Friday, January 20, 2012

Ci Yan Vegetarian in the heart of Chinatown, Singapore

Brown Rice Set, S$6.50
Address: 8 Smith street, Chinatown.

I love coming to Chinatown to explore the wonderful temples, such as the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.  The streets of chinatown are a huge tourist spot near Chinese New Year. Heaps of locals flock to this area to buy chinese new year cookies, goodies, food and decorations.

Looking for some healthy food to inspire your  spiritual journey to explore Buddhism? I highly recommend Ci Yan Vegetarian. I have known of this place 6 years ago and love the family who runs this business. The man with glasses is a little eccentric, however he speaks fluent chinese and english. Service is a little slow, as he has many things to do, peeling the vegetables to be cooked and collecting the money. There is also an unspoken culture to clean up after you are done, by scraping the leftovers into the bin and stacking the utensils and plates on the trolley close to the kitchen.

The outdoor decor may not entice you to go inside. The sliding door was hard to open for me - that is why I call this a gem because looks are deceiving. Inside you can see the different Buddhist altars, bookshelf and pictures of the Dalai Lama. Coming here at 5pm for an early dinner was the best way to enjoy some peace and quiet. They get really busy around 7pm so I suggest you to come by early. I ordered the brown rice set, which consisted of random selection of vegetables - spinach, stewed pumpkin, mushrooms, asian style green beans, sliced carrots on cabbage with mango dressing. 

Overall rating: 7/10

Ambience: 3.5/5

Service: 3/5

Food: 3.5/5

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