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Sunday, 9 August 2015

[Invited Tasting] Dinner at GreenDot @ Paya Lebar Square

60 Paya Lebar Road #02-15 / 16 / 17 Paya Lebar Square, Singapore 409051
Tel: 6702 2221

"Eat Green, Feel Good" sounds catchy, and that is exactly what Greendot aims for its diners.  Greendot was founded by Justin and Yong Hong, the former who is a vegetarian and used to find it difficult to get good vegetarian meals outside of home.   So they decided to start their own eatery, and Greendot currently has 3 outlets, namely in Westgate, Paya Lebar Square and Bedok Mall.

The founders also believe that eating has a greater purpose - eating well for one's own health, caring for the family or the environment as a whole - therefore Greendot has a wide range of delicious dishes prepared with fresh and quality ingredients and through working with nutritionists, to satiate the health and palate at the same time.

This was an invited tasting session where familiar faces such as Chubbybotakkoala, PurpleTaste etc were attendees as well.

One may place their orders through these miniature "mobile phones"  which are far less bulky than those "ipad tablet menus" used in many restaurants these days.  They are user-friendly and very easy to navigate, so it makes ordering your food and drinks very convenient.

We started with some tea and an array of blended beverages.  The Alisan Oolong Tea (SGD$3.50) was fragrant and strongly aromatic in flavour; there are hot and cold options available.  I loved the soothing and aromatic Peach Oolong Tea (SGD$4.50) - the honey tea series come in hot and cold versions as well.

For the blended drinks, we had Soy Caramel Latte (SGD$6.50), which is also available in hot version; Mocha Frappe (SGD$7.50), Avocado Milkshake (SGD$6.50) which tasted a little less than ideal because of the yogurt infusion, Passion Dragonfruit Green Tea (SGD$5.50), easily a favorite of many of us due to the refreshing flavour; and Strawberry Banana Green Tea (SGD$5.50).

Food was served finally; a variety of bento, rice bowls and noodles.  I started with the Signature Rendang Rice Bowl (SGD$9.50). These days, it seems that either I have been having lots of rendang dishes coincidentally; or everyone is wild about rendang flavour.

Regardless, this got me hooked. The texture of the "beef" was chewy, almost beef-like; the sapid rendang taste rang clear and strong, making this a very appetising starter.  The mixture of greens was a good balance to the spiciness of the mock beef.

The Laksa (SGD$5.90) was coloirful, hearty and robust - tasting exactly as the menu described it to be, with thick ginger and chilli gravy, aroma of laksa leaves, and springy noodles. The dried beancurd (taupok) was bursting with laksa gravy and the Konnyaku prawns were saccharine.

Next, the Herbal Noodles (SGD$7.90) is nourishing and made up of real herbal ingredients such as wolfberries, licorice and angelica. Besides the springy noodles, bouncy Konnyaku "sotong balls" and soy "beef" chunks making up for great bites, the strong herbal taste whetted the appetite greatly, and every spoonful felt precious.

Moving on, we had the Mushroom Mini Hot Pot Set for 4 (SGD$59.90), consisting of a basket of greens and mushrooms, mini starters, mixed fruits and salad, 4 brown rice and a pot of premium tea - very value for money.

The first pot we tried was with Herbal Soup Base, filled with rich flavours of angelica, wolfberries and licorice, the same soup as the Herbal Noodles.  Sometimes all the ingredients infused with herbal aroma just tasted so good, so if you are a lover of herbal soups, this is definitely for you.

We also tried the Laksa Soup Base, a simmering pot of spicy but tantalising laksa gravy. Needless to say, all the ingredients soaking in the sumptuousness of the laksa were bound to taste great too - laksa lovers will not be able to resist this mini hot pot of goodness.

On a sidenote, I also dug the "cereal prawns" side dish very dearly, because they simulate the real deal too well.  There are 5 types of rice and we got to try 3 of them that night - emperor, sesame and five treasure.

Then we had the Lion's Mane Mushroom Burger (SGD$8.90), looking and tasting like McDonald's McChicken Burger in its entirety.  The wholemeal burger bun was studded with sesame and the bun was crusty on its own; the soya patty was crispy and had a mild saccharine taste to it; going well with the refreshing load of vegetables clamped between the buns.

Hold on.... did you say it was a veggie burger again??  Well, errrr.. yes, and the fries were decent, too.

Finally, desserts happened. The Osmanthus Jelly (SGD$3.50) was cool to the touch, bearing the lovely hints of osmanthus flowers in scent while tasting of a light, lithe sweetness that could only be accentuated by the wolfberries sitting prettily at the bottom.  This reminded me greatly of Tim Ho Wan's version of the same dessert.

All in all, the variety and quality of food here was a surprise - I must be frank to say that I came with little expectations, having walked past Greendot numerous times without even the temptation to try it initially.   This tasting session has opened up my eyes (and palate) and changed my mind totally - so now you see what a load of tantalising, healthy dishes they actually have instore - drop by for some meatless indulgences sometime soon, and make it a regular part of your diet!

Thank you Greendot (and Justin & Yong Hong, of course) for the invite, as well as Shannon; and a special thanks for Hence for the extension.

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