rice cake confessional

adventures in eating

staying naive

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Have you ever had mushrooms that taste like jelly doughnuts?


I have. It was weird. I’m not sure I liked it but I kept eating them. First because it took awhile for me to pinpoint the flavor. Secondly because it was so weird you had to keep eating it just to make sure.

I had these doughnutshrooms at Naive which is located just down the street from Summer Frost. The place specializes in vegetarian food so it is no surprise that herbivores made me eat here. It’s a nice looking restaurant – well lit with cute artwork on the walls.


This is well documented but you start of each meal by blessing a bunch of sesame seeds. I’m sure there’s some meditational aspect of grinding them up and in general this step seemed unnecessary but I’ll play along.


The drink was my favorite part of the meal – lemon with sour plum paste. Lip puckeringly sour and sweet.


I had gotten there late so they ordered me a bowl of olive rice. I think a little too flavored given the spices and seasonings of the entrees.


I’m not going to highlight every dish we had at Naive because, well frankly, a lot of them tasted the same and weren’t memorable enough to jog the memory when I flipped through the pictures. We will, however, be chatting about those ‘shrooms again.

The spring rolls were filled with a peanutty tofu mixture with a sweet dipping sauce. Eating at Naive was kinda like shopping for clothes at Walmart. You pick it up/taste it and think – if only they hadn’t put these rhinestones/left out the curry flavor. It’s like one or two steps into too much for me.


The vegetarians were really excited because they said this tasted like pork but it’s actually more mushrooms with some kailan. This flavor was ok but the mushrooms were fried within an inch of their lives. This made them super chewy. Like hurt my molars chewy.


Tempura fried vegetables. Again ok but the batter has some extra spice in it. Dipping it in the soy sauce (?) helped to temper it a bit.


This one is clearly channeling a meat dish that usually features duck or pork sandwiched in the bao dough. There is too much going on in the fake-y meat here. It’s not quite curryish not char siewish. What do you want to be mystery non-meat?


Back to those jelly doughnuts in the beginning. There was (again) something in the batter – something vanillay or nutmegy maybe – that combined with the super sweet dipping sauce rendered it into doughnut city.

I don’t want to knock Naive too much. The vegetarians love this place. It just wasn’t for me. When I think of vegetarian restaurants I imagine places where the veggie flavors really pop. Where things taste super fresh and where mushrooms taste like mushrooms (or beef jerky). Different strokes for different folks.

Naive: 99 East Coast Road Singapore


Written by joann

January 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm

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