33 Vegetarian – How Wonderful Can Meatless “Chicken Rice” Be?
Imagine my surprise when I first heard about 33 Vegetarian, which sells mock chicken rice. Surprise, surprise! Regrettably, I couldn’t really have a conversation with the hawkers. They were busy preparing food for their customers, many of whom were monks. Although the menu boasts a myriad of dishes, I gathered that the mock chicken rice dishes are the patrons’ favourite, and the Healthy Vegetarian Chicken Rice Set ($6.80) is probably the bestseller.
The vegetarian chicken rice set is legit. Our portion came with both roasted and steamed mock chicken, achar, bai cai with oyster sauce, oily rice and a bowl of soup. The presentation of the chicken rice set was commendable. The rice was well executed, delivering a mouthfeel that’s similar to our usual chicken rice. The rice separated nicely, and each grain was oily and flavourful. I preferred the steamed chicken to its roasted counterpart. I don’t expect the mock chicken to taste like real chicken, especially when both lacked that fibrous texture of real chicken meat. However, the steamed version actually successfully fooled my mind into thinking that I’m devouring chicken skin. On the other hand, the roasted chicken tasted very much like cut-up tofu skin rolls,
Online reviews report that the owners used to sell real chicken rice, before they became vegetarians. Perhaps that’s the reason for their superb chilli sauce, which is homemade. The chilli is robust, and delivers a balanced mix of tanginess and spiciness which adds depth to the mock chicken rice. The chilli leaves a lingering heat on your tastebuds, which I love in a good chilli. Pair it with the steamed chicken rice, and you might find it hard to differentiate the mock chicken rice from the real deal.
I wanted to find out if the Thai Vegetarian Chicken differed vastly from the patrons’ favourites. The hawkers stay true to the use of vegetarian goose in the preparation of their Thai chicken. We enjoyed the paper-thin skin which was fried to a perfect crisp. The splash of Thai sauce was a tad too sweet though.
I had a pleasant experience at 33 Vegetarian. The amount of thought and effort put into designing a balanced and complete mock chicken rice meal is truly laudable. Before you leave 33 Vegetarian, be sure to finish the bowl of homemade soup. It’s delicious!
Address: 409 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, #01-33 Singapore 560409
Opening Hours: 11am to 8pm daily, Tuesdays 11am to 6pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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You may wish to check out our article on some of the yummy vegetarian cuisines which you can explore in Singapore!