From bibimbap to dry ramen, Vege Pot in Fortune Centre offers delicious and homely meatless dishes.
If you are looking to add more greens to your diet, Fortune Centre in Middle Road is a haven for affordable vegetarian and vegan fare. With more than 10 eateries to pick from, you will be spoilt for choice. So take the time to eat your way through the outlets, most of which are homely and have a no-frills menu.
Sandwiched between a beauty salon and art studio is Vege Pot, which opened about two and a half years ago. The menu features a range of rice and noodle dishes – from tomato petai rice to Penang assam laksa – and I like that plenty of the ingredients are made in-house.
I order the bibimbap ($5.90) as it calls out to me from the menu and get a generous portion of brown rice topped with thinly sliced carrots, bean sprouts, chopped long beans, sliced cucumber and kimchi. The fragrant “meat” in the dish is made from mushrooms and has a nice chewy texture. I mix the ingredients and end up with a lovely combination of textures and flavours with the tangy kimchi, cold and crunchy cucumber and crisp carrots.
I do not miss real meat at all, nor the gochujang sauce or egg that normally comes with the Korean bibimbap. The dish comes with a fragrant, almost creamy, miso soup – a perfect complement to the satisfying main.
Another highlight is the dry ramen ($5.50) with handmade dumplings, tossed in a slightly herbal dark sauce. The dumplings have a thin skin and are filled with diced carrots and fungus. I get three plump dumplings in a light and clear soup which has corn, fried beancurd, white shimeiji mushrooms, fungus and spinach.
As I chomp on the delicious dumplings, I make a mental note to get an extra portion when I dine there again. I also try the red yeast mee sua ($5.50), which comes with tau pok (fried beancurd puff), carrots, corn, as well as white shimeiji and enoki mushrooms. The soup is on the sweet side because of the vegetables, so I let the mee sua soak up its flavour. Other dishes I intend to try on my next visit include the five spices braised beancurd king oyster mushroom rice ($5), miso udon ($5) and kimchi noodle ($5).
For the Chinese New Year period, don’t miss the small selection of housemade snacks, which includes almond cookies and cornflake crisps.
Vege Pot charges an extra 50 cents for takeaway containers, so bring your own if you can. Plus, you’ll be helping the environment by cutting down on single-use plastics.
#02-31 Fortune Centre, 190 Middle Road; open: 11am to 8pm (Thursdays to Tuesdays), closed on Wednesdays; go to www.facebook.com/VegePot or order online at vegepot.oddle.me (prices may vary)
Rating: 3.5 stars
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 20, 2019, with the headline ‘Homely meatless dishes Cheap & Good’.