After forswearing eating again at Sophie’s out of choice, I thought I would probably not find another decent vegetarian restaurant that serves healthy food with a modern twist.
OK, there’s always Loving Hut but unlike J I’m not a particular fan of its menu, preferring Sophie’s style of cooking. But and there’s a terrible but .. and I shall not go into it again, as I don’t like to refry cold rice, to quote a Chinese saying.
So it looked like no more great vegetarian eating out, unless I settle for the buffet served at Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant at Quality Hotel: a venue that’s favoured by several members of my family whenever they decide to host a clan gathering.
Again, while I don’t mind being a guest there, I balk at paying its prices. In any case, it’s out of the way; not somewhere one can drop into on the spur of the moment.
However, last Thursday, I struck lucky. And also on Sunday too.
But Thursday first. After making one of my ad hoc visits to the Waterloo Street Kwan Im Hood Cho Temple, I felt rather hungry and since I won’t go back to Sophie’s, i was left with little choice but to head for Fu Lu Shou Complex where Yogi Hut once was.
I had visited its successor once but couldn’t remember what I ate, which suggests the food wasn’t terrific or terrible. I couldn’t even remember the cafe’s name!
Anyway, I made the revisit and saw ah hah, the successor’s name is Nature’s Harvest Cafe. I’m glad I made the revisit: the set lunch including a bean based soup was refreshing, clean tasting and devoid of oil. Exactly as I like it my food. And at $7, it suited Auntie Scrooge’s budget to a T.
I felt so rich after paying the bill that I even splurged on a bottle of black sesame oil and a pack of kidney beans that Nature’s Harvest also sold.
The only trouble with this cafe is that i can’t take mum there as there’s no way she could negotiate her way there from OG where I usually park my car.
So, come Sunday, and since I was still hankering after vegetarian, I was left with no choice but to go to Fortune Centre which is more friendly to elderly folks with wobbly knees. With Sophie’s on the 4th floor out of the question, I decided to try my luck on the 2nd floor where I remember there are also some veggie cafes.
Alas, the one I had tried be4 was closed while the other two looked as though they served traditional vegetarian food which i don’t particularly like. Still, since we were already there, we die-die must eat at one of them. But which would be the better choice?
Then as luck would have it, I saw Kalpana, the SPH property correspondent and a lifelong vegetarian eating outside Pine Tree Cafe and asked if the food was OK. She gave it the thumb’s up, so we ordered nasi lemak, “duck” rice and lei cha fan.
The first two came with a small cup of soup each while the lei cha fan came with a very generous bowl of lei cha that was of just the right consistency and richness.
Even picky Siti enjoyed her choice of nasi lemak as did I my lei cha. Mum enjoyed her “duck” rice too but as has become her habit of late, she always has to give a minus point somewhere — so she complained about having to sit in the corridor to eat her meal!
Still, at $12.50 for all three of us, or 50% of what we would have to pay at Sophie’s, I find no reason not to go back to Pine Tree, especially when I contrast the friendly service we received as compared to what passes as service on the 4th floor!
My only regret is that we were so hungry when the food arrived, i quite forgot to capture any images for momentos.
But not to worry. Pix akan datang because with good food @ great prices served with a smile, there’s no reason not to make a return visit asap. My only fear is the curse of second visits!