5 Vegan and Vegetarian Hawker Fare to Try in Singapore
Check out this list of vegan and veggie places in Singapore that are serving up local and hawker classics you didn't think you needed before
Veganism and plant-based eating are on the rise all over the world. It's no surprise that they've slowly made their way into Singapore's food fabric due, as many gourmands have taken an interest in the healthful benefits of reducing our meat consumption as well as our carbon footprint. That said, there is a greater demand for meat-free options when we're eating out that goes beyond the usual bowl of green salad.
Being a foodie nation, most of us still prefer to order our favourite local dishes such as laksa and char kway teow. Luckily for us, Singapore has an emerging began food scene that serves local hawker fare in its purest, vegan form, starting with these restaurants that whip up novel renditions that are as delicious as their meat counterparts.
Botanict is the current-day response to the environmental and health appeal of veganism and vegetarianism that started as Yuan Vegetarian in 1982 when vegetarianism was mostly seen as a religious dietary preference. Its menu is brimming with tons of local favourites that have been made vegan and vegetarian-friendly, such as eggless oyster omelette, red curry fish, sweet and sour pork and lion mane satay. The chefs whip up 'veganised' dishes that mainly use meat protein replacements like soy protein, tofu and tempeh, and they take pride in serving the best quality and diabetic-friendly ingredients like buckwheat noodles and brown rice to replace high sugar index foods. Even meatless, their food is flavourful to the max!
Whole Earth wants to change the world for the better and expose more people to the meatless lifestyle by producing plant-based versions of popular local hawker and Peranakan foods. Standouts include the signature Penang rendang, which consists of shiitake mushrooms flavoured with Peranakan herbs and spices; the ever-popular Teochew olive rice; and the flavoursome Nonya Curry, which consists of shiitake mushrooms and potatoes bathed in a thick yet smooth piquant sauce. It truly lives up to its brand name (and its Bib Gourmand accolade), thanks to the passionate team who cooks with fresh and wholesome ingredients and presents them as mouth-watering dishes that even meat-lovers swear by.
Coco Veggie Nyonya Cuisine
Coco Veggie serves up delectable Peranakan and local fare that is packed with flavours. Must-tries are the famous butterfly pea coconut steam rice, infused with coconut and enhanced with a side of sambal and green beans; vegan laksa that is reminiscent of the Katong Laksa we love; and vegan Hakka yong tau foo, which tastes as good as the meat-filled versions out there.
Pine Tree Cafe
Hainanese chicken rice but...vegetarian? Yes, Pine Tree Cafe's vegetarian rendition of Singapore's national dish is a popular dish amongst patrons for a reason—the chicken rice flavours are retained even with the use of meat-free alternatives like tofu and vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce. The team also does fantastic vegetarian versions of local classics like bak kut teh soup, curry fish head, char kway teow and duck rice.
Victor Veggie is a hawker stall that sells vegan and vegetarian street food classics such as satay, otah and herbal bak kut teh that many claim to be one of the best in the country. The chefs use mock meat for items such as vegan satay and otah that taste quite similar to the meat versions; the vegan satay is worth mentioning, as it is marinated in a savoury concoction and served alongside peanut and pineapple sauce. It is even better with a side of otah banana leaf, which comes with that noteworthy hawker char that enhances the flavours.