Singapore: Eight Treasures Vegetarian

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This 2016, gather round your family at Eight Treasures Vegetarian. This restaurant of nearly a decade long history has ushered many Chinese New Years with their loyal regulars - and it's not hard to see why with their family-friendly, creative vegetarian dishes alongside traditional classics.

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Eight Treasures Vegetarian is dedicated to ensure all their dishes are strictly vegetarian, yet contrary to popular belief, their line-up of dishes are appealing in taste, texture and variety. Their CNY Set Menu includes:
$168+ Set (3-4 persons)
Rainbow Yu Sheng
Prosperity Vegetarian Sharks' Fin
Teochew Style Vegetarian Fish
Mushroom with Seasonal Greens
Cereal Vegetarian Prawns
Braised Yee Fu Noodles
Fruity Mango Pudding
$368+ Set (6-8 persons)
Rainbow Yu Sheng
Vegetarian Sharks' Fin with White Fungus & Wolfberries
Fruit Salad Vegetarian Chicken
Thai Style Vegetarian Cod Fish
Vegetarian Abalone Mushroom & Tou Pau with Seasonal Greens
Cereal Vegetarian Prawns
Fragrant Yam Ring
Braised Yee Fu Noodles
Fruity Mango Pudding
$498+ Set (8-10 persons)
Rainbow Yu Sheng
Vegetarian Sharks' Fin with Bamboo, Fungus, Wolfberries
Teochew Steamed Vegetarian Cod Fish
Ginseng Vegetarian Chicken with Chestnuts
Creamy Pumpkin Vegetarian Prawns
Vegetarian Abalone & Mushroom with Broccoli
Yam Ring with Golden Nuggets
Heng Hua Noodles
Red Bean with Sweet Lotus
This article focuses on the set meant for 6-8 persons.
Recommended: in-house Chinese herbal tea which is caffeine-free and lightly sweetened with rock sugar. It is healthy and remains appealing, with eight ingredients in it, including: chrysanthemum, goji, luohan guo and ginseng. Suitable for elderly and children. I love it so much, I had my cup refilled so many times!
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Toss to new sweet beginnings here with the colourful Rainbow Yu Sheng, dressed in classic sweet plum sauce! The friendly and affable lady at Eight Treasures blessed us with each of the greetings as she pour over the sauces and ingredients into the yu sheng adeptly. The 'salmon' used here is made of konnyaku jelly, so rest your worries about health issues on raw fish consumption. The yu sheng here is not too sweet like the usual, a welcoming change from previous years. This is a plate of yu sheng that we can all finish.
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I was pleasantly surprised to find an environmentally friendly version of the sharks' fin. Some may still find it necessary to include sharks' fin during important celebratory days, so here's a fine compromise - the Vegetarian Sharks' Fin with White Fungus & Wolfberries which included a tasty and hearty combination of enoki mushrooms, beancurd skin, white fungus, mock ham, wolfberries and konnyaku-jelly-made sharks' fin. They did an interesting spin on the usual sharks' fin dish with a sweeter ring to it, almost like a dessert soup.
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The Fruit Salad Vegetarian Chicken was a delight - from the moment it was placed upon the table, I was impressed how much it actually looked like chicken. Of course, most non-vegetarians might be skeptical:
Why would a vegetarian restaurant bother mimicking meat products?
Vegetarian cuisine remains quite an enigma for people who are used to having meat and dairy products in their daily diet. By having dishes that are similar to meat, it would provide a smoother transition for people who are thinking of changing their dietary lifestyle (completely or partially).
Eight Treasures Vegetarian does a good job at bridging this gap - I have never really considered trying vegetarian cuisine on a regular (weekly or biweekly) basis because I always thought vegetarian food would be very bland or strange.
This first main dish changed my impression.
Handmade from soy and wheat-based ingredients, the 'chicken' was so freshly crispy on the outside, stuffed with potato fillings on the inside, and drizzled with a generous amount of vegan mayo to go along. It didn't taste like chicken, which would be a tall order, but it was still delicious in another way. It is a bit mind-boggling, but at the same time, I would imagine fellow non-vegetarians like me would be able to enjoy it quite well. The refreshing fruit salad is the bed upon which the chicken/potato was resting on, which makes the entire dish lighter and much easier on the palate.
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The Thai Style Vegetarian Cod Fish was my favourite dish of the entire set amidst the impressive luxurious items, because... how could this not be fish? I would love to have this everyday! The 'cod fish' had an extremely similar layered texture, smooth and soft, while the 'fish skin' was made of seaweed which assumes the taste of the oceans. The cod fish was amped up with the piquant sweet, sour and spicy Thai homemade sauce with a fragrant hint of lemongrass. The sauce was thick and extremely satisfying, with pangs of spiciness hitting the perfect spots on the tastebuds. It's not overly spicy, just sufficiently so. This will surely win over the hearts of many, regardless whether you like spicy food or not.
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I like how the set menu actually paces our appetite, with a lighter dish of Vegetarian Abalone Mushroom with Tou Pau and Seasonal Greens made of shiitake mushrooms and blanched broccoli (done to perfection, no over-or-under cooking) with a savoury and appetizing sauce to go along.
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Before long, we were once again impressed with this jaw-dropping Cereal Vegetarian Prawns which could fool anyone to be real prawns in terms of texture and even taste! Of course if you were to look at the cross-section of the prawns, you can tell by sight it isn't. At that moment, I realized that making vegetarian cuisine is really an art form.
It can easily vie with other cereal prawn dishes made with real prawns in terms of taste, with an aromatic and crunchy coat of malt cereal, with QQ bouncy texture of the prawns. For people with dietary restrictions that cannot eat seafood or prawns.. this is your chance to finally enjoy it again!
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Yam Rings! A well-loved dish in most family dinners or celebratory tze-char meals, this is of no exception especially with a restaurant who has chefs experienced in making it. Its deep-fried exterior ensures a crispy skin with a light oily fragrance without the heaviness. Cashew nuts, baby corns, mushrooms abound within it.
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I always associate the Braised Yee Fu Noodles with wedding dinners, and I would say that this is above average. There is much more heart and effort in making this as compared to the usual ones I've had which were probably 'obligatory wedding dishes'.
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If you are coming by Eight Treasures, you have got to try the Dongpo 'meat' (not included in the set) which was an eye-opener. I have to reiterate that this is vegetarian and not real meat of course, but the chefs here managed to create a trilayered meat to mimic the fatty layers of the original dongpo meat. As it wasn't fats, it was easy to reach for a few in without getting full.
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We ended the night with a dessert, the Fruity Mango Pudding which was simple and didn't hide any more surprises. It looks like a small serving but it was just perfect for one person to finish nicely.
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Image from Eight Treasures Vegetarian
Most of the restaurant tables are located on the 2nd and 3rd floor accessible only by stairs. There is limited table seating on the 1st floor, so book early even for non-CNY periods.
Takeaways of Happy Reunion Pen Cai (Vegetarian) is available at $168, Lucky Yu Sheng at $28.80 or $38.80 .
Please note that a 20% cash deposit is required to confirm all reservations during the CNY period. A receipt will be issued and no cancellations are allowed.
CNY period lunch and dinner sessions11am - 12.30pm
1-2.30pm
3-4.30pm
5-6.30pm
7-8.30pm
9-10.30pm
Call 65347727 for reservations.
Eight Treasures Vegetarian282A South Bridge Road
Singapore 058831

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