During restaurant hunting, I have observed that unassuming restaurants with a simple vibe actually turn out to be hidden gems. Recently, one such find was Noodle Thai Thai Kitchen on Beach Road. From the exterior, it appeared to be a place serving communal-style Thai food at affordable rates. One glance at the menu made me apprehensive since there weren’t many vegetarian dishes. Since Thai cuisine can easily be customized, I asked the staff if they could make their curries vegetarian and without shrimp paste. They readily agreed and that’s how my meal experience began at this Thai joint.
When you crave Thai food, ‘Spring Rolls’ become a default option to start the meal. The spring rolls here made the best appetizers as the vegetables were thinly sliced and were wrapped up well and had the perfect golden colour for the outer coating. They were crispy and went well with the chilli dip on the side.
The ‘Thai Green Curry’ finds its place in the vegetarian palate because of its refreshing flavours. Loaded with the trimmings of lemongrass, galangal and coconut milk, this curry was tasty. It had less variety of vegetables in the broth but the taste was authentic. As mentioned earlier, they cooked it from scratch when I told them of my dietary requirements, hence it takes some time to be prepared. The portion size was significant enough to be shared by two pax.
Spring roll at $5.5
We also tried the ‘Thai Bandung’ as it was a warm evening. The drink was cold, not overly sweet and a good accompaniment to the food. You can also opt for some fresh coconut water if you don’t like Bandung.
Thai Veg Green Curry at $10
The quintessential Thai main dish would be the ‘Pad Thai’ with the aromas of fresh Thai ingredients and spices. The noodles were light and chewy and served with well seasoned veggies. It comes with with the standard toppings of peanuts, lime and chili flakes.
Thai Bandung at $3.80
I would suggest, if you are going as a large group with vegetarian requirements, then its better to give them a call and check in advance. But otherwise, on the whole, if you are in the area and are looking for a no-frills Thai dining experience with authentic taste, then Noodle Thai – Thai Kitchen is worth a visit.
Pad Thai at $7.90
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Thai
|Nearest MRT: Bugis / Nicoll Highway
|Address: 327 Beach Road, Singapore 199560
|Timings: Tue-Sun: 11.30am – 10.30pm
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
If you are looking for Lebanese food in Singapore, then the best place to find it is in and around Arab Street. My craving for this cuisine led me to Beirut Grill, a restaurant serving authentic Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine. This small restaurant is designed with Arabian motifs and artifacts making it quite a colorful setting. It has both indoor and alfresco seating, which helps if you want to embrace the vibes of the nightlife of the bustling Bussorah street, especially on a Friday evening.
I enjoy Lebanese cuisine because it usually has a lot of vegetarian options. The dishes usually have vegetables, fruits and whole grains. If you go as a larger group of people, then Beirut Grill is famous for its mezze platter, either hot or cold. But since we were just the two of us, we ordered the individual dishes.
We went with the staple order of soup to start the meal. In the Middle East, ‘Lentil Soup’ is a common dish. This soup was made with the same lentils as Indian dal, but with a texture resembling a classic soup. It was made thick and creamy and garnished with freshly squeezed lemon juice and parsley. This was a delicious soup and acted as a good start to the meal.
A must order side dish is the Batata Harra which is a delicious Lebanese appetizer made with potatoes and cilantro. The sautéed potatoes had such a nice spice kick to them with the chilli and fried onions. They disappeared from the plate in no time. Recommended dish.
Lentil Soup at $7
Falafel wraps are addictive because there is hardly anything in them not to like. Beirut Grill’s version had fried falafel, lettuce and tomatoes wrapped in a roll and finished with a spread of hummus and tahini. The falafels made from fava beans and chickpeas were crisp, had an authentic taste and were pretty awesome. The wrap is served with pickles and fries on the side. The portion size is quite good and is apt for the appetite during lunch or dinner time. Highly recommended.
Batata Harra at $12
Sometimes they also have an ongoing special menu which also has a decent number of vegetarian items. You’ll also get to catch a glimpse of some belly dancing during your dining experience in the evenings. For its tasty dishes, for an authentic Middle Eastern cuisine fix and for its friendly service, Beirut Grill is worth visiting.
Falafel Roll at $14
There is no dearth of Italian restaurants in Singapore. And making the Kampong Glam area cooler with its hipster vibes and quirky decor is Cicheti located in the bustling Kandahar Street. It is a two-storey shophouse bedecked with oak tables and warm lights. For large groups, it is better to hit the second floor for privacy and it is recommended that you make advance reservations. And if you are really looking for the weekend vibes, then the rooftop patio is ideal.
For the appetizers, we ordered the ‘Onion and Garlic Flatbread’ for a light start to the meal. The advantage of Italian flatbreads is that their surface gives room for toppings and dips to be spread on them easily. The Cicheti version was very good with the dip enhancing the taste.
The menu contains a plethora of options in the form of 10 inch Napoletana pizzas lovingly made in their wood-fired ovens. For vegetarians, the restaurant was open to customization. We ordered the ‘Pollo Pizza’ without the chicken. The pizzas were nicely charred with the wood-fired spots on the crust looking perfect. The almond pesto acted as the perfect base to the greens and onions and every bite was savored with delight.
Onion and garlic flatbread at $7
For the cheese lovers, the ‘Quattro Formaggi’ is worth trying. The traditional four cheese pizza contained a winning combination of parmesan, gorgonzola, ricotta and fior de latte and aided in bringing a creamy lusciousness to every bite.
