If you want to take a trip to the new and unusual without leaving the country, then head to Chinatown and visit Singapore Restaurant.
What sets Singapore apart from the other restaurants in the area is that it serves vegetarian Chinese food. The whole menu consists of vegetarian, kosher, vegan or nondairy foods.
The foods are prepared from a mixture of tofu, wheat gluten, bean curd, potato and soy products. When the ingredients are combined, the outcome is a dish to satisfy any vegetarian or meat-lover’s taste buds.
The restaurant has a very warm and casual atmosphere. The walls are decorated with Chinese paintings. Music plays in the background as you enjoy dinner with or without candlelight. The servers provide you with a pot of herbal tea as you wait for your food to arrive.
Drinks consist of fresh squeezed orange, lemon, mango or carrot juice. Fresh watermelon juice is available in the summer. You may also request a fruity smoothie, which is a combination of orange, mango and coconut blended together with a cherry swirl.
The top selling entrees are General Tao’s Chicken and Crispy Duck. Rainbow Chicken is a culinary school graduate’s delight. The meal consists of mock chicken, mixed with broccoli and sliced asparagus, and topped with barbecue satay sauce. Steamed carrots, snow peas and baby corn are alternated around the rim of the plate making the meal so aesthetically pleasing you hardly want to eat it. The Phoenix Nest, which lives up to its name, is also a visual and tasty delight.
While the entrees include a host of fake pork, chicken, beef, seafood and vegetable dishes, the appetizers and soups are also plentiful. The Vegetarian Ham with Spinach Tofu Soup and the Vegetarian Crab Meat Claw are highly recommended.
Unlike the entrees and appetizers, the dessert menu at Singapore is virtually nonexistent. You can buy an order of fried bananas, which are bananas covered in dough and deep-fried. But at the end of your meal the server will provide one free for each member of your dinner party.
If they run out of fried bananas you can expect to receive a Sesame Ball, which is mashed sweet red beans enclosed in dough and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
The check comes to you along with fortune cookies, orange slices and hot damp cloths to clean your hands.
The prices range from $6 to $11 depending on the lunch or dinner menu. There are more than 150 items to choose from and all meals come with brown or white rice. The servers at Singapore cater to the customers needs. They will explain every item on the menu and exclude or substitute any ingredient you do not want.
Singapore has two floors and groups of all sizes are accommodated. It is the perfect place for a private dinner date or large business lunch. Call ahead of time and ask for owner, Peter Fong, if you need to make special arrangements.
Singapore is an award-winning restaurant located at 1006 Race St. and has been serving Philadelphia customers for 13 years. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Singapore also has a location in Cherry Hill, NJ, located at 219-H Berlin Rd. in the Centrum Shoppes. Call 215-922-3288 or 856-795-0188 for more information.
Danean Nixon can be reached at Danean.Nixon@radian.biz