There are more people turning to vegan and vegetarian diets for health reasons and also other reasons like animal compassion or religious beliefs. To cater to the increased demand for meatless meals, there are more restaurants and cafes offering vegan or vegetarian options on their menus. Whenever I decided to go on a vegetarian diet, I would always visit the Nature Cafe.
The Nature Cafe started over 15 years ago serving quality vegetarian fare to customers as a hip and trendy cafe. They have 4 outlets across the island and also handles catering for weddings, luncheon as well as other corporate events. They have a group of culinary experts who boast meals served without the use of MSG, garlic, onion, and wine, therefore, it is suitable for oriental vegetarians as well.
As with the other outlets, the outlet at Bukit Merah is decorated in tones of green and brown representing the natural colour of plants and trees. The outlet is not very big and can house approximately 25 to 30 people at any one time. There are also a couple of outdoor tables for customers who don’t mind eating without air conditioning.
There are also a few notable awards which you can see hanging on their walls like Top 3 vegan restaurant in Bukit Merah and Kallang.
The menu they offer is also pretty interesting to cater to a larger crowd who like variety in their meals. Most people think of vegetarian meals as the boring salad or rabbit food but over here their menu is broken into different cuisines.
Some of the cuisines include local delights like chicken rice, Korean bibimbap, Western burgers, Japanese soup ramens and more. The price is generally on the same range as cafes but definitely considered pricer than a normal vegetarian meal.
One of their most popular beverage here is the health-boosting tea in a pot which can be shared amongst a group of people. Hot water can also be added as the pot holds the actual ingredients for the tea like the one I ordered had wolfberries, red dates, dried longan which is generally good for blood circulation. The tea was sweet naturally from the red dates and longan and is very refreshing.
The mock fish bibimbap came in a bubbling hot stone pot and the rice had fresh cabbage, kimchi, mushrooms, corn and cucumber as toppings. They also provided a red pepper sauce for mixing the bibimbap. Once mixed, it tasted so good, you almost forget that you are having a vegetarian version except the mock fish was a sure telltale of the meatless dish.
The cutlet udon came with mock cutlet and mock prawns made of soy as well as dried bean curd and broccoli. This dish was kind of more bland so it was as appetising as compared to the bibimbap. My dad could not finish it as it was too bland for him.
The herbal soup noodles have a nice light herbal flavour to it but personally, it could be nicer if the herbal taste was stronger. The noodle came with loads of ingredients like corn, carrots, mushrooms, red dates, mock meat and broccoli. This dish would be good for those looking for light meals.
One of the Star of our meal was this rojak which is a kind of local salad made with fruits and turnips with prawn sauce. Being vegetarian, we were surprised how the sauce tasted so much like the real prawn paste sauce. The fruits and vegetarians were very fresh and crunchy and the sauce coated each item well with a dusting of crushed peanuts. This was definitely worth ordering although it is slightly more expensive than usual rojak. My parents could not finish their main meals because they could not keep their forks off the rojak.
After finishing your meal, you can pop over to the cafe cum shop next door to look at the products they sell as well. They sell a variety of cereals, biscuits, sauces, noodles which are all vegetarian.
Personally, I loved some of the dishes at the Nature Cafe and there are also some that didn’t quite make the cut. Overall, the environment of the cafe is very casual and relaxing and the service is also very friendly and endearing so experience at the cafe was quite positive. There are other dishes which I have not tried and would do so in my next visit but I do think it is a place vegans or vegetarian friends can visit for a nice meal
Address: 11 Jalan Bukit Merah, #03-4462, Singapore 150011
Operating hours: 11 am to 9.15 pm