Breaking the clutter in what is known as Little Thailand or Golden Mile Tower is an Italian joint called PocoLoco Pizzeria. It is situated right in front of the escalator that goes down from the Rex Cinemas entrance. They have a long counter which enables you to see the chefs busy at work and the dining seats are spread out in the open. This fuss-free outlet serves quality Italian food at affordable prices. At a place that spoils you for choice in terms of Thai food, PocoLoco Pizzeria was a pleasant find. This Golden Mile Tower outlet essentially specializes in pizzas. They have other outlets in Ang Mo Kio and Jurong. Since this outlet has a limited number of seats, it is better to reserve in advance in case of a slightly larger group (more than 4 pax).
The menu has the standard offerings but I missed the ‘V’ symbol clearly demarcating the vegetarian dishes. Having said that, there are quite a few options for vegetarians and they are open to a reasonable customization of pizza toppings which was nice. Apart from the standard menu, they also have daily specials mentioned on the blackboard placed at the front of the restaurant.
To begin the meal on a warm note, we tried the ‘Mushroom Soup’. It had an earthy flavour and was well-seasoned. It was a decent and simple dish.
Since we were informed that the main courses would take some time, we decided to try the ‘Garlic Bread Pomodoro’. The thing to note here is that this is served in the form of a pizza and is placed under the ‘Pizzas’ section on their menu. So you have to imagine this as bread that can be consumed with soup or a bruschetta serving that can be shared. It works as an appetizer and not as a pizza since it does not have toppings or cheese.
Mushroom Soup at $4
The vegetarian pizza that we ordered was the ‘Ortolana Pizza’. I was able to customize the mixed vegetable toppings with some standard options like onions, bell peppers, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. When the pizza arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see a colored pizza dough base. We got a red color base which was from the usage of beetroot. Upon inquiring, I got to know that they serve different colors on other days of the week and that was quite whimsical. The quality of mozzarella cheese used was very good and the toppings were top-notch. The 10-inch pizza had a crisp crust and is worth ordering.
Garlic Bread Pomodoro at $5
If you are a cheese lover, try the ‘Bella Italian’ pizza. This pizza will tease you with a dual combination of melted mascarpone and mozzarella cheese. The easy to spread tomato sauce on the base was good and enhanced the overall taste of the pizza. The quality of cheese used in their pizzas is really good. For the fresh burrata cheese lovers, do not miss on the ‘Caprese’ pizza which is rightly marked as the chef’s recommendation on the menu.
Ortolana Pizza at $12
For the pasta dish, we tried the ‘Pesto Pasta’. The pasta was cooked al dente and the pesto was smooth and coated the pasta perfectly. Personally, I think the dish needed a touch more seasoning.
Bella Italian at $13
It’s very tough for me not to order the ‘Tiramisu’ at a Italian joint. This Tiramisu had a smooth and soft texture and came garnished with cacao powder. The presence of Italian sweet liqueur in the bottom-most layer was distinct and the dessert was delicious on the whole.
Pesto at $9
The ‘Crème brûlée’ had a layer of burnt caramel on the top that could be cut into easily. The egg custard was creamy and red vanilla beans were used for a fragrant taste. If you are not a fan of a strong taste of eggs when used in desserts, then it’s better not to order this dessert.
Tiramisu at $6
For quality Italian food that is value for money, for friendly service and for their rainbow dough pizzas, PocoLoco Pizzeria is absolutely worth a visit.
Crème brûlée at $5
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Italian
|Nearest MRT: Nicoll Highway
|Address: 6001 Beach Road, #B1-65/66 Golden Mile Tower, Singapore 199589
|Timings: Mon-Sun: 12pm – 3pm , 6pm – 10pm
It’s not a revelation that Fortune Centre is a vegetarian and vegan food paradise. Located in the bustling Rochor area, it acts as a dining hot spot for both locals and tourists. One of my favourite cafes in this building is Create Healthy Lifestyle , a nondescript cafe serving healthy and tasty vegetarian food with less oil and salt and no MSG. It is mostly filled with customers at any time of the day and it is likely that you will have to share your table if you plan to eat here. The cafe also sells organic produce and packaged organic goods in their retail section.
Create Healthy Lifestyle
Orders are placed at the counter and their menu, written on the big white board helps you make your choices quickly. Apart from the daily specials, there are other extra items on their menu (placed at your table). There are also a lot of vegan options on the menu. For the quantity and the quality of items served, the prices are friendly on the wallet.
One of my standard orders at this place is the ‘Vegetable Pancake’ which is made in the Korean style. It’s actually an appetizer but for me its filling enough to be called a meal. It resembles a flattened pizza and is filled with vegetables like carrots, bell peppers and spinach. It is extremely savory and delicious along with the sauce to dip on the side. Highly recommended.
