Vegetarian food can taste this good

Once in a while I hanker for a steak, done medium-rare, and I used to think I wouldn’t survive a day without meat. I also have a sensitive stomach, about which Naomi loves to talk with some glee to her friends and relatives.

We read somewhere awhile ago about ‘eating for your blood type’, and that because I’m type A+, I should avoid meats, especially red meat. And though it’s been rubbished by some people, I decided to give vegetarian diets a try about two years back. Wouldn’t you know it, the tummy aches and explosive diarrhea more or less disappeared.

You’d think it’s as simple as converting oneself right away to a completely vegetarian diet, but when you’ve got meat eaters in your family, it’s hard not to put some meat on your plate. Plus, I like my steak, roast pork, charsiew, and sometimes, I feel like it’s worth the tummy ache.

But Naomi and I have decided again, whenever we’re at home – because it’s usually just Kai and ourselves, to eat as much of a vegetarian diet as possible, with just a little meat on the side, instead of the other way around.

If you’re omnivorous like us, and you’re considering switching to a vegetarian diet, don’t think of it as having to give up good tasting food, or having to suffer Chinese vegetarian horrors as “mock duck”, “mock abalone” and “mock pork” at some vegetarian eateries. I think it’s ridiculous that vegetarian dishes are made up to be facsimiles of meat ones. It’s not supposed to be a sacrifice.

We’ve been fortunate to have friends who’ve given us tips on where and what to eat – and the restaurant we lunched at yesterday is one of the places we’d recommend highly.

Naïve is at 99 East Coast Road, opposite Katong Mall, and when Naomi called to make a reservation, she was told not to worry about that and just walk in. Walk in we did, and stand and wait we did for a table for about 15 minutes before we over-ordered, overate, and then lugged our full vegetarian stomachs around for the rest of the afternoon.

If you were teetering on whether to turn vegetarian (for whatever reasons – to save the planet is a good one), a meal at Naïve could tip you over the edge. The food is that good. It’s even more amazing that not only are their dishes meatless, they’re also MSG-less, egg-less, onion-less and garlic-less.

If you over-order and over-eat, expect to pay about $30+ a person.

Cheeky Monkey - monkey head mushrooms with crispy oats

Olive brown rice

Sambal broccoli

Hong Kong fried noodles