Time’s Vege – Near Bukit Batok Bus Interchange

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 Orders
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

Times Vege menu page one


Times Vege menu

Times Vege menu page two


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.
Tom Yam Soup

Tom Yam Soup at $5


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.
Longevity Veg Roll

Longevity Veg Roll at $7


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)
Rice with gravy and vegetables

Rice with gravy and vegetables at $4.5


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.
Ice lemon juice

Ice lemon juice at $3.9


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.

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
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Picnic Singapore – Wisma Atria at Orchard

When a sprawling dining space that resembles an indoor garden opens on Orchard Road, it is bound to attract attention. This garden themed cafe / communal dining spot, Picnic is filled with real potted plants and an AstroTurf covered garden area that will make you feel like you are having a picnic in the park. The outdoor element of a picnic is brought in with the usage of a lighting system that undergoes changes according to the time of the day. In terms of dining, the place has food trucks serving international cuisines, an illuminated bar and a dessert counter. The food ordering will remind you of Marché with the use of buzzers and for checkout, payment is made easy with the use of self-service kiosks.

Picnic Singapore

Picnic Singapore


Picnic dessert counter

Picnic dessert counter

The Orders
Since we scouted for vegetarian options, I am sharing the stalls in which I managed to find them conveniently.

1. Basic Kneads
Basic Kneads is the stall serving soups and sandwiches. We noticed 3 vegetarian soup choices: Tomato, Mushroom, Potato and Leek. Soups act as a nice way to start a meal and we decided to try them instantly. We ordered the ‘Tomato Soup’ which was a rustic rendition of the dish. The bold red color coupled with the pulpy texture created a soup that was delicious and well-seasoned.

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup at $9


Next we ordered the ‘Mushroom Soup’ which was a visual delight. Once could stare at the contrast of the soup color with the well-drizzled cream pattern and almost feel like not spoiling the appeal. The soup was rich, indulgent and full of earthy flavours. It is a recommended dish if you are a fan of mushrooms.
Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Soup at $9

2. Rosti Haus
The Swiss potato dish, rosti, has an exclusive food truck serving the classic and other versions of the dish. It is an eternal favourite for most and the stall seemed to be quite popular. We ordered the ‘Plain Rosti’ which was the only vegetarian option. The shredded Idaho potato strands were nicely fried and crispy and was a good dish. But there was a clear disconnect in the quantity served to the price for this dish.

Plain Rosti

Plain Rosti at $11

3. Flour and Water
A popular stall that served classic Italian pastas and pizzas. Since we did not want to try the usual Margherita Pizza, we opted to try the pasta. We ordered the ‘Vodka Rigatoni’ which is one of the best pastas that I have eaten in Singapore.It was ridiculously flavorful – rich, spicy and delicious. For those who are apprehensive to try a bit of alcohol in their pasta can be rest assured that you can hardly taste it. It is flambéed in vodka in front of you just for the final touch. Every aspect was good about this pasta – highly recommended.

Vodka Rigatoni

Vodka Rigatoni at $16

4. Tikka Taco
You hear food trucks and you instantly think of Tacos. Tikka Taco is one such attempt at offering unique combinations combining Indian and Mexican flavours in some and Korean flavours in others. We ordered the ‘Spinach Pesto’ taco which was different and tasted good. There were pine nuts in the filling which lent the crunch to the dish.

Spinach Pesto Taco

Spinach Pesto Taco

5. Desserts
Their dessert counter offers everything from cupcakes to cheesecakes to pastries. They also have a crepe station and we tried the ‘Chocolate Crepe’ which made for a luscious dinner dessert.

Chocolate Crepe

Chocolate Crepe


Overall, Picnic is a fun themed addition to the multi-cuisine concept in Orchard. There are around 12-15 stalls, so there might be more vegetarian foods which we plan to check next time. Also to be noted is they have meal sets during lunch time and their dishes are priced lower by around $3-$4 even on an À la carte basis. They also offer sharing platters in which you can combine dishes from different trucks. Its a good place to chill along with a large group of friends. Definitely worth a visit to this picturesque place.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: International cuisine (Food trucks) ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Orchard
Address: Wisma Atria #03-15, 435 Orchard Road, Singapore 238877
Timings: Mon-Sun: 10am – 10pm
Website: http://www.picnicsg.com/#

Argo Restaurant – Purvis Street

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.

