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Some Days Are For Healthier Eats

Some Days Are For Healthier Eats

Featuring Curious Palette, The Coffee Academics (Raffles City), Dosirak (Downtown Gallery), My Awesome Cafe, Lunar Coffee Brewers, Artisan Boulangerie Co. (VivoCity), Kipos Gourmet (Tanjong Pagar Centre), Toss & Turn (VivoCity), Caveman Food (Square 2), McDonald's (HarbourFront Centre)
Melissa Chee
Melissa Chee
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One of the chef’s recommendations on the menu that I’ve been eyeing and finally went ahead to try. This is basically atas fried rice that’s super delicious. The red rice is fried with pumpkin cubes, edamame, mushrooms, long beans and an egg, and you get to choose between roasted chicken or avocado to go with the carbs. I went with the roasted chicken breast, which wasn’t the most tender, but fortunately not dry nor tough to chew. I think it’s seasoned with mustard so the meat isn’t tasteless, and although it is just a teeny bit bland on its own, it goes well with the already-flavoured red rice. The portion of chicken given for $13 is substantial too - very value for money! I love the components in the red rice bowl - the red rice gives a lot more bite than regular white rice, plus it imparts a nutty flavour that’s so addictive. The edamame and long brand add some sweetness and a little crunch, whereas the sautéed mushrooms add an earthy flavour with some saltiness. The pumpkin cubes were harder than I’m used to, but they still worked in this case as they kept their form and didn’t disintegrate in the rice. Might’ve been even better if the pumpkin was softer, but overall I really enjoyed this fried red rice very much and have no complaints about my meal. Looks like I have to visit ABC more often to try more of their dishes and order this again!

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Choice of how you’d like your eggs done on two pieces of toast with sautéed mushrooms, bacon, cherry tomatoes and half an avocado. We went for scrambled today and ABC makes pretty good scrambled eggs that are fluffy and a little moist! Toast is done well as it’s super crispy on the outside while soft and chewy inside. The bacon and sautéed mushrooms are on point too. Overall, this is a very satisfying All-Day Breakfast that you can even enjoy for dinner. It’s also not too expensive at $16. Would recommend and would order again!

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For $5 extra, you can zhng your meal at ABC with a soup, salad or fries. Many of the mains don’t have leafy vegetables in them so the side salad’s a good choice of add-on. At $5, it’s quite steep for a romaine lettuce base with capsicums, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. Fortunately, there’s quite a good amount of feta cheese used which adds a refreshing saltiness to the salad. The vegetables are crisp and fresh, and there’s some dressing to round off the side. The dressing is a little like zesty Caesar and there’s a good amount that’s not stingy but also not overwhelming the salad leaves although personally I could’ve done without dressing thanks to the crumbled feta. Not bad for a meal add-on, just wish it were more affordable.

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New outlet alert for Mr Bean in a snazzy new building opposite the NUH Main Building. For their opening promo, they’re offering a rice bowl or soy burger with a drink (soy bean or grass jelly) for only $5.50. I opted for the teriyaki chicken rice bowl (U.P. $6) and a cold soy bean drink with less sugar (U.P. $1.60).

It was quite a simple bowl, with white rice, a few strips of teriyaki chicken, corn, cherry tomatoes, edamame, an egg, and seaweed on top, but quite delicious after stirring all together. The teriyaki sauce is just sweet and savoury enough, and they aren’t stingy with it so you can actually mix all the rice with sauce. I wish there were more greens in the bowl but it wasn’t a deal breaker. For the health conscious, Mr Bean also provides calorie counts for their menu offerings. However, if they really want to roll with the ‘healthier choice’ options, offering brown rice instead of regular white rice should be the next step forward.

Overall, for $5.50, this set is affordable and value for money. However, I wouldn’t pay for the rice bowl at its regular price of $6 as it’s just too basic. I’d rather top up a few dollars and head up to A Poke Theory if I was really craving a grain bowl.