Create Healthy Lifestyle menu
We also ordered the ‘Tom Yum Soup’ which, for me, is happiness in a bowl. A delicious, savory spicy-sour soup is perfectly complemented by the earthy vegetables. To complete the dish, I opted for thin noodles – but they have other noodle options as well. Highly recommended.
Vegetable Pancake at $5
A simple and satisfying dish to order would be the ‘Vegetable Fried Brown Rice’ which is filled with a variety of veggies. Each component of the dish is cooked well and the rice is not mushy. Some could find the dish to be under salted but this cafe believes in doing their cooking in the healthy way.
Tom Yum Soup
There will always be a need for refreshing drinks in the Singapore weather. One of the popular drinks in the juice stalls is the ‘ABC’ juice. Made from the nutritious combination of apple, beetroot and carrot, this juice is healthy for the mind and body. Definitely give this juice a try!
Vegetable fried brown rice at $5
For their significant efforts to make healthy food with no compromise on taste, for their affordable prices and for their old-world charm, Create Healthy Lifestyle Cafe is a must-visit.
ABC (Apple, Beetroot and Carrot) Juice
Bussorah Street is filled with restaurants offering a variety of cuisines and that’s the best part about the culturally rich Kampong Glam District. As you walk on the street, it is difficult to miss the Flying Monkey restaurant which exudes a happy vibe with its bright interiors and vibrant colors. As soon as I entered the restaurant, the first thing I noticed was the extremely fascinating Kathakali painting on the wall. Kathakali is one of the major forms of classical dance from the state of Kerala and is based on the ‘story play’ genre of art. This is a full-fledged restaurant serving pan-Indian tapas and creative cocktails that are unique and with a twist. The fact that it is a sister concern of Pizza Fabbrica which is next door also guarantees a certain assurance of quality in the dishes.
Flying Monkey decor
The food can be enjoyed in both small and big plates and has quite a few vegetarian options. The basic idea is to pair the food with an interesting cocktail from the bar and set the mood of the meal. The portion sizes of the items are just right for one person, hence it is better to go with a larger group of friends so that you get to taste more dishes in tapas style.
Regional food in India has been seeing its own renaissance. The most popular food from the Awadh region in India is the kebab. Over the years, this dish has undergone innovation and interpretation in myriad ways and hence we were eager to try the ‘Papaya Kebabs’ from the menu. Though papaya might be a questionable choice for some, it is a fruit that has seen usage in the Kakori style of kebabs with meat. Flying Monkey presents the vegetarian version with both style and taste. These kebabs were papaya fritters served with plum chutney and were delicately flavored with spices. This unique combination makes it a must-try.
Flying Monkey menu
Next we ordered the ‘Chilli Poppers’ which are derived from the Mirchi Vada popular in the state of Rajasthan in India. They are chilli peppers stuffed with a spicy potato filling, then dipped in gram flour batter and deep-fried. The Flying Monkey version is not extremely spicy and makes you relish the poppers. I wished they were more hot in terms of the serving temperature and also that there were more pieces of the poppers.
Papaya Kebabs at $12
We also tried the ‘Paneer Shashlik’ which is usually served on a sizzler plate on skewers. The grilled paneer pieces were served with onions, tomatoes and capsicum and tasted good. The paneer was evenly marinated with the spices. Grab a bite with the chutney and salad served on the side to enjoy the combination.
Chilli Poppers at $10
In the big plates section, we tried the ‘Lasooni Saag’ which is comfort food for most Indians. The green spinach mash with burnt garlic had a nice creamy texture and went well with the Tandoori Roti. The presentation reminded me of pita bread served with a dip. The thickness in the saag was impressive and I was able to experience the richness of the spinach.
Paneer Shashlik at $10
‘Baingan Salan’ pairs well with vegetable biryani but it also works as a great curry along with plain rice. This is a dish in which whole eggplants are braised in a cashew and peanut curry. The nuts add to the texture of the gravy but on the whole I would have preferred better balance and seasoning in this dish.
Lasooni Saag at $16
The service staff were attentive and friendly and that’s always a bonus for a relatively newly opened restaurant. For their interesting cocktails, an evening out with friends or to experience unique Indian tapas in a relaxed atmosphere, Flying Monkey is worth a visit.
