Ever since I have become a vegetarian more than 10 years ago, I do not often eat Indian food as it usually has onion and garlic. Hey, you may say that I have been missing out on Roti Prata which makes up part of the quintessential multiracial Singaporean breakfast. Fortunately there are still some vegetarian eateries which sells this staple Indian food. For this article, we will only be reviewing plain Roti Prata from eateries which serves vegetarian food without onion and garlic. Also, only those who freshly made their Roti Prata on the premise qualifies. If you can eat onion and garlic, you can easily walk into any Indian restaurant for Roti Prata.
Before we get to the reviews, here are the list of the eateries which serves Roti Prata (not in order of merit):
- Vegetarian 三宝斋 (Only available every Wed and Sat)
- Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant & Catering @ Fortune Centre (Available daily)
- Nature Vegetarian Delights @ Hougang 大自然素食 (Available daily from morning till lunchtime)
- Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant & Catering @ Upper Dickson Road (Available daily)
- Zi Zai Zhai @ Tampines 自在斋 (Available daily)
- Nature Vegetarian Delights @ Bukit Purmei 大自然素食 (Available daily from morning till lunchtime)
- Zi Zai Zhai @ Yishun 自在斋 (Available daily)
Nature Vegetarian Delights @ Hougang 大自然素食
When I reach the Hougang branch of Nature Vegetarian Delights, there are already many patrons sitting at their tables enjoying their Prata brunch or lunch. The main customer counter does not entertain any order or payment for Prata. You have to join a dedicated queue. Also, you have to exercise some patience which the queue is quite long. Nature has 3 staff dedicated to Roti Prata. A young man ferociously pounds the dough while listening to his music. The next helper took over the flipping of the dough into Prata. Lastly, an uncle took your orders and handed you the Prata when they are ready. I must say that this conveyance approach is pretty efficient. The Prata from Nature has a slight buttery and starchy taste. Sadly, the gravy is not spicy and quite watery thus lacking the punch.
Price: $0.80 per plain Prata (minimum order of 2)
You can find out more about Nature Vegetarian Delights Hougang here.
Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant & Catering @ Fortune Centre
Gokul is the place to go to if you want your Prata served in an authentic Indian restuarant. You will be able to catch a glimpse of how the Prata is hand made at Fortune Centre (though not at Upper Dickson Road branch). You must order the Prata in a set of 2. They come with 2 different gravy. One is the typical spicy curry while the other is of the watery vegetable curry, of which we prefer the former. The Prata is soft and fresh but the main issue I have with Gokul is about the price. The set of 2 Pratas costs $5 which is the most pricey among all eateries in this article. Price aside, Gokul has other solid Indian dishes which we will feature in another review. If you are willing to spend more, you should order the Mango or Lime Lassi (a traditional and popular Indian yogurt based drink) at $3 to go with the Pratas.
Price: $2.50 per plain Prata (minimum order of 2)
You can find out more about Gokul Fortune Centre here.
Zi Zai Zhai @ Tampines 自在斋
Zi Zai Zhai has been expanding pretty aggressively (and closing several branches at the same time) in the past few years. Currently, only the Yishun and Tampines branch serves Roti Prata. The Tampines branch restaurant is actually split in 2 shophouses. One serves as the Kitchen while the other the main dining area. Interestingly, you will find an Indian grilling the Prata though this is a Chinese vegetarian restaurant. Some of them can even speak good Mandarin or Cantonese. Similar to the Nature Vegetarian Delights, you will find many customers tucking in their Prata at the dining area. Depending on the time of your visit, it may take a while for the order to arrive. I find no issue with the Prata which are freshly made on the spot. However, the gravy is really disappointing. It tastes as if someone has just carelessly poured lot of curry powder into the bowl. Also, the gravy is quite watery.
Price: $1 per plain Prata (minimum order of 2)
You can find out more about Zi Zai Zhai Tampines here.
(Closed)Yi Xin Su Shi 一心斋素食
After Casa Green shuts down in Jurong East several months ago, people bemoans the loss of good Indian vegetarian food in the western part of Singapore. Fortunately, we are pleased that Yi Xin has picked up the mantle. Yi Xin is tucked in the quiet corner of the Bukit Batok New Town. Similar to Zi Zai Zhai, Yi Xin Roti Prata is made by an Indian. While there is nothing special about the Prata, the curry gravy tastes like authentic Indian vegetable curry with even the Indian spice tastes and smell. The potatoes and vegetables are cooked really soft. If I am being picky, I will prefer the curry to be spicier. Another challenge for Yi Xin is that there is only one public bus no. 173 servicing the bus stop nearest to Yi Xin hence it will take a while traveling to Yi Xin via public transport.
Price: $0.80 per plain Prata (no minimum order)
You can find out more about Yi Xin here.
San Bao in Ang Mo Kio is another heartland hawker stall which serves Roti Prata every Wed and Sat. Its proximity to the Ang Mo Kio means that there are always many customers during breakfast and lunch time. We advise you have to reach San Bao early else you must be prepared to wait quite a while for their Prata to arrive. Moreover, only one old uncle is in charge of grilling the Prata. We like the crispiness of the Prata. However, the curry is quite watery and lacks the punch to make it truly great.
Price: $0.50 per plain Prata (no minimum order)
You can find out more about San Bao here.
It has taken us a while to visit all the above vegetarian eateries. Coincidentally, they are spread out in the four corners of Singapore so you do not have to travel far to reach one. We hope to bring you more of such comparison articles in the future. With this, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.