Being a huge lover of wholesome food, I was beyond excited when I chanced upon Idealite. They are a well-established chain from Malaysia since 2011 and have been very popular among the locals, especially on the 1st and 15th day of the lunar calendar when most Chinese would eat Vegetarian meals for the entire day.Read More
Hello everyone! I am back from yet another hiatus. Sometimes I wonder if there is anyone who is still keeping up with my blog. It's been months and I miss writing content on here and thought it's about time that I share my 'Vegan food guide in Chiang Mai' for those who are interested (or travelling there soon and would love to have some recommendations)
I was in Chiang Mai for 2 weeks in June this year. It was a really memorable trip, making new friends and forging unforgettable memories. I also went to a few different cafes to eat hence this guide would be in 2 parts.
Part 1 would be my Top 5 favourites and Part 2 would just consist of the other places that I went to.
1. Imm Aim Vegetarian & Bike Cafe
This is one restaurant where you will see huge groups of Vegans dining together. With large portions of food at affordable pricing, there is no doubt this restaurant is on everyone's 'List of Favourite Cafes in Chiang Mai'. My favourite is the 'Pad thai' and 'avocado sandwich'. In the entire trip, I probably visited this place three to four times. With so many items on their menu, you can't visit only once. Not to mention, the owner is really friendly too, so say hi when you are there!
Address: 7/3 Santirak Road [Near Santitham Temple] Chiang Mai 50300
Opening Hours: 10AM - 8PM
2. Happy Green
Now this is indeed every high carb vegan's favourite hangout especially during dinner. It's a buffet which also means free flow of carbs(!!!!) I can't remember the exact amount I paid for the meal... probably 200 or 250baht and it was so worth it. However, we went during lunch time so the selection of food was not so great but still decent (as above image) - the potato salad and Green Curry was my favourite. In my opinion, it is better if you head over during dinner time. You may also be able to meet new people and have a chat with them.
I heard you also get a discount when you come on a push bike!
Address: 4/3, Soi 3, Pa Daet, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100
Opening Hours: 9AM - 7PM (Close on Mondays)
3. Blue Diamond
The most visited cafe this trip has got to be Blue Diamond. Quite regularly, the girls and I will get breakfast here before starting our day. You cannot say no to the cinnamon rolls because they are SO good! Honestly the best ones I have tried!
Blue Diamond is not a Vegan or Vegetarian cafe but they have tons of Vegan options especially for their desserts.
I also tried the Pad Thai and Khao Soi over at Blue Diamond and it is not too bad. It is within the old city so you will be bound to see other cafes while walking here. By Hand Pizza is also a walking distance from Blue Diamond.
They offer Free Wifi so you can sit in and chill with your smoothie ;)
Address: 35/1 MoonMuang Road, Soi 9, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Opening Hours: 7AM - 8:30 PM
*Do note that this is not a completely Vegan restaurant
4. Street Pizza and The Wine Houzz
Another Non-Vegan/Vegetarian place, but if you are a pizza lover you got to check this place out. I love the crust of the pizza as it's not too thick. Plus they use a stone oven to cook their pizza - Bonus! Simply request for no cheese and ask them to top your pizza with more veg! The staff are more than willing to do so :)
Address: 7-15 Thapae Rd. | Close to SCB Bank, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Opening Hours: 11:30AM - 11PM
*Do note that this is not a completely Vegan restaurant
5. Aum Vegetarian
At Aum, there is such a wide variety of food that you will be spoiled for choice. Not to mention that the prices are rather affordable as well. Hearing how good the dumplings at Aum were, I decided to give it a try. I also ordered a Pineapple fried rice and Avocado Maki. The Pineapple fried rice was so-so and so was the Avocado Maki. But I do have to give it to the dumplings this time round.
Perhaps I still prefer my sushi with white rice instead of brown and same goes for my fried rice. The food at Aum however, were cooked really healthily, no oil and not very salty too.
Great for those who are oil-free and salt-free, as well as the health conscious ones :) They have a cozy second floor sitting, great for hanging out with large groups.
Address: Tailandia, 319 Mun Mueang Rd, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100 Opening Hours: 10.30AM - 8.30PM
These are my Top 5 favourite Vegan/Vegan-friendly cafes in Chiang Mai! More reviews of the other cafes I went coming up in Part 2 :) If you have been to Chiang Mai, let me know which are your favourites, and if you plan to visit Chiang Mai, I hope this will be helpful to you!
