Plentiful vegan options aren’t exactly what comes to mind when you think of Singaporean food. After all, it is known for dishes like Hainanese chicken rice, shrimp wonton mee and mutton satay—the names themselves are a dead giveaway of the presence of meat. Lion Dance Cafe rebels against that notion. They serve up a modern vegan take on traditional Singaporean cuisine. Having grown up in Singapore, I knew I had to give them a try and see if it did justice to my culture.

First Impressions

Two fellow Singaporeans and I reached Lion Dance Cafe at 5pm, right as they opened. From a mile away we could see that the decor draws inspiration from Singapore’s street culture, with replicas of local street art from Amoy Street, a famous street in Singapore. To our surprise, there was already a line out of the door. We browsed the brief, seasonal menu on which only three dinner options were available. I took this as a good sign—surely they’ve mastered the few offerings they have.

Randelle Ong

We ordered the Jackfruit Rendang Nasi Lemak ($16.50), Lao Gan Ma L.G.M. Noodles ($17.50), and Tau Huay ($10). Before I start describing the dishes, let's take a look at the ratings:


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Out of the three dishes we ordered, the Jackfruit Rendang Nasi Lemak was my favorite. The rendang was punchy and the jackfruit actually tasted like real meat. The rice was full of coconut milk flavor, mimicking how we eat our nasi lemak back home. Best of all, I loved the spicy kick from the chili, which matched well with the sour lime flavor. All three of us agreed that we would go back solely for this dish.

Randelle Ong

Back home, L.G.M. Noodles typically consist of garlic, ginger, vinegar and soy sauce. While I could only taste soy sauce and sesame oil from the Lion Dance Cafe’s L.G.M. Noodles, it was still a great dish. The noodles were cooked al dente, while the beancurd skin was chewy yet soft. My only complaint is that the dish was a tad expensive considering it only had noodles, beancurd, long beans and garnish.

The Tau Huay (beancurd) was not what I expected at all. Singaporeans usually eat sweet Tau Huay, which consists of silken tofu soaked in brown sugar syrup, sometimes even topped with boba. This Tau Huay was savory, packed with soy sauce, peanuts, spring onion and cilantro. I ended up liking this rendition—since tofu has a rather neutral taste, it takes on savory flavors well too.

Overall, all three of us really enjoyed our experience. After eating and sharing stories of Singapore, we made a pact to go back to Lion Dance Cafe and connect with our culture every now and then.

Singapore is a small country that is not very well-known, so not a lot of people have tried our food. While the aforementioned dishes may not taste exactly like Singaporean food since they are vegan, the flavors are generally similar to authentic Singaporean cuisine. We would love it if more readers give the Lion Dance Cafe a try! Let us know what you think.

#SpoonTip: Want to find out more about Singaporean cuisine? Check out this article.