Vegetarian Friendly Factor –
Vegan Friendly Factor –
Family Friendly Factor –
The exponential rise of vegetarianism and veganism in the last few years has spawned a vast array of eating hubs catering to them like never before. For the vegetarians/vegans who love to experiment with food and cuisines, this is a welcome treat. As part of my exploratory journey, I chanced upon The Boneless Kitchen – Singapore’s first meatless Korean restaurant. Yes, I did stop to read the tagline more than once to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I have always had the perception that Korean food is very heavy on meat, so a meat-free option seemed utopian. Hence, I set out to discover this little wonder on a rainy Sunday.
Situated in the industrial area of Tai Seng and a stone’s throw away from the MRT, The Boneless Kitchen is situated at level 1 of The Commerze@Irving. The seating is simple and functional – you can choose to sit on the tatami mats or the regular seating area. I got talking to Rose who co-owns the place along with another vegetarian friend, and who did, in fact, incept Boneless Kitchen. It is impressive to know that 90% of their menu is suitable for vegans, still, if you’re vegan it would be wiser to make sure you check with the staff while placing your order. They make their kimchi and gochujang (red chilli paste) in-house, assuring it’s 100% vegetarian.
Starting Out at The Boneless Kitchen
For the uninitiated, Korean food is mainly rice, sides (including Kimchi) and soup/stew.
We began with Yachae Jeon; one bite and I instantly knew I would love the place. Yachae Jeon (S$9.90) or Vegetables Pancakes (potatoes and seasoned vegetables mashed and spread out in the form of an omelette served with a spicy dip) was a clear winner and set the bar rather high for what was to follow. *The dish is vegan.
Kimchi Mandu (S$5.90) is the Korean version of a local favourite, the spring roll, but is healthier. Stuffed with seasonal vegetables and shallow pan-fried, this dish is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. It comes with Soya sauce and red chilli dip seasoned with celery and gives the otherwise humble dish an exotic appeal. *The dish is vegan.
Kimbap (S$8.90) or the Korean rice roll (Slightly chilled, thinly sliced rice rolls stuffed with mock meat, cheese, egg and vegetables) is simple, yet rich and delicious. This dish is served standalone with no dip as it is believed that natural flavours of each of its ingredients must be maintained. This dish is not suitable for vegans as egg and cheese form an integral part of the filling.
Keep Digging In at The Boneless Kitchen
Dolsot Bibimbap (S$9.90) is a sizzling hot charcoal bowl filled with an array of colourful vegetables – shredded cabbage, cucumber, beansprouts, radish, carrot, corn – served with a generous dollop of Gochujang paste and sea weed (can be omitted) on a bed of slightly charred rice, and it is a treat. The crunchy vegetables, with flavours of the gochujang and served with chewy rice were delectable. The staff told me that these vegetables are slow cooked in the same pot to retain the flavour and freshness, which are the USP of the dish. *The dish is vegan.
Soondubu Jjigae is a spicy tofu stew with soft tofu, enoki, shiitake, mock fishcake and Kimchi. This dish includes egg which can be omitted if you prefer it without. The spice of the kimchi from the Korean chilli is dense and flavourful giving the stew a good base and making it an excellent accompaniment to the Korean rice. We would recommend the Doenjang Jjigae (S$10.90) for those who are not into spicy food. It is a soybean paste based stew with potatoes, radish, enoki, tofu, shiitake mushroom and Japanese cucumber, also served with rice.
Ending it on a Flavourful Note
We finished our meals with the perfect thirst quenchers; Daechucha (Red date tea) and Yuja Chilsung Cider (Honey Citron soda), which were tongue and tummy pleasers as well, especially after the hot and spicy meal.
The Boneless Kitchen is a bold and refreshing experiment by two young friends which reflects their simplistic success story in every moment spent there. The food is wholesome and unique, the spices are the freshest, mostly flown in from Korea to ensure authenticity, and the menu caters impressively to vegans and vegetarian alike. Food is priced reasonably and on an average, you could enjoy a full-fledged meal for two (with starters/sides, mains and drinks) for under S$50. However, this place can get quite crowded and it is a good idea to make a reservation before you go in. The restaurant also attempts to make a social impact – they do not provide for a refilling of sides to avoid food wastage and strongly encourage guests to order responsibly and take back food if they can’t finish. Water and cutlery are self-service, encouraging guests to only take what they want.
Make your way to The Boneless Kitchen today for a healthier, fulfilling meal made wonderful with the enthusiasm of the young owners and the sustainability conscious initiatives that will make sure you leave as a happy customer waiting to come back. Food for the mind, tummy and soul!
The Boneless Kitchen: 1 Irving Place #01-31, The Commerze@Irving, Singapore 369546. P: +65 84576464