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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, Haakon Superfoods & Juice ([email protected]Somerset), Kipos Gourmet (Tanjong Pagar Centre), Artisan Boulangerie Co. (VivoCity), Toss & Turn (VivoCity), Fireless Kitchen
Melissa Chee
Melissa Chee

My newest salad obsession - SaladStop!

Was a little disappointed when I ordered these to go but the staff mixed the dressing directly into the bowl and salad. Although that’s lesser plastic wastage, I don’t like the idea of my salad sitting in dressing for an hour or so. Wish they would’ve at least asked before mixing it in. The bread stick seemed to be complimentary, and the staff will ask if you want it. I liked the bread stick as it was very crispy, and reminded me of a poh chui cracker.

The Arabian Night bowl is pretty good. I love the mix of flavours, especially the red pepper hummus.

As for the Howdy! salad, this is one that’s relatively low calorie and high protein on the menu. I requested for no red onions, and I really loved this mix of lettuce, grated egg, chicken chunks, cherry tomatoes and corn. It seems like a simple salad, but it’s packed full of flavour. Probably also from the salad dressing (which would’ve been much nicer if it hadn’t been getting diluted by the salad greens and dripping to the bottom of my bowl by the time I actually sat down to eat this).

I definitely foresee myself visiting SaladStop! again to try out more salads, wraps, bowls or breakfast items!

I’m not sure why people are so taken with Bhutanese foods all of a sudden, but I’m not complaining whenever I get a chance to be taken back to Bhutan - physically or gastronomically. This season’s Souperholic specials feature six Bhutan-inspired soups. The two soups we tried today are from Part 1 of this series - a Bhutanese Spicy chicken Stew (front) and the Chilli Cheese Stew (back, which the cashier actually cautioned against due to the spiciness!).

If you’ve been to Bhutan, you’ll be familiar with chilli cheese, which is akin to their national dish. This stew is nowhere near as thick as authentic ema datshi, but it’s still yummy and pretty spicy for a stew! It features a lot of dried chillies, as well as three different cheeses. It doesn’t quite hit the same spot as ema datshi does, but it’s still a delightful tribute to the National dish of Bhutan. This soup is totally vegetarian, it’s also dairy-free if you request for no ezay condiment (which is an additional chilli ‘salad’ mixed with coriander).

The spicy chicken stew didn’t strike me as much of a Bhutanese dish, as I didn’t have any of this in Bhutan. I never had a good impression of meat dishes in Bhutan as I found that they tended to chop the meats into awkward chunks with really sharp bones, plus the meat tended to be quite hard. Thankfully, The Soup Spoon’s Spicy Chicken Stew has masterfully cut and tenderised the boneless chicken chunks, and cooked it in a hearty chicken broth with lots of vegetables, AND Bhutanese red rice! What a treat! I love the texture of Bhutanese red rice, plus the infusion of nuttiness it provides to the dish! I loved this soup so much I used the bread roll to sop up every last drop!

It’s also worth noting that the bread roll seems to be bigger than before, plus it’s got more sesame seeds and even some pumpkin seeds embedded inside! I love this change in rolls! Definitely going to be eating more of these Bhutanese soups before they switch to the second half of the series on the first week of October.

Ordered this as part of Set B where you get a choice of a flatbread, sandwich, salad or cake. I originally wanted the sriracha chicken flatbread, but it wasn’t available at dinner time when I visited.

The flatbreads, sandwiches and salads are all prepared when ordered, so they do take a while to be served, but they’re warm! The flatbread is slightly crispy, and stuffed with generous amounts of well seasoned bulgogi beef, gochujang mayo, arugula leaves and quinoa. The savoury and tender bulgogi beef, coupled with the slightly spicy gochujang mayo, nutty quinoa and bitter arugula makes this combination a winner. The portion size is also perfect, it’s smaller than a wrap you’d get in the supermarket, but filling as a set with your soup. Plus, the estimated calorie count is only in the low 200s! Yums!

One of the newest additions to the menu is ‘Shroomy Chicken’, which is essentially a new mashed mushroom concoction spread atop Subway’s roasted chicken breast.

