New Zai Xing Vegetarian: Addictive Mushroom Rolls at the heartiest breakfast I’ve ever had

What’s a “hearty breakfast” in Singapore? Chwee kueh? Chai tow kway? Kaya toast? Big Breakfast?

None of the above for me. The first thing that comes to mind is a simple plate of bee hoon. Growing up, I used to watch my father eat that economical dish for breakfast. Now, it was finally time to experience it for myself.

Renowned for their handmade Mushroom Rolls, New Zai Xing Vegetarian at Tiong Bahru Market was my first choice. Take it from a reviewer who boldly claimed that this is “Singapore’s No.1 vegetarian bee hoon stall”. Promising.

Previously known as Zai Xing Vegetarian at their original location at Seng Poh Road (yes, the same kopitiam where the “No Name” BCM shared), the “crowd favourite” hawker store has been around for the past 26 years.

New Zai Xing Vegetarian - Storefront

The vegetarian store is helmed by the friendly mother-son duo of Mdm Chua, 80, and Mr Tew, 50. Willing to break the monotony of my daily 5-minute breakfast, I was excited to see what was in store (literally).

What I tried at New Zai Xing Vegetarian

Navigation has never been this easy. I simply followed the winding trail of locals and tourists that led me to the popular hawker centre that needed no introduction!

Braving through the crowd and humidity, I made my way to New Zai Xing Vegetarian which currently sports a fresh red signboard with white lettering that proudly incorporated the word, “New”. The hawkers behind the vegetarian stall remain unchanged though. 

New Zai Xing Vegetarian - Mdm Chua & Mr Tew

The pair was hard at work. While Mr Tew received and prepared customers’ orders, I espied Mdm Chua continuously deep-frying batches of their highly-raved Mushroom Rolls, Crispy Tau Kee and more. 

Mad respect. I doubt I will have the same vitality as this committed towkay 60 years from now. Maybe not even half of that energy. Enough blabbering, time to get to business. 

Their made-to-order menu was an extremely straightforward one. With the option of Bee Hoon (S$4/ S$5), Mee (S$4/ S$5) or even Chicken Rice (S$5), each Standard Set comes with complimentary Cabbage, Crispy Tau Kee, Fungus, Mock Char Siew and Mock Goose. Not bad. 

New Zai Xing Vegetarian - Standard Set

You may also choose additional sides. This includes bestsellers like Popiah (S$1), Pork Chop (S$3), Seaweed Roll (S$3) and Ngoh Hiang (S$3). After peeking at what their regulars preferred to order, I settled on a Standard Set with Bee Hoon (S$4) and a Mushroom Roll (S$3) add-on. 

Dear Popiah and Ngoh Hiang, you are next on my list. 

Stumped at the massive portion in front of me, I secretly thanked myself for not eating breakfast before coming here. Brunch, anyone? Taking a second look at these colourful ingredients neatly strewn across a soft bed of bee hoon, trust me, I was torn about what to eat first. 

Naturally, I gravitated towards the silent star of New Zai Xing Vegetarian. 

New Zai Xing Vegetarian - Mushroom Rolls

Prepared every morning at 3am, the Mushroom Rolls had crispy layers that held moist mushrooms that were steeped in brown braised sauce. I had to stop myself from shoving in the whole luscious roll in one go! Freshly fried once ordered, its golden beancurd shell also had a nice charred edge that finely balances wok hei with chao ta.  

The dish’s Crispy Tau Kee also received the same treatment.

New Zai Xing Vegetarian - Tau Kee

It was not just crispy, but perfectly flaky. TMI, when my family dabao-s vegetarian home for lunch, I always attempt to convince them to give me a serving of their delicate tau kee sheets. Ha! I have the whole lot to myself now.

Meanwhile, the cabbage was fresh and crunchy. As I embarrassingly did not order any drinks to cleanse my palate, this leafy vegetable had ample moisture to do so. Nevertheless, I got a cup of Milo peng after this.

My eyes lit up when I tried the mock meats eh. What the…! How can this plant-based ingredient taste so good? According to Mr Tew, the Mock Char Siew is made from gluten and the Mock Goose is made from beancurd. WHAT.

New Zai Xing Vegetarian - Mock Meats

The uncanny similarities in texture were insane, almost resembling their real counterparts. While the char siew was tender with notes of smoky sweetness, the goose was delightfully savoury with a firm chew. 

Between the two, I enjoyed the Mock Goose the most!

As for the staple carbohydrate in every vegetarian meal, the fluff-free bee hoon at New Zai Xing Vegetarian was clean and light. But the portion was heavy to me. I know some of us don’t think twice before diving into this hearty dish; however, as someone who religiously eats bread or cereal for breakfast, I almost could not finish my meal.

New Zai Xing Vegetarian - Bee Hoon

Thus, it is safe to say that this was one of the heartiest breakfasts I have ever had.

Final Thoughts

我该次请你喝咖啡 (I will treat you coffee next time),” Mdm Chua lightheartedly replied when I joked that she did not look her age. 

Having been around in the Tiong Bahru vicinity for decades, New Zai Xing Vegetarian is here to stay. 

New Zai Xing Vegetarian - Standard Set Prep

Thankfully, Mr Tew also shared that business is better at their current location (a stone’s throw away from Havelock MRT) too. With the famed hawker centre ranking among Singapore’s hotspots, there is now a bigger pool of locals and tourists looking to satisfy their stomachs at this culinary gem. 

Will you be next? 

Expected damage: S$4 to S$8 per pax 

15 best vegetarian restaurants in Singapore that bring sexy back to vegetables

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

New Zai Xing Vegetarian Food

30 Seng Poh Rd, Tiong Bahru Market, #02-36 , Singapore 168898

Price
Our Rating 4.5/5

New Zai Xing Vegetarian Food

30 Seng Poh Rd, Tiong Bahru Market, #02-36 , Singapore 168898

Telephone: +65 6781 1820
Operating Hours: 7am - 1pm (Mon to Wed, Fri & Sat), Closed on Thu & Sun
Telephone: +65 6781 1820

Operating Hours: 7am - 1pm (Mon to Wed, Fri & Sat), Closed on Thu & Sun

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