Our vegetarian wedding

2013 will be a busy year for us, with the new home and wedding happening within a span of months.

We are more excited about our home than the wedding.

Planning for the wedding (I cringe to say *my* wedding) makes me feel self-indulgent. I don’t think I would regret it if we did away with a wedding, and jumped straight to married life in our new home 😛 But Derek wants it. I think.

To minimise the carbon footprint of this event, we’ve decided to hold a vegetarian wedding party.

Derek does not fancy Chinese vegetarian food, so we are going for western.

Our number 1 preference is Flutes at the Fort, which is able to do vegetarian weddings. Its website rightly calls it a hidden treasure: I love that the restaurant is housed in an old colonial house that used to be firemen’s quarters, tucked away in lush foliage behind the Civil Defense Museum. It is a ten-minute walk away from City Hall MRT, which is incredibly convenient as far as colonial-housed restaurants go (Think Dempsey Hill, Rochester, Bukit Timah). We also went there for dinner on my birthday, and loved the food, ambience, and service. Unfortunately, they are making plans to renovate and can only accept bookings from July onwards, which is just too late and too bad for us. One thing though – they only provide plated service, which does not go down well with our parents. They have the perception that western plated meals are small in serving, unable to satisfy guests, and hence, not “presentable”. I think we need to treat them to a meal there before they can change their minds.

Second choice: The Halia

This restaurant is very interesting. When I first enquired a few months ago, their event coordinator said they do not do vegetarian weddings, as “Halia is a modern European fine dining restaurant (sic)“. It was a most peculiar reason, as I never knew vegetarianism and European fine dining were mutually exclusive. She also asked “Vegetarian meaning no meat, no seafood?” to which I rolled my eyes and said: “Seafood is meat what!” I am surprised that the staff from a reputable restaurant like Halia did not know what vegetarian food meant… From our conversation, I get the feeling that she might have equated the word “vegetarian” with 斋米粉. After spotting a vegetarian menu on their website, I felt compelled to get to the bottom of this. So I messaged them on Facebook, hoping to get a second opinion from the FB admin who should be their marcomms person. A few days later, the same event coordinator called me, and apologised for the “miscommunication”. It turned out that they can host vegetarian weddings; what a surprise. I am now awaiting their vegetarian buffet menu. They have two locations: Botanic Gardens and Raffles Hotel. I am inclined to go with Raffles Hotel because of its convenient location. I have heard of people getting lost inside Botanic Gardens.

Third choice: Artichoke Cafe

Which is an accidental google find. So convenient, at Middle Road! I pass by Sculpture Square all the time, but I’ve never noticed its existence. From the online pics, it looks casual, relaxed and unpretentious*eyes hover upwards*. I like that. But I am still waiting for them to reply my email.

Fourth choice: Riders Cafe

Colonial housed restaurant in inaccessible Bukit Timah. Email bounced as their mailbox is full.

Visited Real Food 真食 at Central Mall basement with Puppy cos I was enthralled by their simple decor and full vegetarian menu, nicely presented outside the eatery.

My pesto pasta was disappointing, as it didn’t come to me piping hot and dripping with pesto sauce. “Aglio olio pasta with french beans” would have been a better name for it. I guess my expectations were raised too high by the out-of-this-world mushroom pesto pasta from one of the 师大夜市 restaurants.. Real pesto pasta should look like this:

Crazy drenched in pesto sauce!

I liked his Mushroom aglio olio, but he didn’t. We both liked the Real Pumpkin soup (served with a large chunk of soft bread with melted cheese), though it might be a tad too watery for soup purists. Anyways, I’m not deterred from visiting the place again (although we felt psychologically unsatisfied and scooted off to Freshness Burger for our tofu burger therapy after footing the bill, heh).

It’s got a very peaceful yet warm ambience, pretty waitresses and a comprehensive menu that’s not too costly. I want to try their fried Chinese noodles, brown rice set and tomato sauce pasta.

I’ve been vegetarian for the past few months and I highly recommend these places:

  • Zen Vegetarian Japanese Restaurant, Midlink Plaza: soba noodles, unagi bento set
  • Rocky Master: Grilled veggie sandwich – chock full of chunky, juicy eggplant and zucchini
  • Forty Hands: Mushroom truffle sandwich – moist and flavourful!
  • The first stall you see after coming up the escalator to 2nd floor, Fortune Centre: most dishes are good, and we especially love the mutton curry noodles, 药材汤面线 and 杏仁奶
  • Freshness Burger, NEX mall, Century Square and Central Mall: TOFU BURGER!!!! The whole experience is therapeutic. The springy tofu is pan fried to golden brown, served piping hot with a huge dollop of avocado salad on top of it, and doused in a light, sweet sour sauce. PERFECT. I am definitely willing to pay $8.90 for the set, which includes fluffy and not greasy Hokkaido potato wedges, and a soft drink. Okay I usually switch that to a hot lemonade or yuja cha – both of which therapeutic by themselves!

Typing this post has made me very hungry. Luckily, I made century egg cold tofu, topped with spring onion that sprang out of a whole onion from the kitchen. Perhaps I should put it in a pot of soil.

P.S: My slow Fujitsu laptop (circa 2007), increasingly mobile lifestyle and craving for novelty has prompted thoughts of getting a Macbook Air………… But i know it’s more of a want than a need. I can always reformat my laptop; I’m just too lazy. Shall wait till I find a very good reason to buy it!

schizophrenic humans

watched Taboo: Blood sports on NatGeo yesterday. Besides the wincing and feeling pity and anger for the animals made to fight for entertaining humans, this bullfighter’s thought left an impression: “We are giving a chance for the bull to fight for its life. It dies with dignity. It is sad to see a beautiful animal like it die, but at least it had a chance to fight back.”

What he said is true, isnt it? well of course he has rather conveniently used this truth to his advantage, to cover up for the sport’s gore and brutality…