When I was invited for food tasting at Honzen Cafe Singapore, I did not hold high expectations. I know vegetarian cuisine if prepared well can be really yummy but the usual vegetarian dishes and a couple of mock meat would probably be as far as it gets. Little did we know that this establishment tucked inside Sam Leong Road near Little India MRT will forever change our mindset on vegetarian cuisine.
We were greeted by a bright and spacious zen interior the moment we stepped into the restaurant. Looks like a pretty atas restaurant.
Serene, the owner of Honzen quickly got us seated with the Snacks & Drinks Menu. Did I mention that I adore restaurants and cafes that take the pain to beautify their space with fresh flowers.
Our drinks came pretty fast but we realised that there was no menu for the our Mains. Serene came over shortly to explain that the folks at Honzen loves to try out new creations using the freshest seasonal ingredients from the market. It has become close to impossible for the menu to keep up with the changes hence restaurant patrons usually just select the set of the evening and leave everything to the good hands of the chef.
Priced at around S$28 per set, diners are in for a treat with Service à la russe – a manner of dining that involves courses being brought to the table sequentially. We start our meal with a refreshing Sour Plum Jelly appetiser.
To tease our palate further, we were introduced to Sliced Pumpkin In Organic Passionfruit Sauce. Lightly doused in zesty passionfruit sauce, the pumpkin slices were surprisingly crunchy.
Next came our Salad With Organic Carrots & Vinegar Dressing. I am usually a very sinful meat person, the salad’s colours have totally won me over. Healthy food can taste good too.
The next course came as a pleasant surprise. Serene shared that these 3 items should be taken in this sequence to truly appreciate the chef’s intention – fresh silken tofu, followed by fried potato rolls before ending it off with zesty salsa bread spread.
Our Corn & Mixed Vegetable Basket was served with our pretty national flower – Orchid. Full marks for presentation!
Before we were served our main course, Serene serve us Fruit Enzyme Vinegar to cleanse our taste bud.
Here comes our mains! Despite being strictly vegetarian, each mouthful of rice command the familiar ‘chicken rice’ fragrance. I wonder how the chef manage to achieve that.
The Hokkien Dark Sauce Noodles was equally delicious. We could hardly tell that its vegetarian.
We ended our meal with an nourishing Si Shen Tang aka Four Spirit Soup. It is a soup that is used by Traditional Chinese Medicine to strengthen our digestion system and improve appetite.
Just when we thought the meal was over, Serene brought up to the 2nd level of the restaurant.
Diners who have finished their meals can continue their conversations over traditional Chinese tea on this level. How thoughtful!
Honzen is a great place to hang out over healthy vegetarian food and traditional Chinese tea for a quick detox after a week of sinful dining. It charges reasonably for a quality, multi course vegetarian set that is able to satisfy not just vegetarians but also the picky meat-eaters like me.
If you are keen to try out innovative vegetarian cuisine, here’s the full details of the restaurant:
Honzen Cafe “本然”
Address: 41 Sam Leong Road, Singapore 207931
Opening Hours: 11am – 2.30pm (Lunch) & 5.30pm – 9.30pm (Dinner) From Tuesdays to Sundays. Closed on Mondays.
Tel: 6333 0478
If you are interested in Vegetarian Food, you may also like my post on Top Vegetarian Restaurants In Singapore
You may also like to check out my posts on other delicious food places here