Sandwiched between the MacPherson HDB estate and Pelton Canal, Block 79 (and 79A) on Circuit Road is a haven for vegetarians. The hawker centre is home to umpteen vegetarian stalls selling a variety of Chinese (and the occasional Western) dishes. The expanse of the canal provides a steadily cooling breeze that enables you to focus your energy on eating rather than thermoregulation. Unfortunately it’s not the most picturesque of locations, although in way that’s a good thing as it further encourages a single-minded focus on one’s chow.
Spring Vegetarian Food is run by a friendly husband and wife team. They only offer economic mixed rice, and a small-yet-potent-looking selection of deep fried stuff (spring rolls, hash browns and the like). They also stock some glossy meditation-related pamphlets on the counter for the literati to devour alongside their food. Or, perhaps, instead of it…
Spring Vegetarian Food
Block 79, Circuit Road, #01-33
ECONOMIC MIXED RICE (SGD 3.00)
My plate hosted an eclectic assortment of brown rice, mock char siew, stir fried kang kong and sayur lodeh. The char siew – a perennial favourite of mine – was of a strangely mushy consistency, and looked like it had been sliced from a loaf (you should have seen how neatly it was arranged behind the counter…). It did actually taste quite nice and tangy, although the dull red colour was a little off-putting. The brown rice was also mushy, and the kang kong literally dripping with oil. The sayur lodeh was nice and warm, and the smoothness of the coconut milk was nicely balanced by the chilli. Intriguingly, the beancurd was cold, despite being coated in the lodeh gravy…
NOODLES & LODEH (SGD 1.50)
I wanted bee hoon, but was promised that these noodles were ‘better’. They look almost as uninspiring as they tasted. Again, a generally mushy consistency caused by the fact that there was too much liquid (i.e. oil), and too little taste. The inclusion of extra ingredients was frugal, to say the least. Goodness know what the bee hoon would have been like…
A warm and welcoming eatery that serves rather bad food. To be fair I did visit just after lunchtime (at around 2pm), so the dishes would undoubtedly have been sitting out for a while. Maybe worth a visit earlier in the day? If not for the food, at least for the reading material!