It was actually my first time getting the chicken breast and salad at Subway, and I was very pleased with how tender and moist the chicken breast was (although I’m a little worried what other fillers this might have been reconstituted with). The salad was pretty underwhelming for $9, as you just get to pick from the same vegetable toppings as a regular sub. I thought there would be a different salad mix base given the pricing. The shroomy mix was pretty good, it was savoury and earthy. If you’re counting calories, this would actually be a good enough replacement for salad dressing. Overall I probably wouldn’t spend $9 for this salad again, but it might be worth trying the mushroom mix in a wrap or sub in the future.

Sometimes, eating healthy doesn’t pay. It’s usually expensive eating healthy outside, but Glow Cafe at Supernature takes it to a whole new level. For this salad and latte, the bill came up to $26.30. I don’t care if everything is organic or not, this was definitely not what I was expecting when I saw “Small salad - $15” on the menu and was informed I could pick two different salads on the display. Turns out they charge the salads by weight, so 1kg of salad costs $60 and this mix of kale and capsicum salad, soba noodle salad and firm tofu was 330g. Hmm. The salads were pretty good though. The kale was definitely massaged so it did absorb the dressing and was much softer and easier to swallow than raw kale. The cherry tomatoes were incredibly sweet. I have no idea what variety they use, but it’s amazing. I’m still not sold on the price just because of that though. The soba noodle salad was pretty ordinary, and the tau kwa, though delicious, was quite ordinary as well.

I actually really liked the latte. The blend wasn’t too acidic nor bitter, and it had a smooth, well/rounded mouthfeel. The latte was reasonably priced at $5.50 with an additional $1 for soy milk. I guess if I was around the area I’d just go for the coffee, but definitely not getting ripped off by the salad again.

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It’s way more worth it to get a large bowl, especially if you’re sharing, but we were pretty full and just had a hankering for acai so we got the classic small bowl. HAAKON’s Classic Acai Bowl comes with chia pudding, blended Acai, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, dried coconut, nuts and granola. I enjoyed the multitude of flavours and textures in this simple bowl, but I did feel that the Acai was a little too sweet. In addition, the chia pudding layer was frozen and quite hard to eat until it had defrosted. Still a yummy and healthy dessert that’s available till late as compared to many other Acai stalls around the area.

*Note: HAAKON is FavePay friendly!

First time venturing to Science Park for their food and I’m so in love with this place my friend recommended. To make a bowl, you choose one protein, one base and three toppings. Each protein is priced differently, with tofu that costs $12 to sirloin that costs $15.

What’s in my bowl:
Protein - honey lemon chicken ($14)
Base - salad
Toppings - crispy tofu puffs, Thai cucumber salad (spicy), eggplant

There’s just so much selection here that I had a hard time deciding! This place has the widest range of bases I’ve ever encountered - as they have quinoa, rice, salad, dry noodles with various seasonings and noodle soup. The salad is a mix of crisp lettuce, spinach and other assorted greens, dressed in Japanese sesame dressing. The greens were super fresh and crunchy. Love! Perfect for a lighter meal option without suffering through tasteless and mundane salad greens.

The honey lemon chicken was so tender and juicy. The seasoning wasn’t overpowering, so it wasn’t too sweet or too sour. While I found the chicken delicious, I wouldn’t be able to tell it was honey lemon seasoning! Not that I’m complaining though.

I was torn with what toppings to choose! I really wanted the lava egg, but they had so many interesting choices that I ended up going with less common items. The eggplants were seasoned and cooked to perfection as they weren’t overly mushy. The cucumbers were dressed in a thai spicy sauce that I really enjoyed, super refreshing, but might be too spicy for someone unaccustomed to eating chilli. The crispy tofu puffs were quite disappointing as they were super crisp and dry. I was hoping for some tau kwa puff in laksa consistency, but this was purely dry and crunchy. It’s seasoned with some spices so it’s not tasteless, and it’s also not oily, but I wouldn’t order this again.

Prices of the bowl were pretty steep, but the portion sizes were reasonable and for the quality of food, I wouldn’t mind paying for such yummy bowls around Kent Ridge once in a while.

*Savourworld is GrabPay and FavePay-friendly!

