Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Afterglow, Keong Saik Road

Afterglow - the name reminds me distinctively of Sarah McLachlan. Probably because that's the last I've heard of her music. But I digress. This Afterglow (24 Keong Saik Road, tel : +65 6224 8921) is a - well, restaurant. One that serves vegan food that's been talked about so it piqued my interest. As much as I enjoyed my greens, exploring vegan options has never really quite been my thing.

We tried some crackers. Corn and spinach crackers that came with a raw sun dried tomato nut "cheese". Those crackers which didn't crackle so much also didn't leave much of an imprint on me, but the nut cheese was rather tasty in a sourish and nutty kind of way.

Up next was their pureed broccoli soup with a dollop of walnut "cheese". If I'm not wrong, the food here doesn't really go through cooking - this arrived quite hot. So perhaps, it was just semi cooked. And a damned good broccoli soup it was. The flavours were right there and perhaps because of the heat, it didn't taste like it was raw at all. We liked it enough that we'd have no qualms ordering it again if we returned. 

And then some nori kimchi rolls. Instead of rice, the kimchi was enveloped in chopped nuts and then wrapped in seaweed. And it packed a surprising amount of heat. What was new to me were the nutty flavours that paired with the spicy sour of the kimchi. The latter, house made and aged for 7 days they said. Like.

After three small plates we agreed with, things were starting to look quite promising.

This was called Drag Pom salad. The ingredients are quite visible so I'll not say more on those. The dressing that they used was a very perky honey lemon that brought the elements together. I thought it was an impressive combination of lively tang and sweetness. The chopped macadamia nuts were fragrant. This was one delicious salad. Again, another item we'd order again in a heart beat.

Then came a zucchini lasagne. Topped and layered with more nut "cheese" thingys. For some reasons, I had the impression that the pastas were real pastas and not made of raw vegetables. I didn't dislike this, but it didn't quite impress as much as the previous dishes did.

The other "pasta" was a zucchini linguine. This too was tangy with flavours that remotely resembled som tam sans the heat. What rocked were those "walnut meatballs". Nuttily delicious and nicely salted by what tasted like a soy based condiment.

Dessert was a vegan key lime pie. This was also new for me since the pie was made with spinach and zucchini with a coconut base. We were a little skeptical at first but became totally convinced after a first bite. This had to be the most refreshing key lime pie I've ever had. Much thanks to the fact that it didn't contain the weight of condensed milk, the dessert was almost ethereally lime-y. That it was really chilled helped too.

All in all, this was a very encouraging foray here into vegan-ism. It's not converting me anytime soon, but I can see myself much more willing to check them out if more of them did food like Afterglow did. It does cost a pretty penny for a bunch of vegetables, but considering that it did require quite a bit of preparation and the ingredients were fresh, I guess I couldn't complain. 

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