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Type of Eatery: Vegetarian

Address: Raffles City, 252 North Bridge Road, #02-19, Singapore 179103
Tel: +65 6333 5338
Website: http://www.sufood.com.sg; Facebook

Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3.30pm (last order at 2pm); 5.30pm – 10pm (last order at 9pm)

Overall: 7.9/10

SufoodSufoodSufood, 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 –

Starter

SufoodI 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

SufoodThe 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.

Salad

SufoodThe 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.

Soup

SufoodThin 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.

SufoodNext 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.

SufoodThe 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.

Main

SufoodAnd 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

SufoodThe 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.

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Address: 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-11/12/13, Millenia Walk, Singapore 039596
Tel: +65 6338 8583
Website: http://kezhan.sg

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 12pm – 12am (last order 11pm), Sat – Sun 3pm – 10.30pm (last order 10pm), closed on public holidays

Overall: 3.5/10

Ke ZhanRecently opened in January 2014, Ke Zhan serves up Sichuan- and Guangdong-influenced Chinese dishes in a faux traditional Chinese inn (“客棧”) setting. The Cantopop and Korean pop KTV playing on big-screen TVs at the entrance and in the restaurant was a slightly baffling but amusing contrast. Aside from the typical dishes found in a Chinese restaurant, a selection of grilled skewers (more than 10 of which are vegan) is available from 6pm till late. Dishes came in decent portion sizes and were well presented. Booze options included wine, whiskey, shochu, sake and Chinese wine. Service was generally acceptable though the Chinese female servers tended to be slightly grumpy.

Skewers

Ke ZhanThe grilled French beans, which came recommended, were sweet and crunchy, while the grilled WaWa vegetable (or Napa cabbage) had thick, subtly flavoured leaves. Both were drizzled with cumin salt and white sesame seeds for extra flavour. ($4 for the French beans, $3.50 for the WaWa vegetable)

Sweet Spicy Fragrant Eggplant

Ke ZhanTender and fleshy slices of eggplant, with their glistening deep purple skins intact, were fried in sweet and slightly tangy chilli sauce. A small amount of French beans lent a crunchy texture and refreshing sweetness. This is best eaten while hot as the sauce became sticky and mildly cloying over time. ($15.80)

Mapo Tofu

Ke ZhanThe Mapo Tofu was a let-down – it was too salty and not spicy in the least. This usually comes with beef so veg*ns would have to advise the waitresses accordingly. ($14.80)

Mushroom in Thicken Gravy

Ke ZhanEnoki mushrooms, sliced shitake and medallions of king oyster mushrooms were fried and served in a lightly flavoured vegetable broth. ($14.80)

Stir Fry Bitter Gourd

Ke ZhanA simple garlic stir-fry pairing soft, flat slices of bitter gourd with chewy black fungus mushrooms. The bitter gourd was cooked well and was only mildly bitter, but it would have been better if there were other ingredients to complement its flavour. ($12.80)

Conclusion: I love simple Chinese cuisine when it’s done well, but the vegan options here were too pricey for the overall mediocre experience.

Type of Institution: Vegan

Address: Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard, P3-07 (3rd Floor), Parco Marina Bay
Tel: +65 6298 8198
Website
: http://www.7-sensations.com

Overall: 7.3/10

7 Sensations prides itself on offering creative and healthy vegetarian food, and in many ways this is true. The menu is influenced by many different types of cuisines and many of the dishes used more unconventional ingredients or employed an interesting combination of ingredients, as will be further elaborated upon below. The menu doesn’t seem to have changed at all, or at least not significantly, since my previous visit. I visited 7 Sensations a few years ago when it was still located within a shop house in Little India. It is currently located in the middle of a shopping mall in PARCO Marina Bay, Millenia Walk with an open floor plan. Service was efficient and unobtrusive.

Black Olive Brown Rice

7 Sensations

This dish was basically organic brown rice stir-fried with black olives, sautéed bell peppers and other vegetables, and very hard tempeh/tofu cubes. Although it was quite flavourful, the rice seemed overcooked or perhaps it was not refrigerated before frying as it was mushy and it was not separated into individual grains. The brown rice came with wonderful crisps made from a slightly bitter bean whose name unfortunately escapes me at the moment. Unfortunately the other accompanying element, the herbal soup, was bland. ($12)

Vegetarian Curry Fish

7 Sensations

The best dish I tried here. The curry was quite flavourful without being too cloying, and it was not too spicy. The ladies finger and eggplant were perfect additions to the curry. The “fish” did indeed look like fish though its texture was less realistic as it was more reminiscent of tofu, but I liked the texture of the “fish” nonetheless. It isn’t always necessary to achieve a perfect replica with mock meat dishes – I find that often times their texture can be very appealing in their own way regardless of what they are trying to imitate. Finally the curry was balanced off with sweet, refreshing slices of green apple, which illustrates the aforementioned creativity of 7 Sensations. ($18)

Bailin Mushroom with Spinach

7 Sensations

This was probably the healthiest dish we ordered – spinach with bailin mushrooms, braised with red dates, boxthorn fruits (also known as wolfberry or Goji) and dang gui. Although the spinach was perfectly cooked and it was possible to taste the herbs, the dish was generally quite bland. ($13.90)

Vegan Pizza

7 Sensations

The vegan pizza was quite creative and extremely healthy – it was basically a wholemeal pizza base topped with bell peppers, soy protein to provide a meaty texture, and homemade tofu cheese. The pizza was quite small and not very filling so you would probably want to order something else if you want to make a meal out of it. The tofu cheese had a good, relatively cheese-like texture though it was more like feta cheese rather than the typical pizza cheeses. That being said, I liked the mere fact that a vegan cheese alternative was used and I wish more restaurants in Singapore would follow suit – I haven’t seen many vegan cheese alternatives here like soy cheese or cashew cheese although they are so prevalent in eateries in Western countries. ($10.50 for 6” pizza)

Conclusion: I liked the fact that 7 Sensations lived up to its promise of offering creative and healthy food, but the food was on the pricier side. If I happened to be hungry and in Orchard though, I would drop by to try the other items on the menu.

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