You can also check out my Youtube Channel where I vlogged everyday in Chiang Mai :)
Last Christmas (yes, very overdue post) I brought my friends over to Teng Bespoke for Japanese cuisine. Teng Bespoke is a vegetarian Japanese restaurant hence some items on the menu may contain dairy. It is best to check with the staff if you are doubtful.
On that day, we arrive near to their closing hours so there were certain things that were already sold out. I was quite bummed out that I could not get to try their Udon but there's always a next time ;) They have tons of items on their menu that's a *must try* and I will definitely head back to try out the Unagi sushi! Unagi was my favourite before I became Vegan #nosecrets
My friends and I ordered pretty much the same - 2 of us ordered buckwheat soba and another 2 ordered green soba noodles. We also shared some sides. One is the avocado roll and another is a baked mushroom with cheese on top (that was for my friends since there's dairy in it)
Both bowls had the same soup base just with different noodles. It was rather affordable for such a huge portion. This bowl costs only SGD$10.
This is where I fail as a food critic because I can't remember how the soup tasted (if it was too salty or just nice) but, I didn't hate it. It was a thumbs up from my friends and I, so do try it if you are there!
The avocado rolls were decent as well (I can't remember the price of this but it should be SGD$10 or slightly more than that) I asked the waiter if the mayo is vegan-friendly and he assured me that there's no dairy, but I still had doubts because he seemed quite uncertain :( So I took the mayo off before I ate it.
Overall, the food was decent and the ambience of the restaurant was lovely.
I will definitely head back here to try out the other dishes on their menu since they have such a huge range! Plus, Japanese cuisine is actually one of my favourite foods! If you have been to Teng Bespoke, let me know which item(s) are your favourite so I can give them a try! :)
91 Bencoolen St #01-50, Singapore 189652
Mon-Sun: 11:30 am - 3:00 pm, 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
This is the vlog I did last Christmas. Check it out if you missed it :) You can also get to see what gifts we got for each other! P.s: It's our yearly gift exchange tradition
I first came across Greendot when I was still a student in Temasek Polytechnic. They had a food stall at the design school. Back then, I was not Vegan yet but I was into 'Clean Eating', and Greendot was always my go-to choice for a hearty meal.
The menu at my school, however, is different than the menu at their other outlets.
On this particular day, I was at the West side of Singapore and being unfamiliar with the area, Greendot was the only place I could think of to have my lunch. Because it was the weekend, my friend and I had to wait around 10-15 minutes before we could be seated.
It is a rather small area, with tables placed closely beside one another.
I ordered a bowl of Laksa - even had to double check with the staff twice to make sure my bowl did not contain any dairy or egg products. I do love how the Laksa at Greendot tastes like the authentic Laksa which contains shrimp etc. I even got my non-vegan friend hooked!
However, this trip to Greendot would be my last trip there. I used to be a huge fan of Greendot, up until recently when they change their menu and hardly give their vegan customers any options to choose from. On the menu, any food items which contain dairy would be marked with a milk carton. Now, it seems like the only item the vegans can eat is their mushroom noodles.
The whole hoo-ha with the mock meats and 'fishballs' at Greendot containing dairy, led to a huge disappointment among the vegan society. Not only that, but I realise the staff at Greendot do not even have basic knowledge of what 'vegan' means... This is not only frustrating, but really tiring.
As mentioned above, I had to check twice with the staff if my Laksa contained any dairy because I asked 2 different employees and they both told me a different story. In the end, they had to get the chef out to confirm with me that my Laksa is vegan-friendly.
However, I do have to admit that their mushroom noodles are still a must-try (at least once), but if you don't take oil then you'd like to skip that. Sad to say, I would not be going back to Greendot anymore unless they decide to impart some general knowledge on Veganism to their staff, and ensure that they have the CONFIDENCE to answer any Vegan's query to avoid miscommunication and disappointment.
If you wish to bring your non-vegan friends to a good vegan cafe, Loving Hut and Brownice always does the trick - You can read my reviews here: http://jaslyngoh.com/category/all/what-a-vegan-eats/
Currently, Greendot has 4 outlets around the nation - Westgate, Bedok Mall, Paya Lebar Square and Raffles City.
'What a Vegan Eats' is originally 'Hearty Vegan Food Finds in Singapore' - a series I decided to start writing on for my blog where I review vegan/vegetarian restaurants in this humble red dot.
I have not been updating for a while because of my full time job, but I have decided to put aside excuses and start prioritizing things. So, be sure to stay tune for more 'What a Vegan Eats' and videos/vlogs on my Youtube channel!
