Lucky Cat is a vegetarian café which serves mainly Japanese fusion food with speciality coffee in the heartlands of Hougang.
Probably one of the first of its kind.
With the increasing traction of vegetarian and meatless dining demand, we are beginning to see many big brands and indie cafes exploring using “impossible meat” or plant-based ingredients to come up with meat-free menu to cater to the growing demand.
Vegetarian dining scene nowadays has also been exciting with injection of various fusion cuisine flavours and creative execution.
Even Necessary Provisions (moved to Tanglin Road) serves vegetarian brunch fares now.
Inconspicuously located within Hougang Community Club, I was rather surprised to find Lucky Cat somewhat semi-populated with tables of uncle and auntie diners on a weekday.
Perhaps the idea of innovative vegetarian food and pocket-friendly pricing did nail their sweet spot.
The menu has a bountiful offering of Japanese fusion items such as Onigiri, Donburi and Maki Rolls.
I ordered the Konjac Sashimi Platter ($10) of salmon, tuna and squid, and have always been intrigued by how konjac jelly can pass off as fish slices.
What impressed me was its almost identical resemblance to actual fish – its bouncy chewiness and the smooth texture. I could even taste hints of fishiness flavour.
I also took a liking to the Tofunagi Maki roll ($12) modelled after unagi roll.
The ‘unagi’ was grilled to light crisp and coated with teriyaki sauce and mayonnaise, sprinkled with white sesame for the enhanced aroma.
While Japanese Curry Katsu, available in Don or Noodles ($9) was one of their recommended dishes, it fell slightly short of my expectation.
Though the katsu soy patty was acceptable, I thought its curry gravy tasted one-dimensional and could use a bit more depth in flavour as it was neither sweet nor spicy.
Perhaps because I was offered somen instead of standard noodles which they had ran out, the two combination just didn’t gel together well.
There were also side dishes like Tempura Shiitake Cream and Cheese ($7) and Korean Yangnyeom Monkey Head Mushroom ($11) which was a crowd pleaser.
Especially the latter which took after sweet and sour pork, the meaty texture of monkey head mushroom generously coated with sweet dressing pulled it off well.
From the speciality coffee department, other than standard offerings like Black ($4), White ($5) and Mocha ($5.50), they also serve a series of coffee mocktail concoctions such as Espresso Lemon Tonic ($5), Yuzu Coffee Cream ($6) and Starry Starry Night ($6).
I had their You So Fresh ($6), concocted from citrusy yuzu, fresh mint and espresso shot which was, like its name suggests, pretty much refreshing to drink.
If you are feeling ‘local’, there are also items such as Hokkien Mee ($5), Mee Goreng ($5), Sweet & Sour Fish Rice ($6.50) to Sambal Fish Rice ($6.50) – some items come with vegan options. Quite an inexpensive alternative for vegetarian and vegan diners.
35 Hougang Ave 3 #01-02, Hougang Community Club, Singapore 538840
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
* Written by Lewis Tan @juicyfingers, a self-proclaimed coffee addict. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.