Where I work there’s a Munch salad cafe on the first floor which appears to have decent to good human traffic on most days. Munch is one of these hip and trendy salad bars popping up all over the place especially in the *CBD area. I really can’t say how they compare to their competitors – Salad Stop and Sumo Salad, as I still can’t bring myself to fork out $10 even for a lovely salad much less make it a habit out of frequenting these places. When you’re eating 100% plant-based, chances are you’re already pro-actively making your own delicious plant foods and will not have to fork out tonnes of cash trying to hunt out healthy eating options for lunch.
Okay well, end of plant-based trivia, time to get on with the food. As I was saying, Munch features an eye-popping array of ‘salads’ depending on your definition of salad. Not all greens evidently, as you can see from my selection of 4 types in the display that day. There are the usual leafy greens but expect chunkier veggies like the grilled veg here and the pumpkin spinach salad. Those who have a phobia of not feeling full after eating just ‘salads’, rest assured there are plant-based protein options like this Asian tofu and lima bean ‘salad’. The vermicelli and quinoa ‘salads’ also caught my eye apart from the sea of variety so you can mix and match veggies, proteins and carbs however you like!
The Asian Tofu contains just tofu and fresh shitakes mixed with a dark black starchy sauce. It’s simply flavored with ginger and sesame oil though bland. In fact do expect a number of the options here to be seasoned quite plainly as you wouldn’t, as a customer, want to get a taste overload, rather enjoy them for their fresh ingredients. The large chunks of tofu did not help with the flavor and the mushrooms, though soft and fresh did not absorb very much flavor as well. Did not hold up to my expectations and I wouldn’t get this again even if I wanted something less intense.
The Grilled veg is again one of those simply seasoned types. There isn’t much of a hint of any flavors such as herbs other than the good ol salt and pepper. I particularly liked the eggplants which had the most flavor and were juicy, soft and succulent. There isn’t much of a roast flavor with these though they are decent. There are cucumbers in here, of the local variety (not Japanese), that were downright soggy so only order if you like soggy cucs (I understand some people like them but some really hate them too). The mixed bell peppers were just cooked so remained with a bite to them though soft. I liked this dish overall, decent, and wouldn’t mind having it again. This Lima bean legume salad was, for me, one of the exciting options. I mean who gets to eat lima beans (even if you’re vegan in Singapore) on a regular basis?? Not only that, they’ve also got other beans in there like black beans and fava beans. Sweet! Well, do be prepared to loosen your belt buckle cos these were super duper filling. I’d gone through everything else (left a bit of tofu) and had gone through just two forkfuls of this before I thought it best to stop tormenting my tummy. ALso one of the mildly flavored options, you very much taste just the beans so appreciate their characteristic flavors while you’re at it! I noticed only upon eating the beans were coated with a white dressing so this may very well not be 100% vegan.Pumpkin and Spinach salad here was, surprise surprise, the most flavor packed out of my salad selection! The dressing was tangy with whole grain mustard so I’m guessing its a mustard vinaigrette. Though rather intense in flavor, it was’t overpoweringly so, enough to perk up the leafy greens and creamy pumpkin. Overall, not bad and I wouldn’t mind having it again. Except, I can’t and won’t, cos its not vegan – I found tiny cubes of feta cheese in there!
Generally, Munch appears to be a decent place for someone craving more varied salad options. Nothing too complex, avant-garde or eye-poppingly amazing might just be what customers look for to satisfy their perceptions of a healthy meal. Their options, while a breath of fresh air for those who consume meat dishes with stimulating tastes on a regular basis, may appear a little overrated and pricey for the plant-based eater who may find it easy to replicate the same dishes at home. Regardless, it is undoubtedly one of the few healthier plant-based friendly establishments in Singapore, though do inquire from the helpful staff which options are truly vegan unlike eyeballing as I did and they will be able to suggest which options you might have.
Prices vary from $7.80 for a small bowl (with basic options) to $12.80 for a large bowl (with premium ingredients). I paid for the premium large bowl (allowed 4 choices) which I couldn’t even finish so you can definitely expect to be satisfied with portions. As a side note, I also found it slightly difficult ordering as it wasn’t easy discerning which were the basic or premium options from the variety before me, much less have the luxury of deciding which to choose due to the queue behind.
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