Clean Cuisine: 7 dishes to try for the health-conscious

Now that Chinese New Year is well and truly over, perhaps it's time to eat a little cleaner. Try a Rojak Salad, an acai berry fruit bowl, or even a Beast-sized lunch

1. THE GUACAMONSTER SALAD $14, GUAC & GO
1. THE GUACAMONSTER SALAD $14, GUAC & GO
31 Mar 2015

1. THE GUACAMONSTER SALAD $14, GUAC & GO

01-08 MAXWELL CHAMBERS, 32 MAXWELL RD, S069115. WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/GUACANDGO

TASTE: Delightfully crisp romaine lettuce with Cajun-spiced chicken cubes, red apple slices, carrots, pineapples, tomatoes and pink radish go into this hearty bowl. All crowned with a huge mound of zesty lime-spiked guacamole that’s freshly made to order. Choose the spicy or mango guac as they pair better with the salads. Also good: oven baked salted organic Kale Chips that taste like roasted seaweed snacks.


1. THE GUACAMONSTER SALAD $14, GUAC & GO
1. THE GUACAMONSTER SALAD $14, GUAC & GO
31 Mar 2015

1. THE GUACAMONSTER SALAD $14, GUAC & GO

THE PLACE: This adorably-named three-month-old outfit specialises in made-to-order guacamole stuffed into sandwiches, salads and wraps. The creamy green mash is made using Hass avocadoes from Australia and New Zealand, and are available in three flavours: original, spicy, and mango — all prepared with the same basic ingredients of salt, onions, lemon, lime and coriander. Ngee Ann Poly alum Charlotte Wang, 22, co-owns this pleasantly-decorated 30-seater with her boyfriend, and her mum helps to run the kitchen.

VERDICT: 4 STARS

2. ROJAK SALAD $9.90, SQUASH
2. ROJAK SALAD $9.90, SQUASH
31 Mar 2015

2. ROJAK SALAD $9.90, SQUASH

#B1-26 THE CENTRAL, 6 EU TONG SEN ST, S059817. WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/SQUASHTHEJUICEPLACE

TASTE: At first, Rojak Salad sounded like a weak attempt at fusion food. But we stand corrected. This is an elegant re-interpretation of the hawker dish. A bunch of butterhead and romaine lettuce is packed with neatly sliced strips of crisp turnip, cucumber, raisins, crispy house-baked tau pok, and dried cuttlefish. Although the cuttlefish is too sweet and we’d skip the raisins, we adore the angmoh addition of pleasantly chewy-crunchy caramelised pineapples (baked with honey) and buttery pine nuts. We also like the fact that you can choose how much of the pungent house-made rojak sauce to slather onto your veg, keeping this local salad cleaner than the actual hawker dish. A nice burst of textures and flavours.

2. ROJAK SALAD $9.90, SQUASH
2. ROJAK SALAD $9.90, SQUASH
31 Mar 2015

2. ROJAK SALAD $9.90, SQUASH

THE PLACE: Squash first opened as a juice bar in Valley Point in 2012 but moved to the basement of The Central last November. It now offers a new menu of salads, wraps and cold-pressed juices. It’s owned by entrepreneur Allan Foo, 32, formerly in real estate.

VERDICT: 3 ½ STARS

3. ACAI BOWL $9.30 (MEDIUM), PROJECT ACAI
3. ACAI BOWL $9.30 (MEDIUM), PROJECT ACAI
31 Mar 2015

3. ACAI BOWL $9.30 (MEDIUM), PROJECT ACAI

27 LOR LIPUT, S277738. WWW.PROJECT-ACAI.COM

TASTE: This isn’t a salad, but a fruit bowl starring a “super food”, the acai berry, packed with vitamins and antioxidants. And it sure is healthy. So what does frozen acai berry puree taste like? Slightly sweet, plummy and like those old-school haw flakes from our childhood. You either love it — or not (some of us in the office do, some don’t). This smooth slush-like paste is meticulously decorated with fresh fruit like strawberries and banana, a small sprinkle of crunchy vegan granola, dehydrated shredded coconut, bee pollen and more superfoods like chia seeds, goji berries and raw cacao nibs. Rather tasty and nutritious — if a tad pricey for its modest size (exotic acai doesn’t come cheap). Order the large bowl if you want it as a meal.
 

