Craving out a sustainable long term business model will always be on the mind of any budding vegetarian food entrepreneur. Selling hawker food at mass market prices means that you have to compete with hundreds of hawker stalls. Selling premium vegetarian food means higher profit margins but also results in a smaller targeted set of customers in a already niche segment. Come OBean Singapore which attempts to bridge the gap. OBean does not break new grounds in terms of selling unique vegetarian food. It just elevates soya bean to the central component of its vegetarian food menu. Most of what O’Bean sells are all related to soya bean in one way or another. Is OBean able to blend soya bean and vegetarian food successfully into a lifestyle vegetarian eatery?
We love the semi-causal ambiance of OBean Singapore. The bright red seats contrast nicely with the black interiors. We see customers settling down to read their books or browse their phones with their soya bean drink in hand. At the same time, there are also small group gatherings. Hence it is quite apparent that OBean is a popular hangout place in the vicinity.
Chicken Cutlet Rice
First of all, the food are served in lovely utensils and plates. They closely ensemble what you will expect in a restaurant. The chicken cutlet rice is served in an interesting tilted plate which belongs more appropriately in a display cabinet. The chilli and soy sauce comes in such a pretty metal container that it is just begging to be photographed. With such a beautiful set, it is only natural for us to have high expectation of the chicken cutlet rice. The boss mentioned that the cutlet is especially treated with soya bean to remove the salty taste. However, we did not find anything special about the cutlet. And one cutlet is simply not sufficient for the big rice serving.
The traditional Kueh Chup is subtly revamped by OBean Singapore. The herbal soup is blended with soya bean milk resulting in an unique taste which surprisingly does not conflict with each other. I will usually order Kueh Chup without sliced mushrooms because I do not like their smell. However, the ingredients (including the mushroom) in OBean case are lightly braised so that they do not become too salty or overwhelming. The chilli sauce is quite good too.
Chicken Burger and Fries
This burger set will be unsuitable for Vegans as it has poached egg and cheese. The soy patty together with the poached egg and cheese is a simple yet very delicious concept. The French fries are thick and crispy. Despite the high price, we seriously recommend the set meal to our readers!
Sweet and Sour Seafood Ramen
The original Seafood Ramen does not come with the sweet and sour soup. You will have to order the soup in the menu. The spiciness does not hit you immediately. Instead it gradually seeps in to reveal its true spiciness nature. The result is a delightful concoction of spices which is similar to the Penang Assam Laksa. The Raman noodles are springy and a pleasure to eat. There are also other ingredients like mock prawn and squill which are well cooked.
Price: $8 + $1 (for sweet and sour soup)
Glutinous Rice with Banana
This is another subtle re-invention from OBean Singapore. Black glutinous rice is traditionally mixed with coconut milk. As you would have guessed, OBean replaces the coconut milk with soya bean milk and adds in sliced bananas. These 3 ingredients are naturally sweet and complements one another very well. The result is a healthy and great tasting dessert!
Glutinous Rice Balls with Red Beans
The name of the dessert is slightly deceptive. We thought that there are plenty of red beans paste (like that of the glutinous rice) in the dessert. The dessert is actually the glutinous rice balls and red beans in soya bean milk. The soya bean milk tastes smooth and silky. The rice balls are firm and the peanuts fillings good.
Apple+Kiwi+Banana Soya Smoothie
What is an O’Bean smoothie without soy milk? The usage of soy milk in this case helps to blend and capture the natural taste of the fruits very well. This is the ideal drink to beat the hot topical weather in Singapore.
Judging from the healthy customer traffic, we can certainly conclude that the OBean Singapore business model resonates with the general public. However, you should know that the lovely ambiance, utensils and food comes with a 10% service charge. It may sound absurd to some customers as OBean is not a full fledged restaurant and its customer service is just average in our eyes. Given the service charges, it is still an affirmative yes from us if you ask whether OBean is worth the trip. We encourage you to come down to Obean for a great meal, pull out a book and relax with a chilled soya bean drink or dessert.
You can find out about the operating hours and location of OBean Tanjong Pagar branch online.
O’Bean is just a short walk away from the Tanjong Pagar MRT.