Vegan Food Speaks Volumes in Singapore

Heavy, muggy air, hot temperatures and a skyline of business buildings all punctuate the Singapore I have grown to love over the years. During a stopover for a couple of days in Singapore recently, I realised that this was the first time I travelled to Singapore as vegan.

As you walk around the streets of Singapore, you quickly understand that life revolves around food and weather. While hawker stalls from earlier eras have decreased, Singaporeans now choose to eat in high-end restaurants and more casual eating houses. It’s obvious in Singapore that those who live here love communicating through food.

Singapore’s eating lifestyle is dictated by the coolest parts of the day; the heat of the afternoon persuades restaurants to close for a few hours.  Still, you can enjoy vegan food in Singapore from mid-morning then way into the late hours of the night once the heat dissipates. Singapore is an island country that fuses many cuisines from around Asia; a ‘melting pot’ if I can use that old travel writing cliché.

What was also discovered during my time in Singapore is the presence of multi-storey plazas filled with cafes and eateries. Two such buildings – Sunshine Plaza and Fortune Centre – are two destinations where an abundance of vegan food can be found and devoured. Sure, there are also spots around town where you can get a vegan feed. Here’s just a sample platter of what’s on offer.

Pepper Jade Thai Vegetarian

Pepper Jade in Sunshine Plaza is one of the premier spots to find many vegan options for a banquet. Complete with Thai-inspired furnishings and hospitality, there are Thai feasts to be found and eaten here.  Appertisers, salads and clay-pots are plentiful and veganisable at Pepper Jade, such as Tom Kha, green and red curries and crispy Thai salads in refreshing dressings. Be sure you have an appetite for traditional Thai spices and heat!

91 Bencoolen Street, #01-20, Sunshine Plaza, Singapore 189652 Phone: +65 6337 7030

Teng Bespoke Vegetarian Restaurant

Another of Sunshine Plaza’s fine eateries is Teng Bespoke Vegetarian Restaurant, catering for vegans easily. Food is in the authentic Japanese style, not to mention the sincere and welcoming nature of its staff. It’s best to sample much of what’s on offer and order a series of dishes to accentuate vegan Japanese food. Bowls of king mushrooms, unagi teriyaki, and stir-fry vegetables and tofu, served together with avocado rice are flavoursome. If you have room, try the hiziki salad and a platter of veggie sushi (all vegan versions, of course). In between, sip on roselle (hibiscus) juice.

91 Bencoolen Sreet, #01-50 Sunshine Plaza, Singapore 189652 Phone: +65 6337 7050

New Green Pasture Café

Another spot in Fortune Centre is the laid-back, quick food locale New Green Pasture Café. This ‘cafeteria’ is where a light meal (if that is ever possible in Singapore) can be purchased and eaten in no time at all. If you’ve been gorging on lots of food around town, come to New Green Pasture Café for a small noodle salad laced with vegetables and shredded tofu, with a drizzle of cascading peppery dressing.

190 Middle Road, #04-22 Fortune Centre, Singapore 188979 Phone: +65 6336 8755

Tracy Juice Culture

In the heart of Fortune Centre is Tracy Juice Culture, a quick eating stop that refrains from using ingredients derived from animals. It matches nutritious and speedily-made rice or noodle dishes with healthy, freshly squeezed juices. Plus, it’s cheap! This is a small, casual lunch-stop that’s filling, especially during a day of exploring the city. Try a pineapple, lemon, lime and kumquat juice to boost your immune system with a serve of congee of organic rice with herbs, wolf berries, corn, mushrooms and seaweed. Such a satisfying lunch when you grab a meal here. The only negative about Tracy Juice Culture is the use of single-use plastic cups and straws.

190 Middle Road Fortune Centre #01-34, Singapore 188979 Phone: +65 6336 0754

Herbivore Japanese Restaurant

Once the appetite returns, choose a smattering of dishes to fill the table at Herbivore Japanese Restaurant. Pure vegetarian cuisine is crafted here, melding Japanese and Western culinary styles all served up in a contemporary setting. Avocado sushi on rice, spongy bean-curd pockets filled fermented vegetables ad leafy salads are all vegan-friendly dishes here.

190 Middle Road, #1-13/14, Fortune Centre, Singapore 188973 Phone: +65 6333 1612

Real Food South Beach

Right in the centre of Singapore’s hotel district is Real Food South Beach. Singaporean flair with a western twist, Real Food South Beach offers simple meals with vegan options. All vegan-friendly dishes (think risottos, gluten-free pastas and fresh salads) on the menu are enticing, and served in single servings (not share-friendly).  Still it’s a laid-back, nutritious spot that’s emphasised by its minimalist décor. Harbour Front is only a short walk away if you want to keep exploring this bustling part of the city.

#B1-19, 26 Beach Road, Singapore 189768 Phone: +65 6384 2206

Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant

During an extensive walking tour of Singapore, hosted by Amanda Teng of Everyday Vegan, lunch was taken at Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant. In the heart of Chinatown, Eight Treasures also caters for vegans and operates under a simple yet empowering belief: ‘meatless does not mean tasteless’. This is so important when it comes to food in Singapore, and Eight Treasures delivers on this belief in spades. Large tables along the dining floor host families and friends in large numbers, and the dishes that get piled onto lazy susans are plentiful both in flavour and quantity. It’s easy to roll out of Eight Treasures wanting for nothing more than a walk to help with digesting their delicious vegan food. Be sure to choose specialties such as seasonal vegetables with lily bulbs topped with a scattering of goji berries or black pepper monkey head mushroom. To finish, try a scoop of their house-made berry ice-cream.

282A, South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058831 Phone: +65 6534 7727

The Living Café

Eat, drink, live. This is the ethos that The Living Café exists by. Sure, it’s a place to eat but eating is just the tip of what The Living Café strives towards. The café’s hope is that it reflects their customers’ values ‘towards health, community and sustainability’. The Living Café inspires its customers to live in their highest, sustainable potential, and this starts with what you choose to put in your mouth. To achieve this, start with a steaming pot of peppermint tea, and munch on the many layers found in their raw zucchini lasagne; raw food is at the ‘heart’ of the menu here.  To get to The Living Café from Singapore’s central business district, take an MRT train to Singapore Botanic Gardens for a gorgeous nature walk before your lunch. The Living Café is only a short stroll from the gardens.

779 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269758 Phone: +65 6762 8029

As mentioned earlier in this post, I was privileged to take a walking tour of Singapore. Amanda Teng of Singapore’s online vegan store Everyday Vegan hosts personalised vegan tours of Singapore that are curated to your needs and preferences. To learn more, visit Everyday Vegan’s website or email Amanda at amand[email protected]. Amanda and husband Kenny have also just published their book ‘The Everyday Vegan Program Vol.1 – 10 days of Vegan Homecooked Meals’.

I’m pleased to report that this post has now been converted to a GPSmyCity walking guide. In the guide, GPSmyCity maps out the walking directions for you, giving you a self-guided approach that’s easy to use. You can create your own bank of guides, depending on the roads you follow, so you can individualise your vegan travels. If you focus on the vegan guides curated by me, you can be assured they’re all vegan-friendly (tried and tested by me).

To celebrate the launch of the GPSmyCity walking guide ‘Vegan Food Speaks Volumes in Singapore’, you can download it free of charge. All you need to do is install the GPSmyCity app. This freebie offer is only available from Friday, February 15 to Thursday, February 21 2019 (Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time).

All food, beverages, transport, walking tour, gratuities and taxes were paid in full by Justine de Jonge. All views and recommendations expressed in this post are her own. 

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