Food Picks: Vegetable dishes at Back To Eden, atypical omakase at The Social Outcast and Kappou

Vegetable-forward menu at Back To Eden

Cafe lovers may remember Curious Palette in Prinsep Street, well-known for its coffee and berry ricotta pancakes for the past eight years. 

While that era ended on April 2, the same location is now the home of vegetable-forward cafe Back To Eden since May. 

It is still run by owner Ryan Kieran Tan, 38, who is also behind eateries Wakey Wakey in Bugis and Strangers At Work in Raffles Place. 

The new direction is a reflection of Mr Tan’s own lifestyle, when he became a vegan four years ago. 

No, there is no plant-based meat, affirms the award-winning barista. All his outlets carry coffee from his Strangers’ Reunion label – albeit with oat or soya milk at Back To Eden. 

The vegetable-driven menu offers hearty vegan-friendly dishes that showcase flavourful housemade sauces, creams and condiments. 

Highlights include goulash with garlic mash ($18.90) with vegetables and mushrooms; and Back To Eden’s version of Shakshuka ($18.90) of chunky tomato peperonata (Italian vegetable stew), topped with a pumpkin, carrot and Himalayan black salt “yolk”, smoked cashew sour cream and coarse-grain dukkah. Dunk slices of house-baked herbed focaccia to soak up all the delicious gravy. 

For sides, order the Oyster Mushroom Berempah ($11.90), coated in a “secret berempah recipe” and served with fragrant curry leaves and a creamy lime mayonnaise; or maple-glazed roasted butternut squash ($13.90) with pink-hued beet hummus. 

Besides coffee (from $4 for an espresso), get your smoothie fix with the Flamingo ($10.50), a blend of grapefruit, orange, frozen raspberries, coconut water and maple syrup; or the blueberry pie-inspired Purple ($10.50), with blackberries, blueberries, frozen bananas, rolled oats, oat milk, cinnamon and lemon juice. 

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