3. ACAI BOWL $9.30 (MEDIUM), PROJECT ACAI
3. ACAI BOWL $9.30 (MEDIUM), PROJECT ACAI
31 Mar 2015

3. ACAI BOWL $9.30 (MEDIUM), PROJECT ACAI

THE PLACE: This month-old designer-chic wood-and-concrete café is a first in Singapore. Apparently, such outfits are all the rage now in the States and South Korea. That’s why the owners got a Korean acai shop to help create their bowls here. The menu is simple. Just acai puree and fruit bowls and smoothies — all made with organic acai berry from the Amazon rainforest. The bosses are sisters Melissa, 28, a former lawyer and Deborah Ng, 24, previously in publishing. Deborah was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune condition last year, and she says that a daily intake of nutritious acai has improved her health. Look out for a branch in Takashimaya soon.

VERDICT: 3 ½ STARS
 

4. BIBIMBAP WITH BEEF BULGOGI,  $11.95, GRAIN
4. BIBIMBAP WITH BEEF BULGOGI, $11.95, GRAIN
31 Mar 2015

4. BIBIMBAP WITH BEEF BULGOGI, $11.95, GRAIN

TO ORDER, VISIT WWW.GRAIN.COM.SG OR CALL 8307-4253.

TASTE: This rice dish is worth every bit of the 552 calories stated in the nutritional content of its packaging (which, incidentally, is quite Instagram-able, especially with the fun tagline, ‘Abs are made in the kitchen’). Al dente black and brown rice and loads of crunchy veggies are tossed in spicy gochujang Korean red chilli paste. The thinly-sliced beef is tender if overly salty. The Cajun Chicken with Lentil Stew from the rotating menu is also quite good with a well-seasoned and moist chicken breast.

4. BIBIMBAP WITH BEEF BULGOGI,  $11.95, GRAIN
4. BIBIMBAP WITH BEEF BULGOGI, $11.95, GRAIN
31 Mar 2015

4. BIBIMBAP WITH BEEF BULGOGI, $11.95, GRAIN

THE CONCEPT: A healthy food delivery service dreamt up by four twentysomething pals, including chef Isaac Tan, who was once the head chef of the WWW Concepts group of restaurants (which includes mod Japanese eatery Mariko’s). The team operates out of a central kitchen in Aljunied. Three meal choices ($9.95-$11.95 each), with at least one vegetarian option, are available daily. There isn’t a fixed cuisine type, so offerings range from a Mexican-inflected Beef Fajitas rice bowl to a very cheena Lotus Leaf Rice. The order process is fuss-free and the lead-time only 30 minutes. Just sign up for an account, key in your postal code, pay with your credit card and wait for the food to arrive. The catch? The service caters specifically to the Marina Bay area lunch crowd for now. Shucks.


VERDICT: 4 STARS

5. FRIT (WO)MAN $9.90, GOOD FOOD HEALS
5. FRIT (WO)MAN $9.90, GOOD FOOD HEALS
31 Mar 2015

5. FRIT (WO)MAN $9.90, GOOD FOOD HEALS

10 NORTH CANAL RD, S048823. LUNCH DELIVERIES AVAILABLE. WWW.GOODFOODHEALS.ORG

TASTE: This bento box comes packed with a fluffy homemade mushroom & spinach frittata, roasted sweet potatoes, mushrooms and plump cultured cherry tomatoes on a bed of quinoa. It's all a bit bland on its own, so ask for extra miso dressing to sass it up. What we really like are the sweet and tangy lacto-fermented tomatoes that are peeled and soaked in a probiotic solution with sour plums and sun-dried oranges for four days. Says owner Valerie, “Eating cultured foods — as opposed to having them raw — not only aids digestion, but the agents in them also help break down and eliminate metals and toxins from your body.”
 