The Orders
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!

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup at $3


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.
Vegetariano

Aglio Olio e Peperoncino at $9.90


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.
All Arrabbiata

All ‘Arrabbiata at $7.90


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.
Homemade tiramisu

Homemade tiramisu at $4


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 🙂

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Italian ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Bugis
Address: Adonis Hotel Singapore, 13 Purvis Street, Singapore 188592
Timings: Mon-Sun: 11.30am – 3pm , 6pm – 10.30pm
Website: http://hoteladonis.worldsignaturehotels.com/wp-content/uploads/Argo-Menu-2015.jpg

Mixed Vegetable Soup with Udon Noodles

One of the best ways to use summer vegetables is to make a quick soup. If you want to add some bite to the medley of vegetables, noodles lend perfect balance to the dish. Ever since I visited Japan, I’ve wanted to try a dish at home using Udon noodles. They are thick wheat flour noodles which are best served in soups or broths. They are soft and sturdy at the same time which make them perfect ingredients for a wholesome meal. They leave you feeling full but not stuffed and veggies provide the required nourishment. For a Thai twist, we add kaffir lime leaves to provide so much flavour to this dish that you would not mind just sipping the warm soup.

Recipe Details :
Serves: 2-3 pax
Time: 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 10-12 baby corn, cut into small rounds
  • 1 broccoli (around 250 gms), cut in florets
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 bell pepper / capsicum cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 12-15 French beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 – 2 cups of veg stock / water
  • Udon noodles
  • 2 Kaffir lime leaves cut into strips
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Mixed veg with udon

Mixed veg with udon noodles


Method:

  • Cook the Udon noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Do not cook them all the way – take them out when they are slightly underdone.
  • Soak the lime leaves in some hot water. If you’re using veg stock, supplement it with this liquid.
  • Place a pan over a medium-high flame. Add oil and wait till it just starts to shimmer.
  • Add the onions and saute them till they turn translucent.
  • Add the beans, corn, and carrot and saute them for ~30 seconds.
  • Once you see a little colour on the veggies, add in the broccoli and bell peppers. Toss to combine.
  • When the veggies are par-cooked, add in 1 cup of water / veg stock and the water from the soaked lime leaves. Cover and cook till the vegetables are just tender.
  • Turn off the flame, add the udon noodles and let the soup steep for a few minutes.
  • Mixed veg soup with udon noodles

    Mixed veg soup with udon noodles

  • Serve immediately!

Tips:

  • Do not overcook the noodles. If you are worried about overcooking them, put them in an ice bath once they are cooked.
  • You can change the veggies used to suit your taste. Add the veggies that take longer to cook first. Do not overcook them.
  • For a hit of spice, add some chili oil on the top.

Spiced Cauliflower Soup

Soups are one of the best ways to cut back on calories without losing out on taste. After having cauliflower soup quite a few times in 3-course meals at restaurants, I decided to make it at home. This dish needs some low and slow cooking, but is worth it for the end result of a creamy and full-flavored soup. Cauliflower lends a velvety texture and is easy to prep as the florets just have to be separated. The addition of turmeric powder gives a beautiful yellow colour. The spices add a touch of heat and contrast to the soup base. This is a filling and heavy soup, so you are literally one bowl away from trying out a healthy recipe!

Recipe Details :
Serves: 3-4 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1 large cauliflower, chopped in florets (roughly the same size)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Ground black pepper (for garnish)
  • Salt to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Cauliflower soup

Cauliflower soup


Method:

  • In a soup pot, heat the oil on a low flame and put in the bay leaf. Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, red pepper flakes along with onions. Sweat the onions till they turn translucent. This will take around 4-5 mins. Then add the finely chopped garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add in the cauliflower florets and vegetable stock to the soup pot. Stir to combine, and ensure that all florets are immersed in the stock.
  • Cauliflower soup prep

    Cauliflower soup prep

  • Cover, and let the florets cook for 15 mins on low flame till they become tender.
  • Switch off the flame and let the liquid cool for 15 mins. Remove the bay leaf at this stage.
  • Then transfer this cooled mixture into a blender and blend on high till the mixture is silky and smooth.
  • Serve hot, with a sprinkle of ground black pepper on top. I served a quinoa bread along with the soup.

