Don’t you just love having options? The recent influx of healthy eating options in Singapore, that are all bursting with flavour and goodness, are a welcome addition to the food scene here. I’m all for being healthy, but bland food that tastes of nothing or, even worse, bland food that’s dressed up with unhealthy sauces and condiments, is most definitely not the way to go. Healthy food that tastes delicious, fills you up AND makes you feel good after is pretty much a winner all round in my book. Read the lowdown on six of the best new healthy options in Singapore.
First things first, it’s pronounced Aloha Pok-ay by the way, not poke 😉 I’d never heard of poke until recently, it’s a Hawaiian thing, a raw salad that most often includes some sort of seafood like tuna or salmon. Other elements include soy sauce, sesame oil, chilli, lime and perhaps some seaweed. The flavours are what I’d call a hybrid Asian style, a little bit Japanese, a little bit Korean, and now that Aloha Poke has come to town, it’s a little bit Singaporean too.
Like many of the popular salad places around town, ordering your food involves filling in a form that asks you to choose between protein (salmon, tuna or vegetarian in different marinades), flavour (like wasabi or spicy), add ons (like carrot, edamame, almonds) and a superfood. The prices start at $11.90 but the standard size is $15.90. You can also add on extras for 50c or $1 so there’s a lot of flexibility.
For some reason I more often than not fail at choosing good combos with this concept of ordering. So I asked them to build me a poke and they did. It was delicious. The standard serving size is generous. A big bowl stuffed full of tuna (150g of it), leaves, rice, avocado, carrot, almonds and some fish roe for garnish. The dressing has a light and tasty sesame oil flavour. I had this for lunch one day when I was busy in the evening and I didn’t even realise until after 8pm that I was finally hungry again. Very satisfying. I also tried the cold pressed beet juice ($6.90) that was delicious.
Aloha take lunch orders in advance, quite a handy feature if you’re busy, and they just unveiled their Tiki Bar where you can not only get yummy bar food but also some very Hawaiian looking cocktails with obligatory umbrella sticking out 😉Aloha Poke
92 Amoy Street, Singapore
Open Monday to Saturday 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 11pm
The Cup recently opened near Dhoby Ghaut, at the bottom of the POMO centre. It’s a clean and bright looking shop that’s open for lunch and dinner, they do take out and eat in. I’ve eaten here a few times and although I wouldn’t rave about it, the food is a good, healthy option for lunch or dinner. The menu choices are typically Korean in style, bibimbap, noodles and a few side dishes. The quality is good, although I was disappointed when I asked for a veggie version (it is normally served with beef) of the bibimbap ($9.90) and I paid the same amount but didn’t seem to get any extra veggies
The mushroom and beef bulgogi ($8.90) was super tasty and although they’re a bit heavy on the sauce the flavours are good, as is the freshness of the ingredients. This is the kind of place that’s a great option for after work (particularly when you walk right past it) or a quick lunch that will fill you up.The Cup
1 Selegie Road, Singapore
Open Monday to Sunday 10am to 10pm
I can see why everyone is raving about Grain Traders. The food here is a step up from most of the healthy, quick meals around town. The choices, flavours and quality of the food could happily sit alongside somewhere like Ottolenghi in London. The guys from Kilo who have pretty much nailed every one of their ventures have done it again. The location itself, right in the middle of town, lends itself perfectly to the famished, city crowd. Just make sure you go either early, like 11.30am, or late, like 2.30pm, to make sure you miss the absolutely crazy rush at lunch time.
The standard thing to do here is pick your own mix, you choose a grain, a protein, a hot veg, two cold veg, one sauce and one topping. For $16 (nett). On my visit I went for one of their signature concoctions rather than choosing my own. The ‘Upstream’ with gorgeously charred salmon had nice spice and a good dob of wasabi mayo, served with kale, pumpkin, sprouts and a dukkah type smattering of spices that pretty much rocked my world. It was hearty and satisfying, but, I have to say it didn’t keep me going as long as the Aloha Poke salad did. Just sayin’. And Husband also felt the need to treat himself to cake when we had a coffee afterwards. So at $16 for a bowl it’s a bit more like a treat than your everyday go to but it’s a great option for either lunch or dinner.Grain Traders
138 Market Street, #01-01, Capita Green Singapore (the entrance is on Cross Street)
Open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm
Order from FeastBump HERE
ABC may seem like a strange addition to this list, but I was enticed there by the knowledge that the Executive Chef has recently been working with a nutritionist to develop a new menu that supports healthier eating. To me this is a further sign of the current obsession with healthy eating, and the fact that a boulangerie is taking this trend into account for their menu really impresses me.
And the menu impressively has a good range of healthy options. Whilst there are plenty of baked goods, burger options and pastas, the big salads are a great alternative. I went for a quinoa salad with lentils, fennel and parmesan ($12++) and I decided to add an egg on for $2 (everything is better with an egg on). The serving size turned out to be very generous, even without the addition of the egg. The salad was served warm too, which wasn’t what I was expecting but it made it seem all the more hearty. I also went off piste and ordered a flat white to see how they went making coffee. It turns out quite well. All in all, this is another good place to drop in for a meal. The ambience isn’t much to write home about, and the service is merely average, but it’s a good option to consider with at least half a dozen branches (see link below) around town.ABC Boulangerie
118 Killiney Road, Singapore
Opening times vary between branches, Killiney is open daily from 8am to 10pm
Fill-a-Pita nails not only the healthy eating option but also the best value. For $5 (half size) or $8 (full size) you get a bowl of Koshari Rice that, I promise you, will dispel any reservations you’ve ever had about vegetarian food. The generous bowl is full of organic brown rice, lentils, spicy red pepper sauce and macaroni, and you can add in a side of olives and hummus just to bulk it up (I went for the half size and did this, it’s the perfect combo).
The Koshari Rice is only available on Thursday or Friday though so if you’re there on another day then go for the Fava Pita ($8) or the (baked not fried) falafel ($9) or even a labna cheese with pita bread ($7) or a tabbouleh salad with pita bread ($6) or just a mixed salad. Everything I’ve tried at Fill-a-Pita has been fresh, hearty and flavourful. You can read more about Fill-a-Pita here
3 Pickering Street, China Square Central
#01-29 Nankin Row, Singapore
phone +65 9835 1446
Open 11.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday and 12pm to 3pm Saturday
Lastly I give you Snatch. I’m not going to rave about Snatch because, frankly, I chose a bad salad combo on my visit here and also I’m not convinced they’re good enough to praise too highly. In saying that, the picture above of M’s chicken salad with egg was more of a winner. As far as options go, this is one and if you’re on Shenton Way at lunch time and you’re after something healthy, Snatch will indeed tick the box.
Again we have a form filling system for ordering. You pick a protein, a green, three supplements and a dressing. What I didn’t like is that they don’t toss the salad (even if you request it) so I spent a lot of time trying to spread the flavour through my bowl. In saying that the food is very clean and fresh and they also offer a bone broth option for an added booster to your gut health and general healing capabilities. A salad at Snatch is around $15.
1 Shenton Way, Singapore
Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm and Saturday from 10.30am to 3pm
Have you tried any other good, healthy food options around town?