July 10, 2010

Being Vegetarian in Singapore


Eating is a passion in Singapore. If you meet someone who knows you are new here, sooner or later the question 'How do you find the food here?' is going to pop up.

Though, it was actually awkward for me because I am a vegetarian and cannot stand the numerous food courts here which smell of seafood, and I have to search for right words to mention that to a passionate Singaporean foodie ! 

Well...it's an island with no local agricultural produce..which does explain the eating habits ! 

Lunch time around office area looks like a carnival and you will be greeted with empty office chairs at the strike of 12:00 !!

If the family is small they find it more economical to eat out daily rather than cooking at home. In fact, I hear that some do not prefer renting their house to Indians 'cause they know that our likes will be doing extensive cooking (and rightly so !)
It isn't too easy to find vegetarian eateries anywhere and everywhere except for Little India which has all the indian vegetarian restaurants.

I remember in our first month in SG, we had gone shopping and as lunch time approached we roamed for 30 minutes through the mall trying to find something to eat for lunch. The very few places where we could find something vegetarian, cooked it in the same oil and with same cutlery that they used for non-vegetarian food...!

Finally, exhausted and possibly a little angry at everything in general and nothing in particular, we bought a few chips and juice from 7-11 and had our so called lunch at one of the benches in total silence :-) ..converting dollars to rupees and dreaming of Haldiram's ...!!!

That was then....we are better informed and know how to be better prepared now !

Nothing beats gathering knowledge from people's experience and that's how I found out (and have a long way to go, being still very new here) few good vegetarian places and chains which serve palpable veg food.

HungryGoWhere for Singapore and HappyCow for globetrotters can also come in handy at times when you cannot use your acquaintances as if they were food guides :-)

I might try to keep a track of some of them here for my reference and experience recall purpose !