“Come To Singapore, Raw Chef Yin!” - those words seemed to glow from my phone as I checked my Instagram posts.
Wow, they want me in Singapore! Somehow I thought Singapore was way ahead of Malaysia in terms of raw food so I was kinda flattered someone wanted me to go over and teach.
And so, I booked the next flight out to Singapore.
Ok, ok, so maybe the real reason for Singapore was because my very good friend Cheryl Tan was playing the lead role of Juliet in the Singapore Repertory Theatre’s production of Shakespeare in The Park: Romeo & Juliet! We used to sing in the same community choir more than ten years ago. And now she’s in the “Most Anticipated Outdoor Event Of The Year”, or at least that’s what the MRT advertisements in Singapore proclaim. So Kale Yeah, Singapore here I come!
In fact, I conducted TWO raw food workshops. One on Friday evening and the next one on Saturday morning. Note to self, maybe not such a good idea to teach back-to-back workshops even though raw food fills me with so much energy. Getting up at six-thirty in the morning to head to the amazing Geylang Serai market can be taxing even for a raw food chef.
In addition to teaching Singapore folks on how to make yummy, beautiful raw food dishes, I was on a quest to check out as many raw food restaurants in Singapore as I could.
The first on my list was Frunatic, as I have been drooling over their beautiful raw meals on Instagram. Unfortunately, at that point in time they were still not officially open yet. Can’t wait to head over there on my next trip!
I had better luck with Afterglow by Anglow. This was recommended to me by a Singaporean raw food chef, and it kept popping up during my Google searches for raw food restaurants in Singapore.
Afterglow calls itself a whole foods restaurant that champions the rise of farm-to-table food. Their focus is mainly on vegetarian food and the best part is that half the menu is curated to offer raw food and plant-based options.
YES! Exactly what I was looking for. Their opening hours were a bit weird though. It was a bit difficult to fit in a visit with my back-to-back meetings but eventually I figured lunch on Friday afternoon would work out. (Their latest announcement on Facebook says that they’re now open from Monday till Saturday all day from 12pm-9.15pm so Kale Yeah!)
I scoured their menu for all the raw food options and we settled on the following:
- Raw Vegan Nut ‘Cheese’ Platter with Crackers
- Raw Crispy Lasagne
- Raw Basil Alfredo Pizza with Almond Crust and Wakame
- Raw Chocolate Salted Caramel Fudge
*Claps hands in glee*
Did I have all that to myself? Nah… I was with Mr Jazz Guitarist as well as Jasmine, who could possibly be one of my most favourite Artiste Liaison Officers ever. With her around, food and water appear magically and she navigates us through the most complex hallways at the Esplanade and gets us to performances on time. Incidentally, Jasmine accompanied us during our previous visit to the other raw food restaurant in Singapore, The Living Cafe at Bukit Timah in 2014. I think maybe I should appoint her as our default lunch partner-in-crime whenever we hit the Singapore town in search of raw foods.
Afterglow’s Raw Vegan Nut ‘Cheese’ was obviously dairy-free. It’s made out of fermented cashews with probiotics. Olives and capsicum are added for flavour too. I was told that the whole process takes three to four days.
“These are raw dehydrated crackers made out of green apple, beetroot and cashews. They’re not deep fried, merely dehydrated for 48 hours,” the Afterglow guy patiently explained.
Forty-eight hours??!! I don’t think anything has lasted in my dehydrator beyond 24 hours. Raw Chef Yin is easily tempted. She tends to “test” a cookie every time she walks past her dehydrator and at the end of 24 hours, only half the trays of cookies are left.
Ok, so maybe I’ve had some willpower when I had to make samples of my Raw Cumin Cucumber crackers. I resisted tasting them. So perhaps resisting 48 hours is possible in my kitchen.
One word for our appetiser: Yummeh!
The Special for the day was a Raw Basil Alfredo Pizza with Almond Crust and Wakame. Yup, I went for the special and wasn’t disappointed.
It’s an entire raw pizza, with basil being the highlight. Afterglow managed to make a perfect pizza crust from almond, flaxseeds and onion. I loved the cashew spread with basil which went so well with the assorted vegetables. Oooh, and they had marinated spinach too. Plus the wakame ensured I got my vitamins and minerals from the meal. Top points!
Jasmine chose the Afterglow bestseller - a Raw Crispy Lasagna. I think every raw chef would be familiar with the use of thinly sliced zucchini sheets to replace pasta sheets. But Afterglow’s version leveled up. It had a dehydrated cherry tomato layer, hence the crispy bit.
Combined with raw pesto, homemade bell pepper sauce, dehydrated cherry tomato sauce, marinated walnuts, marinated mushrooms, marinated spinach, cashew cream and macadamia nut cheese, it is a pretty satisfying lasagna dish, even for true pasta lovers.
A raw meal is never complete without dessert, no?
Our eyes (and mouths!) feasted on the Raw Chocolate Salted Caramel Fudge. Imagine a thick chocolate fudge with rich layers of salted caramel oozing out, topped with coconut flakes and a raspberry. I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s all healthy. You can have your dessert and remain guilt-free. After all it’s made with avocado, raw cacao, vanilla, honey and medjool dates with a walnut crust. All nutrient-rich ingredients. No nasty stuff filled with preservatives or artificial colouring.
I have to confess it was a tad too sweet for me, perhaps because we were so busy capturing photos on our phones that the fudge melted a bit and the sweetness intensified. Having said that, Mr Guitarist lapped it all up.
If you’re up for a farm-to-table, plant-based, real food experience in Singapore, you know where to go - It’s Afterglow on 24 Keong Saik Road.