Saturday, 22 December 2012

New Green Pasture Cafe

This is one of my favourite vegetarian places. It's organic and I love the cooking there.

Just ride the escalator to the top level (4th) of Fortune Centre
I was introduced to it by my vegetarian buddy when I first switched to vegetarian. It was a little piece for heaven for my taste buds   Now that I'm more aware of my body, I noticed that I actually feel better inside out after a meal there.

It also has an interesting history.

Sophia (the owner and marvellous cook) was actually a seamstress in the 70s and 80s. But with her love for cooking, she decided to make a switch towards running an organic vegan eatery in the 90s and her passion had kept her running for 19 years. In our conversation with her, she mentioned that while creating each dish, she would consider the health benefits of the ingredients she uses and how they complement each other and balance the body. Definitely no MSG nor artificial flavouring used and no egg, garlic, onion or dairy products. I'm bowled over by her wealth of knowledge about food and their restorative abilities. And very glad to be able to enjoy my meals there! (Sophia is the spunky lady usually in two pigtails and a cap. Just say hi to her and she may chat with you and impart some wisdom too!)

Seaweed roll $6.50

I am a veggie fanatic. And good raw vegetable dishes are a bonus for me. The seaweed roll taste as light and clean as they look. There's a blend of sweet and tart in their dressing and there's just a little bit of preserved ginger which is added minimally and gives a interesting twist on the taste of raw root vegetables.

Sri Lankan roll $7.00

This is da bomb! It's a mix of potatoes, mock meat (soy variety) capsicums, roasted peas and dunno what else in a lovely curry mix, topped with very good vegan cheese dressing, wrapped in a chapati lookalike. It doesn't weigh me down as heavily as indian food sometimes do and it's so damn good!

Hai Nan noodles $8.00
Previously I had blogged about vegan beef noodles near my home and this is the healthier and lighter version. It's chock full of vegetable, with a good serving of beehoon (thick rice vermicelli). The gravy, while a little sticky, wasn't starchy, nor oily (there's almost no trace of oil to be found) and it smells heavenly. According to Sophia, it was supposed to be a beef noodles tastealike, but I found it a bit lighter than the standard beef noodles with more complexity of flavours.
Yong Tau Foo noodles $11.30

This is one of the most unusual and kickass Yong Tau Foo noodles I had. The vegetables and tofu/tou pok items in the dish were stuffed with a filling of tofu, mushroom and nut/seed (?) mix. So overall it's pretty high in protein, not to mention yummy to boot. This dish is lovely to order as a side dish to share with a couple of other persons without the noodles.
Charcoal noodles $9.00

I gravitate towards dishes with generous  servings of vegetables. The Charcoal noodles taste like a sizeable summer salad. I can't identify all the ingredients but some of those not as visible in the picture are passion fruit, pomelo pips and plum powder. Overall, the dish is sweet/tart and fruity. Really nice for a hot day.

This is what it looks like when you mix it all up. Squid ink much no? Today I learned that the noodles are aptly named charcoal noodles simply because there's activated charcoal powder in the noodles. Apparently activated charcoal helps in removing toxins from our intestinal tract. But of course, everything in moderation. More on activated charcoal here.

And no, the noodles don't taste funny, they tasted like really good noodles, silky smooth and chewy.

Korean Bi-Bim-Bap $9.50
The Korean Bi-Bim-Bap does not taste Korean. More like a Singified version of Bi-Bim Bap. But no doubt delicious. It has quite a nice variety of ingredients in it. (some of which I name offhand, yam, xiao bai cai, brussel sprouts, daikon, carrot, mock floss, soy based mock fish, nori strips) topped with vegetarian sambal. The selfmade Kim Chi wasn't too bad either.

I really really like the sambal! It went pretty well with the sizzling hot claypot rice, just don't call it Korean. While not at my desired level of spiciness, but very good nevertheless.
Coral Jelly with Attap seed $3.00

This is one of the desserts my friend would order every single time and I can taste why. A nice serving of coral jelly swimming in soymilk with 3 attap seeds. It is sweet but not overly so and pretty yummy.

Yogurt with passion fruit $4.80

However I lost my sweet tooth in the course of water fast and I now prefer the yogurt, with its passion fruit, pomelo pips, mint leaves and cherry. It's nicely sourish like most yogurt (the actual vegan yogurt is actually less sour, the bulk of the sourness comes from the passion fruit) with just a hint of sweetness from the pomelo.

Charity soup Free!
A special mention goes to the free soup. Just right to the counter, there's a Halloween looking pot of charity soup. It's free for all, if one feels inclined to pay for the soup, the amount goes into the charity box for donation. This is no ordinary soup, it's chock full of good stuff!

After I broke my water fast, I was having some severe water retention after I started eating out again. I only realised it was water retention when I had a couple of bowls at dinner and peed like mad that night. My water retention went off the next day.

Of course from then on, for a week I went strictly saltless, ensured constant hydration and had multiple attempts to make similar soup (which I couldn't because I lack knowing what nuts, seeds and herbs to put together in said soup, and I can't recognise many of the ingredients in said soup.)

3 years ago when I first came here I thought the pricing was a little steep. But in the course of  time as my taste buds got more sensitive and my body became more aware of how it feels, I have come to appreciate it more. Now, when I understand the intentions and thought that went into each dish, I'd say it's really worth it. Especially after the water fast, I could now taste how toxic MSG is, and how it affects my physical and emotional balance, I'm really glad there are places serving delightful meals from the natural taste of vegetables, nuts, seed and fruit. And people who made triple effort into creating these meals without resorting to artificial means.

The unfortunate change might be in the coming switch of ownership as Sophia wants to retire for abit. But then again, perhaps she will continue to her passion in another part of Singapore, and also New Green Nature Cafe will continue as it is. We'll just have to wait and see.

Sidenote: Sophia conducts cooking classes from 3 - 6pm on weekdays at her shop. Check with her or her helpers to know her schedule.

New Green Pasture Cafe

190 Middle Road #04-22
Fortune Centre Singapore 188979

Tel: 63368755

Opening hours: 11am - 8pm
                        Closes on Monday

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