Not too far away from the Little India station lies Tulasi Vegetarian & Cafe. While the menu features cuisine from India, China, Malaysia, Thai and Europe, you won’t find any animal products here except for some dairy, such as milk in their Teh Tarik. The restaurant’s pandan chicken and hot dogs are replaced by mock meats.
Before I place an order, the waiter brings basket of rice papad–fluffy and crispy lentil wafers that look like wrinkled paper–along with two types of chutney: mango and mint. The mint chutney is spicy and salty more than, well, minty. The mango chutney appears akin to apricot jam yet is sweet like the glazed sauce topped on tangsuyuk, Korean-style orange chicken.
I am tempted to order Char Kway Teow, but remind myself to stay focused and fulfill the original mission: to eat briyani. As recommended by my waiter I get the Malabar Dum Bryani with marinated mutton. The mock lamb meat was soft and smooth unlike real mutton. Regardless it was as tasty as a less salty version of your typical sausage found in a hot dog. The bryani comes served on a circular banana leaf with a papadam of cracked black pepper and cumin. The dish is more bold and vibrant than the taste. The minced cilantro is the most prominent ingredient in each bite.
Drizzle the accompanied sauce, which has the consistency of gravy mixed with mashed potato, over the orange and red basmati rice to add flavor. You’ll wish there were more pieces of eggplant and carrot.
The sauce is ideal for one serving. The bryani is enough to feed two of me. I takeaway the rest of my colorful rice.
My meal came with two sides of vegetables. The raita is refreshing as usual due to the cucumber and yogurt. A dash of chili is placed on top. The vegetable dish made of onions and cucumbers sprinkled with chili powder looks like kimchi. It is spicy minus the fermenting process.
The interior of Tulasi is clean and has additional seating on the second floor. Have a spoonful of fennel at the cashier upon your payment. It’ll freshen your mouth. The person you kiss next will appreciate it.
Tulasi Vegetarian & Cafe
46 Race Course Road
Tel: +65 6299 3809