Baingan Salan at $16
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Indian Tapas
|Nearest MRT: Bugis
|Address: 67/68 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199480
|Timings: Tue-Sun: 12pm – 2.30pm , 5.30pm – 11pm
Greek food is known for its rich culinary history and use of quality ingredients. Adding a sparkling blue and white banner to the Tiong Bahru neighborhood is Bakalaki Greek Taverna, a new restaurant serving authentic Greek food. This restaurant is an example on how spaces can be aesthetically designed to cast a lasting first impression. Full credit to the interior designer who has done the contemporary decor of the space. Some of the ideas worth mentioning are the barrels on the wall, zigzag wine bottles display, harbor paintings and the blue sofas that adorn the restaurant. There is a seating area in the verandah which would be ideal for brunch and the interior seating would be good for dinner to best enjoy the ambiance. The service was exemplary! We were given an explanation about the dishes, suggested the recommended items, always had the water or wine glasses refilled on time, and were told upfront about the wait time with respect to some items. Before I proceed to share my experience on the food we ordered, let me tell you right away that this place is a must-visit!
I was really happy to see that Bakalaki had a lot of vegetarian options on their menu. They also have an elaborate drinks menu in which you can check out the Greek wines. They also sell some products in the retail section in case you are looking for their branded Greek olive oil. While we were in the process of placing our order, we were served complimentary bread which was warm and very good, especially those sea-salt flakes that were sprinkled on the top.
There are some dishes that we order by default at a Greek restaurant and one of them is the ‘Pita with Tzatziki’. The refreshing Greek yogurt mixed with cucumber, garlic and extra virgin olive oil acted as a classic appetizer. The pita bread was top-notch and the saltiness enhanced the pairing with the Tzatziki.
Do not miss out on trying a cheese dish at a Greek restaurant – either the feta or the halloumi. We ordered the ‘Halloumi’ which was served with lemon and oregano. Grilled to perfection and with the right chewiness, this cheese was satisfying on many levels. But the ingredient that elevated this dish were the cherry tomatoes. Naturally sweet, take a bite of them paired with a small slab of cheese and you will feel an enhanced food experience. Highly recommended and do not miss this if you are a cheese lover.
Pita ($2.90) with Tzatziki ($14.90)
The next dish was recommended by the staff and we were glad that we tried the ‘Tomatokeftedes’ which will surely remind you of a Greek Holiday. These herbed patties were made with Santorini tomatoes which are full of nutrients and have an amazing texture. Even though the patties were charred black on one side, there was no burnt taste experienced while eating the dish. The dish is under the appetizer section but is as filling as an entrée and I would call them as little pillows of delight. Do not miss this dish!
Halloumi at $16.90
The dessert menu was interesting and we tried the authentic Greek dessert called ‘Rizogalo’. This dessert derives its name from the two main ingredients – rice and milk. It had a dense and creamy texture like a rice pudding and was sprinkled with a gentle dose of cinnamon. We wanted something mildly sweet and this served the purpose. It also helped that it was served in jar which made it extremely convenient to eat the dessert.
Tomatokeftedes at $15.90
The simplest of Greek desserts is the ‘Giaourti’ which can be had as a snack at any time of the day. It is basically Greek yogurt served with honey and walnuts and is a simple sweet treat. Since it is made with quality ingredients at Bakalaki with authentic Greek honey, this dish was delicious.
Rizogalo at $11.90
The ‘Greek Frappe’ is the hallmark of coffee culture in Greece and is a cool refresher on a hot day. The foam is quite thick and does not mix completely with pure black coffee. Even if you don’t take sugar normally, you will need to add the sugar syrup that they provide to sip the drink. This is for people who really appreciate the caffeine kick.
Giaourti at $12.90
To be honest, I found it difficult to pick out any flaws with respect to this meal. Some dishes may feel a bit overpriced but considering the quality of ingredients used in the dishes, we found the vegetarian dishes to be worth it. Overall, it has turned out to be my favourite Greek restaurant in Singapore. For their authentic Greek food, use of quality ingredients, lovely ambiance their exemplary service, Bakalaki Greek Taverna is highly recommended for an overall awesome dining experience.
Greek frappé at $4.90
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Greek
|Nearest MRT: Tiong Bahru / Outram Park
|Address: 3 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168891
|Timings: Mon-Thu: 6pm – midnight ; Fri-Sun: 12pm – 2.30pm , 6pm – 1am
The latest addition to the vegetarian scene in the west side of Singapore is Time’s Vege which is conveniently located near Bukit Batok bus interchange and MRT. It is heartening to see a restaurant with sprawling space that can easily seat 100-120 people. On the second floor of the restaurant, there is more seating with wooden tables, paintings and some interesting decor. Both, the decor and menu strikingly reminded me of D’life and later I got to know that Time’s Vege belongs to the same management. I visited the restaurant on a weekend at around 2 PM for lunch and it was quite empty and the service was fast. But I have heard from a few people that during peak hours, the restaurant is full and the waiting times are much longer.
