veg_roll

Foodie Alert!, Restaurants/Dining

Baby’s day out at Beyond Veggie, a delicious vegetarian restaurant!

11 Jun , 2014  

#Diningout #throwback #5mo #vegetarianrestaurant

Those who know me know I am no fan of pure vegetarian food, and have on occasion, scoffed at vegetarian meals (in my defence, it happened in my younger days. Sorry, Buzzy haha). I especially can’t stand the look and taste of mock meat – fake charsiew, fake chicken rolled on a ice cream stick… Argh. The only mock vegetarian food that I like is zai e, which is crispy and yummy haha. So imagine my partial skepticism when I heard about Beyond Veggie, a new up-and-coming vegetarian restaurant and my sister-in-law, raving about it. These days though, I do enjoy my veggies alot more, and when one gets older, sighs, no choice lah, gotta watch one’s diet! Must remember to set a good example to Baby Ray too. Don’t want him to pick at his veggies, horrors!

Restaurant: Beyond Veggie
Address:  18 Greenwood Avenue, Hillcrest Park
Tel: 6763 1323
Must Orders!: Passionfruit fruit tea, Crunchy Oyster Mushroom, Stir-Fry Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Hazelnut Choc Crunch
Blah: Pesto & Mushroom Pizza, Aglio Olio
Good for: Families, Healthy living, vegetarians, Small groups of friends, initiating your veggie-hating toddler to delicious veggie meals, Westies, People who drive. For families with small babies/toddlers, weekday dining especially from 2pm – 7pm is ideal, as adviced by Mr Lee Han Fong, Secret Recipe director

So anyway, two weekends ago, we got invited by my sister-in-law (erjie) to Beyond Veggie, a new restaurant opened by Secret Recipe at Greenwood Avenue. It is of course, of little surprise that my SIL raves about the food at Beyond Veggie since it is opened by Secret Recipe, where erjie’s hubby, Han, is the director helming the fort at the Singapore Office.

Pips and I crinkled our noses at the word ‘pure vegetarian restaurant’, but still, we trooped off to Beyond Veggie with Pips’ family out in full force, and ordered crazy alot of dishes. After an extremely full meal, I must say, I was slightly surprised at how much I enjoyed the vegetarian dishes on offer there. What I liked best about the restaurant is that it doesn’t pretend to be something it is not – ie the passing off of vegetables as meat, a pet peeve of mine. It celebrates vegetables for what they really are – veggies, which enables the flavour and strength of each veggie to blossom beautifully.

Alot of mushrooms are also featured at this restaurant, and boy are they the stars in many of the dishes we tried. I had no idea that mushrooms could be cooked and tasted the way it was when it passed my lips and entered my mouth and tummy. Mmm. Delicious! Without further ado, let me present some of the dishes we tried:

Picture2These two mushroom dishes were awesome possom! I generally dislike the taste of Oyster Mushrooms as they just taste kinda stale or dour to me, but when they were fried to a crispy goodness in the above dish, they were simply IRRESISTABLE.  It was super crispy and despite being deep-fried, did not taste oily, or cloying. In fact, it was quite light on the mouth. Thank goodness this is not sold at small stores like those taiwanese XL chicken stores. I would totally buy and eat these crispy mushrooms all day!

The mushroom satay was really good too, fat, chewy pieces of mushrooms dipped into satay sauce. Yummy! Another dish that I really enjoyed. However, as a omnivore exposed to the delights of meat, don’t think it beats the rich taste of succulent, tender chunks of chicken, though it comes pretty close.

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The bittergourd in blackbean sauce was another enjoyable dish. The blackbean sauce offset the bitterness of the bittergourd, and the variety of crunchy vegetables in the dish was rather satisfying to the palate. Mmm. The revitalising tofu was not too bad either, but not WOW, though I love that they feature woodear mushrooms in that dish. The Yunnan Beehoon was average, not much of a hooha for this dish.

To complement the meal, we ordered a pot of passionfruit fruit tea (seasonal), which is served in little shot glasses. This was a FANTASTIC ORDER. I have tried fruit teas at many places, but this is the best that I’ve tasted in my whole life! My other SIL (we call her dajie) thought the tea was a tad sweet, but Pips and I thought it was perfect the way it was, as the tartness of the passionfruit was nicely balanced by the sweetness of the tea. Little passionfruit seeds would slip past the strainer into my little shotglass, which made a satisfying crunch between my teeth. Wonderfully aromatic and fragrant tea that is extremely refreshing. I would definitely want to try the Passionfruit juice the next time!

