Thursday, March 17, 2011

Delicious Japanese Vegetarian delights in Singapore

Everything's vegetarian.

In the efforts to cut down on red meat for health reasons, and after learning that it is more environmentally friendly to go on a vegetarian diet as compared to eating meat, I have been taking more vegetables and reducing on meat intake. This got me to notice that there are comparatively limited selections of interesting treats for the vegetarians in Singapore.

I like the presentation of this hot pot!

Anyway, during one of my walks about Singapore, I came across a Japanese Vegetarian restaurant, named "Zen Japanese Vegetarian Restaurant" in Middle Road. I went there on two separate occasions and found it quite a worthwhile place for folks who would like a treat to thoughtfully prepared Japanese Vegetarian food in Singapore. Yes, everything that is served in this restaurant is vegetarian.

The green tea soba was said to be one of the signature dishes. 
It tasted good even though I personally do not like noodles that are served cold.

The service there is sincere and thoughtful. During one of my visits, I was there to celebrate a friend's birthday with a few other friends, and the waitresses at the restaurant gladly helped us put on candles onto the egg-less cake that we had brought along. They even lent us a lighter to light the candles. The staff were also very prompt to refill our tea pots with water when needed. I appreciate the dignified simplicity in the ambience of the restaurant too.

 If I've got it right, this was the skewer set.
Wonderfully fried mushrooms, egg-plant, lady's fingers, and green chilli. 
I had wanted to order the grilled skewer yet this was a great choice too.
This was complimented with nice-tasting BBQ sauce. 
It's worth a try for folks who are good with deep fried food.

Overall, during my two recent visits to the Zen Japanese Vegetarian Restaurant, I have had a wonderful time catching up with great company and enjoying a healthy and delicious treat to Japanese vegetarian food. The food there looks beautiful too. The average cost per person for a reasonable meal here is about $10 - $20.

The buck wheat noodles. This was also said to be one of the signature dishes. 
I prefer this to the green tea soba. It's purely because I love the taste of buck wheat.

The sashimi set. This scores well for presentation. 
I have to remind myself that everything is vegetarian and not expect this dish to taste like the real sashimi set. 
Great effort for making this beautiful looking sashimi set. 
The serving of wasabi was generous.
The photo is courtesy of Gama W.L..

The avocado (and salmon) maki and the unagi maki stole the show!
I strongly recommend these two dishes for anyone who wants to eat sushi. 
The vegetarian unagi has a texture so close to the real thing and a good taste too. The avocado tasted brilliantly delightful too. Each of these two maki is $12 per set. The photo is courtesy of Gama W.L..

Photo courtesy of Gama W.L..

According to a review, the signature dishes of Zen Japanese Vegetarian Restaurant are the buck-wheat noodles and the green tea soba. I personally think that the unagi tasted good. One of my friends decided to order black pepper pork. I have tried it and I would say that the texture and taste was so close to the real thing that I might have innocently believed it was real pork if not for the fact that I know that all food that are served in the restaurant are vegetarian. My personal favourites were the unagi maki and the avocado maki. They were just so beautiful to look at and delicious to eat.

I would recommend this place for another who would like a treat to Japanese-style food without any meat. Reservation is recommended if you are going there in large groups and if you are visiting during weekends and the 1st and 15th of the lunar calendar.

Zen Japanese Vegetarian Restaurant

122 Middle Road, Midlink Plaza, #02-02, S(188973)
Tel: 68831586
Businese hours: 11.30 a.m. - 3 p.m. / 5.30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Nearest MRT station: Bugis

Other reviews by other authors:
Delectable 'unagi' and 'salmon' sushi at Zen Japanese Vegetarian Restaurant (By Shelia Lim)
Review by hungrygowhere.
Zen Japanese Vegetarian Restaurant Singapore (review by All About Veggie).
Brief review by Open Rice Singapore.


kyh said...

oh yummy!!!! it's good to hear there's a jap restaurant offering vegetarian treats! i love that hotpot too! :D

Emy said...

i went to zen last yr before coming back here. it was delicious. but if i remember, it was priced like sushi from a non-veg place, so... i think i'll stick to my raw fish! :) i have to say though, tasted remarkably similar!

oceanskies79 said...

kyh: Do check this out if you're in Singapore.

Emy: Hi! Nice to see you here. I suppose it works better for vegetarians. :)