The menu is elaborate and has a lot of options in the form of soups, vegetables, noodles, greens and set meals. The two most important things to note while ordering here are – their portion sizes are huge and to specify ‘no eggs’ while placing the order in case you don’t consume eggs.
Times Vege menu page one
One of my favourite things to order at this restaurant is the ‘Tom Yam Soup’ which is a great start to the meal because it is extremely flavourful. The soup comes in 3 sizes – Small, Medium Large. We ordered the small version and found that the quantity can easily be shared by 2 pax. The soup was filled with veggies and the broth was delicious. It pairs well with plain rice.
Times Vege menu page two
For an accompaniment in the form of a snack, we ordered the Longevity Veg Roll which added the necessary crunch to the meal. This dish is nicely crispy and reminded me of fritters and the dip served alongside aligns well with the overall taste. Highly recommended.
Tom Yam Soup at $5
We also tried the quintessential simple dish that pairs Rice with Gravy and Vegetables. It might taste a little under-salted and bland for some but with addition of some salt and chilli sauce, this dish got fixed for us. If you don’t consume eggs, ensure that you don’t notice crumbled eggs floating on the top in this dish. We noticed it and they readily exchanged it. (Hence better to mention before placing an order)
Longevity Veg Roll at $7
To spin a refreshing twist to your meal, they have quite a few beverage options. We tried the Ice Lemon juice which served the purpose of gentle relief to beat the heat.
Rice with gravy and vegetables at $4.5
On the whole, the restaurant offers decent and tasty vegetarian options at affordable prices. Its an useful option for those residing or visiting the area in the West side of Singapore. They only accept cash in terms of payment.
Ice lemon juice at $3.9
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Chinese Vegetarian
|Nearest MRT: Bukit Batok
|Address: Blk 643 Bukit Batok Central, #01-44, Singapore 650643
|Timings: Mon-Sun: 10am – 10pm
Its no mean feat that Changi Airport has been considered to be the best airport in the world consistently. It is the global hub for most flights passing through the SEA region and has a steady stream of travelers and tourists frequenting its space. So its imperative for it to have a wide variety of dining options that suit different cultures. Adding its flavour to the newly opened dining joints in Changi Airport Terminal 3 is Bikanervala , a fully vegetarian restaurant serving all types of Indian cuisine. Operating under new management, the restaurant has amped up its presentability aspect in terms of its huge seating space, warm lighting, a mithai (sweets) counter and a snacks corner. It has a distinguishable red sign that cannot be missed as you walk towards the corner of the viewing mall from where you can also see the flights land and take off. The fact that it is open 24*7 also makes it convenient in case you are a vegetarian and looking for eating options at Changi Airport.
Bikanervala Changi Airport T3
Mithai counter at Bikanervala
Bikarnervala is an Indian homegrown chain that has an international presence and a standardized global menu. The same menu has been launched in Singapore and it has a lot of variety in terms of subsets of Indian cuisine – North Indian, South Indian and Indian Chinese. So basically you’ll get to taste the diversity of Indian cuisine at fairly affordable prices.
Bikanervala is famous for its chaats globally and hence we tried their recommended dish, the ‘Raj Kachori’. Let me tell you that its a royal treat – both in terms of presentation and taste. Kachoris are fried cakes of refined flour stuffed with lentils and yogurt and topped with mint and dates sauce. The tangy and sweet flavours blend beautifully in this dish and is meant to be eaten hot – so eat this tasty appetizer before the outer shell starts getting soft and soggy.
Since we are fans of North Indian food, we tried the ‘Chole Bhature’. The chole (chickpeas) were made with authentic spices and turned out to be delicious. The bhature which are the puffed and fried version of Indian bread were non-greasy and did not lose their fluffiness for the entire course of the meal and that was really good. Highly recommended.
Raj Kachori at $6.5
For lunch and dinner, they also have thalis and combo meals on their menu. We tried their ‘Deluxe Thali’ which had so many items in the right portion sizes that it is worthy of being called a meal. The first thing that caught my attention was the plate that was used for serving. The compartmentalized plate was spot-on as it helps in segregating the dry and gravy items with great convenience and hence you don’t find yourself struggling for space on the plate. In their Deluxe Thali, they serve Paneer, Dal Makhani, Veg of the Day, Raita, Pulao, Naan, Laccha Paratha, Papad, salad, pickle and sweet. Most of the items were tasty but the notable ones were the Dal Makhani, Pulao and the Paratha. This veg thali is ideal if you want to eat a decent portion size before catching a flight.
