Saute San Review – The God Damn Prices

Prices are about all that I complain about for Saute San. First off, the online menu doesn’t display any pricing. Second, it’s bloody expensive for what is given.

But is the food good? Yes – it is a matter of whether you are willing to pay. There are many reasons that restaurants don’t show prices, but transparency is a thing that more restaurants (and businesses) need to apply. In fact it is the main motivating factor for me writing this particular article on Egg Stop – there is such a lack of communication of what the product actually is DESPITE social media and bloggers going ham on the stall. I find it more than mildly irritating that prices are hidden, and perhaps I am an asshole for doing this, but here is the menu for Saute San with prices (as of September 2018):

(Pardon the shitty light spots, I’m a terrible photographer)

Service

Essentially self service. Ordering is done through one of these papers. You have to go to the cashier to make payment and order. Utensils are to be taken at another table.

But what did I order?

House Made Shroom Cheesy Patty with Golden Salted Egg Sauce – S$17.90 

I guess I’m a predictable person.

Dissecting the Burger

A slather of salted egg sauce on top of a cheese mushroom patty.

Then a slice of tomato and greens. Nothing else at the bottom.

A cross section reveals a miserable portion of mushrooms. For a S$15 dollar-ish burger…

This is a rather umami-packed and salty burger, as expected from the ingredients (tomatos, mushrooms and cheese all give umami). It is a combination of freshness from the greens and the cheese, the fried batter and the crispy buns that makes eating this sandwich enjoyable. Unfortunately, not much is to say about the mushrooms – there simply isn’t much of it to give an impression. Salted egg sauce is on the sweeter side, rather than a more characteristic salty side. I wonder if this is due to this being a vegetarian version.

Textures are almost perfect, if not for the fact that the mushrooms are seemingly missing.

The thickness of the fork goes through the burger easily – that should tell you of the portion.

I do not think that Saute San understands that people will buy this thinking this is a mushroom burger with cheese.

Fries are perfectly seasoned and crispy – a feat that unfortunately not many restaurants seem to achieve. Salad is slathered with vegan mayo, which is extremely creamy for a dressing, since its literally just poured all over. As a mayonnaise, it seems to be less rich than normal mayo, but is a very good substitute and seemingly makes it more suitable for bathing the salad. The question is whether people eat salads just drenched in mayo. I certainly don’t!

Tomato and chilli sauces given for Saute san is Tropicana brand. Not a bad choice.

Hashbrown with mixed salad as part of Combo 2 – S$7.90 with meal

Once again, hash browns are similar to the fries in that it is perfectly seasoned and fried. Didn’t feel oily, didn’t feel the need to add ketchup or chili sauce.

Warm Lemon Tea (part of the set)

Surprisingly good. Well balanced lemon and tea flavour, without being too sweet.

Tempura Japanese Curry Rice – S$16.90

Despite the restaurant being called Saute San, all of my orders are fried. But having eaten all the fried stuff, I don’t doubt their ability to do so.

What about the curry? It doesn’t taste sweet as a Japanese curry would. In fact, it reminded me more of a Hainanese style curry; the type you find in Hainanese curry rice stalls. That said, it doesn’t taste cheap, and had good flavour and texture. You might however piss off a few people if you insist this curry is Japanese.

Milk Tea – S$4.60

The pricing is just sad for this. It tastes exactly like a coffeeshop milk tea that you might get. Tastes like condensed milk diluted with tea.

Rating for Saute San

I rate food based on how far I am willing to travel, as well as whether I think the price I paid for it justifies it. You can read more about why here.

Travel-meter:

I do like the food, but the pricing turns me off severely. I would be lazing around, but the hyper extensive menu makes the place slightly more worth travelling.

Worth-it-meter:

The pricing on the items are just too bad. I even considered giving it 1/5, but the food does taste good. It does make me wonder if vegetarians are all secretly rich people from not eating meat so restaurants like this can charge them this exorbitant pricing.

Location

City Square Mall (Farrer Park MRT)

180 Kitchener Rd, #03-23/24, Singapore 208539

But I’m just a fat boi… what about other people?

The Media

No media yet when posted.

The Community

Google Reviews are great. People like it for the options.

HappyCow (Vegan restaurant site) has good reviews, but 2 complaint about price and authenticity (what did I say about pissing people off).

TripAdvisor has 2 reviewers who liked it.

Burpple got a few reviews who liked it.

2 Comments

  1. Seems like many people do not know vegetarian are more expensive because the raw or sourced items are niche otherwise to be handmade. Having not having the mass market makes it worst. Many reviewers also review in comparison to non- vegetarian dishes which just doesn’t make sense as it’s not meat in the first place and there was no intention to mimic. Prices are transparent and whether it’s published on website it’s entirely up to the owners and one can decide before ordering or even patronise in the first place. I suggest one to learn more about the market before stereotyping or makes judgements. If no one makes special vegetarian vegan food then one can stick to vegetarian fried beehoon with mock processed meat and one can review those.

    1. Seems like many people do not know vegetarian are more expensive because the raw or sourced items are niche otherwise to be handmade. Having not having the mass market makes it worst.

      You make it sound like non-vegetarian restaurants don’t use vegetables at all, and that handmade food is a rarity in restaurants. Most people would say that meat products would in fact cost a lot more than vegetables, unless you compare non-organic meat sources to organic vegetables for example. However, I do not see any indication on their website that says their food are made using organic sources, and I would think that that would be quite a major selling point that also justifies their high price.

      Many reviewers also review in comparison to non- vegetarian dishes which just doesn’t make sense as it’s not meat in the first place and there was no intention to mimic.

      I am not vegetarian, so of course I am going to compare to my other options. In the end, majority of the article is mainly my opinion. That’s why I included a section at the bottom to show others’ opinions, so that my readers can at least know that there are actually others who likes it and why (and also why others might not like it, like me).

      The point of not mimicking kinda depends on what dish you are talking about though. I think most people would say that at the very least, dishes like “Katsu”. which is mostly made with pork/chicken, and “Orh Luak”, made with oysters, when made to be vegetarian, is a mimicry of those dishes. It’s even in the literal name of those dishes, with “Katsu” meaning “cutlet”, and “Orh Luak” being “oyster omelette”. A mushroom burger may or may not be a mimicry. Portobello mushroom burgers for instance is a great non-meat option for burgers.

      Prices are transparent and whether it’s published on website it’s entirely up to the owners and one can decide before ordering or even patronise in the first place.

      Unfortunately I don’t fall into the category of people who have the luxury of deciding where to eat without first understanding how much I am paying for.

      I don’t understand the point about prices being transparent. The prices are only shown when you reach the venue, and the restaurant have made deliberate attempts to not show the prices online. Sure, that’s their choice. But they have to understand that some customers might want to know how much they are paying, even before going to the restaurant.

      I suggest one to learn more about the market before stereotyping or makes judgements. If no one makes special vegetarian vegan food then one can stick to vegetarian fried beehoon with mock processed meat and one can review those.

      It feels pretty strange to hear that I am “stereotyping”. If you are referring to this sentence ‘It does make me wonder if vegetarians are all secretly rich people from not eating meat so restaurants like this can charge them this exorbitant pricing.’, it was in my mind an obvious joke, since obviously not all vegetarians are rich.

      As for the vegetarian beehoon with mock processed meat, if the time comes and I feel like reviewing them, then I will do so.

      But in the end I’m just a fat boi, so maybe my opinions don’t really matter since I am but one person, and I can’t really eat and review everything.

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