Healthy Eats

Healthy Eats

When guilt sets in after I've indulged in too many rich meals consecutively, I try to balance things out with lighter, healthier food. It's no coincidence that vegetarian dishes become my top choice at these times.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

It eluded me on my first visit but I had better luck with the iconic Baby Cauliflower the second time I dined at @miznonsg. The reason for its popularity was crystal clear from my first bite as the unbelievably sweet vegetable seemed to burst with juiciness. Do order it if it’s available when you’re there because not every batch of baby cauliflowers delivered, passes Executive Chef @orhakmimi’s scrutiny.

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(Hosted) @miznonsg is less than a month old but it is already packing in the crowds. News of the opening of the Israeli brand was out on the streets early on and the excitement in our city had been palpable. My friend Zhenia, who joined me at the lunch, was hyped up as she had heard so much about Miznon from her friends overseas.
Singapore’s outlet is located on Stanley Street, and the casual eatery seems to crackle with an infectious energy (also the reason why I kept the ambient sounds as the video soundtrack 😊). My guess is Executive Chef @orhakmimi is the source because that man radiates an irrepressible joy. You can spot him easily - he’s the tall dude who thinks nothing of spontaneously breaking into a dance in the kitchen 😄.
For our tasting, he told us sit back and wait to be fed, and moments later, a succession of items (I swear each was more delicious than the one before) landed in front of us. First, a large, freshly baked #pita with little tubs of tahini, as if to let us know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, exactly how amazing they get their basics. Then Chef @owjiewei brought the “Hot Chickpeas” ($16). He had ladled them straight from the pot onto a plate smeared with tahini, and dressed them up with a hard-boiled egg, raw onions, tomatoes and zhug (a spicy paste made from green chillies, olive oil and salt). The flavours in that plate danced with verve on our palates and provided the first clue to how vegetarians would have a field day at #Miznon. Our impression was confirmed when more exuberantly flavourful vegetarian items came our way, namely the roasted “Batata” ($12, sweet potatoes from New Zealand paired with sour cream and Atlantic sea salt), the “Bag Of Beans” ($12, a mix of cold Haricots verts, French beans and snap peas tossed in garlic, lemon, olive oil and sea salt which is aptly nicknamed “the healthiest fries” by Chef Or), and the “Run Over Potato” ($11, a tuber baked with butter, garlic and herbs, then flattened and served with sour cream). The parade of vegetables ended strongly with the devastatingly delicious “Ratatouille” ($17). Having been charred a little, the eggplant, carrot and onions cooked in a light tomato sauce were sweetness personified, and like the dish of “Hot Chickpeas”, came with a hard-boiled egg, tahini and zhug.
After that, Chef Or assembled two #Pitas for us to share: the “Chicken Liver” and “Abu Kebab”. Both came in the fluffiest pitas I’d ever seen and delivered must-close-eyes level of tastiness. While the former brimmed with seared chicken liver (it’s so creamy), tahini, spring onions, Japanese cucumber, salsa and zhug, the latter was crammed full of perfectly-seasoned meatballs of lamb and beef (made fresh daily on site), tahini, parsley, onions, salsa and zhug.
When we saw the Hraime ($26), a Spicy Moroccan Barramundi Stew, we had to have it too. It was really appetising with the smoky tomato gravy elevated by dollops of tahini and zhug for fragrant creaminess and a spike of bright spiciness. Highly recommended, especially if you like fish.

Thank you again Violet, Natalie and @sixthsensepr for arranging this hosted meal. We love the food at @miznonsg and will surely return very soon!

T R E A T
Vannessa, the co-founder and owner of @poketheorysg had gotten in touch with me to send poke bowls and other healthy bites. That’s how me and my family ended up with a hearty and unusually healthy (by my standards anyway 😂) lunch.
I found their Poke Bowls travelled well as they were still cold to the touch when I received them (this matters a great deal since raw tuna and salmon are involved). Presentation didn’t suffer either - every item retained its fresh and attractive appearance, as though it had just been prepared a couple of minutes before.
Whether you opt for their Signature Poke Bowls (S: $13.40 / Regular: $16 / Large: $19) or Customise one entirely tailored to your preference (which is what I did), you will receive a bowl brimming with quality ingredients and tastiness. It is a combination that has spelled continuous success for over the last four years for this locally-grown brand created by a pair of siblings.

Fancy a Poke? You can and should order directly from #poketheorysg for takeaway and delivery by Whatsapping the outlet closest to you:

MARINA ONE @ THE HEART
Whatsapp order: 9867 7864

BUGIS @ DUO GALLERIA
Whatsapp order: 9015 0223

TELOK AYER @ 27 BOON TAT ST
Whatsapp order: 9468 5829

KENT RIDGE @ [email protected]
Whatsapp order: 9654 3854

NOVENA @ [email protected] SQUARE
Whatsapp order: 8589 7608

SOMERSET @ 111 SOMERSET
Whatsapp order: 8369 6885

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to add on a couple of their refreshing Açaí Bowls, and Health Snack Packs (perfect for those moments when you’re feeling peckish).

