Type of Eatery: Vegetarian
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3.30pm (last order at 2pm); 5.30pm – 10pm (last order at 9pm)
Sufood, which is owned by Taiwan’s largest restaurant chain, has been making waves since opening in Singapore earlier in May. Sufood fills a sizeable space on the second floor of Raffles City with its bright, inviting and playful decor. Options are fairly extensive, and you may order ala carte if you wish, but most would opt for the “8-course” set meal – $25 will get you a starter, bread, vinegar, salad, soup, main, dessert and a drink (the last 5 of which can be chosen from the whole range of options in the menu). Sufood markets itself as serving Italian-inspired vegetarian cuisine, but if you’re a purist like me, you’ll have to manage your expectations – the menu is more accurately described as typical Western fare, with a focus on simple “Italian” mains, and scattered with a few Chinese options. The ingredients used were minimally processed and the vegan dishes I tried were mostly light and healthy. Dishes containing milk, eggs and garlic/onion are also clearly marked out. Service was prompt and helpful, although they seemed to have been in a rush to serve each course more quickly than they should have. And now for a review of all the dishes I tried in each course –
I would recommend you move your way along the SUFOOD Appetizer from right to left – the tiny columns of poached Japanese yuca root were refreshing and slightly creamy, but its character was rather overwhelmed by the sugary blueberry coulis. The adjacent stack of white water snowflake greens were light in flavour and had a pleasant crunch. A savoury cherry tomato jelly surrounding a dried (you guessed it) cherry tomato and spiked with a hint of vinegar rounded it off.
Bread / Vinegar
The Rosemary Breadsticks were essentially crunchy batons that were dry, bland and devoid of texture within. You would get to choose from the mustard dip (not vegan) or the blueberry dip, which was similar to the blueberry coulis used in the appetizer – both were too sweet and tasted processed.
The rose-coloured Mulberry Vinegar was pleasant in flavour but also fairly sweet, and probably had added sugar to tame its natural acidity.
The simple, balsamic-glazed Mushroom Salad might actually have been my favourite course of the meal – fresh, plump button mushrooms and shitake mushrooms were accompanied by lightly steamed, and still slightly crunchy, broccoli florets, sweet cherry tomatoes and Japanese cucumber.
Thin slices of lotus root and burdock root, as well as soft cashews and gingko nuts, formed part of the savoury stew in the Root Soup. This would still be my pick despite it having been a tad too salty.
Next in line was the Mushroom & Pea Pottage. Button, shitake and king oyster mushrooms lent a strong earthy flavour to the creamy, and slightly chunky, base of blended sweet peas.
The Cream of Pumpkin Soup used soymilk to great effect in achieving a creamy texture without being dense, but it missed the natural sweetness of pumpkin and turned out bland.
And finally, just as one begins to feel stuffed, the main course arrives. To get to the crux of the Wild Mushroom Charcoal Tagliatelle, which came recommended – the charcoal tagliatelle, while fragrant, were nothing close to al dente. They were soft and tended to clump together, but they were pleasant enough if you were to regard them as regular noodles. I enjoyed the tender yet substantial rings of king oyster mushrooms, which were sauteed in light olive oil and vinegar, as well as very generous doses of garlic, onion and pepper. Fresh green leaves and cherry tomatoes served as a contrast to the more robust ingredients. All in all, the dish was unexceptional in terms of taste and texture (the amount of pepper used was overpowering), but it did use interesting ingredients and served as an adequate main dish. I also liked the serving size, which was far more manageable than the cheese-laden vegetarian mains my counterparts were having.
Dessert / Drinks
The meal was concluded with a light, mildly sweet Osmanthus Flower Jelly speckled with chrysanthemum flowers, and a Chamomile Tea with a hint of yuzu flavour and tiny, sweet chunks of yuzu.
Conclusion: More than the quality of its food in terms of taste and texture (which was average), Sufood banks on the variety, presentation and wholesomeness of their dishes. Coupled with fun vibes and great service, Sufood was on the whole an enjoyable experience, particularly for the veg-inclined.