One of the advantages of staying at Waterloo Street is that you are never too far away from groceries, great shopping – cheap and expensive, and of course, amazing variety of food. Last week, my all vegetarian husband also realized, just how great the location is.
Bang opposite our home, is the famous Fortune Centre, an abode for the vegetarian eater. In an otherwise partial world, where the meat and fish eater almost always gets the, for lack of better world, fairer share in terms of variety, taste and choice… Fortune Centre is that place for the vegetarian eater, where he feels warmly welcomed!
One such place we discovered inside the Fortune Centre, was New Green Pastures Cafe. A small, almost camouflaged, and the only eating joint on the 4th level of Fortune Centre, this place is a hidden treasure, literally. Because, vegetarian special café’s, stalls are spread across the entire Level 1 of Fortune Centre, very rarely does one take a detour all the way to the 4th level… just for food… but the journey all the way up, is well worth it! For New Green Pastures Cafe is by far the best vegetarian restaurant in Singapore I have come across.
The first thing you notice about the café is the neon green signboard… followed by what looks like a café-cum-retail organic grocery store. The café comprises of two shops combined together, where there is the ‘self-service’ area upfront, along with a few seatings, and a full-flegded seating inside, right next to a wall of various products and organic grocery. The place has a relaxed, simple, almost homey feel to it. This is a place where their menu is pasted across the wall in form of pictures…
Run by pleasant local womenfolk, you can see the owner Sophia’s effort to make the place stand out its own way. Quiz the servers about a particular dish being vegetarian, and they will often smilingly inform you that they have been vegetarian all their life. This is a place where the servers vouch that every dish you enquire about is “very nice!” A personal touch that is quite endearing.
Having said that, they have an extremely interesting and very creative choice of vegetarian menu, including some blended Chinese, Hong Kong Style, Western and Japanese, Korean, Thai (etc.) dishes.
Here’s what we went for…
The Brown Rice Set: The set same with stuffed veggies in a special dark sauce with some tomato ketchup, sesame and vegetarian crackers (surprise!) sprinkled over it… there was a generous helping of tofu and greens in the dish… the dish looked rather small, but it was surprisingly filling.
Mushroom Burger: I come from India, where small and large joints and burger places like McDonald’s, KFC serve Crispy Veggie burgers… but ever since we have come to Singapore, we haven’t really come across too many joints that serve a killer veggie burger. The burger was extremely tasty, and was a generous serving. Served with an equally delectable salad, it was one of the best burgers in Singapore I have had… veggie, non-veggie alike.
Charcoal Noodle Salad: The idea that something in your food is called charcoal, looks like charcoal, or worst still tastes like charcoal is not the most appetizing feeling. It was sheer sense of adventure that we opted for the charcoal noodle, and we weren’t disappointed… The charcoal black noodles are quite nice.
How much will it cost me: A lunch for two will cost you anything between S$ 15 to S$ 25.
Choice: It’s a vegetarian’s Disney Land. It’s a Vegan’s delight too… you will probably end up finding more choice here than a lot of other places in and around Singapore. The place is affordable, majority of the dishes fall in the S$7 to S$10 bracket.
Ambiance: The café has a unique feel to it, is welcoming, homey, and relaxed. It is not meant for fine dining, if you prefer chandeliers, good plating and table cloths. But, the food is well worth any find dining restaurant in its choice and taste.
I Recommend: Although a wee bit crowded during the lunch hours, since almost all dishes are made fresh, based on your order, the waiting is at times slightly longer than you may prefer. However, the wait is sure to be worth it. Having said that, the café is not the only veggie delight available at the Fortune Centre. But, it is probably one of the best vegetarian / vegan restaurant option in Singapore. I would totally recommend a detour to the 4th level… just for the luscious choice they offer. For, they could convert a hardcore meat eater like me into trying and loving their veggie delights!
Address: #04-22, Fortune Centre, 190 Middle Road, Singapore 188979