What’s in my bowl ($10):

Base: buckwheat soba, green and purple cabbage
Vegetables: spinach, long beans, lotus roots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli
Dressing: yuzu apple cider
Lux it up: golden fluffy tamago
Crunches: almonds, tobikko, shallots

Ok so pretty much everything’s the same except that I’m trying the yuzu apple cider dressing for the first time. It’s been on the menu the whole time but I never ordered it since I’m a creature of habit. I’m glad I did today, because this is a really refreshing, light and delicious dressing. The taste of the dressing is quite subtle, but it imparts a sweet, citrusy and mildly sour taste to the bowl. Unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend this dressing with soba noodles unless you’ll be eating it immediately as this dressing is more watery, so the soba noodles get soggy when left for a while.

Gone are the days that sous vide cooking was limited to hotels and expensive restaurants. Fireless Kitchen, located in the revamped Funan Mall, is a first of its kind with absolutely no open flames in the kitchen and they’re definitely proud of it. You get to see the tanks and sous vide cooker setups right in plain view when you’re ordering your food.

We got two bowls, where you get a pick of one protein, one base and three toppings.

In bowl 1 (left, $15.90): sous vide salmon, tofu (add on $2), romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, edamame, pineapple

In bowl 2 (right, $13.90): Signature 24 hours cooked sous vide pork belly, whole wheat pasta, sous vide egg, caramelised onions, balsamic carrots

All the proteins were stellar, they weren’t overcooked in the slightest (the magic of sous vide cooking), and they absorbed the flavours of the marinades so well. While the pork belly is supposed to be the star of the show, with its tender melt-in-your-mouth texture, I found myself more drawn to the firm tofu, but that’s just me since I really like tofu. The marinades for both seem to be a barbecue style sauce, which double up as a great dressing for whatever base you choose. The salmon flesh was so soft and sweet, and I liked that the skin was slightly crisped - still don’t know how they’d achieve that without oil and flames though.

The bases aren’t particularly unique, but at least the salad vegetables were fresh and crisp. Note that the portion of vegetables is quite little though.

I liked all the toppings, especially the caramelised onions and carrots. However, the whole bowl was served at room temperature so it wasn’t particularly appetising.

Unfortunately, it seems like sous vide cooking isn’t sexy enough for our local market yet. Despite a very hardworking staff working the cashier and constantly reaching out to passers by and potential customers, nobody bought a bowl for the duration of the time that we were there. Perhaps they could work on the presentation of the cooked foods on display, or revise the pricing. For >$10 a bowl for a base, a protein and three toppings, there are much cheaper and more filling choices out there.

*Fireless Kitchen is FavePay-friendly! Start racking up those cash backs!

The Starter Culture has found an avenue in Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee to sell their bottled kombucha fermentations of Ceylon tea and raw cane sugar. It’s a bit pricey at $8.60 per bottle compared to the coffees on the menu, but I actually really enjoyed the kombucha! Im not a fan of ultra fizzy and sour kombucha, but The Starter Culture’s version is light and sweet, it almost tastes like plum. There’s little to no dizziness, and I really love how fruity this fermented drink is. While I wouldn’t shell out $8.60 on the regular for this, I don’t mind treating myself and my gut once in a while!

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What’s in my bowl ($10+$2):

Base: Cauliflower rice (+$2), purple and green cabbage
Greens: broccoli, spinach, lotus roots, cherry tomatoes, long beans
Dressing: cheesy pesto
Lux it up: golden pillow tamago
Crunches: shallots, tobikko, activated almonds

The only thing new about my combo this week is the lotus roots and I have to say they are pretty damn awesome if you love lotus roots (think MLXG, people). Kipos really slices these so thinly, they retain a crisp texture and it’s just soooo satisfying listening to that light crunch.

Everything in this bowl hit all the right spots. I might go with the lotus roots and mala dressing combination next time for a healthier MLXG!

This bowl consistently delivers no matter how many times I order it. What’s different is the sambal tempeh add-on, which is now just cooked tempeh and sambal spooned over when the bowl is assembled. This is in contrast to having the tempeh marinated and cooked with sambal. I felt that the tempeh was moister this time, but didn’t absorb the taste of the sambal that well. That’s quite a lot of tempeh and protein for an additional $2, so it’s quite worth it too!

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

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