Tips:

  • Stir the florets from time to time to ensure even cooking.
  • You can also garish with coriander leaves or red chili flakes.
  • For those staying in Singapore, I paired this soup with lightly toasted ‘Spelt, Quinoa and Purple Wheat Loaf’ by Gardenia from NTUC.

Vegetable Soup with Corn Cob

Soups are inherently comforting dishes. Load them up with vegetables and you have a filling and fulfilling meal in a bowl. I had an unused packet of Fava beans lying around at home and decided to use it in a soup. I had planned a photography birthday party and wanted to serve this soup as a starter. Thus the idea of using corn cobs came into play as they reminded me of the big lenses used in DSLRs. As the soup is dairy and fat-free, the flavours of the vegetables and beans really shine. Do try it as it is oil-free, wholesome and healthy.

Recipe Details :
Serves: 4-5 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced into medium cubes
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into medium cubes
  • 1.5 cups of canned fava beans (or raw fava beans soaked overnight and cooked separately)
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh green peas
  • 1 large corn cut into 4 pieces
  • 5 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup of freshly ground pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped coriander

Vegetable soup with corn cob

Vegetable soup with corn cob


Method:

  • Combine potatoes, carrot, cut corn, half the fava beans, half the green peas and vegetable stock in a pressure cooker. Bring it to high pressure and cook for 15 mins on low flame. If you are not using the pressure cooker method, you can also boil these contents in the vegetable stock on a stove top but it will take much more time for the vegetables to lose their rawness.
  • Transfer the liquid from the cooker to a pot and place it on the stove top. Bring the soup to a simmer. Using a masher, mash the vegetables such that the soup thickens. Ensure that you only partially mash the vegetables so that large pieces remain.
  • Add remaining green peas and fava beans and let it cook through for another 7 mins on low flame. Add salt at this stage and finally sprinkle the ground pepper.
  • Switch off the flame. Place one piece of the corn cob in every bowl in the center, ladle in the soup and garnish with coriander on the sides before serving. This will be one delicious bowl of soup that you will enjoy!

Tips:

  • If you are using the “whistle” method for pressure cooking, let it sound 3 whistles.
  • Do not mash the vegetables evenly. There should be pieces of different sizes to give texture to the soup.

Yellow Pumpkin and Potato Soup

When I want a simple and comforting meal, my go-to meal is soup. This time I chose yellow pumpkin/squash as my main ingredient. They give great texture and a hint of sweetness to soups. Try out this recipe – even if you don’t like yellow pumpkins! Potatoes were added to give the soup body and a rich feel. The colour of the soup was mind-blowing and it disappeared in no time. A hearty meal indeed!

Recipe Details :
Serves: 2-3 pax
Time: 60 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1 yellow pumpkin (400-500 g), diced in cubes
  • 3 potatoes, diced into cubes
  • 2 small onions, finely diced
  • 2 green chillies, finely diced
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped coriander
  • 1 cup water

Yellow pumpkin and potato soup

Yellow pumpkin and potato soup


Method:

  • Cut the yellow pumpkins, potatoes and onions.
  • Chopped veggies

    Chopped veggies

  • Roast the white sesame seeds on low flame. Once they turn slightly brown, set aside.
  • White sesame seeds

    White sesame seeds

  • Now heat olive oil in a pan and add the chopped vegetables and saute them. Add some salt and green chilli at this stage.
  • Once the veggies are partially cooked, add the coconut milk and the water. Let it cook on a low flame for around 30 mins. Stir once in a while to check on the consistency.
  • Once the mixture looks thickened, switch off the flame. Set aside to cool.
  • After around 20 mins, blend the mixture using a blender. Taste the soup and add some salt (if required) and pepper at this stage.
  • Finally garnish this delicious and colorful soup with red chillies, roasted sesame seeds and coriander leaves. Now it is ready to serve and enjoy!

Tips:

  • If you want to incorporate sweeter flavours, roast the pumpkin before cutting.
  • Don’t blend the mixture when it’s very hot. Do not let it cool down completely as well. The warmer it is when you blend it, the smoother the soup will be.