From cold-pressed juices to grain bowls, there’s no doubt that the clean-eating trend is here to stay. Restaurants are offering more options, whether they be gluten-free items or more greens on the side.
It doesn’t have to be plain salad, though. “Singaporean diners are discerning, they want a dish that is both flavourful and healthy,” says Ola Cocina del Mar’s Daniel Chavez. Thus, in June, he opened Tono, a restaurant specialising in ceviche – a nutrient-rich dish of fresh fish cured in citrus and Peruvian chillies – as an alternative to the go-to poke and acai bowls. “It is no longer just about calories. Nutrients, food quality and portions play important roles too.”
Others work with experts to improve the nutritional value of their food. As a result, at Como Cuisine, which opened in July, executive chef Timothy de Souza uses tamari, a healthier alternative to soya sauce, for umami in an otherwise pedestrian offering of soba noodles. Agave syrup or fruits are also favoured over sugar to sweeten desserts, and a tandoori oven was installed as it naturally enhances flavour without relying on oil. The restaurant’s signature tandoor cauliflower, for example, takes on a smoky flavour and is served with a refreshing side of almonds, pomegranate seeds and yogurt.
Over at Shangri-la Hotel, a wellness menu has been introduced as part of a collaboration with nutritionists. Besides creating balanced and nutritious dishes, the kitchen looks for organic ingredients from reputable sources, and grass-fed meat, to reduce fat and chemicals.