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Where to go for a delicious, Vegan Valentines’ Date

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Photo: Joie by Dozo

This Valentines’ Day, let #veganuary live on and go on an intimate, nourishing plant-based gastronomic adventure with your date.

Don’t let the idea of plant food fool you though — some of these vegan dishes are so amazingly executed you may just find yourself hardly missing the meat at all. You’d also find yourself marveling at the creativity and amount of prep work that goes behind each dish — we know we did.

And what’s sweeter than sharing a delicious dessert or pastry with your other half on Valentines’ Day? We tried a few raw vegan desserts that were ridiculously good it’ll keep you coming back for seconds and thirds. Guilt-free indulgence at its best.

We love that these restaurants and cafes were using fresh, whole food ingredients to craft our food, without any of the chemical nasties. Seven spaces made the list: intimate, delightful places with food that made us sigh in contentment. Take your date for a vegan V’day like no other at these places:

1. Porta

Heura Mediteranean Pasta | Photo: Porta

Located in Park Hotel Clark Quay, Porta is set in an eclectic ambience fitting of its menu focused on European cuisine and farm-to-table fresh produce. They also have a plant-based menu, launched in collaboration with the Green Monday movement.

Start the meal with a delicious Cream of Pumpkin Soup, $9, made with fresh pumpkin, coconut cream and cilantro. Mains to pick from include the Heura Mediteranean Pasta, $18 — a spicy, tangi aglio olio with red chilli — and the Beyond Burger, $24 that is made of plant-based Daiya Cheddar Cheese.

Verdict: You got us at eclectic. Porta whispers of an intimate culinary adventure for two, and we’re ready.

2. Prive Chijmes

Photo: Prive Chijmes

Dine alfresco under twinkling fairylights and if you’re lucky, a blanket of stars too. The vibes at Prive are something we find ourselves always drawn to, and most outlets have impeccable service (with special mention to the Keppel Bay outlet).

Vegan options here are plenty: the Linguine Mushroom ‘Carbonara’, $18 is made of a delicious mushroom medley and features cashew parmesan and cream sauce. Or opt for the Impossible Meatball Spaghetti, $19 or Plant Based Truffled Mushroom Swiss Burger, $21. Vegan pizzas like Margherita, $18; Truffled Field Mushroom Madness, $19 are also available.

Valentines’ day also calls for dessert, lovingly shared. Prive has quite a range: a delicious, vegan Sticky Date Pudding, $13, Tiramisu, $9 and Dark Chocoltae & Nuts Brownie with Vanilla nice cream, $9. If you feel like you’ve to order all three — go ahead, we won’t judge.

Verdict: Delicious vegan food, romance in the air, fairylights up ahead… what more can a girl ask for?

3. Joie Restaurant by Dozo

Photo: Joie by Dozo

Joie by Dozo is a vegetarian fine dining restaurant that sits on the rooftop garden of Orchard Central. Featuring an elaborate 6-course set lunch ($39.80++) and 7-course set dinner ($69.80++), their dishes are a Japanese-European fusion.

We feasted on delicately plated side dishes like the Bailing Mushroom on Paper Hot Pot and Charcoal Coated Tempura Platter. The cold apps and soups were also beautifully plated and delicious; for mains, we had the Truffle Risotto, Duo Ravioli Platter and Grill Summer Mushroom Steak on Pu-Ye Hot Stone. The mushroom steak was visually stunning and also exceptionally good.

Desserts were fairly normal here but acceptable. Our only gripe was the use of sweet, artificial syrups in the iced drinks. Else, opt for the hot Roselle Rhythm or Lavender Tea for a more au naturel accompaniment to the meal.

Verdict: A gastronomic adventure that’s sure to please and excite your Valentine’s date — even if he or she’s not vegan. Very wallet-friendly too. Pro tip: ask for seating near the beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows.

4. Afterglow by Anglow

Cauliflower Steak with Sweet Potato Mash | Photo: Afterglow

Afterglow is a café that proudly declares to be a pure food movement — one that is sustainable and plant-based. Dig into popular dishes like the Cauliflower Steak with Sweet Potato Mash, $22 served with chimichurri; Taco Trio, $22 that’s made of Tahuhu Goreng, Gojuchang Cauliflower and Maple Tamari Tempeh; Kimchi Avo Rolls, $14 and Salted Egg-less Sweet Potato Fries, $10.

Polish the meal off on a sweet note with desserts like the Raw ‘Cheese’cake, $14. Beverages are also pretty extensive to boot: take your pick from ultra low-carb beers, craft ciders, Kombuchas or specialty drinks like Pink Almond Latte, $7 infused with beetroot, ginger and cinnamon.

Verdict: Delicious, honest farm-to-table good food in a casual café setting, no doubt crafted by passionate folks. If bae’s up for a casual and no-frills date night, we’d say go for it.

5. Carrotsticks & Cravings

Photo: Carrotsticks & Cravings

Make it a V’day brunch date and swing by healthy brunch haven Carrotsticks & Cravings at Dempsey to dine amidst lush greenery. Founded by Australian expat Terri-Anne, the café serves up some all-star vegan brunch favs like the Happy Vegan Avo, $18; Meredith Goats Cheese with Thyme Mushrooms, $18; Breakfast Burrito, $15 and Pancakes The Right Way, $20 featuring organic blueberry oat pancakes.

They also have yummy smoothies available on the menu like PB Choco Smoothie, Tahini Date Smoothie and fresh juices like Tummy Time (carrot, orange, turmeric) and Earthy Roots (apple, beetroot, carrot).

Verdict: Well, brunch is always a good idea — isn’t it? But just in case there are great expectations for a romantic candlelit dinner, check with your date first.

6. nomVnom Bistro at Clark Quay

Photo: nomVnom

nomVnom’s mission is to serve up delicious plant-based burgers and grub that non-vegans will love too. Their handmade toasted buns are made from natural, unbleached flour while their burger patties are made largely with soy, potatoes, mushrooms and veggies.

With a variety of burgers like the Classic Soy Burger, $7.90, Temptation Satay Burger, $8.90 and Tempelicious, $7.90 as well as plant-based pizzas and local Asian fare on the menu, dining here will surely be a nourishing experience.

Verdict: For an ultra casual Valentines’ date with comfort food. Bonus points if your date’s crazy about burgers.

7. Original Sin

Mezza platter | Photo: Original Sin

Named after the famous fresco painted in the Sistine Chapel, Original Sin is a Mediterranean vegetarian restaurant in Holland Village serving up plant-based gourmet pizzas, pastas, starters and salads. The ambience of the restaurant is cozy and intimate with alfresco candlelight seating available.

Order up the star favorite — Mezza Platter, $22, which features fresh hummus, beetroot, walnut and capsicum and almond dips, served with fried feta, falafel balls, Tzatziki and pita bread. Delicious mains like the Lasagna Rossa would be our pick and sharing a Tiramisu or two would be a lovely, romantic way to wrap up the meal.

Verdict: A Valentines’ candlelight dinner date steeped in Mediterranean foodie bliss? Hell, yes.

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