Ling Zhi Vegetarian does not seem foreign among the locals. My parents mentioned they've brought me here while I was younger. For a few weeks before my birthday, my parents were bugging me to search for a vegan buffet where the entire family can dine at to celebrate the joyous occasion. I'm really touched that they're so supportive of my lifestyle!
I stumbled across a blog post, sharing the top 10 vegetarian buffets to try out in Singapore, thanks to my best friend - Google. #1 on the list was Ling Zhi Vegetarian. An Indian buffet was also on the list and I have intentions of heading there soon (so look out for a review!)
Ling Zhi Vegetarian is owned by renowned Chinese restaurant, Tunglok - which explains the Chinese gourmet cuisine. They do not believe in preparing dishes with gluten, mock meats, artificial coloring and additives. Vegetables were also organic, with a large selection to choose from. My family and I headed there on a Saturday afternoon and paid $24.80++/pax. On weekdays there serve lunch and dinner. While on weekends, they do lunch, Hi-tea and dinner - both ala carte and buffet option available.
Unfortunately, we were there rather late (130pm) and Hi-tea starts at 3pm. Customers who come in for the lunch buffet had to finish eating by 245pm. Thankfully, there were still tons of vegetables left, but very small selection of Dim Sum.
We got to choose 2 soup bases for the hotpot buffet and went ahead for mushroom and tom yum, but had to pay an additional $2/head the for mushroom soup. Now you may think why did we bother paying extra money for the mushroom soup when we had an array of mushrooms to choose from. Beats me too, we only figured out that we made a silly decision after the first round.
The vegetables were fresh and I lost count of the number of times my sister and I went to take more of them to fill up the hotpot. Go there early so you have ample time to complete your meal. We rushed our entire meal because we only had less than one hour to eat since we arrive really really late.
As mentioned earlier, we did not get a wide array of dim sum to choose from. But I was contented with what we tried. I had the vegetable dumpling, siew mai, beancurd skin, pork buns and another type of vegetable dumpling that was in circle form. They were comparable to the dim sum you have at Michelin star restaurants, but this involved no animal killing and slaughtering :)
There was also curry puff, yam pastry and carrot cake for those who fancy the fried goodies. The char siew sou (pork pastry) however, is not vegan. Before I reserved a table, I called the restaurant to check which pastry/dim sum is not vegan friendly :) So always check before you eat to make sure you don't do slip ups unintentionally. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
Since I'm Chinese (and Asian), I have grown up eating fried kway tiao and bee hoon for breakfast/lunch, and it never fails to leave me feeling contented. This definitely hit the spot for me. It's not exactly the healthiest since there's oil and salt involved, but we are only human and sometimes just a teeny weeny bit would be okay :)
Not forgetting the vegetable curry I took as well! Fragant and tasted like home-cooked curry. My dad couldn't resist and had 2 bowls!
Overall, It was a pleasant experience at Ling Zhi. A wide variety of organic fresh vegetables, and a cozy place to dine in. The price, however, might be slightly steep for some. Personally, I did not think it was worth it to get the mushroom soup since there was additional charges (which did not make sense to me)
It would also be great if they could label which pastries are vegan to make it easier for many. The staffs are mainly Chinese speaking, so they may not be able to understand the terms of 'Vegan' if you can't converse well in Mandrain. Nonetheless, no harm giving them a try. If you have been to Ling Zhi, I would love to hear your opinions on them.
Ling Zhi Vegetarian
Velocity@Novena Square #03-09/10
238 Thomson Road Singapore 307683
Opening Hours :
Lunch : 11:30am - 3:00pm (Last order at 2:30PM)
Dinner : 6:00pm - 10:00pm (Last order at 9:30PM)
Tel: +65 6538 2992
As promised, the second part of my review of Brownice. Apologies for the image quality here, I shot all of them with my iPhone since I did not get to bring out my camera. Let's just jump straight into it.
Waffle fries - This was just ordinary waffle-cut fries that my sister ordered. Again, nothing fancy. If i'm not wrong, these are available in supermarkets frozen :) We initially wanted to order the white truffle fries, but we were a step too late :(
My first Lasagna ever! And yes, I kid you not. I have never tried Lasagna because they always had beef in there. And being a Buddhist, my family refrains from eating beef. So I can't compare this to anything... but if this is how a regular Lasagna taste like, then BAM, I would like to have more of this please!
