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Flavours By Sauté Offers Creative Vegetarian & Vegan Food At Funan

Vegan orh luak is a thing here!

Photos: Weekender

At the old Funan, the few dining places seldom attracted us to hang around for a bite after shopping for new IT gadgets. The recently revamped Funan is a whole different story. You can even say it’s a foodie heaven. The mall introduces us to lots of emerging local eateries, and there are many cuisines catering to a range of palates. For vegetarians and vegans, there’s no need to worry about finding food at Funan, because there’s an entirely vegetarian and vegan restaurant – Flavours by Sauté!

Located on the B1 level, Flavours by Sauté is the latest dining concept by Sauté, a rather established Singapore vegetarian restaurant chain with outlets in Bugis and City Square Mall.

Sauté specialises in “Earth-based cuisines,” fusion food made from natural, nutritious and wholesome ingredients. Flavours is no different, and the wide menu really screams “fusion.” We’re not kidding; it took us a while to go through their menu and decide on our orders, because there are so many interesting options to choose from! There are local favourites, Japanese ramen, hotpot, pasta and pizzas, salads, Western “steaks” and more.

If you are unsure where to start, go for the bestseller Orh Luak. Yup, they make vegetarian and vegan orh luak at this restaurant! There are several flavour options besides the original, too, such as quinoa, sichuan mala and truffle.

One thing we really appreciate about the menu at Flavours is that they truly try to accommodate specific dietary needs. Many of the dishes, if they are just vegetarian, can be requested to be made without eggs or dairy, so it suitable for vegans. The vegan versions of their orh luak come in the same variety and price as the vegetarian versions, but made eggless.

The Truffle Orh Luak ($17.90) is the chef’s recommended flavour, but we were not really big fans of truffle, so we tried the Complete Protein Quinoa ($15.90) instead. We got the vegan version for our resident vegan. Each orh luak dish is prepared individually upon order, so it took a while to arrive but made up for the wait with hot freshness. It came served with a generous portion of straw mushrooms, fried seaweed and the restaurant’s special chili sauce on the side.

Even without the oysters and egg of the traditional orh luak, the dish has a great chewy, stretchy texture. We thought it was a tad on the oily side and used too much cornflour, but the chili sauce (which we really liked) helped to balance the fried taste and add more flavour.

Another dish that the staff recommended at Flavours is the Black Kut Tea Lion Mane Hotpot ($17.90). You can choose to have it with ramen noodles or rice, a mixed grains with quinoa combination.

It’s a vegan dish that re-creates the classic bak kut teh without the “bak kut” (the pork bone), capturing the similar wholesome peppery and savoury taste using Chinese herbs and mushrooms. We were surprised by how these simple plant-based ingredients could get so close to the bak kut teh taste! And unlike a typical bak kut teh, it was light and healthier. Filling the soup is a nutritious and colourful medley of black fungus, tofu, green leafy veggies, carrots, wongbok, enoki mushrooms, and our favourite lion mane mushrooms.

The price is quite steep, but the Black Kut Tea Lion Mane soup is also available as a ramen dish (no hotpot) at a lower price.

We also sampled the restaurant’s Western offerings. This Mozzarella Parmesan Cheese Basil Pesto Pasta ($15.90) is a cheese-lover’s dream. The pasta was showered with a layer of so much mozzarella and parmesan cheese, we could not see any spaghetti at all until we dug our chopsticks in to stir it all up!

The basil sauce is house-made and tossed with shiitake and king oyster mushrooms – the actual mushrooms were not part of the dish though. We thought everything was fresh and well-cooked, but the heaviness of the cheese and smoky taste of the pine nuts got a bit overpowering.

We also tried the Gula Melaka Latte ($5.90), another interesting creation we were hesitant about but went for it. In the end, we really liked this one. The gula melaka taste was definitely there but not too sweet.

And to finish it all – dessert! True to the Asian fusion specialties of the restaurant, many of their desserts feature gula melaka. We ordered the Caramel Swiss Carrot Cake with Ice-cream ($10.90) but were told that many customers gave the feedback that the caramel was too sweet. The staff therefore kindly swapped the caramel sauce with gula melaka for our dessert.

We enjoyed the carrot cake a lot. It’s hard to get the consistency of carrot cake just right, but Flavours nailed it, and the sweet-and-savoury mix was just nice. The gula melaka sauce went great with the ice-cream, too.

Funan Mall, 107 North Bridge Road, #B1-30, Singapore 179105