The latest vegan restaurant in town is one with a difference. For one, its housed in a gym, right in the heart of CBD. Secondly, they make vegan food everything you probably never imagined it to be – delicious and attractive, instead of limited and boring.
Despite having been a vegetarian all my life, all-vegan restaurants have never attracted me much because of the lack of choices, and in most cases the lack of vegetables with an overdose of mock-meat, tofu and seaweed on the menu. Not so at HRVST. One look at the menu and pictures of the food here, and I knew I had to visit soon. HRVST practically re-invents vegan cuisine – serving dishes that are healthier, wallet-friendly and oh, so pretty! The menu is well balanced and there are no faux meats either. This, for me, is a big plus.
The restaurant is helmed by head chefs Addis Tan and Dylan Choong, who have worked in many prestigious kitchens, with Tippling Club, Esquina and Cheek by Jowl being the most recent.
HRVST has a well-rounded menu with appetisers, bar snacks, mains and desserts. The dishes are innovative and brilliantly plated – some of the most beautiful food I’ve seen in town. In some dishes, the culinary expertise of the chefs shines through as they successfully bring together Asian and Western ingredients and flavours to create dishes that are nothing short of delightful. Read on for the review but we’ve already added HRVST to the list of our Favourite Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurants in Singapore.
Bar Snacks & Appetisers at HRVST
We tried the Fried Chickpeas (S$5) – these are sprinkled with a Szechuan sour plum powder and served in a paper cone and are absolutely addictive. I’m guessing the inspiration comes from India – as a kid, I remember eating street food that was served such. Also quite good are the Twice Cooked Spuds (S$8), the baby potatoes come with a soy-based garlic aioli sauce and are topped with chives.
From the appetisers, we chose the King Oyster Scallops (S$12) – mushrooms shaped like scallops, along with spinach puree, baby corn, baby carrot, toasted hazelnuts, garlic “snow” and lemon zest. Beautifully plated, this is one of the most attractive dishes on the menu. It is also one of the healthiest and tastiest – the dish oozes freshness and is full of colour and natural flavours. The spinach puree contains spirulina which you can’t even taste. Healthy, but tastes indulgent.
Mains at HRVST
The Pumpkin Gnocchi (S$16) was a hit with the first bite. Served in a Tom Yum broth, with shimeji mushrooms and baby corn, topped with coriander oil and Japanese cucumber ribbons, it is packed with vibrant flavours. The dish is a tasteful harmony of Eastern and Western flavours. Not only was this the star dish of our meal at HRVST, it is also one of the better vegan dishes I’ve had. The broth is awesome, just the right amount of tang and spiciness, and the coriander oil adds a nice balancing touch.
Next up was BKT Barley Risotto (S$16), HRVST’s vegan take on Bak Kut Teh. The BKT comes complete with braised nuts, diced daikon, dough crisps, garlic chips and garlic oil. However, if there was one dish that evening that did not excite me, it was this that I found to be average.
Rounding off the mains nicely was Hay Salt Baked Celeriac (S$18), on a bed of delicious onion puree. On the side are charred kale chips and Shimeji tempura, garnished with mushroom shavings and maple puffed rice. Another perfect number, it gave serious competition to the Pumpkin gnocchi. So, taking personal tastes into consideration, this could well be the dish of the evening for you.
Dessert at HRVST
Dessert was an interesting combination of Caramelised Pineapple Ring, Clove Ice-cream and Tart Crumbs (S$8). Interesting and confusing! I am not exaggerating when I say that the ice-cream played tricks on my palate. It confused me into believing that it was too clove-y in one bite and completely fall in love with the slightly salty taste in the next bite. Tart Crumbs tasted delicious and quite buttery and I couldn’t stop myself from asking the chefs how they do that without using butter. Well, they use soy milk, if you’re vegan, you’re definitely safe here.
HRVST dishes up some of the best vegan food in Singapore. This cosy restaurant is definitely a great place to enjoy vegan dishes that tantalise both the eyes and the palate. The menu is well rounded, with a variety of dishes that are healthier and beautifully plated. The icing on the cake is that the food is reasonably priced. The drinks, however, seem to be on the pricier side. I didn’t look at the bar menu but I did find the house wine expensive at S$14 per glass.
The restaurant can be a little tricky to find, but once you do, you’ll be glad you did. The interiors are chic, with charming accents and the rooftop alfresco bar area has quite a cool vibe to it. Stop here for a meal and you won’t regret it.
HRVST: 6A Shenton Way, OUE Downtown Gallery, #05-01, Singapore 068815. P: 6920 7500