5. FRIT (WO)MAN $9.90, GOOD FOOD HEALS
5. FRIT (WO)MAN $9.90, GOOD FOOD HEALS
31 Mar 2015

5. FRIT (WO)MAN $9.90, GOOD FOOD HEALS

THE PLACE: It's a garden setting that offers six types of packed meals that are stuffed with ingredients rich in specific nutrients to give your body, skin or muscles an extra boost. Bubbly boss Valerie Teo, 29, used to be a food and juice consultant in the UK. If her clear skin and good health (she says it's been nine years since she even caught a cold) is anything to go by, her Delicious Detox Programme — where she tailors eating guidelines according to your health needs — sounds like a winner.

VERDICT: 3 STARS

6. MOROCCAN SPICED CHICKEN $11, SPINACAS
6. MOROCCAN SPICED CHICKEN $11, SPINACAS
31 Mar 2015

6. MOROCCAN SPICED CHICKEN $11, SPINACAS

#01-55, 195 PEARL’S HILL TERRACE, S168976. TO ORDER, LOG ON TO WWW.SPINACAS.COM OR CALL 9770-7039

TASTE: Juicy chicken chunks that have been braised for 12 hours, and perfumed with aromatic Middle Eastern spices sit on a salad base that boasts better quality veg like nutty baby spinach, broccoli, and red cabbage, all dressed with a simple olive oil vinaigrette. The bonus is the hard-boiled egg, which came with a still-wobbly yolk. Yum.

THE CONCEPT: Salad delivery service Spinacas (the name a riff on the Spanish word for spinach) offers hearty, flavourful meats to pair with boring greens. “Eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland, so we introduced meats to make the salads more enjoyable,” says its owner, former architect Phyllis Chua, 35. The meats are packed separately in an aluminum foil packet to keep the veggies from turning soggy, and the chicken is still warm when it arrives. There’re seven toppings available, including the popular but too-salty barbecue pulled pork. The one-woman show operates out of a small kitchen (right beside Felicia Chin and Sora Ma’s The Mama Shop). On days when Phyllis is short of deliverymen, she delivers your meal personally on her cute red Vespa. There’s a minimum order of $30 and no delivery charge. But you’ll need to order 24 hours in advance, and suburban districts like Yishun are sadly out of her delivery zone.

VERDICT: 3 ½ STARS

7. BEAST $18, THE DAILY CUT
7. BEAST $18, THE DAILY CUT
31 Mar 2015

7. BEAST $18, THE DAILY CUT

#B1-31 ONE RAFFLES PLACE, 1 RAFFLES PLACE, S048616. WWW.THEDAILYCUT.SG

TASTE: We designed our own bowl, and for our choice of three proteins, we were glad we went for the surprisingly juicy, well-marinated grilled chicken breast and pan-fried salmon, though you should skip the dry grilled tilapia fillet. As if our box wasn’t already massive enough, we topped it up with chewy short-grained brown rice, lemon-spiked quinoa, and slightly watery sous vide egg. There are six homemade sauces to go with this box, like the delish honey mustard, to wreck your #eatclean diet. Three sizes are available ($12-$18): Regular, Large and Beast, varying only in the amount of meats. Our ‘Beast’ was so enormous we wished we had a Hulk-sized stomach to polish it off (girls, just stick to the Regular, or Large if you're famished).

7. BEAST $18, THE DAILY CUT
7. BEAST $18, THE DAILY CUT
31 Mar 2015

7. BEAST $18, THE DAILY CUT

THE PLACE: This quick-service clean-eating shop is all about serving up a balanced diet of carbs, proteins and fats, with seven types of meat and other options available. There's very little of the “rabbit food” found at conventional salad joints — the few veggies offered here are served on the periphery. “I don't like vegetables!”, declares co-owner Elson Lee. “Eating healthy isn’t about eating greens, which mostly doesn't fill you up!” Elson and his business partner Jonathan Yang, both 30, also run the popular burrito joint, Muchachos.

VERDICT: 3 ½ STARS

Story by Denise Cheong and Sarah Chang
Photos by Wilson Pang, Kelvin Chia, and Aik Chen


Report a problem