Type of Institution: Vegetarian
Address: 470 North Bridge Road, #01-01 North Bridge Commercial Complex, Singapore 188735 Tel: +65 6333 0478
Honzen Cafe is a casual vegetarian cafe that aims to serve “healthy & nutritious vegetarian dishes that are delicious and fill your stomach sumptuously”. The cafe doesn’t serve garlic, onion, or egg. Since it’s beside Raffles City, it’s very convenient to hop over for a quick meal after some Bikram Yoga.
FYI There’s no service charge at the Cafe. But while the staff were not very fluent at English, the standard of service was acceptable.
Upon entrance, I was served with some lightly flavoured plum vinegar, which was their free welcome drink. This wasn’t particularly tasty but plum vinegar is known for its health benefits (for more information, click here).
One of Honzen Cafe’s specials is purportedly this well-presented plate of brown rice surrounded with various side dishes. The brown rice was very overcooked and mushy. As for the side dishes, in the top right hand corner we have a few pieces of yellow, red and green capsicums that tasted ordinary. Moving in the clockwise direction, we then have an assorted seeds and nuts mix that included crunchy cashews, wolfberries and pumpkin seeds. I cannot comment on the next side dish because the cabbage had mayonnaise on it so I skipped it. Then we have black fungus mushrooms in a sweet balsamic sauce – this was a very interesting combination of flavours and not what I’m used to having with my black fungus mushrooms – whether you would enjoy it or not really depends on your personal preference. I didn’t like the balsamic, but my boyfriend loved it. The long beans were crunchy but tasted plain. The alfafa sprouts were a great, healthy addition. ($8.90)
Tom Yum Fried Rice
Definitely the best thing I had here. I loved the authentic homemade hot and sour tom yum paste coating the well-cooked rice – it was quite spicy and the rice was infused with fragrant lemon grass and kaffir lime. The rice was stir-fried with shredded lettuce, sliced carrots and green beans and cubed mock shrimp and squid slices that had the texture of fish cake. The fried rice also came with super crunchy peanuts and fresh tomato slices on the side. The only complaint I had about the dish was the poor rice:ingredients ratio – yummy as it was, there was way too much rice! ($7.90)
Soup of the Day: Lotus Root Soup
The soup of the day came free with the tom yum fried rice. It also came paid with a set meal accompanying the Honzen Special ($12.90 with a coffee – not very worth it in my opinion). It was a very light yet flavourful lotus root soup with corn, wolf berries and an authentic mock meat with a texture like tender pork.
We got a separate portion of brown rice because we were extra hungry. As mentioned above, the brown rice was very overcooked. I wouldn’t order it again. ($1)
Conclusion: The food was nice and healthy but it wasn’t anything extraordinary. For the price, it’s acceptable.