HRVST is the vegan restaurant that could change your mind about meat
Never say never
Let's just put it out there.
Becoming vegan isn't a switch you can easily turn on. It's challenging when you love eating meat. Do I sometimes fantasise about sinking my teeth into a Quarter Pounder during an office meeting? Yes, there might have been a few instances of that occurring.
While I respect the movements and ideologies of vegans and vegetarians, such as preventing the exploitation of animals, and personal health reasons attributing to the diet of more protein, iron, fibre, calcium, essential vitamins and minerals and less saturated fat, it's another thing to make it an everyday lifestyle.
Especially when most of your life decisions seem to be dictated by your stomach. And having had a few underwhelming vegan meals in my life, I was convinced a meal wasn't capable of greatness without the key essentials of meat or any sort of dairy produce.
So it's definitely strange that I'm penning an open love letter to the new vegan restaurant and bar, HVRST (short for Harvest) — an extended food & beverage concept from Kilter Avenue, a boutique gym at OUE Downtown. Everything here is 100% vegan, which is a rarity on our shores, discounting the measly vegan options we usually see on menus in most cafes.
Options here are plenty — whether it's bar bites (yes, they serve craft beers), appetisers, mains or desserts — one can certainly can have it all. Get started with one of their delicious seaweed tofu croquettes, coupled with a zesty kick from their homemade yuzu mayo. It's delicately crisp, surprisingly tasty and definitely hits the spot.
Save room because the mains are undoubtedly the highlight here. Their spin on the typical café brunch item features orange glazed grilled tofu, slathered with an indulgent nut spread atop a toasted sourdough. A winning savoury-sweet combination that could rival any form of Eggs Ben.
If you love Italian grub as much as we do, HVRST does it with a fierce dash of Asian spice. Order the pumpkin gnocchi, doused in a deftly spicy tom yum broth, or BKT ("Bak Kut Teh") barley risotto, which didn't seem to be lacking anything, even without its usual main ingredient. Same goes for their sweets: their matcha coconut ice-cream was balanced expertly with poached plums and a glorious coat of pistachios.
In the case of HVRST, you won't be missing your Angus beef or favourite cheese. Food substitutes were masterfully appointed and delivered a strong case of what a vegan diet could be capable of, when left in skilful hands. I for one, stand corrected.
6A Shenton Way, OUE Downtown Gallery, #05-01, Tel: 6920 7500
Opening hours: (Mon-Fri) 7am-11pm, (Sat) 9am-12pm