It has been a long time since I last went to Bishan Park and boy has it changed. Well, maybe the last time I set foot in the park was when I was in… secondary school? That is as much as my memory takes me to, as I recalled going there with secondary school friends for inline-skating or perhaps cycling. I might have visited again on other occasions but there’s no recollection of those.
A small part of it, at least where my friend and I went to on Christmas Day for dinner, resembled Botanic Gardens in some way. Yes they are both parks or gardens replete with flora and fauna but I didn’t remember Bishan Park (of the past) with restaurants and there was this cluster of eateries within a stone’s throw away from the carpark. We settled on this place called The Green Room, that sells “ethno-botanical cuisine”. I have totally no idea what that means but it just means no meat or vegetarian to us.
This was an appetiser that we ordered, part of the festive menu. I don’t now remember its name, but we expected something along the lines of fried cut/sliced peppers. Instead, what turned up seemed more like an omelette. It was a little oily but flavourful and it comes with a cranberry compote dip that I think was quite nice.
Thought we’d order a soup too, so we chose the Spinach Dumpling Soup. There were 3 dumplings in a vegetable broth that felt a little plain. The dumplings were quite nice though, although if you are someone who doesn’t like chives, you are forewarned of it in the menu. Basically, they contained spinach, mushroom, tofu and chives.
What’s a laksa doing in a vegetarian eatery you’d think? We saw some other patrons having this and piqued our interest because it looks quite good, so we ordered one too. Taste-wise, it doesn’t use prawn paste but to me, someone who seldom eats laksa, this is pretty close to the real thing because of the leaves that were used in the gravy I think. It’s a vegan soy laksa, which uses soy milk laksa base and is served with mixed mushrooms and their signature tofu. Although it somehow feels a tad sinful I enjoyed this pretty much and was glad that it was shared so that I could try other dishes too! At $14 for a bowl, I think the serving was pretty generous but you may beg to differ if you feel that ingredients wise it isn’t that worth, depends how you want to see it.
And our final item, the Mushroom Tofu Burger!
This is made up of a fried mushroom and tofu patty with tomato slices, lettuce and vegan mayonnaise. Those yellow sides are actually jack fruit chips, which were a little tough but nicely-crunchy. I loved this too, despite that the patty was probably deep-fried but maybe because it didn’t contain any meat, I didn’t feel so overwhelmed after eating it. Or it could just be all in my head.
Looking at all that we had, it’s not difficult to imagine that we didn’t have any leftover space for desserts after that. You can check out more of the place and its menu here, and perhaps if I head to Bishan Park again in future, I’ll try other items like the Pad Thai! The place has rather good ambience and although service can be a little slow when the eatery is crowded, I like that they provide a complimentary bottle of water, so no worries if you are feeling the heat from the laksa!