetables are simmering in the coconut milk, place equal portions of the rice noodles and bean shoots in bowls.

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After five minutes, place the green beans into the pot and simmer for 2-3 more minutes. Lastly add the bok choy and cook for a further 2-3 until it is heated through.

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Ladle soup into bowls and garnish.

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Mixed veg curry

As I looked through my fridge crisper trying to figure out what to cook for tonight’s dinner, I noticed a few sad looking vegetables staring back at me.

Growing up in an Indian household curry was a staple of my childhood. Potato curry, pumpkin curry, cauliflower curry, if you can think of it, it’s probably been curried. I think this was when I decided to start cooking for myself and experimenting with new cuisines and flavours. Occasionally though, I do crave curries especially now that the weather is getting colder!

The below curry will be different to what most people have tried at Indian restaurants. This curry is made in the Fijian Indian style and does not have a creamy gravy.

Ingredients 
1 large potato
1 carrot
1 zucchini
1/2 a large cauliflower (don’t throw out the leaves!)
1/2 an eggplant
1/2 cup of water
3 tbs oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
leaves from the cauliflower
salt to taste
chilli flakes/powder to taste

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Method
Start by preparing all the vegetables (I like to keep the skin on the vegetables). Chop the carrot, zucchini, eggplant and potato into 1cm cubes approximately. Cut the cauliflower into florets, I had to halve my florets because they were massive! With the cauliflower leaves, remove the leafy greens from the tough centre stem for the outer leaves. The inner leaves are much softer so you can leave them whole. Wash the leaves and roughly chop into 2 cm pieces.

Start with adding the oil to a large fry pan over a medium heat and add in the spices. Stir until the oil starts to bubble slightly without the spices burning. Trust me, you don’t want them to burn! Add the potato and carrots, stirring until they are coated in the spice mix. Add 1/4 cup of water, salt and cover for 5 minutes.

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Add the cauliflower and another 1/4 of water if the water level seems low. Cook covered for a further 5 minutes.

Next add the eggplant and zucchini and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are nearly cooked through and then add the cauliflower leaves.

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Serve with rice, quinoa, cous cous or chapatis.
You can use any vegetables that you have lying around. Alternatively, you can also add coconut milk. Stir through right at the end.

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