Truffle Mushroom Risotto - Dad went ahead with this because he wanted to have rice (he's not a big fan of Italian food) This is also his first time having anything that's truffle flavoured but he polished the bowl clean. I had 2 mouthfuls and I thought it was alright :)
Pesto Penne - They had me at Pesto. I love pesto and even though I hardly consume nuts now... I know I HAD to give this a shot. I'm glad I did. This pesto tastes slightly different from my own pesto sauce I made a year back (hah I got lazy to make a recipe, sorry) and I thought it was rather refreshing. Don't be put off by the colour though, It's really worth a shot :)
Ahh, what better way than to end your meal with desserts? ;) I had a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of a warm fudge brownie! I LOVE this! I kid you not, this brownie was really fudgy and it went really well with the ice cream. Brownice's ice cream are also made from brown rice, hence the name 'Brownice', perfect for those who would like to have a guilt-free dessert.
Waffles are also a must-try if you are there! Their waffles are fluffy (perfect for me), not too crispy on the outside. Since it's vegan, it does not have a buttery taste to it which I love. If you don't like fluffy waffles, maybe you wouldn't like this. But just give it a shot. It's guilt free ;) And.. I find that it tastes rather light too.
We had a scoop of hazelnut and durian with this waffle.
What would you have at Brownice? Or, if you have been there, share with me your favourite dish! I would definitely go back for more since I'm around the area every week now.
Brownice Italian Bistro
53 East Coast Road
Read part 1 here: http://jaslyngoh.com/hearty-vegan-food-finds-2-brownice-italian-bistro/
When you head back to the same restaurant for the fourth time in four weeks, there's only one thing that you can be certain of. With the most delicious food, amazing ambiance and cheerful staffs, there's nothing unsatisfactory about this eatery.
Vegans are also able to dine here without having to worry if their dishes would contain egg or dairy because at Brownice, they serve only 100% animal-product-free meals. Being a vegan myself, I always tend to be worry if my food will contain any animal products when dining at a restaurant that is not completely vegan.
Especially in Singapore, not many would be familiar with the term 'vegan', but 'vegetarian' is easily understood among many. The only downside is the fact that vegetarians consume eggs and dairy, so when dining out, most waiter/waitress tend to turn a blind eye on these ingredients, unless you specifically tell them that you don't take eggs or dairy.
At Brownice, you will be spoilt for choice. Even for someone like me, who has scanned through their menu a thousand times, I will still end up taking a long time to decide on what to eat. Whenever I head back, I would order a dish that I have never tried before (just to make sure I tried every single item on their menu)
On the bright side, I get to write this lengthy review and show you what Brownice has to offer :)
For starters, I tried their Truffle Mushroom Bruschetta. I have never tried truffled-anything except for truffle fries, so this was a really good combination to me :)
Pizzas - who hates them? This was their Sicilian 'tuna' pizza, which was filled with tomatoes, olives, red capsicums, chick pea 'tuna' and vegan cheese. I love that Brownice's pizzas are thin crust and does not have a greasy feel to it. Most pizza joints have really greasy pizza and makes you feel heavy after, but I managed to finish one whole pizza at Brownice myself.
I have also tried their Verdure pizza, which is basically tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, capers, red capsicum and vegan cheese. Slightly similar to the Sicilian tuna, except without the 'tuna'. Just all vegetables.
My mum hates the taste and smell of cheese and she will always count herself out if there is pizza on the table. When I told her that vegan cheese does not have such a strong and distinct taste like regular cheese, she did not regret giving it a try :) See, even non-vegans can enjoy vegan food too!
Next up - Pumpkin Fusilli (My mum ordered this that night) A rather simple dish combining both the pasta and pumpkin sauce together. Not creamy, rather light taste to it. Does not have a distinct pumpkin taste, so non-pumpkin-lovers can also give this a try.
This is pictured on another day when I headed to Brownice with Ning (@chocolatexdiaries) during the Singapore Election weekend. The store was rather empty that night, and we managed to talk and have a lovely night. A few months ago, Ning asked me if I knew of any healthy cafes that she could work at.
At that point, I have yet to give Brownice a try, but I still recommended her to give the interview a shot. Glad she did because she's not loving her job :) That was also when I decided to push myself to head to Brownice and try it for once. Glad we both made the right decisions ;)
Pictured here: Regular fries - the name tells you all, nothing special.
Creamy Tomato Gnocchi - This was Ning's dish. She did not like the garlic in it (silly her told the waitress that she's okay with garlic when she isn't....). I tried a little bit of it, and I didn't really fancy it. I just thought it was pretty okay.
