Saturday, June 18, 2016

[Media Invite] Brownice Italian Bistro @ 53 East Coast Road (Katong)

Brownice has a two shops; one at Sin Ming (Brownice Ice Cream) and the main branch is actually Brownice Italian Bistro at Katong, or more accurately at 53 East Coast Road (near 328 Katong Laksa). Was invited by Tiara to join her for a food tasting at Brownice Italian Bistro, together with Kris, Justin, Ivan and Jennifer.

Brownice Italian Bistro offers Italian vegan food options and, yes vegan ice-cream included! While we know that vegan is not the same vegetarian, but how many of us knows what's the difference? While I have friends on vegetarian diet, there was no personal encounter with vegan friends, yet. Hence, had to seek some answers from Google master to satisfy my curiousity. While both practices meatless diet, vegans do not take dairy product nor eggs but garlic and onions are alright. My vegetarian friend, could consume dairy products and eggs but no to garlic and onions.

alfresco area
indoor dining

Brownice Italian Bistro offers alfresco and indoor dining. Walking into the shop, one would be captivated by the colourful display of housemade ice-creams at the ice-cream counter. Free to sample the flavours.

and more ice-cream

But, it's not time yet for desserts. Let's start proper for dinner. My first ever dining experience of Italian-styled vegan cuisine.

we are about to start, have you chope'd a place?

Here we go, starting with the drinks. A trio of two milkshakes (minus the milk) and a smoothie. Guess which was my favourite.

hazelnut 'milkshake' @$8
Passionfruit Mango Smoothie @$8
Very Chocolate 'Milkshake' @$8

My favourite was the Passionfruit Mango Smoothie, with the passionfruit flavour edging out the mango by quite a bit.

Next up, something not so Italian as we had a side-order of White Truffle Fries. Was pretty impressed by this. The cheese taste was pretty strong and it was so enjoyable. Paired best with a sparkling soda (NC18: though you know I meant cider, or beer. So far, have yet to come across vegan beer or wine in Singapore).

White Truffle Fries @$10
In an Italian bistro, one's supposed to order something Italian, sì?

Tuscan Fennel Orange Salad @$12

Thought the plate of salad was lively and the sharp vinaigrette was pretty appetising. But a tad too much dressing though as the liquid pooled towards the bottom of the plate. After the cold appetiser, let's have a hot one.

Sicilian Arancini @$12
Cute little stuffed risotto rice balls that are coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried. Here, not only was it served with a bright tangy tomato sauce, it was drizzled with some balsamic as well. The Italian style would be to have the risotto would still be slightly crunchy (or when I first tasted it, I might think that it was undercooked). The risotto at Brownice Italian Bistro was cooked to a bit softer texture.

My favourite starter, was something simple. The fresh, thick mushroom soup with intense woody mushroom flavours bursting out to you at each mouthful. Delizioso! Bene! But Chef, please hold back a bit on the salt, ya.

Fresh Mushroom Soup @$8

Of course, in Italian food, there is pizza. Nowadays, thin crusts are more favoured than the thick ones. Suspect that it is so that we could eat more of the other things!

someone's gonna pinch one, if you're not looking - Four Seasons Pizza @$18

cured olives, sundried summer tomato (in pic), autumn mushroom, spring artichoke with soy ham
Truffle Porcini Fungi @$19

The pizza that we tasted were good. Liked the cured olives in the four seasons and mushrooms pizza tasted really creamy. One pizza could be shared by 2 pax.

Also tried the mushroom risotto and again, if you liked the mushroom soup, then this risotto would be right up your alley as well. Seemed like quite a big plate to finish on one's own, though. Best to share unless you have a large appetite.

Truffle Mushroom Risotto @$18

If you have a craving for lasagne, then you might want to try Brownice version. Layered with eggplants and tofu crumble served with tomato ragù.

Lasagne @$17 (handmodels cr: jellylovefats and ivanteh-runningman)
eggplant tofu lasagne

And then, it was time for desserts. Their waffles machine was unfortunately down so no waffles for the night. Got ourselves an ice-cream bowl with 4 scoops of ice-cream of our choice. The sampling of flavours were conducted by 3 individuals so it was our duty to bring group approved flavours back to the table.

Brownice Vegan Ice-Cream Bowl @$4 per scoop with additional $1 for premium flavours

The premium flavours require additional top-up of a dollar and these flavours are marked with a 'P' on their flavour tags at the ice-cream counter. Alright, let's see what we had; matcha, dark chocolate, peanut butter and pistachio.

The matcha flavour gave me a surprise when I first tasted it. See if it does the same to you. Would recommend matcha (only if you're game for a slight change and not a matcha purist!) and the pistachio for its really really good for its 'just-like-eating-a-real-pistachio' kind of flavour. Unadulterated goodness. Peanut butter and dark chocolate were equally good. Now I know that vegan ice-cream can be just as creamy, as delicious and satisfying as one with dairy in it.

This had been an interesting introduction to vegan food. Thank you Khai and Brownice Italian Bistro for hosting us, Brownice staff who assisted in our queries and Chefs who came out to speak to us (or rather to see what we were doing with their food!), and Tiara for inviting.

Brownice Italian Bistro

Address: 53 East Coast Road, Singapore
Contact: 6348 2295


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