Somewhat shamefully, never before have I frequented a purely vegetarian (or, for that matter, vegan) bakery. It’s probably because I have difficulty in seeing the point in them – what is the market, and where is the demand? Nonetheless, in a bid to mollify my ignorance I decided to give Eastern Highland Healthy Cake House a shot. Sandwiched between Kwan Inn Vegetarian and a string (of two) shops selling Buddhist artefacts, it is well-positioned to capture the eyes and minds of the meat-free mavens of Geylang. EHHCH claims to be “Fully vegetarian, No egg”. A halfway house between vegetarianism and veganism, it evokes an image of a Venn diagram that draws meaning from the mandala. Right?
Despite arriving quite late (9pm or so), it was still open and worryingly well-stocked. Lots of variety, and it was actually quite difficult to choose one thing over another. The owner did seem particularly keen to flog us an elaborately decorated Christmas log cake for SGD 4.50. Clearly Christian (or perhaps just social) affectations are not lost on what I can only assume to be a predominantly Buddhist clientele.
The blueberry and wolfberry bun (SGD 1.00) was chosen primarily because of the sheer quantity that had been produced. They were found in crate upon lonely crate at the entrance of the bakery. Goodness knows who eats these things, and why so many had been baked. If I hadn’t been told it contained blueberries (or wolfberries), it would just have been a salty white roll. It tasted overwhelmingly of flour, and the texture was suitably dry and dusty. Shame, because I actually thought it looked quite nice.
The banana bread (SGD 1.20) was better, but still nothing to get too worked up about. In terms of texture, it was more light and dry than dense and moist (the hallmark of any decent b-bread). The flavours were muted and, again, a bit salty. At least you could just about taste the banana, which is more than can be said for the blueberry in the bun.
All in all, it would seem that EHHCH is a place for purists – the type of person who is willing to sacrifice all and any semblance of flavour (or even quality, for that matter) for dietary reasons. It’s the kind of place where healthiness seems to correlate with blandness. I can only imagine what the log cake would have tasted like…
Eastern Highland Healthy Cake House
Block 134, Geylang East Avenue 1, #01-227
6746 5580 / 6294 6932
Open 08:00-21:00 daily