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The Veggie Roll consisted of julienne cabbages, carrots (and maybe some other veggie? Not too sure, I just wolfed them down hahah) in a popiah type skin, topped off with pumpkin floss and served with two types of accompanying dips – one of them is a creamy sesame type dip, and the other one, if my memory serves me right, is a curry mayo type of dip? On its own, I found the veggie roll to be slightly dry and bland, and that must be exactly what Beyond Veggie was thinking, because when accompanied with the sauces, fwooosh…. the sauce completely enhanced the taste of the roll, and added a level of complexity to what would otherwise have been a bland dish on its own. The sauces are the bomb. Erjie told us that the pumpkin floss was really unique and awesome, and while it does have the texture and fluffiness of pork floss, the taste isn’t strong like how pork floss is. Pork Floss wins this round I’m afraid haha. A downer to this dish though, is that because the ingredients are dry, they can flake apart easily if one is not skillful at ‘kiaping’ the roll but the taste is good and light on the mouth.

Can’t comment much on the Tempe Sambal Petai as I am not a fan of petai, despite having peranakan roots. My in-laws did like it though, so for fans of petai, maybe you can try?

Picture4The Fried Rice we ordered was quite nice – light and fragrant on the tongue, with each bead of rice nicely separated from its brothers without swimming in a pool of oil. Cannot compare to  Not a fan of achar so can’t comment on that.

One dish that I enjoyed was the Revitalising Herbal Mushroom. It’s more like a soup of sorts, and is very flavourful. I am a fan of strong soup flavours, and really enjoyed this dish. The herbs used in the soup gives it the “gao gao” feeling and taste, and makes me feel like it I get the bang for my buck (although I didn’t pay for the meal technically hahah!). This dish though, would be one of those you-either-love-it-or-hate-it dish. Some may find the taste too strong and prefer a milder soup, but drinking it makes me feel healthier, and in a good way too! Pips didn’t fancy it much though cuz he belongs to the other side of the camp.

The Stir-Fry Lion’s Mane Mushroom was AWESOME! The sauce accompanying this dish is those creamy, sinful, salted egg yolk kinda sauce with a hint of curry (curry leaves), absolutely delicious. I would order this dish again and again and again. Definitely. So should you.

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Other than the asian offerings, there are western vegetarian options too. However, I found the two western dishes that were offered, the pizza and spaghetti to be lacking when compared to the non-vegetarian meals I can get outside. Not a fair comparison I know, but hey, life isn’t fair! hahah. I would also recommend the asian offerings over these two western dishes, the pizza was a little too bready for me. Not a fan of bready pizzas.

Now, onto desserts, my waistline’s mortal enemy, but a favorite friend of my tummy. The cakes at Beyond Veggie are supplied by Secret Recipe, and the two cakes we ordered to share was the green tea cheesecake and hazel choc crunch. Both of these cakes were very yummy. Personally, I have an interest in baking, and cooking, and have tried my hand at baking a green tea cheesecake and used top-notch ingredients (read: expensive, imported ingredients in a bid to enhance the taste lol) but the green tea taste was too mild I felt, even though I added more matcha powder than the recipe called for. Hehe below is a pic of my green tea cheesecake decorated in a soccer theme since Pips is an Arsenal fan. Heavily pregnant with Baby Ray then too, who has since grown so much!

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My two loves!photoI digress. Anyway, the green tea flavour in the secret recipe cake version is stronger than mine, and Dajie really loved it. She is an aficionado of all things green tea and said it is the one of the best green tea cheesecake she’s had. I thought it was not bad, but frankly, didn’t think it was that wow. I am however, a willing slave to the Hazelnut choc crunch. This cake is delectably moist, rich, and has a nutty flavour to it (full of hazelnuts). There’s a smorgasbord of different textures and bite to this cake, and I wonder why I haven’t seen this cake during the times when I have dined at Secret Recipe. For choco and nuts lover, this cake will not fail you!

In conclusion, Beyond Veggie was a very pleasant place to dine at, with dishes exceeding my expectations. On the weekend that we were there, there were many families with kids and babies just like us, so it is a family-friendly joint. Beyond Veggie is also really popular in Malaysia and while it is a new offering in Singapore, the restaurant has received rave reviews from “undercover” reports like Business Times, Straits Times etc, so I am definitely not biased in my review! When bubs grow older, I’ll definitely bring him here on a trip to show him how tasty veggies can be 😀 That said, the location is still very faaaaaaaaaar from my house, so prob a better location for Westies and people who drive

Toodles!

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