Andrew: Jasmine and I have been trying to eat more healthily recently and started trying out interesting vegetarian places and other healthier options. There are days too when I opt to go for a vegetarian fast instead of a full fast, so this gives us some room to be creative with our choice of restaurants.
Here are a few good places to go to if you’re craving something interesting, but are concerned as well about calories. We’ll rank them in terms of price too!
1. Original Sin
Block 43, Jalan Merah Saga #01-64, Chipbee Gardens
Cost: Average about $30 per person for lunch
Andrew: Chip Bee Gardens has a very quaint, almost European vibe to it where you can find several restaurants and more upmarket grocery stores too. On a weekday afternoon, Original Sin was about 80% full which speaks of the quality of the food there. It is a Mediterranean vegetarian restaurant – the first and only in Singapore and prides itself on a love for fresh ingredients and passion for culinary creativity!
Dearie ordered the set lunch ($27++) which came with
A smoothie – BLUSH (banana, strawberry & milk)
A Mediterranean wrap
Inside the wrap was chickpeas, pumpkin spread, grilled eggplant, feta & salad.
Jasmine: I enjoyed my wrap thoroughly, taking note of the lovely blend of bright colours and crunchiness of fresh veggies. It was a welcome change from meaty, fatty dishes, and yet it was filling too.
(Other choices for main courses include tofu burger, spaghetti or green salad)
Chocolate Brownie with ice-cream
Andrew: The set meal’s quite worth it because the smoothie on its own is at least $7 already. Because I like my food piping hot and warm, I didn’t quite like the Mediterranean wrap. The combination of vegetables was way too exotic for me and the flavours too mild. The chocolate cake was really good – moist and not too sweet. (Jasmine: Ditto- and I’m not much of a dessert person!)
For myself, I ordered
Chargrilled button mushroom, brinjal, capsicum, onion and tofu marinated in tandoori spices served with yoghurt, mango chutney and rice
Andrew: Now this was more my cup of tea. The intense flavours were great, though I’d have to say the tandoori spice doesn’t really go with some of the ingredients especially the lady’s fingers and mushrooms. However, it went fantastically with the sour tate of the tomatoes and the mushiness of the brinjals. Yum!
A big plus point about Original Sin is that reservation is easy. You can simply go to their website and make a reservation online. It’s fuss free and takes less than 3 minutes!
2. Skinny Pizza
The outlets we frequent more often are at Wheelock Place and Raffles Place.
Price: Dearie and I often end up paying about $25 per person but it’s because we only order one pizza per person or sometimes we order only one pizza and sides.
Andrew: Yes, we know we’ve blogged about this before, but it still remains one of our favourite places for quality, healthy food. We went to Skinny Pizza again recently and we tried the Vietnamese Coconut Poached Chicken and Spinach with Cheese, which were both tremendously healthy (a bit too much!).
The Vietnamese chicken pizza (photographed above) consists of thick, broiled chicken breast pieces with vegetables, fresh onions, carrots, chili. It is generously doused with a Thai sweet chili sauce. Unfortunately, this is a ‘cold’ dish as the slices of chicken are cold and the rest of it is basically a salad. Very healthy, but once again, my disdain for cold meals applies here.
Jasmine: Poor dear. Upon first bite, his comment was "very tasty". Half a pizza later, it became "I think I’ll need a snack later", followed by helping himself to a slice of my pizza 🙂
Andrew: Besides the two we tried that day, we’ve also tried the Garlic Butter Chicken, Squid Ink and Wild Truffled Mushroom. My favourite is still the Wild Truffled Mushroom! If you are able to make it, they offer mini skinny pizzas at House@Dempsey’s High Tea buffets (Thursday and Fridays, 3 – 6 p.m.). It’s an affordable way to sample almost all of the Skinny Pizzas available.
Jasmine: Thumbs up for the Wild Truffled Mushroom- savoury and just a little woodsy! My spinach with egg pizza was filling, but the lumps of ricotta cheese made the whole dish too cloying, and the crispy pizza that is supposed to be Skinny’s signature eventually softened into a rubbery texture. I’ve also tried the squid ink pizza (it’s black!) with some girlfriends- it’s not something I’d recommend either, unfortunately. But I still love Skinny.
Andrew: If you’re keen on some sides, I strongly recommend the sweet potato nibbles as they are one of a kind and very good! You must share it though as they tend to get a bit too heavy going after a while.
3. Loving Hut
Location: Parklane Mall
Price: Average about $10 per person including drinks.
Andrew: Jasmine knew I was on a vegetarian fast and she actually spent a while doing a lot of research on interesting vegetarian food places that we could visit. We finally narrowed down our choices to Loving Hut. This is a place that serves vegan food and there are so many local delights done in a vegan fashion like Rendang, Sambal delight, Lemongrass curry, Assam curry etc.
Andrew: I can’t remember the name of what I ordered, but it was very nice and savoury fried rice. (Jasmine: It was something akin to nasi bryani, if I remember correctly.) The egg was rather strange as it’s a ‘vegan egg’ – I’m not even sure what it’s made of, but they really replicated the entire texture of the egg! One gripe I had about the food though was that I felt it was too oily.
Jasmine: I had the fried platter, which completely negated the point of visiting a vegetarian joint. Heh. The spring rolls and deep fried mushrooms were passable, but the fried "prawns", potato wedges and wantons were lacklustre and rather oily.
Subway Foot Long Club Sandwich
Cost: $6 per person (if you order a foot long sandwich, add on the meal and share it.)
Andrew: And yes, if all else fails, there’s always Subway! Heh. Dearie brilliantly came up with a way to eat healthy and save money by ordering a foot-long meal and then share it! (Jasmine: Actually this was my mum’s idea! Heh.) It’s half the price and about 75% of the calories (as each of us eat only one cookie too!). If you have different preference for sauces and vegetables, you can always ask the sandwich master to vary the combination in different halves. Heh. Of course, the main ingredients must stay the same. We’ve had this at least 3 times already and it always makes for a rather satisfying meal – both in terms of calories and cost!
Jasmine: Andrew doesn’t consider a meal to be complete unless there’s some meat in it, so our favourites are Subway Club, Subway Melt and just this week we tried the Meatball Marinara- the meatballs were juicy and surprisingly had enough bite to them.
We like to be adventurous when exploring new eateries, but with Subway, we’ve kinda settled into a comfortable pattern. Our sauces are almost always a duet of Honey Mustard and Chipotle Southwest, while Andrew will go for the peanut cookie and I’ll stick with my beloved white chocolate chip. Well, it’s at least an alternative to Soup Spoon, which Mr Chong pesters me to visit with him on an almost weekly basis 🙂