Back at Caveman food to try a different flavour and I went with Moroccan today which is seasoned with prunes and olives. The meat is so tender and on point, but I felt that the seasoning tasted almost like the Italian (without eating the olives). It’s not a bad thing as the chicken is still delicious, it’s just that the non-spicy seasonings don’t seem to be that distinct from each other. That won’t stop me from ordering either flavour though.

The sides are so good as well. Love that the cauliflower rice here is offered at no extra charge, and the eggplants are firm and not mushy. I always have trouble picking what I want because there’s pumpkin and sweet potato available too! I’ll be back for more chicken, and maybe to takeaway some of the sides too!!!

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Under the new DYOB system at Toss & Turn, you can get 1 base (mix up to 2), 1 protein, 4 toppings and 1 dressing at a base price of $11.

What’s in this bowl ($11.50):
- Base: Baby Spinach, Quinoa (+$0.50)
- Protein: Spicy Chicken
- Toppings: Hard boiled egg, sous vide egg, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms
- Dressing: Caesar

Quantity of food given tends to be quite inconsistent and varies according to which server you get. Some servers don’t even bother asking what bases you want, and automatically start scooping a certain veg for you. Anyway, the variety of bases here on a good day are great - I like that you can choose quinoa at an additional cost of only $0.50, as it usually costs more in other salad or grain bowl joints. First time trying the sous vide egg here, and it’s cooked perfectly plus cracked well. Think golden flowy yolk, yums. The mushrooms are well seasoned and add an earthy yet savoury taste to the bowl.

The change in Toss&Turn’s DYOB system doesn’t affect me much, except that now I get a smaller variety of protein in my bowl, but overall it works out for me getting a cheaper bowl of goodness. Unfortunately, the meatless Monday discount sign is apparently missing, so I wonder if it’s been removed permanently.

I always come back to Kipos in anticipation of building the perfect grain bowl. Some days some items that I want are out of stock, but today I was lucky enough to have everything I picked!

What’s in my bowl ($13):
Base: Purple and green cabbage, cauliflower rice (+$2)
Greens: Brussels sprouts (+$1), Spinach, Cherry tomatoes, carrots, broccoli
Protein: Tofu
Dressing: Cheesy pesto
Lux it up: Golden pillow tamago
Crunch: Tobikko, crispy shallots, roasted almonds

Nothing much different from what I usually order - cheesy pesto is now my favourite dressing! Although I might still alternate between truffle shoyu and mala from time to time. The Brussels sprouts here aren’t bitter at all, and the cauliflower rice is a good alternative for those seeking a low calorie alternative to brown rice, quinoa or soba. It is a bit pricey at an additional $2 charge though.

Sort of hinted at getting discounts or rewards by bringing our own bowls and the awesome people at Kipos said that it’ll be coming soon! I can’t wait for that :) yay for going green while eating clean!

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All the deliciousness in nasi lemak served up in a more nutritious form from Kipos. They were out of quinoa lemak base today, so it was substituted with regular quinoa, but it was still really good! The sambal chilli is the absolute bomb. The staff have also gotten much better at cracking the onsen egg which is awesome so I can have a nice whole egg, rather than egg yolk spilling out everywhere and congealing on the rest of my bowl by the time I get to eat it.

Kipos is super eco-aware, and since I brought my own containers to pack my food, I was hinting about some discounts/rewards for people who bring their own bowls - good news is: it’s coming our way soon! Yay! I can’t wait for that and hopefully more people will start bringing their own containers too :)

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Looks like Toss & Turn has changed their DYOB - there are no hot or cold protein options anymore, instead, the basic salad bowl ($11) comes with a choice of 1 base (you can mix up to 2), 1 protein, 4 toppings & 1 dressing. It’s stated that it ‘comes with free bread’ on the signage, but we didn’t ask for it and weren’t given any bread, nor did anyone else that we saw in the restaurant. This change in the DYOB menu could work both ways, as it’s now cheaper to order what were previously known as ‘hot proteins’, but would cost more to order more ‘cold proteins/deli’ as an additional one would cost $2 whereas you’d have a choice of two deli meats under the previous Bowl A & B system.

