Meatless could be tasteless or…

I’ve occasionally bitched about Sophie’s highish prices and disorganised way of taking orders and serving her food. Well, I’ve had to swallow my complaints after eating at two other vegetarian restaurants recently.

The latest was at the Lotus Heart Tea House — on the 2nd floor of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in South Bridge Road where IK had asked me to meet him. Altho a Buddhist, I’m not really into visiting temples other than the Waterloo Street Kwan Im Hood Cho Temple. Hence my familiarity with Sophie’s or New Green Pasture Cafe at the nearby Fortune Center.

Below is what I ate at Lotus Heart: a bowl of rice in a real stone pot with pepper sauce “fish” slices. Also, had a dessert of white fungus and gingko nut soup. Total cost to IK since he insisted on picking up the tab:$10 for my share.

plain and zen?

plain and zen?

Yet despite full wait service, the service n order taking was as chaotic, if not more so, than Sophie’s. I was served the wrong dish initially and IK, tho getting what he ordered, couldn’t tell whether it was the correct dish, since there was no picture in the menu to compare with the real thing and the menu’s description didn’t matched what he got.

Earlier in mid-February, SY and LH gave a family lunch, a sort of “apres mourning” meal, altho the hosts didn’t say so and no mention of the dead girl was ever made.
The lunch was held at the Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant at Quality Hotel and as it was a Sunday we had the Asian buffet which boasts over 100 dishes, no mean boast but probably true altho in the half a dozen or so times I’ve been there, I’ve never counted.
Maybe I was usually too busy figuring out what to have and also figuring out what I was eating, as some of the “mock” meats looked awesomely authentic as in the sliced “salmon” sashimi shown on my plate below: 
from the buffet table

from the vegetarian buffet table

And quite alarming for the uninitiated, Lotus altho a truly kosher vegetarian restaurant unabashedly claims to feature “Japanese Sushi, Spaghetti, Pizza, Tim Sum, Taiwanese cuisine, Pepper Steak, Pork Chop & many more…”

I don’t know how much SY and LH were charged but dare say it must have been at least $20+ (after service charge) per head. Value for money and varietyLotus Vegetarian beats Lotus Tea House hands down, but ambience wise the latter clearly has an upper hand.

Still my favourite remains Sophie’s. As a revisit on Feb 28 for lunch with mum, sis and Siti in tow proved. As usual, there was confusion and chaos when it came to placing our orders and as previously written abt, I always opt for what I see being served to others. It was no diffierent on this latest visit and the others, even my picky maid, followed suit.

Hence all four of us had the brown rice set of the day which besides a yummy fresh salad came with an assam curry and some yam chips. A hearty soup of barley and mixed vegetables came free with the set, costing $7 each.

healthy best buy for $7

healthy best buy for $7

 So while Sophie may not be as cheap as eating at a vegetarian stall in a food court or hawker centre, she’s still value for money. Especially when one considers the amount of stuff to be assembled just to cook a vegetarian meal (or any meal for that matter). Also, I don’t like cooking brown rice, because of the rigmarole, for which read time, involved.


10 thoughts on “Meatless could be tasteless or…

  1. Hi Blur: that would be lovely, thanks… if your friends care to trawl my site a bit, they would find other write-ups on vegetarian meals and also an explanation why I don’t eat beef.

  2. Hi my dear

    good that you like Sophie’s – cos she’s one of my fave places –
    and for 90% organic it’s PRETTY CHEAP and great value.

    I’ve also written up Sophie’s for the VSS’s tourism booklet on
    Veg places in Singapore.

    But in my talks on TRULY HEALTHY FOOD I slam most places – even if fully vegetarian because any food that is battered, deep fried is potentially carcinogenic. Also white sugar and table salt.

  3. Hi Lucy,
    I do vegetarian from a personal point of view. The old saying says ‘you are what you eat’ is true. Look at another angle, it means if you eat animal you are animal; and if you eat fish, you become fishy. Hence, our mind also becomes animal.
    Another saying: the definition of spirituality is the elimination of animality. One can only truly become a human being if one gets rid of one’s animal trait.
    For me, I want to experience transcendence. In order to achieve or reach this state, I have to render my mind free of animality. Vegetarianism helps my mind to become clear and peaceful, even sharper and finer; it helps me to reach and stay in the meditative mood, always calm, cool and collected; also stay focussed in chanting mantras e.g. namasmaranam.
    My clear and calm mind becomes more efficient in function: I think better and can retain thoughts as I want.
    Overall, I function better as a person in any situation and environment. I become happy and cheerful. My general health is better: I eat well, sleep well, shit and pee well.
    My way of life is simple with minimum cost per day. I am, if not an asset, at least a very little burden to society, which I can pay for it.
    Simply put, I want my life to contribute more to society for what I take and use from it. HSL

  4. Hi Dr Ho: Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to write such a detailed account abt y u r a vegetarian. I hope those who visit my blog will chance upon your comment and who knows you may succeed in planting a seed of a conviction into someone’s mind. My late father was a vegetarian fm age 19 till he passed away, almost 90 yrs old.

    Alas, I’m not a vegetarian, not even a part-time one; I eat vegetarian more by accident than design. However, I don’t eat most meats and you may like to read about y I don’t eat beef at this link:

  5. Here I am, AuntieL, :), as promised…,

    Can’t say I am too enamoured about vegetarianism. Those meals just don’t look ‘meaty’ enuff…I don’t think we are biologically evolved to be vegetarians no matter what proponents think. We just don’t have enough gut to ferment all that cellulose! (have posted a fair bit about fermentation chambers of herbivores)

    Also we can’t deny we have a deep intrinsic desire to eat meat. Otherwise why do vegetarian joints go to all the trouble to make their meals look like meat? Never ever quite figured out the psychology of that…

    Also never ever stumbled across any restaurants that tried to make their meat look like vegetables… 🙂

  6. Hi Gigamole: Thanks for dropping by — at last! R u giga or gigo? Or are they interchangeable…?

    While I’m no doctor or scientist and certainly not an all out and out lover of vegetarian food, looking at it more as a break from the routine or to accommodate vegetarian friends, I wld like to query one point u made: which is that our gut aint long enough to digest veggies.

    Surely ‘ebvores eat more than veggies… such as nuts, gourds, fruits etc…also, the end products of some of these such as beancurd, cakes, desserts etc

    So essentially, the only difference between a vegetarian and a meat-eater could be as little as 20%… so why aren’t we biologically evolved enough to handle this?

  7. Herbivores really need to spend a lot of time breaking down the plant fibres to extract the starch and other nutrients. They don’t have the enzymes to break down easily so require or these reasons herbivores spend the whole day chewing and fermenting away the grass (vegetables, fruits and nuts). Carnivores cheat by just eating the herbivores. Then sleep the afternoon away under the shade of the acacia tree.

    We humans cheat by being omnivores and perhaps have the best of both worlds.

    Many biologists believe that meat eaters are more intelligent than herbivores because more of their waking time is spent on planning, socializing and politicking as compared to herbivores who can only think about foraging the whole day, and how to avoid being the next meal.

    Being a vegetarian means we regress to a less efficient form of nutrifying ourselves. And to some extent is denying our biology. But then for some under-nutrifying ourselves is good. Perhaps that’s also true.

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