Singapore Vegetarian Philadelphia
1006 Race St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Other Philadelphia Indian Restaurants
Singapore Vegetarian - Rapture in PhillyAs we’ve said time and again, if people had even a modicum of sense they wouldn’t stuff their innards with meat.
Only animals gorge on animals.
Alas, bereft as most humans are of the elusive elixir of wisdom, they devour everything that comes their way.
Born as we were into an Indian community that abhorred meat, we took the carnivore road only in our late teens.
Now in the evening of our life wisdom is belatedly dawning on us. We’re starting to eschew meat and contentedly graze on vegetarian items during most outings.
In that meat-free spirit, we visited Singapore Vegetarian restaurant on Race St (at 10th St) in Philadelphia the other day.
Plus, ever since we had Singapore Noodles at Tangra Masala on Grand Ave in Elmhurst, NY we have been scouting for a place nearby to try it again.
The other day as we were desultorily driving through Chinatown in Philadelphia, our eyes fell on Singapore Vegetarian restaurant on Race Street (between 11th St and 10th St).
We quickly checked the menu on our iPhone 4 and were delighted to see Singapore Noodles listed.
After a 15-minute struggle to find a parking spot nearby, we marched into Singapore Vegetarian.
When we entered the restaurant around 1:30 pm, the place wore a forlorn look.
With her head resolutely down, a young Asian waitress was chopping Broccoli crowns in a corner and the restaurant put out a slightly musty unwelcome odor.
But since when have Indians been put off by a bad smell.
We were also puzzled at the empty tables and wondered if we’d made a mistake.
But being the adventurous sort willing to try anything most things in life, we settled our derriere at a table.
A wise decision, folks.
For much of what we savored at Singapore Vegetarian restaurant turned out to be delicious fare. And a welcome change from the Indian greasy spoons.
As a bonus, the tasty food at Singapore Vegetarian is accompanied by an element rare at most Indian restaurants in Philly/NJ/NYC – Professional and friendly service.
A lot of Indian restaurant staff give the cold shoulder to desi diners but display a shameless eagerness to deep-throat Whites.
But we encountered no such step-motherly treatment at Singapore Vegetarian.
Au contraire, the service couldn’t be better.
Crisp, Hot BeginningAs we plonked ourselves at a table, the young Broccoli chopping waitress filled our water glasses and got us a bowl of Crisp Noodles with Red Chilli Sauce, Mustard and Duck Sauce and a kettle of piping hot black tea.
Hot Tea at Singapore Vegetarian
True to their name, the Crisp Noodles were crispy in texture and tasty too. Red Chilli sauce and Mustard added a sexy hot allure to the Crisp Noodles.
By the way, for some reason this appetizer reminded us of the South Indian savory Muruku.
Crisp Noodles with Mustard & Duck Sauce
Lunch SpecialsSingapore Vegetarian restaurant offers lunch specials Monday-Saturday for $7.50.
Lunch specials include a choice of soup, Jasmine Rice, steamed Dumpling, crisp Samosa, Veggie Spring Roll and the choice of an entree.
While nibbling on crisp Noodles and sipping hot black tea, we placed our order of Singapore Rice Noodles ($6.95), Vegetable Tempura ($7.50), Vegetarian Delight($7.50) with Tofu for main course and Coconut Milkshake ($3.00) for cold drinks.
For soups, we picked Miso and mock Shark Fin soups.
Our Miso and ‘Shark Fin’ soups came within six minutes followed by Vegetable Tempura, Vegetable Delight with Tofu, Singapore Rice Noodles and Coconut Milk Shake.
Singapore Vegetarian SoupsWith a slightly thick texture, the Soy sauce colored ‘Shark Fin’ soup included Tofu and Gluten.
No complaints folks.
The Shark Fin soup was hot (temperature-wise) and quickly dispatched by yours ‘famished’ truly.
Hot ‘Shark Fin’ Soup with Gluten & Tofu
Miso Soup was a thin watery affair with tofu, lettuce and grated carrot.
It came piping hot to the table and we had no issues with it.
Hot Miso Soup with Lettuce & Tofu
Singapore Vegetarian AppetizersVeggie Spring roll with a filling of cabbage was crisp and hot.
Malaysian Crisp Samosa a.k.a Curry Dumpling was also crisp with Potato Curry filling inside. The shape of the Curry Dumpling reminded us of the Kajjikayalu we used to eat back home in India during festivals.
Steamed Dumpling looked similar to Kadubu prepared during Ganesh Festival in South India. The leek stuffing inside the steamed dumplings was tasty and we relished the appetizer thoroughly by repeatedly dipping it in the red chilly sauce.
Vegetable Delight with TofuVegetable Delight with Tofu was a delightful adventure for our taste buds.
With a spicy Soy Sauce base, Vegetable Delight with Tofu included fried Tofu, Broccoli crowns, Snow Peas, Cucumber, Tomato and sliced Carrots.
It came with a small serving size of hot Jasmine Rice.
Vegetarian Delight with Tofu, Crisp Samosa, Spring Roll & Dumpling
Vegetable TempuraVegetable Tempura included five pieces of Cauliflower, Cucumber, Carrot, Tofu fritters or Pakoras with Broccoli Crowns, Jasmine Rice and Hoisin Sauce/Plum Sauce on the side.
We can’t remember if we’d had Plum Sauce in the past but, man, it was good. Strongly recommended.
While we enjoyed the Vegetable Tempura, they were not as spicy as the Indian Pakoras.
But the Red Chilli, Hoisin and Mustard sauces on the table amply compensated on the spice angle.
Vegetable Tempura with Crisp Samosa, Spring Roll, Dumpling
Singapore Rice NoodlesWhile we had no complaints about Vegetable Delight with Tofu and Vegetable Tempura what titillated our taste buds the most was the Singapore Rice Noodles.
Spicy Singapore Noodles
The thin crisp rice noodles with gluten, Carrot, Red Bell Pepper, Green Bell Pepper vegetables was exceptionally good and anon we attained nirvana.
It was spicy but not obscenely so.
For $6.95 the serving size was sumptuous and to pander to our lusty Indian appetite for spicy stuff we added a spoon of oil from the cup of Red Chilly sauce.
Delicious Coconut MilkshakeAs we were playing around with the sauces we noticed Coconut Milk Shake listed on the beverages menu card sitting on the table.
Delicious Coconut Milkshake
Being in an experimental mood, we promptly called out for a glass of Coconut Milkshake.
Singapore Vegetarian’s Coconut Milkshake was thick, ice-cold and came in a large glass with just two small cubes of ice.
Man, it was thick and delicious.
Must be what Sonam Kapoor and Jennifer Lawrence drink every day.
Professional, Friendly ServiceOur order was taken promptly and all our items soups, entrees arrived one after another.
As we were having soup, Singapore Vegetarian’s Malaysian owner Peter walked in like a fresh breeze. He explained the names of all appetizers, ingredients used and the Indian connection.
Peter, a Malaysian American, has been running Singapore Vegetarian for the last 21 years.