This rather old restaurant at the even older Pearl's Centre at Outram Park holds lots of fond memories for me and my family. We used to go there often after Buddhist activities to have a meal, and almost always we will order the same few things. :P
For a long time we didn't have a chance to go back there again but recently on a Singapore Journey trip for citizen application, it brought us to the nearby Chinatown and so we decided to drop by Happy Realm Vegetarian Restaurant 素食林 for dinner! YAY.
Honestly it's rather amazing. NOTHING has changed, from the furniture to the menu and even the staff (the aunty waitresses) for like what, 15 years? Everything is still so Chinese traditional and old-fashioned, so many memories~ What's best is that the taste hasn't changed too~ Still the same old good flavours~ (^v^)
A must-order before every meal, their crispy delicious Popiah!
(my camera had no battery... so only iphone 3 pics!)
I shan't lie, it is abit oily yes, but wonderfully crispy and the turnip, carrot, mushrooms etc filling was as flavourful as before~ :D
Ordered their dim sums Siew-Mai and Steamed Vegetarian Chicken too! Both were okay only though, quite good but not wow wow. (No pics sorry. ): ). Wouldn't recommend the chicken, it's made of beancurd skin (not the yucky mock type) but it's too plain... Oh and I'm sad they forgot to serve the peanut and fried crispy thing appetizer... ): Always loved eating it!
We ALWAYS order a huge plate of plain sauteed greens whichever restaurant.
Sweet Potato Leaves
Simple and yummy! We can never get enough of veggies. (;
Another ALWAYS MUST ORDER when we go there:
Sizzling Pan Tofu 铁板豆腐
You can smell the aroma and hear the delicious sizzling sound of this dish from afar~ Silky soft very hot tofu with a superb thick, savoury sauce with minced mushrooms and veggies~ *bliss~*This is really yummy, never fail to order it everytime cos it never fails to satisfy! The sauce is super good with plain white rice!
Fried Seaweed Beancurd Roll (sorry I don't remember the exact name. -.-)
This was wonderfully done too, no mock meat (yay!) but filled with different mushrooms, carrots, black fungus, beancurd sheets~ The outer layer was really crispy and overall this was enjoyable! Compared to popiah this is less oily and flavour is less strong (and salty)!
Stir-Fried Mee Sua 干炒面线
This one was very average though even though apparently mee sua is a specialty there. Veggie (the beansprouts etc) were still very crunchy and fresh, would be better if cooked longer to let them soak in some flavour! Didn't like the inclusion of the peas, they were hard to pick up to eat and rather redundant, the taste doesn't match in my opinion...
For drinks we ordered their classic pot of warm Chrysanthemen Tea 菊花茶. Home-brewed, lightly sweet and aromatic with the lightest tinge of bitterness~ Good stuff! (:
Overall I enjoyed the meal very very much~ :D Okay you might want to note that I might be a lil' biased cos I have lotsa memories with this old restaurant. But it's really good and 4 dishes with some dimsum and pot of tea was only $47 for a family of four! Really affordable and they have no additional GST and Service charge! (: Don't expect impeccable service though, the aunty waitresses there are just very normal... Very aunty lo if there's such a description haha.
You can order single servings of their tze char there if you're alone, not necessary to be in groups if you wanna eat there! Some other dishes you can consider trying out there is their claypot tofu/rice, curries, vegetarian shark fin soup..... Alot more I can't remember. (: Their Yam Ring is also not bad too albeit being a tad oily.
They offer a selection of biscuit/pastries/traditional peah, paus and dumplings. Tried their peahs and pastries and they were generally nothing impressive, I remember they used to be better... I don't know why they don't sell fruit cake anymore, parents always bought it for us when we were younger. I miss the lovely taste!
Anyway do drop by for an economic yet still yummy restaurant vegetarian food experience~! (: ps. I really think the place is nice and cozy for family meals although it gets noisy with meal times crowd. (^-^)
Happy Realm Vegetarian Restaurant 素食林
100 Eu Tong Sen Street (Pearl's Centre), #03-16
Tel: 6222 6141