Old habits die hard for Allen Thomas and his brother at the Healthy Kitchen, but at least their meals were low-calorie.
It has been a while since I took time to focus on my diet. But there’s a reason for that: tiring work days mean I don’t often find time for proper meals. Therefore, the inevitable option is usually fast food.
Not any more, though. I’ve started working out (gingerly but valiantly) to get back into shape. And nothing helps more with weight loss than eating healthily. So with that in mind, I headed to a new eatery, Healthy Kitchen, with my brother Alvin.
Located in Azaiba, opposite Al Sahwa Towers (which is your landmark), Healthy Kitchen seems to be the kind of place that would catch the eye of a fitness buff. There are two gymnasiums within a 500-metre radius of the restaurant.
We are both impressed by the look of the restaurant. It is small and compact if a tad too focused on the health image: the restaurant is split into two portions by numerous containers of Whey Protein, which only serves to make me feel rather uncomfortable.
Scanning the area, we figure that it isn’t the kind of restaurant most people would head to at the end of a long week; it looks like the preferred choice for fitness buffs and gym bunnies.
In no time, we have an attentive and amenable waiter attending to our order.
After going through the 70-odd dishes listed on the menu, my brother orders a fresh watermelon juice. I go for the Berry Bee. Along with this, we also order a Grilled Tenderloin Beef steak slathered in BBQ sauce.
The menu actually makes a point of listing the nutritional values of all the dishes. Our steak, for instance, contains 149 calories, 34 grammes of protein, one gramme of fat and one gramme of those darned carbohydrates. Worried that the steak won’t be enough for two, we order a Mushroom Beef Burger and a Dynamite Burger.
Since we have some (rare) spare time on our hands, my brother and I confer on how healthy these dishes will actually be. Burgers, after all, are still considered to be fast food.
We may have ordered a little too much, methinks, but it’s too late to back out now.
Our order does take a good 10 minutes to arrive. We wanted the drinks to arrive first but to our disappointment, they come along with the dishes.
A sip from the Berry Bee has me cringing, I cannot lie. I’m a deep lover of berries but this is not something I’m enjoying; it’s bitter and bland. I immediately ask the waiter to sweeten it up so I can gulp it down easily.
Meanwhile, my brother is enjoying his although (typically) he has a few complaints on how it differs from his usual tipples.
But, again going healthy comes with its own set of perks… and sorrows.
Then our steak comes: it is served with white rice and boiled potatoes with Thousand Island dressing and garlic paste.
We expect the steak to be a large portion, but we’re left disappointed because they are beef jerkies sautéed in BBQ sauce and there is not a single slice of steak on the plate.
The taste was definitely missing something. Without the fat, the beef simply has no soul. This also makes the meat chewy after cooking.
Then our burgers come in. The Dynamite Beef Burger comprises of capsicum, reduced beef patty, cheese (low fat, I assume) and avocados enclosed in a wholemeal bun. Now this, my friends, is finesse.
This was a burger that simply made us forget all the flaws we’d experienced so far. Even in a healthy restaurant with wholesome dishes, the burger keeps the right balance, without the extra calories.
My brother seems to enjoy his, too. His burger comprises sautéed mushrooms, a beef patty, cheese and a few veggies; again all enclosed in a wholemeal bun.
Happy with the burgers we thought of trying out some pudding. We dive in and order the blueberry cheesecake.
Even though it missed the mark compared with conventional cheesecakes, it does a good job of offering flavour and texture. We didn’t love it but it was good.
Intrigued by the look of the chocolate mousse, we order one of those as well. As we dig in, however, we notice that the creamy texture is all it has going for it. It just tastes awful, courtesy of the artificial sweeteners.
As we pay and depart, we realise that our tummies aren’t full. We wonder what to do about it before Alvin asks: “Wanna grab a shawarma?”
“Hmmm… sure. Why not?” I reply.
All in all, it is a fair dining experience. It is the right place to find the best healthy low-fat burgers but the other dishes we had need a bit of work.
Do try this place out if you are on a strict diet, though.
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Excellent burgers with a service to match. Needs an update in the menu, though