Platinum Category

Forest Dew Vegetarian Restaurant / Zi Zai Vegetarian

  • Mr. Lau Chee Meng  ·

About Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism promotes health, youth and even compassion. Noted by nutritionist and almost every religion prominently in Buddhism, the link between clarity of mind and food we consume every day is ever so vivid.

From past eras, this notion has been taken lightly to heart. Today’s generation however, has come to realise how vital that perception of health and meat can affect one’s standard of living. “Now, not as many are resistant to the idea of a non-meat diet as compared to past generations who would enjoy their meat delicacies without even giving a passing thought on the effects it has on one’s health,” said Mr. Lau Chee Meng, founder of Forest Dew Vegetarian Restaurant adding, “we live among an increasingly educated, health-worried generation.”

And that, fundamentally is the message he hopes to send out – vegetarian food, unlike its stereotype, are not dry flavourless green leafs. It is in fact, quite the opposite of that with various styles of dishes catering to the Eastern and Western tastes buds.

Picking up the trade

From a regular meat eater to becoming a vegetarian cook, Chee Meng was surprised how well he took to his new found diet. He came to Singapore from Malaysia 22 years ago and found a job at Choo Zai Zhai Vegetarian Food, a hawker stall located at Circuit Road. Incidentally, it was where he met his wife Susanna Lee.

His boss Mdm Tan, whom till today he remains grateful to, soon became his mother-in-law.

There he learned the basics of cooking and preparation. Not long after, he was creating recipes while learning about customer service and corresponding with suppliers.

Confident, well-equipped and with blessing from his mother-in-law, he branched out with his own hawker stall. With enough revenue, and experience, Chee Meng together with Susanna were ready to take on their own eating house. In 2008, Forest Dew Vegetarian Restaurant was established.

“We operated our first eating house, a single unit without air-condition” Chee Meng recollected, “expanding to our second unit came a step later.” Within two short years, the second and third fully furnished and air-conditioned outlet surfaced with its growing popularity and demands of their unique blend of dishes.

What’s on Menu?

With mouth-watering Asian spiced dishes like fish (mock) head curry to Western “fish” and chips, its highly sought after dishes are popular among many and have earned a significant number of great reviews! Not surprising at all, Chee Meng shares that the famous Indian delight, prata, costing only a dollar is among their top sellers.

Where healthy diet meets innovative taste – many vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike have named Forest Dew Vegetarian Restaurant as one of their favourite restaurant because of its great tasting food priced reasonably.

“No pain, no gain”

As the famous saying goes, “no pain, no gain” is something that Chee Meng stands rooted on. As a child, he would pick up books on success stories, “which a big part of my influence came from”, he said.

A small price to pay for great rewards, sacrifice is inevitable. He believes, “once you have reached your goal, find a new one.”

By the end of 2012, Chee Meng has plans to expand into the catering sector. This, he feels will improve standards, and provide an all-rounded customised service for many of his frequent customers.

Ultimately, it is his hope that more people can grow to appreciate vegetarian food, despite the difficulty in changing the mind-set that many have on it. However, the greater the challenge, the sweeter the victory.

“Know your direction. It is fruitless to have perseverance and a fighting spirit if you don’t have a long term plan in mind.”