33 Vegetarian: Surprise Your Tastebuds With Vegetarian Chicken Rice In AMK

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Chicken rice is definitely a national treasure. Every Singaporean probably has their own preference of chicken rice. But what if I told you there’s such a thing as vegetarian chicken rice?

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Now, the owners of 33 Vegetarian in Ang Mo Kio were not vegetarians initially; they became vegetarians only five years ago. However, due to their love for chicken rice, they decided to create a vegetarian twist on their local favourite.

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I was lucky to be able to try three of the most popular dishes on the menu despite visiting the stall at 4pm, even though there was already a snaking queue at the stall.

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The speciality on the menu was definitely the Healthy Vegetarian Chicken Rice Set (S$6.80). Every single component, from the “meat” down to the soup, was vegetarian.

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Let us begin with the “steamed chicken”, which was in reality, soy protein. What was fascinating was that this soy protein looked exactly like chicken, and even had the texture and consistency of chicken. Honestly, it even had the familiar fatty layer that chicken has between its meat and the skin.

At this point, my mind was confused. Was I really eating mock meat? Sadly, when I bit into it, the instant taste of mock meat became recognisable. Thankfully, the owners were able to adapt and change the taste of mock meat to replicate the taste of chicken.

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There was a vegetarian version of roasted chicken, which is featured in their Healthy Vegetarian Chicken Rice Set.

The “roasted chicken” is made out of tau kee, a food product made out of soybeans. I honestly preferred the “roasted chicken”, just like when I enjoy authentic chicken rice as well.

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You cannot have chicken rice without achar. Achar is a South Asian pickled dish, usually a mixture of cucumbers, carrots and pineapples in a vinegarish brine. It had the ideal balance of tangy and sweet.

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Bok choy is also a commonly seen vegetable, served as a side dish with chicken rice. Something special about the version here is that the vegetables are topped off with a unique ingredient—zai er. Zai er is a vegetarian mock goose, predominantly known as “crispy” to me. I felt that these two worked out harmoniously.

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I have to give a special shoutout to the soup. Despite the fact that this was a vegetarian soup, it miraculously captured the essence and flavour of a chicken soup. Every mouthful had the umami taste, with the abundance of herbs giving off incredible, potent flavours in my mouth.

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Moving on from the Healthy Vegetarian Chicken Rice Set, another popular menu offering was Vegetarian Thai Chicken With Rice (S$4). This was recommended by the lady boss, who remarked that the Thai spicy sauce was home-made and paired brilliantly with the “roasted chicken”.

I gave it a try, and without a doubt, she was telling the truth.

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The sauce was reminiscent of Thai chilli sauce. Combined with the springiness of the “roasted chicken”, it did felt like I was having a proper chicken cutlet meal. Definitely give this a try if you are a fan of spicy food!

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Last but not least, I had the Vegetarian Curry Chicken Noodle (S$4.50). This is one of the stall’s best-sellers. At first sight, it looked like an ordinary bowl of curry chicken noodles.

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Similar to a normal bowl of curry chicken noodles, they use thick egg yellow noodles. When I left the noodles in the broth for a while, it definitely soaked up all the curry goodness, which made it even better with every subsequent bite.

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Just like the chicken rice, mock meat was used in replacement of chicken breast. However, this mock meat was extremely tender, and gave off a similar bite and consistency of chicken. I was honestly blown away by how much of the broth the mock meat soaked up.

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No curry chicken noodle dish would be complete without this star ingredient—tau pok. Tau pok is the best food sponge to absorb all and any soupy base it’s immersed in. Having it soak up the curry was an absolute delight!

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Having said that, I still prefer the Healthy Vegetarian Chicken Rice Set over the Vegetarian Curry Chicken Noodle. Why? Simply because vegetarian chicken rice is something unique, especially given it’s bound to be constantly compared to the traditional, iconic dish.

Given my fervent love for chicken rice, I have to admit, this could easily be a vegetarian’s favourite dish as well.

Expected Damage: S$3 – S$6.80 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

33 Vegetarian

Block 409A Ang Mo Kio Street 21, #01-33, Singapore 561409

Our Rating 4/5

33 Vegetarian

Block 409A Ang Mo Kio Street 21, #01-33, Singapore 561409

Operating Hours: 11am - 8pm (Thurs to Mon), Closed on Tues & Wed

Operating Hours: 11am - 8pm (Thurs to Mon), Closed on Tues & Wed