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T R E A T
Today’s lunch was courtesy of my friend Mike, and it came from @summerlongsg.
Because I got to customise my “Summer Bowl”, these were what I picked: Chicken Shish for protein (the breast meat was prepared in big chunks but oh my goodness - there was such tenderness and flavour to be had), a Greek Salad for greens and Quinoa as a base. There’s a dip to go with the pita bread too and initially, I had a hard time deciding between the Cauliflower Hummus and Tzatziki but the latter eventually won.

The other news worth sharing is that The Dandy Partnership (they own @summerlongsg @neonpigeonsg @fatprincesg) has joined forces with a few other restaurant groups such as @unlistedc, the K2 Group and the @lobeholdgroup, to collate all their takeaway/delivery menus within ONE WEBSITE. This gives customers the freedom to order food from a few establishments simultaneously and have it all sent together. Check it out:

www.dineinmovement.com

T R E A T
Today’s lunch was courtesy of my friend Mike, and it came from @summerlongsg.
Because I got to customise my “Summer Bowl”, these were what I picked: Chicken Shish for protein (the breast meat was prepared in big chunks but oh my goodness - there was such tenderness and flavour to be had), a Greek Salad for greens and Quinoa as a base. There’s a dip to go with the pita bread too and initially, I had a hard time deciding between the Cauliflower Hummus and Tzatziki but the latter eventually won.

The other news worth sharing is that The Dandy Partnership (they own @summerlongsg @neonpigeonsg @fatprincesg) has joined forces with a few other restaurant groups such as @unlistedc, the K2 Group and the @lobeholdgroup, to collate all their takeaway/delivery menus within ONE WEBSITE. This gives customers the freedom to order food from a few establishments simultaneously and have it all sent together. Check it out:

www.dineinmovement.com

Singaporean Chef Pang Kok Keong of @antoinette_sg and @hakkapang has an assortment of Hakka specialties for takeaway and delivery now. This Thunder Tea Rice or 擂茶饭 included.

I have always been a fan of this healthy Hakka dish so it’s lovely to try Chef Pang’s version which features brown rice topped with more than just the usual. He also throws on unconventional ingredients such as crisp wing beans and soft-cooked kidney beans - the latter adds a hint of sweetness to the dish which works nicely.

The fresh herb paste which is more flavourful then others I’ve had, is packed separately so you just have to pour in hot water before eating.
At $7 per portion, I think this makes for a healthy, tasty and value-for-money meal. Ideal to send as a #mytreatsg to family or friends too.

To order this (minimum order is 5 portions), or his other delicacies like Traditional Abacus Seeds (this is very good as well!), Hakka Mee Tai Mak, Leek Kueh, Yam Cake and Muah Chee, please Whatsapp: 9021 7507.

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G I F T E D

Thanks to @ChefOlivia, C.E.O. of @BrandFitSg, I received four kinds of Premium Korean Strawberries to taste. This bevy of beautiful berries, which are available for purchase at @CulinaComoDempsey, is indeed a resplendent sight but let’s zoom in to understand each of their unique characteristics so we can appreciate each one better.

Pictured clockwise from top left:

1. Kingsberry - Also known as “The Emperor of Strawberries”, this is the largest of the four. It has a sweet scent that is apparent from the first bite. The season for this strawberry is between December and April, and it originates in Non San, South Korea.

2. MerryQueen - Hailing from Dam Yang, South Korea is “The Queen of Strawberries”. Extreme juiciness is the crowning glory of this firm and sugary-sweet ruby-red beauty.

3. Jukhyang - If you seek the perfect strawberry, this Dam Yang stunner known as “The Royalty of Strawberries” could well be the answer. On top of having an ideal shape and larger-than-average size, it possesses a bold perfume and fresh sweetness.

4. Vitaberry - Those who are more health-conscious will appreciate the highest level of Vitamin C found in “The Idol of Strawberries”, a firm-fleshed, juicy specimen.

To enjoy, the fruit should be soaked for about a minute in cold water, then gently rinsed under running water.

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It’s amazing how dining establishments at all price points have jumped into action to promptly put in place the Singapore government’s guidelines to help keep those of us who choose to dine out in this unprecedentedly challenging time, safe.

Like when we visited @salmonsamurai a couple of days ago for lunch, there were clear markings everywhere to instruct customers where to stand and sit. The four of us had arrived late, around 2pm, so we got a table immediately. Each of us filled up a form, mixing and matching to create our own salmon bowls. While TH, my niece and her friend chose bases of Yuzu Ume Rice and Udon topped with their preferred preparation style of salmon, I zeroed in on the “Seared Mala Mentaiko Salmon with Chilled Citrus Ramen” ($9.90) and added an extra protein topping of “Seared Mentaiko Salmon” ($6.50). Loved it! The slices of salmon tasted fresh but it was the two mentaiko toppings that were the icing on the cake for me, the mala flavoured one especially 😋😋. It was a match made in heaven with the cold, springy and refreshingly fragrant strands of ramen.

