Nonya cooking is the result of blending Chinese ingredients and wok cooking techniques with spices used by the Malay/Indonesian community. The food is tangy, aromatic, spicy and herbal. Key ingredients include coconut milk, galangal, candlenuts as both a flavoring and thickening agent, laksa leaf, pandan leaves, belachan, tamarind juice, lemongrass, torch ginger bud, jicama, fragrant kaffir lime leaf, rice or egg noodles and cincaluk.
I recently heard about Whole Earth, a Thai-Peranakan Vegetarian restaurant on Peck Seah street in Singapore. I was surprised to hear that it served only vegetarian food (vegan to be precise). Somehow, I wasn't really expecting that! Whole Earth is where the rich Peranakan fare is creatively fused together with authentic Thai fare for fresh and flavourful Southeast-Asian cuisine. After some discussion and last minute coordinating of schedules, me and my colleagues decided to go there for lunch. I had heard that the place can get crowded so I made a lunch reservation in advance.
The restaurant is conveniently located right opposite Exit A of the Tanjong Pagar MRT station. The interior is plain and minimalistic (to put it bluntly - it looks clinically white). I'm not sure if they were going for a 'save the planet' kind of theme with their decor! The ambiance is quite ordinary. I wouldn't recommend this place for a romantic meal for two because it can get a crowded and noisy. I was leaning forward to catch what my friends across the table were saying on several occasions.
Soon after we were seated, we were served fried seaweed chips and sour mango pickles/salad. I initially assumed that they were complimentary but later suspected otherwise. The pickle was nice enough. As for seaweed....I don't care for it (even if it is deep fried!). My friends seemed to like it though.
We decided to order a soup first. We ordered a medium portion of Tom Yam soup. Take note that this can easily serve 5 people. The soup was tangy, aromatic and mildly spicy and we all enjoyed it.
To conclude - If you want some good vegetarian food with the exciting flavours of South-East Asia, this is where you should go. I can't wait to go back to try the Assam Pedas, Oatmeal Tofu, Penang Rendang & Thai Sweet and Sour Delight which are some of their other signature dishes.
My rating for this restaurant would be 3 out of 5
Whole Earth Vegetarian
76 Peck Seah St
(Tg Pagar MRT Exit A)
Tel: 65 6323 3308
Lunch: 11:30am to 3pm (last order at 2:30pm)
Dinner: 5:30 to 10pm (last order at 9:15pm)
Note: This is not a sponsored review. The comments and opinions in this post are solely my own.