Friday, November 13, 2015

Veg Out with the Inaugural Gourmet Greens Week!

Asking some people to become vegetarian can instantly elicit a display of hidden rubber-faced talents that could rival Jim Carey or give rise to insipid visions of chowing down boring salads and cardboard-like wafers. But what about attempting to go vegetarian for just one (tasty) meal? Plus, there will be a range of cuisines like French, Balinese, Italian, Mediterranean and Indian to choose from.  
With the inaugural Gourmet Greens Week presented by natural artesian water FIJI Water and dining reservation site Chope from 23 to 29 November, there is no better time to enjoy a vegetarian meal. Just imagine a vegetarian version of Restaurant Week at $30 for a 3-course set lunch and $45 for a 4-course dinner. Each diner who opts for the Gourmet Greens Week menu will also get a complimentary bottle of FIJI Water to complement the meal.
Cannot quite imagine what kind of dishes will be available? Let this cow share his experience of grazing at some of the participating restaurants and their dishes. Because cows are naturally experts at eating grass vegetables. Moohehe.
Afterglow at Keong Saik Road offers this lovely Asian Kale Salad with Sesame Oil & Ginger Vinaigrette. A medley of different textures and flavours, this wholesome salad beams natural goodness without the use of any processed ingredients.

Next up we headed to Neon Pigeon, an uber cool modern urban Izakaya in Bukit Pasoh. The Miso Roasted Pumpkin Rice with Sugar Snap Peas, Crispy Garlic and Egg Yolk might sound simple but it works. In fact, it charms. I love how the sweetness of the peas contrasted against the savoury miso and the punchy garlic chips. The yolk, when stirred into the rice, binds everything together for a smooth, flavoursome dish. 

Over at Luxe just down the road from Neon Pigeon, Executive Chef Joshua Lovi offers a Quinoa & Beetroot Falafel atop some kale. These were substantial and quite filling though the flavours do get a tad one dimensional and heavy after a few bites. Wished there was a squeeze of lemon to perk it up. :p 

A vegetarian dessert is probably not that uncommon but I pray that the day when steak is incorporated into dessert doesn't come. Moohehe. At Indian fine-dining restaurant Song of India, Chef Mural presents the Alphonso Mango Kulfi as part of his Gourmet Greens Week menu. I was initially cautious as my experience with Indian desserts tend to be overly rich and sweet. But thankfully, this kulfi was beautifully balanced with the sweetness, creaminess and tartness just right. Chef explains that he uses Alphonso mangoes as these are considered the "king of mangoes" in India for their superb quality and also because they are in season now.

I think with Gourmet Greens Week, vegetarians will have a ball of a time trying out new restaurants while nudging their non-vegetarians friends to challenge themselves in discovering that a vegetarian meal can be tasty, innovative and substantial at the same time. One doesn't need to be a cow to enjoy grazing on greens lah! Moohehe.

There will be a total of 17 participating restaurants including the ones mentioned above plus Absinthe, Blue Bali, Burlamacco, Highlander (Chijmes), Humpback, Original Sin, Oso Ristorante, Tandoor and Sopra Cucina & Bar etc. After having tasted two really memorable vegetable dishes cooked with finesse at an earlier separate visit to Humpback, I reckon their Gourmet Greens Week menu will be one to look out for.

Reservations for Gourmet Greens Week are only available online via Chope.

Thanks to Food News PR for the invitation.

Gourmet Greens Week
23 to 29 November 2015

Chew On This: Stand to win $1000 worth of dining vouchers when you upload a photo of your Gourmet Greens Week experience, hashtagging #GourmetGreensWeek and following @FIJIWaterSG and @ChopeSG.

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