Penne Norma - Again, another simple dish. Pasta tossed with black olives, button mushroom, red capsicums and chick peas. Tasted like home cooked pasta. Rather satisfying and was perfect for me since I didn't want to have anything 'fancy' that night.
For dessert, I had Mudpie Ice Cream Cake. Ning told me the base is made up of nuts and date. It has a really thin base with 2 different ice cream layered on top of another. If you are a chocolate lover, you will love this. I found it a bit too rich after a while.. Probably because I had it alone, so I will recommend you to share this with someone.
The week after, I headed down to Brownice again with my entire family (sharing the love of vegan food hehe) and I shall write it down in another post else, this would be too lengthy! Watch this space xx
Brownice Italian Bistro
53 East Coast Road
When I came across 'Loving Hut' at Joo Chiat, I was really excited to try it out. Finally a vegan cafe in the East!! No need to travel all the way to living cafe or real foods, located at the other end of Singapore!
I was surprised to see that they have joined the 'Healthier Dinning Programme' by the Health Promotion Board, encouraging customers to consume lower calorie foods. Not saying that we should not be aware of what we eat, after all, you are what you eat. But, counting calories isn't healthy. Stay clear of animal produce and you are safe :) Moving on..
I really love the cafe layout and concept. It's nicely furnished and decorated, giving off the cosy vibe. A great place to chill and hang out with your friends.
And when you step into the cafe...
All of the dishes in Loving Hut restaurants are purely plant-based (vegan), lovingly prepared, and served in a beautiful, friendly and tranquil atmosphere.
Yup, purely plant-based. THIS IS LIFE. I don't even have to worry if my food contains any egg or dairy!
Rose Lemon Water
Refreshing and lemon-y! Perfect drink for Singapore's humid weather and of course, you can never forget...
Thai Young Coconut
I can't recall what this dish is called... but I remember a 'three' and a 'chicken' in it (yikes, short term memory) :P Bascially the 'chicken' is made from mock meat. It was well marinated, wasn't too salty, but nothing fancy.
And of course, my dad had to go for his favourite nyonalaksa. This dish is under the healthier dining programme if I didn't remember wrongly. From what it tasted like, it's probably made from coconut milk/cream. It's quite a huge portion as well. Really great tasting laksa. Tastes like the laksa bowls you can get easily from the hawker! You won't even realise it's vegetarian :)
Since I'm on a high carb low fat vegan diet, the only dish that would suit me is the red kidney bean quinoa burger. It was rather interesting how they combined the two together. Tasted great too! Slightly spicy tho.. might be from the herbs they put inside the patty. There was also a cheeky onion ring smashed between the bun and patty ;)
Not really a fan of fries (unless i make my own potato fries), so I shared it with my Dad.
Near the cashier, there's this huge shelve stocked with vegetarian and vegan snack options. There were also vegan beer and beauty products that are not easily found in your local supermarkets.
Overall, it was a great experience at Loving Hut. It's a fusion of peranakan and western cuisine. I wouldn't say it's the healthiest, but Loving Hut proves that being vegan/vegetarian is not all about eating fruits and vegetables. Vegans are also able to enjoy western cusines, but of course eat all food in moderation :)
If you're vegan and always have trouble finding a place to dine at with your friends, bring them over to Loving Hut. Their impression of a vegan lifestyle will change :)
229 Joo Chiat Road #01-01 Singapore 427489
Tel: +65 6348 6318 （Reservation Mon-Thur / Takeaway order)
Opens Daily 11am – 9:15pm
(No reservations on Fri/Sat/Sun/PH)
Cash / Visa Card / Master card are accepted in restaurant
A vegan, let alone a vegetarian cafe along the streets of Singapore is such a rare sight as compared to countries such as Thailand and Taiwan. It will be easier to find vegetarian stores in hawker centres or coffee shops, but I can guarantee that the food sold there will be dumped in oil, and most of the time reeeeally salty. It's like your typical economic mixed rice store where you choose 3 dishes with rice/noodles. And I hate how I'm unable to request for "less oil and salt" because they cook the food in bulk. Therefore, such stores are a no-go for me. Therefore, I decided to start this 'series' on my blog, where I'll be blogging/reviewing the various vegan/vegetarian restaurants that I've been to. I thought it'll be a great way to spread the vegan message here in Singapore :)
If you've any recommendations/suggestions of places for me to try, feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email. It'll be my pleasure to head down and give me honest thoughts and reviews hehe.
The first place that i'd be blogging about is....
Stay tuned ;)