What is Real Food you might ask, many supporting the eat green movement would suggest that plants and fruits are grown and meant to be food while meat from animals which are livestock should be left alone as another living species. There is, of course, the argument on animal cruelty which I will not touch on here. There are also many medical studies to show that our bodies can digest the protein from vegetables and fruits much better than protein from meat. While this might be true, I love my meat any day but I do not mind going green once in a while to detox my body. As a foodie, even when I go green, I do not give up on food tastes so in my search for a nice vegetarian meal, I found Real food.
Originally located at Killiney Road, Real food has been around for at least 6 to 8 years and has been serving more Western options in the beginning. The menu has since been updated to include more Asian flavours.
The new outlet at Orchard Central is big and spacious and has this warm industrial-chic atmosphere the moment I entered. There are a few different sections in the restaurant offering different kinds of seating for the customers. Sofa and armchairs for lounging next to the window or huge high tables and chairs for large group gatherings.
There is also a couple of sofa seating at the front of the restaurant for customers preferring a slightly dimmer environment or just generic wooden table and chairs at the usual height for customers who prefer just a casual dining experience. While each section furniture looks quite different, they somehow harmonise perfectly to support the overall look of the restaurant.
They also have a large cake selection available at the counter
Interestingly, there is an entire corner of the restaurant dedicated to organic produce and products. You can find marmalades, noodles, sauces, oil, snacks and a lot more here.
The menu is fairly straight forward with a mixed of usual cafe classics like burgers and pasta as well as Asian fusion food like rojak, dumplings, curry soup noodles. The price range for their dishes ranges from SGD 8 to SGD 16.
Due to my lack of time, I did a takeaway and was gald to see that they used minimal plastic in packing my food. In fact, when I made my order, they asked if I brought my own containers. Love the effort they are putting in towards the green movement.
What really left me impressed was the starch bags that they used for holding my boxes of food. These are 100% biodegradable and not harmful to the environment since it is made from starch. It was also quite sturdy and good enough for 6.9KG of items. Most importantly, in the event it is unfortunately left behind in the forest or the ocean, it is edible by animals so they will not be harmed by it. I will gladly pay for these to be used as garbage bags.
At first glance, the belachan fried rice is quite attractive with fresh purple cabbage being used as a garnish on the top of the rice. Brown rice was being used in the fried rice together with ingredients like mushrooms, corn and carrots. Belachan is basically chilli sauce made from dried prawn paste, fresh chilli, garlic and some other spices. The fried rice itself was tasty and great with the crunchy texture from the cabbage but it is disappointing as there were no Belachan flavours. I could understand if the flavours were not as deep as the actual belachan but there was no spicy kick at all so, on that level, it was disappointing to me a Belachan fan. If the dish was just called brown rice fried rice, I would have given it a better review.
The tom yam soup on the other end was very legit, it was sour and has a powerful spicy kick. The ingredients of the soup was a little sparse and I would have liked it to have more vegetables given that it cost me SGD 9.50 for it.
Overall, I loved the atmosphere at Real food and it would have been a great place to chill and catch up with family and friends. Food-wise, I had their Western selection at their old outlet and I find that the food was very delicious and scrumptious. The Asian fusion selections, however, are a notch lower than their Western menu in terms of taste.
Address: 181 Orchard Road, #02-16 to 19 Orchard Central, 238896
Operating hours: 10 am to 8.45 pm