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Where to get meat alternatives that look like the real deal

Vegan restaurants and faux meat dishes are fast becoming a trend, locally and internationally, thanks to health-conscious and environmentally-conscious consumers.

And it's getting increasingly tougher to distinguish between mock and genuine meat, in terms of visual appearance and taste, as a result of food science advancements. In fact, meat alternatives on the market these days taste just as good as the real deal.

If you're still on the fence about the texture and flavour of faux meat, here are 9 places in Singapore to take the plunge and become a convert!

 

1. VeganBurg

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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VeganBurg, from San Francisco, is teh world's first 100 per cent plant-based burger joint, and also the first vegan fast food restaurant in Singapore. We recommend their crowd favourite Char-grilled Satay Burger ($9.90) made with succulent soy patty, spicy satay sauce, fresh lettuce leaves, red onions and cucumber. And the GMO-free patty is so tender, juicy and tasty that you'd almost forget that it isn't real meat.

For something less spicy, but equally delectable, try the Creamy Shrooms Burger ($8.90) comprising a soy patty, dairy-free cream sauce and lettuce. Another notable dish is their Tangy Tartar Burger ($8.90) consisting of a soy patty, pickles, tartar sauce and lettuce - think McDonald's filet-o-fish burger, but without fish, and with a gourmet twist!

Diners also have the option between wholemeal buns or lettuce wrap for their burger, which can be upgraded for $3 to include seaweed fries, broccoli, and a drink. It's great value for money and we can't recommend it enough!

VeganBurg is located at 44 Jalan Eunos, S419502. Tel: 6844 6868

 

2. Plant Kitchen by Marks & Spencer

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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After first launching in the United Kingdom, Plant Kitchen by Marks & Spencer (M&S) is now available in Singapore. It's an all plant-based series of ready meals, snacks, and ingredients by M&S in response to consumers demand for healthier, vegan options.

If you're looking for something to snack on whilst catching up on your favourite Netflix series, try the Cauliflower Popcorn ($11.90) for a guilt-free yet delicious option. And when you're feeling #fomo because all your friends are enjoying their yummy Katsu Don (deep fried pork cutlet with rice), go for M&S' Sweet Potato Katsu Curry ($12.90), which is an appetising offering of sweet potato wedges coated in a crisp Japanese-style panko crumb and served on a bed of rice with a rich, lightly spiced katsu curry.

Or try the Green Thai Curry ($13.90) served with edamame, sweet potato, tenderstem broccoli and jasmine rice! Their intent was to emulate the complex flavours of the beloved dish - and frankly, they've done an excellent job.

Plant Kitchen is located at Wheelock Place and VivoCity.

 

3. Mezza9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Touted as one of the best places to experience international food fare, Mezza9 at Grand Hyatt Singapore can now be your go-to spot for your vegan burger fix, with the launch of the Beyond Burger in August 2018. Created by Beyond Meat, the Beyond Burger first made splashes in the United States, Canada and Hong Kong before making its Southeast Asian debut at Grand Hyatt as a humble food truck outside the hotel, then later becoming a staple at Mezza9.

The burgers are known for their patties (100 per cent plant-based, non-GMO gluten-free and soy-free) that supposedly look and taste just like real meat patties. Available as part of Mezza9's two-course ($35++) or three-course ($45++) set lunch and for dinner as an a la carte option ($26++), the patties come with dairy-free brioche bun, dairy-free cheddar, plant-based mayonnaise, pickles, lettuce, red onion and mustard.

You can have the option of choosing from more than 10 sides for lunch, including caesar salad, wood roasted beetroot salad, and Thai-style grilled eggplant. Flavoursome food and fabulous ambience, what's not to love?

Mezza9 is located at Mezzanine Level, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Road, S228211. 

 

4. Oasis Restaurant

oasis restaurant sausage

If burgers are not your thing, how about a hotdog bun? Over at the Oasis Restaurant, also at Grand Hyatt Singapore, the same folks behind Beyong Burger have rolled out the Beyond Sausage ($18++ on the lunch and dinner a la carte menu) in January this year (2019). Made of peas, fava beans, rice, beet and coconut oil, it is a completely plant-based, non-GMO. gluten-free and soy-free sausafe that apparently looks, sizzles, and tastes just like traditional sausage!

