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26th September 2011

Happy Realm Vegetarian Food Centre

100 Eu Tong St (#03/16 Pearl’s Centre) Singapore

Ignoring the opinion of the Greek philosopher who believed that you cannot step into the same river twice I decided to return to a restaurant where I had eaten very well in the past (posting of 5 Dec 2010). A dish of sweetened green chillies having been brought as an appetiser it seemed a good idea to order a meal based as much as possible on green foods. The first dish to arrive was spinach and mushrooms, the latter white and thinly sliced with a hint of ginger in the background. Next to come was bean curd with green chillies in a black bean sauce that gave it just the right amount of saltiness. In typical Chinese fashion the soup brought up the rear. It was based on green vegetables with a few additions, among them chunks of tomato (red, not green!) that complimented and washed down the other dishes perfectly. On this follow up visit I was impressed not only with the immense depth of the menu but also the way in which each dish has been thought out and prepared in a way to bring out the best in the ingredients. Perhaps this slightly different perspective supports the opinion of Heraklitos: the river may stay the same, but the person stepping into it may have changed. Be this as it may, I left the Happy Realm in a state of great contentment, not even being tempted by the whiff of durian from the stalls in Eu Tong Street. May this unusually long review encourage others to sample its wares.

The nearest SMRT station is Outram Park.

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16th September 2011

Suriya Vegetarian Restaurant

140 Serangoon Rd, Singapore

Among the various possibilities at this busy restaurant I recommend the set lunch. On a tray come rice and a small papadum, three serves of dry food (spinach with mung beans, potato and cauliflower curry, and a cold dish of greens and carrot accompanied by a dollop of chilli), three bowls of runny brown food (including a wonderful sambal, really no more than spicy water but very refreshing, and dahl) and two bowls of dairy based dishes, including a sago pudding. On the table are jugs of water and forks and spoons for those who need them; those who eat without such tools will need to wash their hands in the basins at the back of the restaurant. There’s quite a crowd here, which is not surprising given that lunch will set you back a mere $4.50, but they always seem able to fit more people in. Why not go with the flow?

The nearest SMRT station is Little India.

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9th September 2011

Yi Xin (Organic Vegetarian)

39 Temple St, Singapore

There’s an air of happy confusion at this laid-back place, but you won’t go wrong if you advance to the counter and point to a couple of the dishes behind the glass to have with rice. They include soft tofu with rehydrated mushroom, slightly chewy greens, and green beans in a spicy mix, a little less green than they sometimes are. Canned drinks come from a stall that seems separate from the main operation, among them two excellent ones from Thailand, young coconut juice with pulp and soursop juice. The food you carry to your table probably won’t be piping hot, and I’ve been to restaurants where the surroundings are more glamorous, but a meal with drink along the lines I’ve described will set you back $4…that’s Singaporean dollars, making this possibly the cheapest restaurant reviewed in these pages. For visitors to Singapore who want to fly under the tourist radar, a meal at this strictly vegetarian restaurant where the staff are full of good will offers interesting food and a lot of fun.

The nearest SMRT station is Chinatown.

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7th September 2011

Living Green Festival – Canberra 2011

For Vegan or Vegetarian Orthodox Christians based in Canberra (Australia), Vegans in the Nation’s Capital are finally following the example of their bigger capital city cousins and holding their own vegan festival. The first ever Canberra vegan festival – the ‘Living Green Festival’ – is being held on Sunday 16 October 2011 at the Albert Hall, a well-known heritage building right in the centre of Canberra. The Festival will focus on the relationship between climate change, the environment and animals. It will showcase ways people can reduce their carbon footprint and be more considerate of other animals we share this planet with. The theme of the Festival is ‘a kinder shade of green’.

The Living Green Festival will feature live entertainment, speakers, children’s and video zones plus many unique product and food stalls. It will be held on the last day of Canberra’s big flower festival – Floriade. The Festival venue is also close to nearby tourist attractions such as the National Museum, Questacon and the Parliament Houses. It is accessible by bus, bicycle and on foot.

More information about the Festival can be found at www.livinggreenfestival.org.au. If you’d like to participate in the Festival in any way you can get in touch with the organisers via the following email address contact@livinggreenfestival.org.au The Festival is being run with the assistance of ACT Government Climate Change Grants.

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