UPDATE (22 Sept 2015):
Simbashi Soba restuarant is now using separate oils for the vegetarian menu. Please request for the vegetarian menu (separate) when ordering, and it has more detailed explanations regarding vegan friendly options.
UPDATE (16 Oct 2013):
I realized that Shimbashi Soba restaurant no longer maintains a 100% vegetarian menu as a waiter recently informed me that the tempura is not 100% vegetarian as they are now fried in the same oil as the rest of the non-veg tempura when I ordered the set menu. Please take note of this. Also, I heard that the rice cakes are not vegetarian. Please confirm in detail with a qualified waiter/waitress as some of them may not understand if you enquire about specific details. Reply from Shimbashi Soba @ Paragon (17 Oct 2013):
Dear Ms Amanda Teng,
Thank you very much for your feedback on Shimbashi Soba’s vegetarian menu.
Very unfortunately, due to our shortage of manpower and kitchen equipment, it is a challenge for us to use separate oils especially for vegetarian menu. Thus, our staffs are trained to inform about the oil to customers who order vegetarian menu.We are aware that some customers are concerned about this matter but regret that we are unable to cater to them while we can offer non-fried vegetarian menu which are suitable for strict vegetarians. We will paste the stickers on the vegetarian menu to inform about the oil as Chikara Soba (with deep-fried rice cake), Shokado Set (with tempura), Age Matcha Warabi Mochi, etc. are deep-fried in oil. We are sorry for not being able to cater 100% vegetarian menu. We will continue trying our best to serve our vegetarian customers properly. Ms Teng, besides deep-fried items, we have pure vegetarian dishes for you to enjoy. So, we hope that we will receive your continuous support and encouragement to serve vegetarian customers.
After an intensive hot yoga workout last weekend, I met up with a friend for dinner.
Being a vegan, I know that it is not easy to get vegan food in Orchard Road. Nevertheless, just as I was about to give up hope of getting food, by a stroke of luck, I chanced up this sign with a growling stomach:
The place I saw this poster is at the basement of Paragon, called Shimbashi Soba Restaurant (under RE&S, which includes the popular brand, Ichiban Boshi/Sushi). I think the noodles served here are organic.
I must admit, when you are really hungry, it is really satisfying and uplifting to finally see a sign like this! 🙂
As vegetarian is loosely defined in Singapore, I made thorough inquiries about the preparation of the food. I was told that all the soup stock is made from konbu seaweed and soy sauce. There are no meat, no fish, no milk and no eggs. Even the tempura is fried separately and not in the same oil as the meat and seafood items. So I guess that my meal is vegan. *Note: They are now fried in the same oil.*
The only thing that the soup contains is mirin, which is contains alcohol. According to Wikipedia, mirin “is an essential condiment used in Japanese cuisine, consisting of 40%–50% sugar. It is a kind of rice wine similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content – 14% instead of 20%.”
I went to do a google search on mirin and found out that most of the alcohol burns off while cooking, so it is suitable for many different diets, such as vegetarian and vegan.
As I was not so strict on alcohol intake – I do not mind if my food contains a small percentage of it – I decided to go for the “Vegetarian Shokado” set.
The description reads: Warm soup noodles with mountain vegetables, boiled tow meow *I believe the correct spelling is Dou Miao* with sesame cream, vegetable tempura served with green tea mixed salt, mushroom and avocado sushi, seaweed-wrapped sushi with spicy tofu, fruit.
Well, the food came as served:
Vegetarian Shokado S$24.80++
Everything tastes really good, probably because I was starving. 😀
One thing that is really unique is instead of being served the sauce for dipping the tempura in, green tea mixed salt powder was used as the replacement. Looks good yeah? 🙂
The sushi was also delicious. Particularly the seaweed-wrapped sushi with spicy tofu.
The dou miao vegetable came as a cold dish.
And lastly, the main dish:
I hope you will enjoy your food as much as I did. 😀