Life seems to be getting really nice when something good gets even better. Chinatown in Singapore has quite a few places where one can have a decent vegetarian meal. These places range from super value such as a ‘eat all you can & pay what you like’ place called Annalakshmi or the super expensive ‘Eight Treasures‘. While I was happy with what I already knew, my recent vegetarian meal at ‘Vegetarian Delights for Charity’ has made me a lot happier. Vegetarian Delights is a part of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (Basement B1) on South Bridge Road, Chinatown and is located within a very short walk from the Chinatown MRT Station. The vegetarian food they serve is really good in terms of the quality and is excellent in terms of value, just 3 Singapore Dollars for a vegetarian set meal. Simply but, this is the cheapest vegetarian food in Chinatown. In comparison, you are expected to pay around 10 SGD at Annalakshmi, and the next best CI YAN Vegetarian has a Brown Rice & Curry Set at 6.50 SGD. No one has a meal for 3 Singapore Dollars except Vegetarian Delights. Yes, they do not have brown rice but do offer a choice between white rice and vermicelli and the choice further extends to the curries where on gets to choose three out of 10 or 12 on the stand. Vegetarian Delights is open everyday from 9.00am to 3.00pm. Entry to the restaurant is from the outside (left side, if you are facing the temple).
The closing time of 3.00pm is the time when the staff can be seen counting their cash. The food gets all over by 2.30pm and some of the curries finish by 1.00pm. So here, one who arrives early gets to eat the best. The curries are carefully rotated, they always keep a stir-fry, a dry-spicy mix, and a curry with gravy in it. There are healthier options like cabbage or other seasonal veggies too. At first you need to choose between rice or noodles (vermicelli), and then the staff at the counter will put some rice/noodles in a plate and show it to you if you are happy with the quantity of the rice or noodles. When you OK it, you get to choose any three curries.
Apart from the buffet, they prepare a special everyday that is rotated daily. These are the Monday to Sunday daily specials:
Monday: Shredded Chicken Hor Fun
Tuesday: Char Siew Dumpling Noodle
Thursday: Loh Mee
Friday: Crispy Noodle with Assorted Veg
Saturday: Slice Fish Thick Bee Hoon
Sunday: Char Siew Dumpling Noodle
(All these are subject to change without notice)
All specials cost 3 Singapore Dollars each.
Cold and hot drinks are available and are sold from a stand next to the buffet counter.
Everything here is on “Self-Service” basis. You pay at the buffet counter when your food is handed over to you. The dining hall is huge and has a plenty of tables so every one can eat at leisure. After finishing the meal, you need to carry your plate and the cutlery to the dish collection point. There are separate wash rooms for gents and ladies.
The place is very popular among locals. Some tourists come here too but I hope that number will increase. I strongly suggest two things for the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, having a vegetarian meal at this place, and buying an “Eight-Auspicious Emblem Gold Coin” from the temple shop.