Pollo Pizza at $25
The pastas are handmade and we tried the ‘Gnocchi’. The earthy flavour of mushrooms blended with the creaminess of ricotta cheese and was decent but not something to rave about. Personally, I missed a pasta with veggies as an option on their menu.
Quattro Formaggi at $22
One of the most interesting desserts was the ‘Panna Cotta with Rhubarb garnish’ with its perfect texture. The rhubarb gave a fresh flourish to creaminess the base and was extremely tasty.
Gnocchi at $26
Filled with cocoa crumble and almond paste, the ‘Crack Pie’ was rich and dense. The vanilla ice cream served alongside was just nice to make this whole dessert come together.
Panna cotta with rhubarb granita at $12.5
The ‘Warm chocolate cake’ was a safe dessert and pretty standard fare. The chocolate lovers will like it.
Crack pie at $12.5
You can’t go to an Italian joint and not order the ‘Tiramisu’. This version was soft and creamy with a very smooth finish.
Warm molten chocolate cake at $12.5
For its wood-fired pizzas, for its good service and for celebrating special occasions or just catching up with friends, Cicheti is worth a visit.
Tiramisu at $12.5
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Italian
|Nearest MRT: Bugis
|Address: 52 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198901
|Timings: Mon-Fri: 12pm – 2.30pm , 6.30pm – 10.30pm ; Sat: 6pm – 10.30pm
Purvis Street is a favourite haunt of foodies – it is stacked with restaurants offering various cuisines. You will be spoiled for choice once you get here! Hidden under the radar, in the premises of Adonis Hotel is Argo Restaurant. It mainly serves as the breakfast joint for guests who stay in the hotel. A lesser known fact is that it is open to the general public to dine and has an extensive menu offering a variety of options for vegetarians. Tastefully done decor, white walls, paintings and potted plants give the restaurant a home-y feel. If you are looking for a quiet place, Adonis is a very good option in this central location.
I was pleasantly surprised by the number of green symbols indicating vegetarian pastas on the menu! To start the meal, I ordered the ‘Soup of the Day’ which was Tomato Soup. This soup offered a zesty and familiar flavour that was ideal to start a great meal. The bread slice was soft and complemented the soup perfectly. Priced at $3, it is a no-brainer to order this excellent soup!
From the vegetarian pastas, the first one we ordered was the ‘Aglio Olio e Pereroncino’. The pasta is tossed in a spiced olive oil. It was heartening to see generous portions of veggies in the dish – capers, black olives, and red, green and yellow bell peppers. The garlic, capers and dried chili pepper gave the dish a nice spicy twist. Highly recommended.
Tomato Soup at $3
The second pasta we ordered was the ‘All Arrabbiata’ which was spicy and light with the right punch of garlic in the tomato sauce. Seasoned to perfection, this dish was simple and delicious.
Aglio Olio e Peperoncino at $9.90
Never say no to desserts at a Italian place that offers ‘Homemade Tiramisu’, especially when its priced at $4. The layers of mascarpone cheese goodness lavishly sprinkled with cocoa were moist and spongy. Worth trying for sure.
All ‘Arrabbiata at $7.90
For quality Italian food at such wallet-friendly prices at a central location, for their homely feel and for their affable service, Argo is highly recommended – maybe even for a staycation 🙂
Homemade tiramisu at $4
Paper Crane is exactly one of those cafes that you would chance upon while roaming. A sign stating ‘Want Hearty Meals for $10?’ set in a vibrant design was what caught my attention – even on a rainy evening. Tucked away on Waterloo Street in the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) building, this is a fuss-free cafe offering simple food. Their menu is neatly written on a chalkboard and they keep changing it frequently. For vegetarians, the options are limited and hence it is better to inquire before you travel specifically to this place. If you are in the area, you can surely drop by to check the menu and their daily specials. I am pretty sure they can make a basic vegetarian pasta on request. Our alfresco seating was perfect (even with rains) as the cafe is well-shielded.
Paper Crane cafe
Paper Crane menu
With limited veg options, it’s always safe to go for the Pasta. The ‘Spaghetti Arrabbiatta’ was a delightful experience with the sauce evenly coated across the pasta strands. The olives and capers provided the necessary bite and this turned out to be a decent dish.
The regular readers of my blog would know by now that I consider it as a welcome sign when a cafe attempts a non-mushroom burger in the vegetarian section. The same thought made me order the ‘Falafel Burger with Fries’ with a lot of anticipation. Unfortunately, I was let down by the dryness of the chickpea burger which had the texture of a frozen patty. But it was heartening to see that the owners took the feedback in a constructive manner and I hope to try it again sometime 🙂 The fries on the side were a good munch.
Spaghetti Arrabbiatta at $10
During rains, its thrilling to get a ice rush in the form of slushies which are ideal summer time treats. I ordered the ‘Watermelon Slushie’ filled with ice and this turned out to be a good slow sipping drink.
Falafel burger at $10
The cafe has a small dessert counter with few options. We tried the ‘Carrot Cake’ and ‘Baklava’ which were strictly passable. Nothing much to write about on these offerings except that the prices were reasonable.
Carrot cake at $4
On the whole, the dishes are friendly on the wallet and the service is extremely friendly. Pay them a visit if you are in the area!
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Western
|Nearest MRT: Bras Basah
|Address: 96 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187967
|Timings: Mon-Sat: 11am – 10pm