I have been a vegetarian for a few years. I have always been a heavy meat eater for a large proportion of my life but I decided to switch to a predominantly plant-based diet a few years ago. While I am not a full vegan as I still consume dairy products like yoghurt and I have eggs on an almost daily basis, I have not had meat for the past few years. The benefits have been immense. I do not have the discomforting stomach upset that I usually have after a heavy meal and my skin has cleared up considerably. I used to have periodical acne and such occurrences have greatly reduced since embarking on a vegetarian diet. Also, my recovery after going to the gym is much swifter. I recover, in most cases, within a day. All these benefits do come at a cost. Wallet wise. It is actually more difficult to eat on a budget if you are a vegetarian and much worse if you are a vegan. Typical vegetarian stalls at the hawker centre are usually selling fried items. This then dissipates the initial health benefits of going plant-based as you end up consuming a large amount of fried items.
It is really refreshing to see that there are now plant-based options sprouting up all over the island as more people are choosing plant-based options as a cleaner and healthier option. Places like The Kind Bowl create plant-based meals based on traditional items which would otherwise be served with real meat. The catch when using meat replacements? The meat replacement that is being used is either lab-grown or highly processed. Think Impossible or Beyond Meat as these are the more commonly used brands. That state had to be manufactured through a complicated process to make it taste like meat. At The Kind Bowl, their meat replacement of choice is Omni Meat. You can read about them online but in essence, they are creating plant-based meat as well. Personally, I am not a fan of processed meat replacements. Instead, I look for plant-based meals that use plants to replace the meat in traditional meals. An example of this would be a bowl of Pho that omits the usual beef in favour of mushrooms to add that texture to what otherwise would be a bland bowl of noodles and vegetables. I come from a background of consuming meat heavily and I can safely say that the meat replacements in the market currently do taste and feel like the actual thing. The only drawback is that such items are highly processed.
Where the Kind Bowl comes in is somewhere in between. It has options that use meat replacements as well as others that just use whole plants. I obviously favoured the non-meat replacement options.
I would say that their menu is extensive. It is dominated by Vietnamese options as evidenced by the multiple Pho and Bhan Mi options. I was never a fan of Vietnamese food but I gave the Kind Pho a go. Apparently, it is the second most popular option on their menu after the Bhan Mi.
The promotion made it enticing to get the Oyster Mushroom Fritters.
This gave me a free Promanganate Detox which otherwise was just promanganate syrup in a glass of ice.
The Pho was really good. I have had very bad Pho previously. Perhaps I am already spoilt by the denser and more complex savoury flavour of Thai cuisine such that I cannot truly appreciate Pho. For soup-based meals, the details are in the broth and this broth was good. The Oyster Mushroom Fritters had a spicy kick to them which made it not feel like I was having Lok Lok.
There is a period in the afternoon on Mondays to Thursdays when they are closed. 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Do take note. I had to rush through my meal as I reached after 2 pm.
Overall The Kind Bowl is a good place to have plant-based meals. As vegetarians, we do not have to be bogged down by plain Jane options at the hawker centre and food courts which in most cases are merely fried bee hoon with an assortment of fried items that basically made from tofu. The downside, plant-based meals are not cheap. My meal was in the region of $17. That is the issue with going plant-based. Would I pay $17 again for this meal at The Kind Bowl? Probably. It was good. Just not “I got to have it at least once every week” good.
p.s. I will return and feature more options progressively. Surprisingly, there are not many such plant-based options along Orchard Road. Well, not that I know of. Hence my propensity to gravitate to Soul Salad for my lunch if I did not bring along any pre-prepared one.
The Kind Bowl
Address: 71 Killiney Rd, Singapore 239527
Monday to Thursday 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Friday to Sunday 11:30 am to 9:30 pm