The sausage is grilled for that nice charred flavour, and wrapped in a house-made vegan bun, before it is finished with dill pickled Japanese cucumbers, shallots, tarragon mustard, and ketchup. It's served with a dressed cabbage salad and french fries for an authentic hot dog experience!

Oasis is located at Level 5 Terrace Wing, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Road, S228211.

 

5. The Green Dot

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Green Dot is your one-stop vegan restaurant. They've got everything from burgers made with Konnyaku (konjac with taro derivatives) patties, to Laksa ($7.50) and Soya Nuggets ($5.90).

We recommend trying their Forest Arugula Portobello Mushroom Burger ($16.90) comprising sesame seed buns, mustard sauce, portobello mushrooms, smoked soy patty, arugula, tomatoes, and lettuce. The smokiness from the patty, spiciness from the arugula, coupled with refreshing tomatoes and lettuce, make for a hearty and delicious meal.

Another notable dish is their Black Pepper Soya Burger ($8.90), consisting a soya patty, tomato slices, lettuce and side of chunky fries. Affordable yet fulfilling!

The Green Dot has multiple branches islandwide.

 

6. Hello Baby

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Chilli Crab is one of Singapore's most signature dishes; in fact, some might say it's a must-try national dish! It's a mix of sweet and spicy, with a richly flavoured sauce accompanied with firm chunks of crab meat (that you'd have to dig out of the shell with your fingers for a more authentic experience). 

But what about our vegan friends? The answer to that is Hello Baby - a fast food kiosk in the middle of Chinatown offering vegan Chilli Crab Sliders ($10). Here, they've replaced crab meat with enoki mushroom bathed in chilli crab sauce and sandwiched between two golden mantou buns.

The crunch of the mushroom, paired with the fragrant crispy bun makes it all so satisfying. They also offer hearty burgers made with Beyond Meat patty - the same patty used by Mezza9 - fused with creative names like Ang Mo burger ($15), which is essentially a vegan cheese burger. We highly recommend checking them out.

Hello Baby is located at 10 Trengganu Street, S058476.

 

7. Real Food

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Situated within Orchard Central, Real Food cafe is set up by the same people behind the organic grocery store, Real Food Grocer. They have several vegan options such as the Beet (Millet) Burger ($13.80) comprising a patty handmade with beetroots, carrots, onions, millet and potatoes, and stacked with onions, tomatoes, and avocadoes. The ingredients in the patty balance each other really well, and it gives a unique burst of flavour with each bite! 

Another equally delicious dish is their Lentil (Quinoa) Croquette Burger ($13.80) consisting of a patty handmade with Himalayan lentis, roasted walnuts, quinoa, and sautéed mushrooms. It also comes stacked with fresh greens, homemade tomato sauce, and vegan mayonnaise.

If you love mushrooms, you'll love their Portobello Burger ($14.80) comprising a herb battered portobello mushroom bundled with fresh greens and vegan mayonnaise!

Real Food is located #02-16 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, S238896, as well as #B1-19 South Beach Tower, 26 South Beach Road, S189768.

 

8. Soul Alife

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Tucked away in Changi Business Park, Soul Alfie offers a menu that's entirely plant-based and free of cholesterol, trans fats, MSG and palm oil. Their most popular dish is the Teriyaki Burger ($9.90), which consists of a mushroom patty dressed in vegan cheese sauce enveloped in a toasted bun, and served with sweet potato fries. 

And if that doesn't tickle your fancy, try their Teriyaki Udon ($8.90) comprising fresh udon, mushroom, edamame, carrots, sesame and teriyaki sauce! Wallet-friendly and fuss-free, but definitely hits the spot.

Soul Alife is located at #02-40 Changi City Point, 5 Changi Business Park, Central 1, S486038.

 

9. Whole Earth

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Situated along Peck Seah Street is Whole Earth, the first plant-based restaurant to make it to the Michelin Bib Gourmand list. They offer their rendition of vegan dishes with a Thai-Peranakan twist that's refreshing and brimming with flavour. Their most popular dish is the Nyonya Curry ($21) - a dish slow-cooked for hours comprising shiitake mushrooms and potatoes in a rich poignant sauce that'll hit the spot for curry lovers. 

We also recommend trying their Penang Rendang ($20.90), which is a dish of shiitake mushrooms made to look and feel like chicken pieces. It's a delectable full-bodied dish that will definitely impress!

Whole Earth is located at 76 Peck Seah Street, S079331. Tel: 6221 6583

 

Written by Navin Pillay.

 

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