Chhole Bhature at $9.5
Ever since Ananda Bhavan closed at Changi, one does miss the availability of popular South Indian dishes like idlis and dosas at the airport. Because of the extensive options at Bikanervala, you’ll find those standard items here now. The dosa was crisp and nice and the sambhar was well-seasoned. They also have mini-utappams and vadas that are good for breakfast or as snacks. The South Indian items are definitely good but overall I preferred their North Indian items since that is their forte and they have a better grasp on the authentic taste in that genre.
Deluxe thali at $14.5
To combat the humidity in Singapore, a refreshing glass of ‘Mango Lassi’ never fails. The yogurt based drink acted as an effective thirst quencher and was not overly sweet. The taste of alphonso mango in the drink was authentic and we liked it.
Dosa idli and vada with sambhar
They have a mind-boggling assortment of sweets that can be had a la carte or conveniently packaged and taken home. They also have mithai boxes that are suitable for gifting. After putting in some thought, we tried the Kaju Roll (Rose), Rasmalai and Lamba Jamun. I have to say that their Rasmalai is outstanding with its perfectly chilled badam pista sauce and great texture of the malai. Do not miss it if you are here! In the Kaju Roll, the rose with cashews was an interesting combination to taste and it also had a substantial amount of pistachios to add some more texture. And if you are fan of the jamuns in sweets, then I preferred the Lamba Jamun to the Kala Jamun here. This place is a Mecca for Indian sweet lovers!
Since it’s mainly Indian cuisine, if you are a vegan, you will find some items that cater to your dietary requirements and some that can be customized. This space is quite well-done and suitable for large groups. If you work in the East, you can also head here for team lunches. Their in-house ‘Bikano’ snacks are available here and so are their specialty items. We picked up a box of ‘Achari Mathri’ which is a teatime snack and it was very good. For enticing your taste buds with authentic Indian vegetarian cuisine, for its convenience of location, for its friendly service and for its astounding variety in Indian sweets, Bikanervala at Changi airport is a must-visit. Here’s hoping that the quality of food remains consistent at this restaurant as it was during this meal.
L to R: Rose Kaju Roll, Rasmalai, Lamba Jamun
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Indian
|Nearest MRT: Changi Airport
|Address: Changi Airport, Terminal 3, Viewing Mall Level 4
|Timings: Mon-Sun: 24 hrs
Do not underestimate the power of the coffee, especially when its situated next to a taxi stand! Yes, that’s how I spotted the newly opened Boyle’s Coffee – when the wait for a cab seemed endless. Situated in the old shopping mall of Bukit Timah Plaza, Boyle’s Coffee lures you inside with its warm decor and robust coffee aroma. The seats are in the form of long communal tables which makes it great to strike up conversations with coffee aficionados.
Boyle’s Coffee cake display
They have a three page menu serving hot and cold coffees and light bites. Their cake display boasts of a variety of cakes with different flavours. Apart from the standard offerings, this artisanal cafe has a variety of specialty brews across the spectrum – from the Ethiopian and Kenyan beans to the adventurous Yuzu Latte. For the tea lovers, they have some TWG teas on the menu.
When I want the perfect coffee fix filled with warm flavors, I tend to go for the ‘Caramel Latte’. Since it was a rainy day, I ordered the hot version. This was well-made with the subtle flavor of caramel cutting through the thick creamy milk and foam layers and made me happy. The latte art was also very good. Highly recommended.
What’s perfect with a good cup of coffee? The answer is a cake, especially when the cafe offers an assortment of them. I got drawn to the ‘Tiramisu Cake’ instantly due to its presentation. The checkered coffee effect on top with a mille crêpe bottom had immense visual appeal. Its on the lower side on the sweetness quotient and hence pairs well with coffee. On its own, I found it to be less sweet and a bit dry.
Hot Caramel Latte at $6
In the form of vegetarian light bites they have the ‘Cheese Grilled Sandwich’ and the ‘Butter Jam Toast’. Savour the goodness of simple toast along with your cup of coffee or tea. I wish they had softened the butter before serving it.
Tiramisu cake at $7
Boyle’s Coffee is famous for their cold water drip Dutch coffee which I definitely intend to try sometime soon. For their coffee quality, quick service and welcoming ambiance, Boyle’s Coffee is worth visiting.
Butter and Jam Toast at $4
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Coffee and light bites
|Nearest MRT: Beauty World
|Address: L1 Near Bukit Timah Plaza Taxi Stand, 1 Jalan Anak Bukit, Singapore 588996
|Timings: Mon-Fri: 9.30am – 9.30pm ; Sat-Sun: 9am – 9.30pm