Thursday 22 September 2016

[CLOSED] Kwan Inn Vegetarian – Delicious Vegetarian in Tanjong Katong [MEDIA INVITE]

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

One of the well known vegetarian dishes invented by Madam Kwan is the Vegetarian Laksa. Although this was not in the tasting menu, she was kind enough to make it herself for us to try. I must say, the laksa is robust, solid 'lemak', tasty and aromatic as well. The broth itself has enough kick to spice up your appetite. The vegetarian prawn and tofu, goes well with the thick bee hoon and definitely a must try dish here. (Please note that this laksa is not currently on the menu in the restaurant, however you can ask the service staff if they are available on that day).

Vegetarian Laksa

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.

Herbal Soup

Herbal Soup

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 Decor

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
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50

Kwan Inn Vegetarian (观音斋)
338 Tanjong Katong Road
Singapore 437110

T: +65 6348 0019
IG: @Kwaninnvegetarian
OH: Daily 11.00 – 15.00; 18.00 – 22.00

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