Vegan Singapore: How to eat like a king in the Lion City

Eating in Singapore is like a religion. On the free walking tour we took there, our guide told us that many locals no longer cook for themselves. Instead, they take advantage of the cheap and varied fare up for grabs throughout the city. And if you go there, that’s what you should do too.

Luckily, Singapore is a haven for vegans. We are so well catered for, in fact, that a simple search on Happy Cow or a post in any vegan Facebook group is bound to throw up dozens of suggestions. And if you’re anything like me, too much choice can be an overwhelming prospect.

With that in mind, I thought I’d write about the places we tried and tested in the hope it might sway your decision-making if you’re ever searching for vegan scran in the Lion City yourself.

Yi Xin

We discovered this place by chance when jet-lag struck during our first full day in the city. After waking up at 5 a.m. we decided to explore Gardens by the Bay while the rest of Singapore slept. While having the attraction all to ourselves was amazing, by 7 a.m. we were ravenous, and finding somewhere to eat so early proved to be a challenge. That’s how we discovered Yi Xin. The no-frills eatery in Chinatown is one of the few places open at eight in the morning. So we made like some of the locals and grabbed a cheap and filling breakfast of tasty noodles and veg.

Herbivore

Located in the Fortune Center – which in itself is a vegan’s dream – Herbivore is an outstandingly good Japanese restaurant. The menu offers all the familiar Japanese fare, from bento boxes to katsu curry. Meals come in at a heftier price tag than other Hawker-based offerings. But, to us, food that good is worth paying for.

nomVnom

Specialising in guilt-free junk food, nomVnom is the place to come when those cravings for something tasty and comforting kick in. The restaurant champions the burger – and features dozens of different patties on its menu. But if you’re expecting another dirty burger, think again. The folk at nomVnom pride themselves in their all-natural approach to food, meaning their meals are full of goodness rather than grease.

Komala Vilas

Opening in 1947, Komala Vilas is one of Singapore’s oldest Indian Vegetarian restaurants. Located in Little India, the establishment is famed for its traditional fare. Thanks to the eatery’s reputation as one of the tastiest in town, it’s often packed with locals picking and dipping their way through their dosa or chapati meal (no knives and forks needed!)

Wild Honey

One of the more modern choices on this list is Wild Honey. The restaurant – which has three spots across Singapore – serves a Western-style brunch menu. For us vegans this includes a delicious take on scrambled tofu – perfect for those mornings when noodles just won’t do.

Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant

Another one of Little India’s must-visits is Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant. More innovative than Komala Vilas, here you can expect to find vegan alternatives to classic Indian dishes, using mock meats to imitate familiar flavours and textures. The whole menu was tempting, but we settled on ordering the “chicken” tikka chunks, “prawn” masala and some sort of korma with rice and bread, and left feeling utterly full and satisfied.

An Xin

Singapore is famous for its chicken and rice dish, known as Hainanese chicken rice – but clearly it isn’t vegan-friendly. However, you can sample a vegan alternative courtesy of An Xin Vegan. The Buddist-owned stall is located in the Chinatown Hawker centre. I have no idea how close the veggie version is to the real deal, but it definitely made for a tasty and cheap lunch – made all the more enjoyable by a little bit of conversation with the sweet couple who run the stall.

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