There’s a new vegetarian restaurant at Marina Square (located at its Dining Edition section) that beckoned me when I was in the area earlier this month.
When one mentions Asian vegetarian restaurants, the image of heavy furniture and clunky utensils come to mind. At Green Ba, the décor and layout was clean and spacious, which gave it a more modern, contemporary look. In fact, without knowing the context, one would think it was your usual fusion Western food place. But how does its food taste, then?
Green Ba maintains the philosophy of typical Chinese vegetarian restaurants (yes, it’s more Chinese than Asian) – mock meats are central and mainstay of its menu. There are Seafood Hor Fun, Otak Otak and Broccoli with Abalone, to name a few. Although I’m not a fan of mock meats (in my opinion, we should not even be thinking about meat, not even mock ones, when we are eating vegetarian food), I thought I would give it a shot.
We ordered a few dishes: Pesto Al Fungi Pasta, Seafood Tom Yum Soup, Otak Otak and Broccoli with Abalone, with the Pasta being the only true vegetarian dish in my view.
The pasta was standard – would I have ordered another dish? Nope. The other pasta would be Truffle Pasta, which was a tad too expensive for my value-for-money matrix. The other carbs they serve revolve around rice – Pineapple Fried Rice, Olive Fried Rice and Seafood Fried Rice; the first 2 were too expensive for non-meat dishes and the last was not what I was looking for when I decided to have vegetarian food.
Come to the Otak Otak, it tasted rather good on its own if you don’t regard it as mock-Otak Otak. It was baked crispy on the outside and fibrous on the inside. Flavour wise, it tasted strong of soybean and had none of the spices of your typical Otak Otak. Yes, except for its name and colour, the item was nothing like Otak Otak.
As for the Tom Yum Soup, I found it too sour for my liking. Those who like spicy food will enjoy the kick that sets in after the initial acidity wears off. The mock prawns and sotong tasted obviously fake, but treat it like your typical fishcake and there’s actually nothing wrong about having these items in your Tom Yum Goong.
I ordered the Broccoli with Abalone for the broccoli – the only true-blue vegetable on the order list. I was quite amazed that the broccoli could look so green despite being over-cooked. The abalone was of course another mock-product, though I could not taste whether it was made of soybeans. I suspected it was made of yam, considering its colour and super-chewy texture.
All in all, I will not visit this restaurant again, plainly because when I want to eat vegetarian, I am really looking for vegetables/fruits/non-meats rather than meat-replacements – and meat replacements always inflate the price to the extent that I no longer find the food value-for-money.
However, if you are those who do not mind eating mock-meat (or even love it) and that you have slightly more cash at your disposal, the food over here is actually decent – nothing too heavy, though I noticed that they did not have steamed items (correct me if I’m wrong). Also, avoid comparing the meat-replacements with the meat they replace, just treat them as soy/yam food items that happened to have meat-ish names and looks.
p/s: They also served items like pizzas and desserts – please let me know if you have tried those and give me your views on them!
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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Green Ba Vegetarian Restaurant
Marina Square, #02-103,
6 Raffles Blvd