Posted by: buggy | 1 June, 2006

The Whole Earth

Last Saturday was the First Day of the Lunar month.

No, I don't turn into a werewolf, although I do wonder what my dog would think if I did. Perhaps I could finally understand what she was saying.

Being the first day of the lunar month, I was a pure vegetarian for that day (as I am also on the 15th day of the lunar month).

Allow me the chance to clear up a common misconception of what it means to be pure vegetarian. "You just don't eat meat right?" is the most common question I am asked. For the record, NO. I don't only avoid meat, I also avoid garlic and onions.

All this adds up to making it rather difficult to find things to eat, unless a vegetarian stall or restaurant happens to be handy, where ever it is I happen to be headed on that particular day. Sadly, I have experienced difficulty in finding a square meal on those days. Sometimes I end up eating a croissant from Delifrance, for lack of vegetarian choices.

Lest this post turn into a discource on vegetarianism and modern society (I'll save that for another day, I promise), I'll cut to the broccoli.

Last Saturday was a vege day for me, so Ophie and I had to look for a vegetarian place for dinner.

We ended up at this restaurant called The Whole Earth at 593 Geylang Road.

The ambience was warm with a calming feeling. We noticed that most of the tables had a Reserved sign, and I was surprised. They must be doing something right.

We were greeted by owner Gavin as we were shown the menus. Gavin recommended the special of the day, which was Special Tofu with Broccoli (didn't I just say I'd cut to the broccoli?). After pouring over the menu, Ophie and I settled for the Olive Fried Rice (Gavin assured us it was a favourite) and an interestingly named "Eel-mushroom" with Asparagus.

The spread. (poor image quality from my Razr camera :()

Olive Fried Rice

This dish lived up to Gavin's recommendations. It was nicely fried, and not oily. The rice was fluffy, but not too soft and it wasn't hard like little pebbles either. The kicker was the hint of Thai basil and some stalks of the herb hiding in amongst the rice. Nicely done!

Special Tofu with Broccoli and Shredded Mock Crab

This dish was a tad ordinary frankly. The Special Tofu was really a mash of tofu, with some breadcrumbs. After being deepfried, the tofu nuggets ended up rather dry and more oily than tasty. The soft consistency of the tofu was lost, and it was disappointing. The broccoli (there's that word again) was fresh, but the mock crab was also rather pedastrian. I didn't really fancy this dish, but Ophie loved the mock crab. "It really has a crab taste!" Be that as it may, at $18, this special of the day isn't exactly something to shout about. Next!

Eel-mushroom with Asparagus and Capsicum Medley

In my book, the absolute STAR of the night. This dish knocked my socks off. The eel mushroom was coated in a flour paste and panfried, giving it a pseudo-beef strip-like appearance and texture. The sauce: blackbean and pepper. The sidekicks: baby asparagus and capsicum medley. Red, yellow and green. Excellent stuff. Ophie liked this dish too, and we both agreed it was worth waiting for.

Euryale Seed soup and Aloe Vera dessert

After stuffing ourselves with the main course, we sat back looking at each other. "Dessert?" Well, we were both stuffed, but we decided to dip into the sweet side of the menu to see what lurked there. There were only 4 items and we settled for the unusual Euryale Seed (qian shi) soup and the normal Aloe Vera with longan. I was very curious about the Euryale seed and asked Gavin what it was. He brought out a photo album (which I immediately recognized was from Ikea) with a photo of the Euryale pod. Apparently it's some kind of water plant grown in China and the seeds are rather like tiny gingko nuts. The dessert was just the tiny seeds, in fragrant clear sweet soup. Hardly strong in it's taste, it was surprisingly refreshing after a heavy meal. The simple sweetness and subtle taste of the tiny seeds gave me a sense of balance after the meal. The aloe vera and longan was nothing to write home about, or blog about for that matter.

All in all a nice meal, albeit a little pricey. This meal for 2 set me back $48. There was no service charge, but I must say, Gavin is good at making his customers feel at home and giving good recommendations. He even told us that he has plans to open the upstairs of the shophouse, which will have wireless internet access. Perhaps we'll find our way there in the future.

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Responses

  1. Hmmm.. the food looks good… maybe i should give a try next time during my next vegetarian day (same as you, every 1st & 15th of lunar mth).

    Last Sat, i went to the Prata Shop for Banana & mushroom prata for supper… (skipped dinner, coz heavy lunch – had veg ban mian near my place..)

    You should try this veg eatery @ Bukit Timah.. their mock peking duck is VERY VERY DELICIOUS… I need to address for you (got to find their namecard)…

  2. The vege eatery at Bukit Timah sounds interesting. 🙂

    Do let me know what the address is if you can find their card. I’d love to give it a try.

    For The Whole Earth, if you do go, try their Peranakan dishes. Apparently those are Gavin’s signature dishes.


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