Changing perspectives on Earth-based diets
When you think about vegetarian or vegan food, you’d probably conjure an image of the trendy Impossible burger, or perhaps mock meat meals from canteen stalls. What you’re unlikely to think of is delicious Orh Luak, creamy Japanese Curry Spaghetti, and even steaming Mala Hotpot – all of which are on Saute-san’s menu.
For Saute Group founders (and siblings) Tan Ai Lin and Tan Ee Ren, vegetarian food wasn’t very trendy, and included a lot of mock items. “As we grew up we realised these weren’t items we really fancied, and they weren’t the most natural. This made us want to create something of our own, that was tasty, healthy, and appealing to youngsters,” shares Ee Ren.
The sibling duo set out the change the way people see vegetarian food. Upon walking into Saute-san, Saute Group’s second outlet at City Square mall, you can’t tell that the restaurant only offers Earth-based (vegetarian or vegan) dishes. The wide variety of familiar foods – from Singaporean food, to Japanese, Korean and Western cuisine, is all made with plant-based ingredients, and is as tasty as ever.
“When people dine here, they say ‘Oh, I haven’t really tried this kind of vegetarian food before,” says Ai Lin. People are surprised by the wealth of dishes offered, and oftentimes don’t even realise they are stepping into a vegetarian place. The founders place emphasis on the concept of borderless dining – making Saute-san a place that everyone can dine in, not just vegetarians and vegans.
“There is also this perception that vegetarian food is not wholesome, that it lacks things like proteins,” says Ee Ren. The self-taught chef and his team set out to debunk that myth, by bringing in unique and natural ingredients in their dishes that ensure a healthy and wholesome meal for their customers.
The wide variety of food that Saute-San boasts is testament to the founders’ drive to be dynamic and keep improving. The menu at Saute-San is a expansion from their offerings at Saute, their flagship store at Bugis Cube. In June this year, the duo plans to launch their third restaurant, Flavors By Saute, at Funan Mall. The new outlet promises an expanded and enhanced menu, with wider and healthier options.
Never thought you could enjoy vegetarian food? Perhaps a visit to one of Saute Group’s restaurants will prove you wrong!