For pictures and the full review, click here
! Otherwise, read on...
I've been to Green Room Cafe a couple of years back when it was a vegetarian cafe but I've been meaning to come back again since I've heard it has now been completely reinvented under the direction of a new chef, Diana von Cranach. It is now a vegan cafe with an emphasis on raw, "living" food "prepared from the locally grown herbs, vegetables, fruits, flowers, leaves, nuts and seeds that have been used in traditional Southeast Asian cuisines for generations". The menu had a couple of warm dishes as well but I skipped them since it's much more interesting to try raw food for a change. I've also become so much more aware of my food after becoming vegan so I've been meaning to explore the raw veganism movement. (Raw veganism excludes all food of animal origin, and all food cooked above 48 degrees Celsius, mainly for its purported health benefits (click here
for more information).)
The best thing I love about the Cafe is its beautiful setting within Bishan Park. The Cafe and its partner institutions from the Asmara Lifestyle Group are perfectly landscaped within the Park’s abundant greenery. This is the perfect place to come to particularly if you want to chill out on your own or if you want to have a casual lunch. When I came here last Saturday afternoon, I easily whiled away a couple hours having a long lunch and reading my book after – it was ideal relaxation.
Service was very attentive and efficient. Granted, there weren’t many other people at the Cafe when I was there though. The waitress was very helpful in answering all my questions because I was so curious about how they prepared the food.
If you are the sort of person who likes to know more about your food, or if your companion is really boring and you would like some reading material to make time go faster or to serve as conversation fodder, you should ask for the Little Book of Green Room Ingredients
– it is a list of ingredients used in the Cafe (duh) accompanied by a concise summary of how to use them in cooking and their health benefits.
Also note that Green Room Cafe will also provide you with the menu from next-door Canopy Garden Dining & Bar, which is an Australian style non-vegetarian cafe. I wouldn’t recommend you order items from the Canopy menu since that defeats the purpose of trying out an interesting cuisine at Green Room, but it might make it easier to arrange to go to Green Room with friends who are not open to trying vegan food.
Fresh Corn & Miso Chowder
I loved this cold soup, which was slightly salty and made with creamy fresh corn and cashew, garnished with sweet papaya and herbs. I was very impressed by the slightly chewy “living” cracker
on the side, which comes with all the soups. I fancied that the cracker had a tom yum flavour because of the infusion of many herbs and spices, but apparently the cracker was simply made of coconut that had been dried for an extended period of time... Amazing! ($10)
Living Vegetables & Herb Sausage
The spicy vegetables and herbs “sausages” employed a pretty expert use of herbs and spices but there seemed to be a slightly bitter aftertaste to the sausages. The “sausages” came with a mixed salad comprised of fresh red cabbage, sweet papaya shreds and other vegetables, topped off with a sweet and spicy red curry dressing. I was struggling to finish it because the dish was quite filling, since the bulk of it was made of chunky cashew bits (the waitress kindly offered to pack it for me so I could bring it home and have enough room left for dessert). ($19)
Vegan chocolate & cocoa bean ice creamI LOVED THE ICE CREAM.
The flavour of the chocolate ice cream was semi-dark chocolate and was quite rich, though not as dark as I would have preferred it (80% is perfect for me). I loved the slightly bitter taste and the crunch that the cocoa bean bits provided. J The ice cream was also adequately creamy (not that easy to achieve without the use of dairy products) and was definitely a realistic substitute for the real thing. ($5 single scoop, $9 double scoop)
I definitely want to go back to Green Room if only to try all the other creative flavours
– these include red curry, avocado and palm sugar, ginger tea, peanut butter, mulberry, lemongrass, vanilla and rose sprinkle...!! The other desserts looked amazing as well, such as the local banana and nut split (which contains raw chocolate and nut-coated bananas, a fruit salad with lemon cashew cream, and vegan peanut butter ice cream).
If you're curious to know, there are a few other options if you are looking for a vegan icy dessert or simply a healthier alternative to conventional ice cream. Brownice
, which is the first to make vegan ice cream in Singapore, is pretty popular and all their ice creams are made from organic brown rice milk, fruits and nuts – all-natural, low-fat, and healthier than conventional ice-cream. I think Soyato
, which sells frozen desserts made of soymilk in many flavours, is kinda rubbish because the texture doesn’t lend itself very well to freezing below a certain temperature – it becomes too icy – and none of the flavours I have tried (vanilla, cookies, and green tea) tasted satisfactorily rich. Onaka’s organic chocolate soy milkshake made with Soyato is so good though... more on that in a future post.Conclusion
: I will highly recommend Green Room to anyone who enjoys creatively prepared food and wants to sample a new cuisine. I don’t think I’ve come across another cafe/restaurant in Singapore that focuses on raw food. Even if you decide that raw food isn’t really for you after going to Green Room, at least you’ve tried a unique dining experience in a beautiful setting. I’ll definitely go back again soon for another relaxing lunch over the weekend.
For pictures and the full review, click here