Original Sin is an award-winning restaurant founded in 1997, best known for its signature vegetarian Mediterranean cuisine.
Widely patronised by vegetarians, the restaurant’s focus is not so much the absence of meat in the menu, but rather to offer vegetarians a break from the mundane. After 16 years and counting, its innovative menu continues to evolve, impress and excite, so much so that even non-vegetarians form part of its loyal customer base.
The menu captures the essence of Mediterranean food, involving the interplay of various herbs, spices and cheese. Co-owner and Culinary Director, Chef Marisa Bertocchi – a vegetarian herself – develops inventive dishes through the ingenious use of vegetables and non-meat/fish ingredients with superb flavour combinations.
The greenery surrounding Chip Bee Gardens opposite Holland Village further accentuates the charming ambience as a laid-back and casual retreat from the city.
Bruschetta is a traditional Italian classic comprising garlic-rubbed toast that is typically topped with chopped tomato and basil. Here, bruschetta is given a Mediterranean twist with two choices of toppings.
The Basillico comes with creamy goat cheese, char-grilled eggplant, roasted capsicum and rocket leaves on a slice of crusty house-made herb bread.
The Pommodoro comprises a Kalamata olive tapenade (a spread made of olives, capers and anchovies), feta, and tomato marinated with garlic, basil and olive.
Salads need not be bland and insipid. The Principessa is an eclectic mix of roasted pumpkin, avocado and bocconcini, accompanied by croutons for crunch, and a handful of greens such as mesclun, French beans and skinny little stalks of asparagus, dressed in balsamic vinaigrette. The soft roasted pumpkin adds a delightful sweetness and vibrant contrast to the palate.
Served on a bed of salad and roasted capsicum, a sufficiently thick wedge of Haloumi cheese is pan-fried to a light crust, yielding a texture that is slightly springy and firm to the bite without being tough or dry. Having tried Haloumi that’s chopped into smaller cubes and pan-fried, which turns out tough and dry, this version wins hands-down.
The eggplant and parsnip fritters are crowd pleasers, and will be especially popular with children. With a drizzle of zesty house mayo, these crisp and juicy treats are accompanied by tomato salsa for contrasting flavours and textures.
A palm-sized Portobello mushroom is baked with a topping of ricotta cheese, tomato basil sauce and mozzarella, resulting in a gooey melted cheese goodness atop the juicy succulent mushroom. You would probably forget that you’re at a vegetarian restaurant while relishing this dish.
S$22 / 30++
If you’re looking for a taste of the Mediterranean, the Mezza platter is an ideal choice.
This Middle Eastern platter includes a selection of dips – hummus chickpea, aromatic pumpkin and carrot, eggplant baba ganoush and yoghurt tzatziki – all of which can be enjoyed with the falafel balls and ciabatta bread. It would be hard to pick a favourite dip, for each fares well in its own distinctive way.
The Bosco Misto is a highlight – another exemplar example of a healthy and meatless dish that doesn’t compromise on flavour. The generally light tasting tofu is enriched with feta and flecked with spinach, forming a sumptuous patty with a coating of crushed almonds and sesame seeds, fried to a crisp outer layer. The button mushroom plum sauce packs an impressive depth of flavour that complements the patty faultlessly.
The vegetable tandoori may bore the meat lovers, for the only tummy-filling component on the plate is a small heap of plain white rice. What may be deemed as insubstantial for the price you’re paying for are the two skewers of button mushroom, brinjal, capsicum, onion and tofu, marinated in robust tandoori spices and char-grilled to a smoky accent, served with yoghurt and mango chutney on the side.
The risotto is pure comfort food. Earthy, creamy, flavourful and tasty, it doesn’t even seem to matter that there aren’t any meaty components. Risottos vary depending on the day’s ingredients, so do refer to the specials board to check out what’s available.
Dig into the Porcini and be mesmerised by the earthy aroma and comforting creamy base that coats every strand of the pasta. Tossed with the egg tagliatelle are porcini and button mushrooms, sautéed with onion, white wine, fresh thyme and a touch of cream, finished with a topping of shaved parmesan.
The lasagna is also outstanding. The medley of ingredients such as button mushroom, spinach, onion, zucchini, capsicum, tomato and fresh basil provides complexity and textures between the layers of pasta sheets and mozzarella. This version will put the run-of-the-mill beef lasagnas to shame.
The tiramisu comes with a Middle Eastern twist as well. Mascarpone cheese mousse, with layers of savoiardi soaked in marsala and coffee liqueur, make up this light dessert that isn’t cloyingly sweet.
Stewed apples and raisins spiced with cinnamon form the base of the apple crumble, topped with cookie crumbles and a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream. When digging in, try to get all three elements in one bite. The warm apple stew is starkly juxtaposed with the cold vanilla ice cream, while the contrasting textures of juicy, crunchy and creamy provide a superb mouth-feel.
A vegan option is also available.
The chocolate brownie pales in comparison as it turns out a little dry.
The hazelnut chocolate cake is as sinful as it is toothsome. The cake comes in a form of dark chocolate mousse that is rich and dense, accompanied by hazelnut crisp for a crunchy texture.
Apart from the desserts, there is something for the children too. The new children’s menu gives parents an opportunity to feed their young ones with healthier options.
Chip Bee Gardens
43 Jalan Merah Saga #01-62
Tel: +65 6475 5605 | Website
Opening hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm daily