The owner of Kwan Inn Vegetarian is Madam Cho. The brand has been around since the 1990s, with its flagship stall at Geylang East. Today, it has 6 stalls located strategically around Singapore with a restaurant situated at Tanjong Katong, offering quality traditional vegetarian cuisines with perennial favourites like Vegetarian Laksa and Chicken Rice.
Their new restaurant is currently located along Tanjong Katong Road, just right opposite Canadian International School. It is a medium-sized restaurant with limited seating capacity but their round tables are huge and the tables are spaced out neatly so that customers do have their own dining space to themselves at each table. It looks no different from other Chinese vegetarian restaurant with pompous signage found at the entrance, with each Chinese characters painted in gold.
The only difference is that here at Kwan Inn, every dish they serve is vegetarian-friendly. They have cleverly re-created most of the popular Chinese dishes that contains meat into dishes that uses mocked meats and vegetables to make each dish equally appealing and appetizing.
Want some steam fish or chicken? You are not missing out on anything because even the taste and texture of the mocked meats can be rather similar to the taste of actual seasoned meats.
Some of the dishes here are reasonably priced but some of the dishes which uses mock meat can be a little costly. But here at Kwan Inn, they are generous with their portions. I mean just look at their first dish below.
5 Combination Cold Dish
The platter of cold dishes consists of 5 mock meat dishes and though each dish was delicious, I was surprised that they didn’t serve any salads as a cold dish. Anyhow, each of the mock meat dishes is flavourful and well-seasoned. The spring roll is fried very evenly to perfection too.
Kwan Inn Vegetarian is famous for their vegetarian laksa and chicken rice which are sold at their other eateries. They do serve at their restaurant too but it is not on the menu. However, if you fancy for some of their mouth-watering laksa, you should order it and give it a try. In fact, the laksa was so delicious that we all felt that it should be on the menu as well.
The laksa soup is made using pure coconut milk and it gives it a nice fragrant aroma which blends in so well with the other spices. It tasted really no different than the traditional Singaporean-style laksa and it is perhaps a healthier version of laksa as it is not too creamy but light and flavourful at the same time.
The herbal soup is another must-order dish because the soup is brewed with a good variety of Chinese herbs that the outcome of it was wonderful. It tasted like Chicken herbal soul except that there’s no chicken or animal products in it of course.
The soup must have been boiled for hours and hours to have this flavourful herbal soup taste that I believe any Chinese would love it.
Maybe it’s the mushroom they used that gives the soup that savoury taste which wheys the appetite.
Fried Monkey Head Mushroom
This reminded us of KFC’s popcorn chicken and once you pop, you just can’t stop. It’s delicious and the texture is perfect with the spicy chili sauce and everything but I wouldn’t eat too much of it because after all, such mock meats contain flour. Just like bread, though they fill you up but they can make you bloat at the same time.
BBQ Vegetarian Fish
This dish didn’t exactly taste like fish but more like minced meat. But I guess it’s difficult to replicate the texture of the fish meat in the first place. Nevertheless, the dish tasted alright with the BBQ sauce except that the fish itself tasted somewhat dry. I would have preferred it to be a little moister and soft.
Indonesian Vegetarian Fish/Prawn Curry
If you love anything spicy, you will enjoy this super thick curry. My mum, who was there at the restaurant, loves the taste of the curry. But for me, it is way too creamy and can be too overpowering with so many spices thrown into it.
This curry is actually served with some bread for you to dip it in but it also pairs well with steamed white rice too.
Cai-Pu French Bean
My mum loves the crunchy flavour of these long beans and for me, I actually prefer such simple dishes that uses few ingredients. It actually allows you to enjoy the natural taste of the french beans.
Assorted Mushroom Stuffed in Golden Tofu
It is more like a medley of cooked vegetables with mushrooms all stuffed into the beancurd. Perhaps a steamed salad in a box prepared in oriental style?
Salted Fish Fried Rice
Everyone at the table has a different opinion of this dish that has vegetarian salted fish in it. Perhaps not everyone is acquainted with the taste of salted fish. For me, it tasted okay except that it is rather dry. I would prefer something simpler like vegetable fried rice as I know that not many actually like the taste of the salted fish.
Steamed 8 Treasures
This is another favourite dish at our table where some of them commented that the mushrooms were delicious. I guess it’s also everyone’s favourite because the dish is served piping hot and the savoury gravy is pungent.
Minced Beancurd with Special Sauce
I would think that this is their version of vegan-friendly egg dish as they use minced beancurd to create that scramble egg texture. However, I would prefer if they serve it as a normal beancurd dish instead.
Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts
And for desserts, we have warm yam paste with Gingko Nuts. Thumbs up that the yam paste didn’t taste very sweet like how some Chinese restaurants would serve it. Though, I would have preferred if they serve some special vegetarian desserts which are lighter and less milky like herbal jelly or Cheng Tng.
Overall, the food was not too bad as I’ve tasted vegetarian food at other Chinese restaurants before and it is not easy to make a vegetarian meat dish tasty and healthy at the same time. Some dishes were stellar but some were only quite alright.
And the only reason, if I were to be back at this restaurant again, would be to taste their laksa again.
Kwan Inn Vegetarian Restaurant
338 Tanjong Katong Road
Tel: (65) 6348 0019
Opening Hours (Daily)
Lunch – 11:00am to 3:00pm
Dinner – 6:00pm to 10:00pm