Photo: Sunnychoice Cafe
What does it mean to serve "healthy" food? A diversity of restaurants exists, each offering their take on organic, vegan and vegetarian, all emphasising the use of quality, seasonal ingredients without excessive additives or flavourings. While the cost of these ingredients may be more expensive, enjoying a healthy feed in Singapore need not be overly pricey if you know where to go. Here are our top five picks to leave you feeling nutritionally energised.
Teng Bespoke Vegetarian Japanese Dining
For vegetarian sashimi and more
Vegetarian diners are spoilt for choice in the Bencoolen Street area, with the nearby Fortune Centre that is dotted with veggie-friendly eateries of all kinds. Joining the fray is Bespoke Japanese at Sunshine Plaza where the fare is hearty and healthy. Start with the creamy avocado maki ($15) and the pungent beancurd sheets with natto (fermented soybeans, $7) before moving on to the cold green tea soba (thin buckwheat noodles, $10). Their signature is their platter of mock sashimi ($19) — the three varieties (mock salmon, tuna and hamachi made with konnyaku, yam jelly) served on a bed of ice are quite like the real thing in both taste and texture.
Book a table here | Address: 91 Bencoolen Street, #01-50 Sunshine Plaza | Opening hours: Daily 11.30am-3pm, 5.30-10pm
For leisurely vegetarian grub in the city
This 3-in-1 cafe-bookshop-grocer is an airy welcoming haven of organic vegetarian yumminess. While portions are on the modest side, they are made with love and include Western dishes like pasta and pizza alongside Asian offerings like rice and noodles. Try the beet burger, featuring a handmade patty of beetroot, carrots, onion, millet and potato, coupled with organic sweet potato wedges ($12.80). For the perfect brunch pick-me-up, the organic gluten-free strawberry and banana pancakes combine warm bananas, tart strawberry pieces and a sweet drizzle of organic agave ($9.80). One downside: Real Food has a tendency to be real slow. But hey, you can’t rush goodness.
Real Food | Address: 110 Killiney Road, Tai Wah Building | Tel: 6737 9516 | Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8.45pm, Sun 10am-7.45pm | Price: around $18 per person
Healthy fare in suburbia
This store cum cafe run by five sisters serves up a great variety of healthy vegetarian dishes at a great price. Guests can enjoy a casual meal and later stock up on the affordable organic products available in-store. Try their version of Thunder Tea rice ($8.50), generously topped with flavourful veggies and mushrooms. Another delicious option is the Korean bibimbap (a medley of shredded vegetables topped with sesame seeds and served with miso soup, $8.50), all of which can be washed down with a refreshing glass of organic fruit juice ($7). Additionally, all prices are nett – no service charges or GST are applicable.
SunnyChoice Cafe | Address: 34 Upper Bukit Timah Road | Tel: 68922383 | Opening Hours: Daily 10am-9pm | Price: around $13 per person
Poison Ivy Bistro at Bollywood Veggies
A wholesome family dining adventure
Yes, location-wise, this is decidedly ulu by Singapore standards, but the trek is well worth it. The bistro takes farm-to-table cuisine seriously, with majority of its ingredients grown onsite, free from chemical fertilisers, pesticides and growth hormones. Accessible by driving or a 20-minute shuttle bus from Kranji MRT, make a day of it and visit the Food Museum and the Farm Tour. Cooking classes can also be arranged upon request and you can even buy some seasonal farm-fresh vegetables and fruits to bring home. Note that dinner is not served at the Bistro as the farm closes at 6.30pm and all payments are cash only.
Poison Ivy Bistro | Address: 100 Neo Tiew Road | Tel: 6898 5001 | Opening hours: Wed-Sun & PH from 9am-6.30pm (no dinner) | Price: around $15 per person
Onaka Restaurant & Wine Bar
Clean, healthy date night or catch-up with friends
Onaka presents well-thought out, artfully presented organic Asian-Western fusion fare at reasonable prices. While almost 50% of the menu is vegetarian, Onaka serves up several meaty dishes of goodness including the North Indian lamb shank (Lamb rack braised with North Indian spices and served with naan, $28) and boef bourgignon (made with grass-fed beef, $32). Try the watermelon sashimi ($10) which is a sous vide watermelon, topped with agar wasabi "tobiko" and kombu,with daikon tamari dip for an inventive take on vegetarian sashimi. Onaka also gets brownie points for being receptive to special dietary requests like being low glycemic, gluten free or vegan.
Book a table here | Address: 460 Alexandra Road, #01-32 Alexandra Retail Centre | Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 10.30am-10pm | Price: around $25 per person
A self-confessed daydreamer, Pudding Ibrahim is into writing, intrepid travels, well-being, hugs, 3D movies and constantly seeking the meaning of life. Through her journey thus far, she has discovered that the answer to most questions in life is…chocolate. She also has been known, on several occasions, to fight for the last brownie, with about a ninety-eight per cent success rate. You have been warned.