Of course if you wish to enjoy their salmon bowls at home or anywhere else for that matter, you can order them to takeaway or to be delivered (they have an ongoing promotion for FREE islandwide delivery if you spend $50 and above). Just visit their website:

www.SalmonSamurai.com

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My absolute favourite dish from dinner at Indigo Blue Kitchen is the Nonya Popiah.
Soft yet resilient of skin, the huge bolster was stuffed with the most delicious braised filling of juicy turnip, bamboo shoot and prawns plus freshly picked mud crab meat, as well as the usual condiments. I was very pleased that they stayed true to the traditional Nonya style and left out the peanuts.
A must-try for sure!

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I celebrated my friend Angeline’s birthday belatedly at the @nakedfinn yesterday. We had a lovely time catching up and feasting on delectable treasures from the sea prepared and presented in the restaurant’s simple-in-appearance but mindfully-developed style.
What draws me here is their curation of seafood, and the emphasis on its provenance. For eg. the Blue Cod featured in their Teochew-style #FishSoup ($35++) is a specie from New Zealand that cannot survive in polluted waters. So there is no doubting the quality of the line-caught ones used here. Angeline and I loved the rich soup, an opaque liquid that takes 5 hours to brew, in which 35gms of the fish came in, along with deep-fried yam, tofu, Chinese cabbage and baby tomatoes. We also scooped the rice served on the side into the soup to enjoy as a comforting porridge.

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M E D I A T A S T I N G

Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner has a new spin-off concept in town - quite literally as you can only find Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner at Funan Mall and Raffles City. For now anyway. The menu is by Chef de Cuisine Paul Albert, a young French bistronomy chef who radiates a bright-eyed energy. Having spent time at a few of France’s top Michelin star restaurants and an apprenticeship at The Slow Bakery in Rio, Brazil, he has not only grown passionate about the art of fermentation but also amassed knowledge for it. Hence, the technique is showcased pretty heavily in his food which is more exuberant in flavour than what one would expect of such healthy and wholesome looking and sounding dishes.

Here is everything we got to try:

1. Chayote Kimchi & Mung Bean Salad (VV) $18 - For a salad, it’s punchy! I was taken aback by how tasty the combination of homemade chayote kimchi, mung bean, crispy buckwheat, green parsley oil, watercress, pea shoots and roasted peanuts could be. Second helpings? Yes please

2. Hot Chicken Salad & Caramelised Pumpkin $20 - The slow-cooked chicken breast with kabocha pumpkin confit and herb pomelo salad with wasabi dressing also got my vote. Love what the brown butter brought to the overall especially.

3. Super Green Warm Soup (V) $16 - We had a tasting portion but it was enough to get what it means to drink your greens. Chinese spinach, bok choy, Shanghai green, chye sim and lady’s finger were blended into a thick liquid and served with beetroot pickled ricotta, roasted candlenuts, sautéed shimeiji and green herb oil. I appreciated this for daring to be different and thought it was actually quite slurp-able.

4. Miso Whole-wheat Spaghetti with Broccolini (V) $19 - The pasta has the company of made-from-scratch basil and almond pesto, miso eggplant confit and grated grana padano cheese which gives it a hearty taste. You can also choose to make it #vegan by leaving out the cheese.

5. Pulled Pork Creamy Risoni Pasta $22 - The rice grain-shaped pasta is tossed with king oyster mushroom, pulled pork that’s been prepared in the Classic American style - with a mix of smoked paprika, brown sugar, mustard seeds, garlic and a pork jus and shiitake reduction. Having absorbed all the rich butter, broth and cheese, the small slippery carb becomes delicious.

6. Portobello, Avocado and Hummus Black Sandwich (VV) $19 - Between the lightly toasted slices of charcoal bread is a veritable bowl of salad because packed with the dhal hummus are roasted portobello, avocado, shredded pickles and fresh herbs. On the side, a basket of amazing housemade, still-warm purple potato chips. Majorly addictive.

7. 100% Sourdough Waffles - Originating from a 158-year-old ancestral "mother”, I enjoyed the Liege-style waffles plain the most because of their insane fragrance and flavour. You can pick them up at #TBBSafari or have them dine-in, presented in sweet or savoury styles at either of the #tiongbahrubakerydiner outlets. For the former, they come with a delightful mix of lemongrass chantilly cream, ripe Thai mangoes, caramelised almonds and a salted butter caramel sauce. The latter sees them plated with crispy bacon, a fried egg, goji berries, ricotta cheese and a housemade special maple syrup ($23).

8. Fluffy Brown Butter Pancakes (V) $21 - Served with the same toppings as the sweet style of the Waffles, these are made using fermented buttermilk batter and brown butter which gives these pancakes a distinct colour and taste. I would recommend sharing one for dessert as the portion is big.

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It will be downhill after this point but at least my first meal of the first weekend of 2019 is a healthy bowl of sliced fish beehoon soup.
This $8 portion is big enough to be shared by two but if you’re famished, having it all to yourself won’t leave you feeling guilty at all. The dish has enough flavour so it tastes good in a “clean” way by itself but I prefer it with the housemade sambal belachan.

Follow me on Instagram (@veronicaphua) for much more content! 😊

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