What’s in my bowl ($11.50):
- Base: Spinach + soba (+$0.50)
- Protein: Spicy Chicken
- Toppings: Roasted pumpkin, cucumber, tofu, roasted eggplant
- Dressing: Cashew lime (fat-free, the sauce container used has notably decreased in size)

Overall it’s still pretty much the same ingredients on offer, just that the pricing system is a little different. I was pleased with the variety of bases available today at 7.15pm as there were baby spinach, kale (new I think!), mesclun Salad, sesame pasta, Mediterranean rice and soba noodles - my fav. The spicy chicken went very well with my bowl, in fact, I didn’t even need the cashew lime dressing as the seasoning was creamy and flavourful. Not spicy in my opinion though. The chicken chunks were also not too tough or dry, and they went well with my spinach and soba. With the amount of protein given in one bowl (there’s actually a whole lot of it below the other toppings), I don’t think I’m actually missing out too much on the previous 2 deli protein options except that there was more variety and choice then. Toss & Turn still remains as my pick for the most affordable no-frills salads and grain bowls!

Kipos Gourmet serves up not only a healthier and lower calorie version of nasi lemak (with a vegan option too!), but also a healthier version of chicken rice. There’s an option of having quinoa or brown rice as the base, with sous vide chicken, carrots, cucumbers, and a generous serving of Hainanese chicken rice chilli. Opted for the quinoa base and added on some Lux (golden pillow tamago) and this was such a yummy dinner. The chicken breast isn’t the most tender but it’s definitely not dry. It’s also a pretty good medium for the chicken rice chilli, which brings a slight heat and some sweetness to the dish. Love that they’re very generous with the chilli portion too!

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Been a while since I’ve visited Kipos Gourmet and I’m so glad to be back! I even brought my own container this time and the staff didn’t even blink when I asked for my bowl to be packed in this container - plus points for being eco-friendly.

What’s in my bowl ($12):

Base - Brown rice, green & purple cabbage
Greens - Spinach, broccoli, radish, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, Brussels sprouts (+$2)
Protein - Tofu
Dressing - Cheesy pesto
Lux it up - Mushroom medley
Crunch - Tobikko, fried shallots, nori

Sadly they were out of the smoked almonds today, so I had to change up my crunch order a little but no regrets because the fried shallots are so aromatic and yummy! They’re not as crunchy as the almonds, but they inject a hint of sweetness into the bowl. I’d still pick the almonds over these in a heartbeat if given a choice, but the shallots are a nice alternative in a pinch. I also opted for the brown rice base this time, and I’m pleased to say the brown rice here is cooked to perfection. Brown rice sometimes receives a bad rep for being too hard, but you won’t face this issue here. I noticed that some sauce was sprinkled on the brown rice, which made it extra fragrant and yummy. Also tried some new items on the menu - the Brussels sprouts (+$1) and the cheesy pesto dressing. Fortunately the Brussels sprouts weren’t bitter at all, they were cooked well and easy to chew without losing their crunchiness. The cheesy pesto dressing was amazing and would be one that I’d add to my regular rotation - with a sharp smell of herbs and a luxuriously creamy texture, the cheesy pesto dressing really spiced up the rest of the ingredients in the bowl and kept me wanting more more more. This was also the first time I tried the cucumbers at Kipos, and I found that they cut the cucumbers into huge pieces. Not that that’s a good or bad thing, just something to note.

*Kipos Gourmet is FavePay & GrabPay friendly! They also do provide tenant/Virgin Active member discounts.

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Always biding my time to my next meal. Everything in between just serves to kill time.

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