I’m a carnivore, but when I want to eat vegetarian, I don’t want to eat mock meat, which many “Chinese vegetarian restaurants” tend to serve as their mainstay. Therefore, elemen is a refreshing addition to the Singaporean vegetarian food scene.
The elemen outlet I went to was in Millenia Walk (which, if I’m not mistaken, was their first outlet), although they now have outlets in Thomson Plaza and Harbourfront Centre. That makes it a very convenient place to have dinner, since it is just a 5 minutes walk from Promenade MRT station. When it comes to the décor, I would say they were trying to set themselves apart from typical Chinese- vegetarian restaurants.
It was amazing how much variations they could do with just vegetables (or rather, non-meat) without having to resort to make mock meat. At the same time, I was really skeptical if their food really looked like what was presented in the menu.
Luckily, elemen made it easy by offering set meals that served the food in 8 courses with options for each course, namely – Bread, Appetisers, Salad, Mains, Soup, Dessert, Drinks and Apple Cider.
The main I chose was Tempura Tofu with Avocado Roll (which was Dragon Roll in human speak). The Avocado was oozing with freshness and yet complemented well with the other veggies within the roll. I quite liked how the sauce made the avocado taste stand out. As for the tofu, it was fried to achieve a thin, crispy texture on the outside, without losing that soft, touch-and-it-breaks inside. There was wasabi on the side, which I thought was redundant considering how fresh the ingredients were!
There were no options for the appetisers, which came in a fancy 3-holed plate housing bite-sized food in them. There was this super soft cherry tomato, sushi roll with bean sprouts drizzled with roasted sesame sauce, and mushroom with edamame. Might I say the sauces that accompanied the appetisers lifted the whole spirit of the dish? I was expecting the bean sprouts to be overpowering in taste, but it was balanced out by the fragrance of the roasted sesame! The same went for the mushroom and edamame, where both were pungent food by themselves. Somehow, they both evened out and that sauce (sorry I could not recognise it) provided a soft undertone at the back of the palette for a layered taste.
For the salad, I chose Mushroom Salad and Spinach Salad. To be frank, they looked so plain I didn’t expect much out of them, yet I managed to finish them all! Freshness was key to the food and the choice of sauces really helped make a difference out of the pungent vegetables.
I was also spoilt for choice for the fruit teas, though I chose Iced Lychee Green Tea (because it had a chef’s hat logo). On hindsight, given that I had chosen mains that were cooked in Chinese style, perhaps Longan Red Date Tea would be a better complement.
Last but not least, I ended my 8 course meal with Chilled Purple Rice Porridge with Coconut Ice Cream (Pulut Hitam with Coconut Ice Cream in human speak). Yup, the coconut milk that usually accompanied the Pulut Hitam was replaced by the ice cream, which created an interesting mix of hot and cold without losing the signature fragrance of both the rice and the coconut.
The actual dishes came served looking exactly like they did in the menu, which goes to show the extent the chef went in order to include food presentation in the dining experience. Unlike those fancy Italian restaurants, our food didn’t come served in a 5 gram portion on a large plate. They were decent portions beautifully decked out on plates chosen to provide a pleasurable visual experience.
Price wise, the 8-course set meal cost $32++, which was pretty steep for a normal dine out at a Chinese vegetarian restaurant. However, given the freshness, choice of ingredients and food presentation, it was definitely worth the moolahs, except perhaps I can only enjoy it every once in a while…
If you enjoyed my entry, please like and share my article! Subscribe to my blog for more foodporn in the future! If you can’t wait, you can also read about my other food hunt reviews, like Singapore’s Michelin star restaurant, Hawker Chan, roast meat with old traditions from Kay Lee, or just good old Hai Kee Brothers that serves good food and low prices in Chinatown Point.
Till then, eat happy!
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9 Raffles Blvd
#01-75A/76 Millenia Walk