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Much more than just a salad: Filling up at Gourmet Greens Week

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Eat your veggies (we promise you’ll want to!) at the upcoming Gourmet Greens Week, mama

Vegetables are having a major moment in Singapore. From artichokes to zucchinis, brinjals to yams, delicious seasonal vegetables are no longer just side dishes but are instead taking centre stage at some of the island’s hottest restaurants. Starting 23 November (next Monday!), you can see for yourself at Gourmet Greens Week, presented by Chope and FIJI Water.

Seventeen Singapore restaurants will be featuring 4-course set lunches and dinners to highlight each chef’s favourite vegetarian ingredients. Participants include Keong Saik cool kids Luxe Sydney and Neon Pigeon (recently featured in our roundup of favourite date night restaurants), the delightful Bukit Pasoh duo of Humpback and Oso, and delectable Indian fine diners Punjab Grill and Song of India, along with many others. Last week I got to sample some highlight dishes at a few of the participating restaurants, and I can honestly say I can’t wait to go back for more next week!

Neon Pigeon - Miso Roasted Pumpkin Rice

Gourmet Greens Week is an amazing opportunity for chefs to showcase veggies in all their pristine glory, while still staying true to their own style. Neon Pigeon, for example, will be serving Miso Roasted Pumpkin Rice with sugar snap peas, crispy garlic and egg yolk (pictured above), along with Edamame, Yuzu Croquettes, and Charred Carrots & Parsnips with pickled ginger vinaigrette. Who says veggies can’t be satisfyingly filling?

Burlamacco- Three Eggs Cooked in Spicy Tomato Sauce and Fresh Herbs

For even heartier fare, you might want to visit Burlamacco Ristorante, helmed by Chef Gabriele Piegaia who’s worked at Michelin-starred restaurants all over his native Italy. I thoroughly enjoyed the Three Eggs cooked in tomato sauce and fresh herbs (pictured), which just might be my new go-to hangover dish. It’s rich and velvety, with a surprising amount of spice and bright herbs that keep it from feeling too heavy. Burlamacco will also be serving a Potato Dumpling Gnocchi (you can never go wrong with gnocchi!), Eggless Pasta Pici and a beautiful Tiramisu to cap off its 5-course dinner menu.

Humpback- Beetroot and Figs, Ash Cheese, Juniper Oil and Burnt Orange

Newcomer Humpback has quickly made a name for itself with a menu of super-fresh oysters and fresh seafood, but Chef Polo Seah is also passionate about vegetables, as evidenced by the generous number of inventive offerings on the restaurant’s regular menu. During the media preview I thoroughly enjoyed my tasting plate of Sunchoke puree, kale and honeycomb (such a surprisingly delightful combination of sweet and savoury, smooth and crispy), not least because it was the first time I’d come across sunchokes in Singapore. Other Humpback highlights during Gourmet Greens Week will include Beetroot and figs with ash cheese, juniper oil and burnt orange (pictured), and a delicate starter of Tomato, olive, almond juice and scallion.

Sugarhall- Spiced Polenta, Grilled Figs, Fig Jam and Watercress

Beets were also on parade at Sugarhall, a Caribbean-inflected steakhouse on Amoy Street. I quite adored the Beetroot Tartin with pecans, golden beets and mascarpone cheese. It’s positioned as a starter on Sugarhall’s 5-course dinner menu,  but was light and lively enough that it almost felt like a pre-dessert (maybe it was the mascarpone). It’s pretty bold for a steakhouse to offer an all-vegetarian tasting menu, but once again reflects the important space that veggies now occupy in the Singapore food conversation (other dishes on offer at Sugarhall will include Spiced Polenta and Gnocchi with spinach and goat cheese).

So whether you’re hoping to experience veggies in new and exciting ways, or you’re just looking to try out some of the island’s most popular dining spots, definitely give Gourmet Greens Week a go, mama. Set menus will cost $30++ per person for a four course set lunch and $45++ per person for a four course dinner (plus dessert). Each diner will also receive a complimentary 330 ml bottle of FIJI Water during their meal. As an added bonus, you can stand a chance to win $1,000 worth of dining vouchers by following FIJI Water (@FIJIWaterSG) and Chope (@ChopeSG) on Instagram and uploading a photo of your delicious dining experience with the hashtag #GourmetGreensWeek.

Going green has never tasted so good.

Gourmet Greens Week is on from Monday November 23 to Sunday November 29. For more information about participating restaurants and menus, or to book your meal, visit Chope, mama!

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