Food Picks: Vegetarian fare at Haven On Earth, Gurney Drive in Punggol
Good vegetarian fare at Haven On Earth
Camaca cafe at King Albert Park, which serves sugar-free desserts, has been rebranded as Haven On Earth. It still offers its signature sweets like Nama chocolate and gelato, but the menu has been expanded to include vegetarian and vegan dishes.
While the choices are rather limited now, more dishes will be added to the menu in the coming weeks.
Judging from what I have tried, standards here are high.
The Portobello Mushroom ($16.80), a vegan burger with a whole portobello replacing the meat patty, is delicious. A soft and fluffy bun is filled with sauteed mushrooms, arugula, tomato slices and vegan aioli.
If you like mushrooms as much as I do, you should get the Sauteed Mushrooms ($4.80). It is a simple dish, with the sliced button mushrooms cooked with caramelised onions and seasoned, but it is a delicious side dish that goes with everything.
The tarts ($12.80) are good too. I prefer the aubergine one to the zucchini version, but it depends on which vegetable you like more.
There is also a Farmers Pizza ($15.80), but for me, a pizza without cheese just does not cut it. It is decent, but I would get the burger.
Where: Haven On Earth, 01-11/12 KAP Mall, 9 King Albert Park
MRT: King Albert Park
Open: 10am to 10pm daily
Gurney Drive returns with outlet in Punggol
Casual Penang eatery chain Gurney Drive, which closed its outlets in 2015 due to manpower issues, is back at the new Northshore Plaza II in Punggol.
It is owned by Penang Culture, which runs halal Penang eateries in malls such as Nex and VivoCity. Gurney Drive's menu features similar hawker dishes such as char kway teow and prawn mee soup, except that they contain pork and lard.
Penang Fried Kway Teow ($7.90) is worth the calories. Besides the delightful bits of crispy lard, there are cockles - a must for char kway teow, in my books - as well as prawns and egg. Most importantly, it boasts good wok hei, a smoky aroma achieved with vigorous frying in a red-hot wok.
Penang Prawn Noodles ($6.90) captures the characteristic sweet and spicy flavour in its broth that differentiates it from Singapore prawn noodles. Toppings include prawns, sliced pork, fish cake and a hard-boiled egg, as well as a scoop of fried shallots and crispy lard.
If you are a fan of Assam Laksa ($5.90), the one here is pretty decent, with the tart soup boasting a distinct taste of ikan kembong. Make sure you stir in all the fermented shrimp paste to give the dish the boost it needs to balance the assam's sourness.
Where: Gurney Drive by Penang Culture, 02-03 Northshore Plaza II, 418 Northshore Drive
LRT: Samudera (from Punggol MRT)
Open: 9am to 9pm daily
il Cielo goes traditional Italian at voco Orchard Singapore
The restaurant on the rooftop of voco Orchard Singapore has reopened after a minor renovation following the hotel's conversion from Hilton Singapore.
It is still called il Cielo, but is quite different from the upscale Japanese-Italian restaurant under the previous management. It is now more casual and the menu sticks to classic Italian fare.
Chef Marco Fregnan, who is running the kitchen, came over from Publico Ristorante at InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, voco's sister property under IHG Hotels & Resorts. So you can expect the same kind of wholesome Italian dishes at more wallet-friendly prices.
A dish that is very well-priced is Fritto Misto ($18), comprising an assortment of deep-fried seafood like calamari, prawn, soft shell crab and whitebait. There is broccoli too, and a lemon aioli dip.
I also recommend Carpaccio ($28). Thin slices of raw Angus tenderloin are drizzled with olive oil and lightly seasoned. Toppings of shimeiji mushroom, mascarpone and parmesan cheese add a complexity of flavours and textures you seldom find in this dish.
The pastas are good too. I especially like Granchio & Asparagi ($32), which is squid ink angel hair pasta with a delicious ragout of crab meat, green asparagus and cherry tomato.
Among the pizzas, my vote goes to Burrata e Tartufo Pizza ($34) because of the blobs of burrata cheese on top that are so refreshing. It also has mozzarella, mushrooms and black truffle shavings.
If you cannot have enough of truffle, order Pollo al Tartufo ($36) for your main course. It is a whole organic roast yellow chicken stuffed with truffle and mushroom, and comes with truffled potato mash.
Where: il Cielo, Level 24 voco Orchard Singapore, 581 Orchard Road
Open: Noon to 3pm (Wednesdays to Saturdays), noon to 3.30pm (Sundays), 5 to 10pm (Wednesdays to Saturdays), closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Online reservations: Go to this website