After the haze of boozing, partying and feasting has subsided a little, we often find ourselves wishing we hadn’t eaten quite as much as we did (although it always seems like a good idea at the time). This year, we decided to seek out a few wholesome alternatives to get us back on track. We can’t promise that they’ll help you detox or lose weight (we reckon it’s going to take a lot more than that), but these places should at least help you in the right direction.
The Diet Butler
#02-07, 10 Winstedt Rd., 6733-3250.
The brainchild of Owen Chong, this tidy little café opened late last year. Owen champions the philosophy that healthy food can still be tasty, and their menu certainly affirms that. They even have a nutrition consultant, Derrick Ong, on board. Of their salads, the blue cheese, pear and walnut ($9) and mango, sautéed shrimp and cherry tomatoes with couscous ($12) get our vote. The carrot, potato and leek soup ($6) is also a satisfying belly-warmer. For those desiring something more substantial, the oven roasted pork loin with turnips and pineapples in homemade apple sauce ($12), grilled dory with herb and lime butter (also $12) and risotto with basil, spinach, and scallops ($18) make for a filling meal that doesn’t leave you feeling uncomfortably full after. As an added bonus, they also do deliveries (for a nominal fee), so you can get their grub sent right to your doorstep.
The Green Bar
#01-16/17 Hitachi Towers, 16 Collyer Quay, 6493-6948.
When we first discovered The Green Bar, we knew they’d be a success with their truly scrumptious salads and convenient location in the CBD. While salads aren’t the only option when you want to eat healthy, this place does a great job of convincing you to look no further. Owner Ca-ryn Lim ensures that your greens are cold, crisp and fresh, with a generous serving of toppings and dressed to impress. One of their more recent additions, Wicked Strawberry ($12.90), has really taken our fancy, loaded with heaps of strawberries, roast chicken and blue cheese. We stand by Tandoor Tandoor ($10.90)—a heaped bowl of super fresh leaves decorated with juicy chunks of tandoori chicken, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, roasted potatoes and a divine honey yogurt dressing.
#B1-08/09/10C Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Rd., 6737-2148.
This is a restaurant for health-conscious individuals who want scrumptious food that doesn’t compromise on taste. The fact that it’s an international menu with Asian influences is refreshing, displayed in dishes such as pickled tea leaves with ripened tomatoes and mung beans ($12), poached seafood in a light spicy lemongrass broth with buckwheat soba ($24) and roasted black cod with wild mushrooms, aged balsamic and apple grape coulis ($28). Other standouts include marinated sashimi poke ($14), sesame-crusted Chilean sea bass with crab bisque ($28) and braised beef cheek ($34). Their range of freshly-squeezed juices (all $7) come in interesting combinations, such as Botox (watermelon, red grapes and mint) Calm-Me-Down (papaya, pineapple and orange) and Detox (red grapes, apples and Chinese pear).
Onaka @ Body With Soul
44 Rochester Park, 6778-0246.
Tucked away in Rochester Park, this laidback café is a great find for health-conscious folks. Onaka, short for Optimum Nutrition and Kitchen Arts, emphasizes the achievement of optimal health through nutrition. We’re still not entirely sold on all that, but we do enjoy their dairy-free smoothies. We recommend the yummy Omega Avocado ($6.50) and antioxidant summer berries power smoothie (also $6.50), a truly gratifying blend of mixed berries, bananas, organic rice milk and seed mix. Or pick from their range of vegetable juices (from $5) such as Morning After (apple, celery and ginger) and Green Peace (green apple, cabbage and celery). Of course, you can’t just rely on a liquid diet. Their low GI (glycemic index) grilled tofu salad ($9.50) is an incredibly substantial option, and tasty to boot. If you’re not in the mood for a salad, the Carribean burger ($9.50) consists of chipotle ketchup and a black bean and brown rice vegetable patty sandwiched between a multigrain bun, served with garbanzo bean mash. They also deliver, so no more excuses.
PiNK Dining & Bar
4 Craig Rd., 6222-5007.
Brought to you by the folks behind PiNK Nutrideli (a food and juice bar for gym-goers in the CBD), this is a more formal eatery that’s governed by the same health-conscious philosophy as that of their original eatery. We recommend Vietnamese rolls ($3.95), with fresh prawns and chilled crunchy carrots and lettuce, and particularly the oven baked white dory ($12.90), salad and rice included. The entire dish’s caloric count comes in at a mere 394. The brown rice is a dream, interspersed with briny olive bits; we could eat mountains of the stuff. The roasted chicken with shrooms and pepper sauce ($9.90) is also a winner. For those with a sweet tooth and a staunch refusal to give up desserts, they even have several low-fat and low-sugar choices such as a butterless & flourless brownie ($4.95). And if you feel even a twinge of guilt, you can hang about for a spot of salsa dancing every Monday and Wednesday night.
Super Secret Weapon
To start your day on exactly the right note, we recommend LINS Smoodees’ blended drinks, particularly Popeye and Peter Pan (made from 30-60gm and 60-90gm of greens respectively). These dairy-free smoothies are blended with organic leafy vegetables, fruits and filtered alkaline water, and can be delivered to your home or office every morning (from $7.90). Call 9007-8233 or log on to linssmoodees.com for details.