If there is one diet that has been making waves in the local culinary scene the past few months, it has to be veganism. With an increase in the awareness of healthy foods, we’ve been seeing Impossible foods, Beyond Burgers and other vegan renditions of popular foods, popping up everywhere. And thanks to Veganuary, we’ve been able to enjoy many different innovative menus that restaurants and cafes have come up with in the spirit of the movement. But one that really impressed us would have to be Melati X SPRMRKT’s Vegan Set Menu (S$35++/pax), which we will be reviewing today.

If there is one thing that always adds to the experience is a great ambience. SPRMRKT, situated in a former British army barrack amidst lush greenery, does just that. Due to the high ceilings and large windows, you’ll instantly notice how bright and open the whole space is. And if you think this is just another pretty cafe at Dempsey Hill, you’re wrong.

Just like it’s space, the people at SPRMRKT are extremely passionate about serving whole foods that nourish and energise the body. Even it’s vegan menu for January focuses on using whole ingredients to make great dishes with incredible flavour.

The meal started with a refreshing glass of Melati Spritz (U.P. S$15++/pax). If you’ve been following our blog, you might have noticed that we’ve featured Melati many times before. But it is so worth the try that we just had to feature it again! Melati is Asia’s first premium non-alcoholic aperitif, made from a blend of 26 healing and restorative botanicals.

As part of the menu, the Melati was served with tonic water and an orange slice. The result was a refreshingly citrusy drink that proved to be a great palette opener.

The rest of the menu featured 3 mains for our choosing. The first was a Miso Eggplant & Ancient Grains (U.P. S$25++/pax), which was a baked miso eggplant on top of a harmony of farro, black barley, edamame and charred corn. As individual components, they were really delicious. The baked miso eggplant had a great umami flavour that paired beautifully with the natural earthiness of the eggplant. The mix of ancient grains, beans and vegetables were also incredibly flavourful on their own. However, while we felt like they might have stood better alone, the mix added a nice chewy and crunchy texture which complemented the softness of the eggplant.

The next was a Seared Cauliflower & Brown Rice (U.P. S$25++/pax) made with Cambodian brown rice, seared turmeric cauliflower and topped with braised daikon, shiitake mushrooms and spiced walnut. Initially, we were skeptical about the turmeric as we had tasted one too many dishes that suffered from the overwhelming taste of turmeric. But we were proven wrong when we took the first bite into the perfectly al dente cauliflower. It was lightly seared, which contributed to a slightly smoky flavour and the crispy bits reminded us of roasted seaweed. The addition of the turmeric not only gave it great flavour but also vibrant colours. It was a dish that we could not stop going back to.

My personal favourite of the 3 had to be the Pumpkin Katsu & Okra Tempura (U.P. S$25++/pax), served with a side of sweet bell pepper and Spanish onion relish, on top of a bed of parsnip and coconut milk mash. The pumpkin katsu, meant to mimic a typical Japanese katsu dish, was tender, succulent and had great flavours. I had thought that the whole dish would just be overwhelmingly sweet with pumpkin, coconut milk and relish, but the katsu and okra were savoury. It was also balanced perfectly with the slight tartness of the relish and the sweetness of the coconut parsnip mash. I was particularly impressed with the smoothness of the mash and how light it tasted despite the presence of coconut milk.

SPRMRKT also offers a wide range of desserts to round your meal off. For us, we opted for a Melati Bitters (S$18++/pax) – a complex blend of grapefruit, orange, Melati and a touch of honey. A definite must-try!

There will also be a Dry January pop-up collaboration between Melati and SPRMRKT happening this weekend so do check out their selection of alcoholic and alcohol-free cocktails!

Remember to head to any of SPRMRKT’s locations to try their Veganuary menu. It will only be available in January, so hurry!

SPRMRKT @ Dempsey Hill is located at Dempsey Rd, #01-15A Blk 8, Singapore 247696. Opening Hours : 9am – 10pm.

SPRMRKT @ Cluny Court is 501 #02-13 Bukit Timah Road Cluny Court, 259760. Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 8am – 8pm ; Friday – Saturday, 8am – 10pm

To find out more, head over to their website !


Images : SPRMRKT

 

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