It may seem a little bit of a stretch to imagine a 100 per cent plant-based alternative to beef that in fact taste like everyone’s favourite red meat. But if it’s good enough for an internationally renowned modern steakhouse like Cut By Wolfgang Puck, then the folks at Impossible Foods—the California-based company behind the ground-breaking Impossible Burger that stars this meat-free “meat”—must be doing something right.
The restaurant’s executive chef and California native Joshua Brown said, “Over the years, we have evolved our menu to include chicken and fish beyond our signature steaks, in response to increasing demand for variety from our diners.” The restaurant is one of the latest and earliest establishments to feature this meat alternative on its regular menu, in the form of the aptly named Impossible Sliders, which Brown shared, “is an extension of our diverse offerings, providing a great alternative for meat-lovers looking to offset their meat intake, while still enjoying the flavours of beef”. These took their place on the menu on March 7, 2019, following the Impossible Foods’ first public preview of its improved plant-based meat at Lau Pa Sat the day before that drew a crowd of about 500.
The Impossible Burger debuted in 2016 at Momofuku Nishi, the New York City restaurant of chef David Chang—the one visionary many believed had the bravado and reputation for the unexpected to pull off something as bold as this. But these 10 Singapore restaurants are featuring an upgraded version of the meat, which was launched in Singapore in March 2019. The new recipe contains no gluten, animal hormones or antibiotics, and is also kosher and halal-certified.
The key ingredient, though, is heme, an iron-containing molecule found in every living organism, plants and animals, that scientists at Impossible Foods discovered is the source of the meaty flavour of beef, evidenced in the abundance of heme found in animal muscle. The Impossible Burger gets its heme from the protein soy leghemoglobin, which is naturally found in soy roots. Impossible Foods produces soy leghemoglobin through genetic engineering and fermentation.
“Singaporeans are blessed with and obsessed with great food,” said Pat Brown, CEO and Founder of Impossible Foods. “They’re among the world’s most demanding gourmets, and I’m sure the region’s chefs will rise to the occasion and create the world’s most imaginative ‘Impossible dishes’ yet.”
Prefer your proof in pudding? Well, if you like your beef or simply crave a taste of the possible future of food, here’s a quick rundown of places to check out for a fair assessment.