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Tag Archives: Little India

Type of Institution: Vegetarian

Address: 19 Upper Dickson Road, Singapore 207478
Tel: +65 6396 7769
Website: http://gokulvegetarianrestaurant.com/

Overall: 7.2/10

Gokul Vegetarian RestaurantI’ve been to Gokul many times for a quick fix whenever I needed some reliable Singaporean food, ever since I discovered it through Hungry Ang Mo’s 2010 list of Top 10 Vegetarian Eateries in Singapore (Gokul has been No. 1 for years). This time round, I went back with the intention of sampling a good spread of their menu so you’ll get a representative review (it’s a bit tricky ordering vegan food in Indian restaurants, but fellow vegans can rest assured that the following dishes I tried were vegan since I checked thoroughly). Gokul’s extensive menu covers Singaporean, Chinese, Indian and Western cuisine, typically served in hearty portions. You’ll also find smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, and hot drinks. As for service, it is typically friendly but Gokul was understaffed the last time I visited (on a Sunday night) and could definitely work on its efficiency.

As compared to its main outlet in Little India, the outlet at Fortune Centre in Bugis is much smaller and shabbier. The Little India outlet is a casual eatery with a pseudo-posh colonial shop front, while the Fortune Centre outlet looks like an air-conditioned coffeeshop stall. Food-wise, the quality is fairly similar, but do note the menu at the Fortune Centre outlet is a more protracted version of that at the main restaurant. Prices at the Fortune Centre outlet are lower for the same dishes, though that isn’t really a big concern because the dishes at the Little India outlet are already very affordable – most dishes don’t cost more than $10.

Appetizers

Papadum

Gokul Vegetarian RestaurantThe crispy papadum were made from lentil flour and weren’t too oily by Indian standards. They were perfectly complemented by the mint chutney, which was tangy, refreshing and slightly spicy. (Complimentary)

Sides

Satay

Gokul Vegetarian RestaurantGokul’s satay baffled me both times when I tried it at the Fortune Centre outlet as well as at the Little India outlet. It was highlighted in the menu as an “all time fave”, yet these 10 painfully dry, tough and flavourless soy meat skewers could be anything but. The unduly watery and dull peanut sauce and nondescript rice cakes didn’t do the dish any favours either. ($8)

Murtabak (Mutton)

Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant

Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant

I can never resist ordering the mutton murtabak at Gokul. Actually, I can never resist ordering vegan murtabak if it’s available on a menu, period. Gokul’s murtabak is served piping hot, with the thin crispy roti wrapped around chunky soy mutton chunks and vegetables. Eat it on its own or dip it liberally in the curry gravy or tomato sauce – tastes great both ways. It comes in different flavours – chicken, sardine and vegetarian (? Aren’t they all vegetarian…?) – but I’ve always been informed that mutton is the best, so there you go. ($7)

Bhindi Masala

Gokul Vegetarian RestaurantI loved the perfect texture of the okra (ladies finger) in the Bhindi Masala – crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, it reminded me of why okra is one of my top 3 favourite vegetables of all time. Unfortunately, though, the very bland masala gravy was unbefitting of the vegetable, and the sliced tomatoes lacked flavour as well. ($8)

Veg Mutton in Mysore Gravy

Gokul Vegetarian RestaurantThis very substantial dish consisted of soft soy meat chunks cooked with a spicy, wet, Mysore-style curry gravy. I would have preferred the “mutton” chunks to be denser to more closely approximate the texture of real mutton. ($9)

Mains

Special Hokkien Mee

Gokul Vegetarian RestaurantYet another item recommended as an “all time fave” on the menu, the Special Hokkien Mee was much less disappointing than the satay. Bee hoon, yellow mee, and kway teow were stir-fried with some greens, bean sprouts and soy prawn chunks. There was too much bee hoon compared to everything else but it wasn’t completely overwhelming. I was impressed by how the dish recalled some of the authentic, distinctive hokkien mee flavour, although prawns were obviously not used. Also, the dish wasn’t too oily and the chili on the side was decent. ($7.60)

Kothu Prata set

Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant

Gokul Vegetarian RestaurantThe Kothu Prata set offered a huge portion of chewy torn-up prata pieces stir-fried and scrambled with soy chunks, tofu, and vegetables. This is served with a red curry sauce and a lovely yellow dal. ($7.50)

Conclusion: I like Gokul for its mostly reliable Singaporean and Indian fare but I’ve not had anything exceptional here (except maybe the murtabak), and some of their dishes are hit and miss. I’ll definitely come back to try their version of my favourite Indian dish though – the masala dosa!

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[Note] LivinGreens has now moved to 89 Rangoon Road, #01-04 URBAN LOFTS, Singapore 218375. Opening hours remain unchanged.

Type of Institution: Vegan

Address: 325 Beach Road
Tel: +65 6396 5523
Mon–Sat: 11am – 8.30pm (last order) [Closed on Sun]
Website: http://www.livingreens.com.sg (not updated with everything on its new menu)

Overall: 6.5/10

LivinGreens is a vegan cafe that offers an extensive menu based on Western and Asian classics. I feel that the length of the menu itself merits a second visit, particularly as I did not try all the must-tries, though the food I tried ranged from an average to above average (though not amazing) quality. Service was friendly and attentive. Portions could have been bigger, but then again I have a huge appetite. Prices were reasonable.

Sides and Starters

Mushroom Soup

Rather bland. It would have been better if mushrooms with a stronger flavour (like baby portobellos and chestnuts) were used.

Xiao Long Bao

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Stuffed with various vegetables, the dish was again rather bland and would have been terribly boring if not for the shoyu on the side.

Mains

Brown Rice Vermicelli

I only took a bite of it as my Mum was the one who ordered it, but from what I recall, it was delish – the best thing I had on my visit.

Lasagna

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The presentation of the lasagna was pleasant and it tasted rather flavourful (it contained tomatoes, mushrooms, capsicum, etc. enhanced by various herbs and spices), but I was not impressed by the texture. The substitute used for the lasagna sheets did not give a satisfying texture and my impression of the dish was simply that it was way too mushy. It would also have been better and more authentic if they had used a cheese substitute – be it soy cheese, cashew cheese, or whatever.

Tomato Mushroom Spaghetti

What you would expect, really. Neither the spaghetti nor the home-made sauce jumepd out at me.

Dessert

Black Sesame Cake

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I love the fact that black sesame was used since this wasn’t very common, and the cake certainly tasted very healthy, but it was way too dry.

Conclusion: I love how extensive the menu is, and the prices were very reasonable, but perhaps next time I will go for one of their specials instead – I’ve heard lots of good things about the place but my visit this time wasn’t very memorable.

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