Most meat eaters would smirk if their friend suggests bringing them to a restaurant that serves purely plant based ingredients with no meat, no seafood, no eggs, no onion, no garlic and no MSG.
To my delight, my friends who are not vegetarians have recommended to catch up for lunch at Naive.
Once you step into the clean and cool interiors, you’ll notice that the restaurant is filled with artwork by local artists.
Before we began our meals, we had to take part in a sesame seed blessing ceremony to de-stress so we could experience its food to the fullest.
The Japanese inspired ‘bloss’ ceremony encourage diners to grind the sesame seeds using the mortar and pestle for a few minutes that can then be sprinkled onto their food.
Naive has some of the most creative names for its dishes, click more to find out what is Cheeky Monkey, Autumn Cloud or Pocket of Treasures.
For starters, we ordered the Tom Yum soup.
It was spicy and generous with ingredients, which readies my palate for the main course.
Service was generally good but the only boo boo was they served most of the dishes first and were slow to bring in the brown rice.
Since I’m back in Singapore and most of my friends eat spicy, I ordered the Sambal Broccoli.
Do not be deceived by the big chunks of chilli flakes, it wasn’t that spicy.
Next – The Autumn Cloud. It’s actually a fancy name for steam tofu covered with home made minced paste.
One of my friends, Cherisse is a big fan of tofu. She adores this dish. I think the secret to Autumn Cloud is to get the minced paste right, which gives a somewhat would have been bland tofu a burst of flavour.
To complement the dish, we ordered Cheeky Monkey.
Covered in golden oats and curry leaves, the monkey head mushrooms are cooked to become full bodied and flavoursome. I liked the golden oats so much I can’t stop myself from sprinkling them all over my rice.
Another spicy dish unique to South East Asia is the Penang Rendang.
The ‘beef’ texture is made of spicy pan fried mushroom and served with steamed buns.
Yet another spicy dish was the Chilli Tofu Cake.
In most other veggie places, this dish would simply be called deep fried fish. What’s interesting about this dish was the crispy tofu cake’s covered with a gravy made of fresh water chestnut and tangy orange with a dash of chilli.
As the Pocket of Treasures was also listed in the recommended menu, we decided to give it a try.
The crispy crepe was filled with taro, pumpkin and beancurd served with chilli sauce. There were not many pieces to go around so we had to share among ourselves. By this time, we were almost full.
A quick review on our hearty lunch.
With a tagline that shouts the “absence of artificiality”, I was very satisfied with my meal knowing that I had consumed wholesome food.
Compared to most vegetarian restaurants around Singapore, Naive is a little bit more expensive, be prepared to fork out around S$25 ++.
Located on 99 East Coast Road, it’s just opposite Katong Mall.
Despite being quite full, we headed for dessert round the corner.
Debbie ordered macaroons while I savour my cup of macha cappuccino made from premium Kyoto Uji Green Tea.
A lovely way to spend Saturday afternoons indeed!