Kwan Inn Vegetarian, a renowned brand name in Singapore vegetarian food scene. Originally started in 1990 in Geylang East by Madam Choo Hong Eng (“the Jackpot Auntie”) whom are well known for her boundless charity contribution to the society. By December 2015, the Kwan Inn Vegetarian food has grown into 6 stalls and 1 restaurant. The restaurant is set up to promote a more innovative and extensive vegetarian cuisine to the market.
|Innovative Salted Fish Fried Rice|
In June 2016, Kwan Inn Vegetarian and Jus Delish Group enter into a collaboration to further promote the vegetarian lifestyle and cuisine in Singapore. Moving forward, Jus Delish Group will be the managing partner of this collaboration while Madam Kwan will continue to impart her skills in the kitchen, chief quality controller as well as the brand ambassador.
|Pickle to tease your palate|
The vegetarian tasting menu started with 5 Combination Cold Dish ($60). It come in spring roll, pandan chicken, black pepper beef, ngo hiang and satay. The combination is indeed unique and each has its own flavour. The vegetarian pandan chicken is unique, yet delicious. Spring roll was a bit dark, but it was crunchy and tasty as well.
|5 Combination Cold Dish|
|5 Combination Cold Dish|
Herbal Soup ($30 for Large), a must try dish here. The clear broth has a solid depth, robust due to the use of Chinese herbs (such as Dang Gui / Chinese Angelica Root and Wolfberries) and mushrooms to accompany the mock meat. You can taste essence of ingredients flow into the broth.
Fried Monkey Head Mushroom ($30 for Large). This is the vegetarian version of pop corn chicken. The size is about the average meatball size, crispy yet with a springy texture internally. The mushrooms are coated with Thai style chilli sauce. Yum Yum.
|Fried Monkey Head Mushroom|
Assorted Mushroom stuffed in Golden Tofu ($30 for Large). A combination of different type of mushrooms, paprikas and glutens. A nice display of presentation, however I feel the dish is a bit dry and it can do with some thick gooey sauce to bind the mushrooms with the tofu.
|Assorted Mushroom stuffed in Golden Tofu|
Cai-pu French Bean ($24 for Large), a stir fried vegetables with preserved turnip / Cai Pu. French bean is crunchy and refreshing, while the cai pu gave it signature sweet saltiness to the dish.
|Cai-pu French Bean|
For the 'fish' dishes, we sample two types. Indonesian Fish Curry ($35 for Large) and BBQ vegetarian fish ($30 for Large). The fish curry has a strong tangy flavour, more towards assam instead of thick and rich curry. It provide a solid base for the well-fried mock fish. Definitely good to polish up the rice or the French loaf that was served with the curry.
|Indonesian Fish Curry|
|French Loaf served with the Indonesian Fish Curry|
Although the name suggested that it is a bbq vegetarian fish, it seems that the fish is deep fried. It has a crunchy and chew texture, basked in thick dark sauce. I prefer the fish curry instead of this, as it feels that the bbq mock fish made your jaw exercise harder.
|Bbq Vegetarian Fish|
Salted fish fried rice ($20 for Large). Using its own technique to create the salted fish, this fried rice is definitely not for everyone. After I ate the first scoop, I can taste an unique pungent flavour from the rice that I can't get used to. Definitely an acquired taste.
|Salted Fish Fried Rice|
Steamed 8 Treasures ($28), looks like the dishes that you will normally have during the Chinese New Year. The broccoli and mushrooms are half sink into the gooey yet rich gravy. It is definitely packs with flavour and I wish this sauce is also use with the Assorted Mushroom stuffed in Golden Tofu dish. To complete the CNY dish feel, is when you unearth the hair moss hidden below mushrooms.
|Steamed 8 Treasures|
|Steamed 8 Treasures - with the hidden hair moss|
Minced Beancurd with Special Sauce ($36 for Large) is the final dish before dessert. The mashed tofu has a smooth and velvety texture that mixed well with the mock meat. Like the fried rice, there is an unique taste to it that not everyone will like.
|Minced Beancurd with Special Sauce|
Dessert is Yam Paste with ginko nuts ($32 for Large). The favourite Teochew desserts. The texture of the yam paste is thick, yet smooth and creamy. The desserts is actually well-balanced, where the coconut cream is not very sweet and you can taste the fragrance of yam paste.
|Yam Paste with ginko nuts|
The décor of the restaurant bright, with a touch of gold to bring up the class of the restaurant. Chinese literature and paintings are used to decorate the walls of the restaurant, which definitely created a calming feel in the restaurant.
The verdict, Kwan Inn Vegetarian definitely a place to go for solid and innovative vegetarian cuisine. I personally recommend their Laksa, Herbal Soup, Fried Monkey Head Mushroom and the Steamed 8 Treasure. Cheers!!
Thank you very much to the team from Kwan Inn Vegetarian for hosting the tasting event.
Food & Drink: 7.25/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Budget per Person: $26 - $50
Kwan Inn Vegetarian (观音斋）
338 Tanjong Katong Road
T: +65 6348 0019
OH: Daily 11.00 – 15.00; 18.00 – 22.00