A side benefit of eating at Chinatown's excellent CI YAN Vegetarian Health Food Restaurant was that a regular customer there told me about two other vegetarian restaurants in Chinatown. Annalakshmi Indian Vegetarian (Eat All You Can - Pay What You Like) was one of them which I totally recommend. The info on the other one - "Eight Treasures Vegetarian" came along with a warning - "It would be expensive to eat there". Since it was only the third vegetarian food joint in Chinatown I knew of, I had to go there. Expensive or otherwise. The location of Eight Treasures Vegetarian is interesting. Officially, the address of the place is 282, South Bridge Road. Its on the first floor, above its sister joint called "Well Dressed Salad Bar & Cafe". But the entry to Eight Treasures is on Sago Street or Sago Lane which is called the Street of the Dead. Eight Treasures could be called 'Food for the Living on the Street of the Dead'. Ironic no doubt, but the food they serve here is interesting too. An imaginative mix of real vegetarian preparations and those with fake meats created from soy and mushrooms. Eight Treasures Vegetarian opens everyday from 11am to 3pm, 5pm to 10pm on weekdays and 11am to 10pm on public holidays, 1st and 15th of the Lunar Calendar. It is possible to make reservations, phone: 6534-7727. Keep reading...
|Eight Treasures Vegetarian Sago Lane Chinatown Singapore|
|Eight Treasures Vegetarian on Sago Lane Chinatown Singapore|
Here are some of the dishes they serve:
Buddha Jumps Over the Wall (SGD 15 - 25 - 35)
Springy slices of Konnyaku Shark's Fin, Abalone and Sea Cucumber with Shiitake mushrooms infused in the goodness of wolfberries and Dang Gui.
Monkey Head Mushrooms with Broccoli and Asparagus (SGD 12 - 18 -24)
Golden Mushrooms & Bamboo Fungus Beancurd (SGD 10 - 15 -20)
In case you are wondering, the three level pricing is for Small-Medium-Large servings. I did not say anything while ordering but since I was eating alone, they served the small portion. Nice of them but there was a bit of over-billing which I will mention later. Let us talk about the menu first. There are soups, salads, snacks, rice & noodles, and seasonal & other greens. Pages in the menu are dedicated to mushrooms, beancurd (tofu), fake meats like chicken, mutton, fish, pork, and desserts which look good. One of the desserts is "Sea Bird's Nest with Red Dates and Longan", (SGD 3) which is a "refreshing jelly with the fragrant aroma of brown sugar, rich in nutrients, collagen, and calcium". I do not know if the jelly is vegetarian because it rarely is. There are a few dishes in the snacks, rice/noodles, and greens categories which do not contain any fake meats. And these are the ones you need to look for. In my opinion, there is no fun in eating a crispy vegetarian suckling pig.
Eight Treasures Tofu & Coffee
|Eight Treasures Tofu at Eight Treasures Vegetarian Sago Lane Chinatown Singapore|
|Coffee at Eight Treasures Vegetarian Sago Lane Chinatown Singapore|
This is what I ordered. The "Eight Treasures Tofu" was "Pan fried tofu covered with spinach and mushrooms sauteed in delicious olive gravy". It was salty, spicy, and oily but tasted ok. Could have done better with a little less salt. Cost SGD 10 for a small serving plus 10% service charge. The coffee was SGD 4.50 but my total bill was SGD 18.48.
|Extra charge for napkin at Eight Treasures Vegetarian Sago Lane Chinatown Singapore|
The SGD 2.00 "Pickles"
|The SGD 2.00 "pickles" at Eight Treasures Vegetarian Sago Lane Chinatown Singapore|
Without my ordering, they kept a "pickles" on the table which was a few boiled beans. It was like Chinese tea served along with meals in Chinese restaurants which is always free. I had no way of knowing I would be charged for this "pickles". There was also a paper napkin (called "towel" in the bill) because there was no cloth napkin on the table. I was charged for both. SGD 0.30 for the paper napkin and SGD 2.00 for the "pickle" and 10% service charge on top for these two things. I guess they use these tricks on tourists because their local customers would know about them.
Well, I had already been warned that a meal here would be expensive. I left Eight Treasures not entirely happy. Yes, the food was not so bad, apart from the funny things in the menu like "crispy vegetarian suckling pig". But I sure did not like paying extra for a paper napkin.
|Posted by Narinder Singh|