KLANG Valley is currently brewing with cool cafes offering food to whet the appetite of the health-conscious crowd who are growing in numbers. With terms like real food and honest food employed to suggest guilt-free food choices, these eateries prove that healthy food does not necessarily mean you have to go cold turkey on tasty selections.
They show that healthy food can be delicious too, and is not limited to only salads and fruits. Most of the meals are prepared using fresh ingredients, are mostly nutrient-packed and frequently cater to current food trends that incline towards the use of superfoods such as quinoa and chia seeds.
From leaner versions of Malaysian favourites to Asian- or Western-influenced or a fusion of both worlds, the options are aplenty, with some dishes carefully prepared with input from nutritionists and dietitians.
What’s interesting is that these foodie spots do not only cater to vegetarians, vegans, gym buffs or anyone on a diet. They serve as good alternatives for all, including children, who are keen to start eating healthy but want to enjoy their food at the same time.
Kurin started in 2017 as a healthy food delivery project. It promotes the eat-clean concept, offering healthy and tasty food which can be customised to suit different health needs. Kurin is ideal for fans of raw salads and fish. It is well-known for its signature Pokkeritowrap (Japanese sushi roll the size of a Mexican burrito) and Poke bowl. Poke is a Hawaiian cuisine made of diced raw fish served with fresh greens and lean proteins. The ingredients — suitable for vegetarians and organic eaters — are changed frequently to ensure freshness and variety.
The Big Poke Bowl. Try one with Norwegian salmon, or the soft and sweet torched tuna with wasabi mayo, greens, beans, cherry tomatoes and corn. If you’re a bodybuilder, grab Kurin’s high protein combo set (contains oven-grilled salmon) that comes with a quinoa protein shake. And don’t forget to try the chia seed pudding from its open fridge.
Lot 5.10 Nu Sentral, 201, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.
HEALTHY FAST FOOD
Check out Epic Fit Meals Co. if you’re thinking of real fast food that offers variety, is convenient and affordably priced. With a tagline “The real food delivery expert”, the company commits to empower people to live well and eat better and works on the concept of healthy fast food (i.e. real food delivered fast).
Items on the menu (complete with calorie count) are prepared daily from scratch and mainly inspired by mum’s cooking and Melbourne’s favourite fresh fast food such as chicken meals, burgers, pizzas and burritos served with homemade sauces. The menu items are made using use canola oil, contain no MSG and are baked (not fried).
Epic Grilled Chicken (grilled chicken served with roasted vegetables) or Ozzie Schnitzel (baked “fried” chicken schnitzel served with “smashed” potatoes and farmer’s coleslaw) with Epic Cauli-rice as a side dish.
1.E-105, Metropolitan Square, PJU 8/1, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
2.22, Jalan PJS 11/7, Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
3.G-3A, Mont Kiara Meridin, Jalan Duta Kiara, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.
Anyone who just can’t resist nasi lemak while trying to stay lean will thank The Good Co. The café is famous for its scrumptious varieties of artisan sandwiches, salad pots (contained in glass jars), smoothie bowls, granolas, cold pressed juices as well as grains and noodles including its famous Nasi Lemak Beckham (a serving of pea brown rice, free-range eggs, monkey head mushroom rendang, kyuri, tempe, roasted peanuts, cherry tomatoes and healthy sambal). The food served is free from preservatives, artificial colourings and refined sugar.
Besides Nasi Lemak Beckham, try the Acai Bowl (contains acai, red dragon fruit, banana, mango, mint leaf, desiccated coconut and crunchy granolas), Avocado Toast or the Hot Beetroot Oatmeal and wash it down with Skinny Dip juice which is filled with the goodness of lotus root, green apple, jicama, lemon, mint and wild honey.
APW Bangsar, 29, Jalan Riong, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
SIMPLE AND NATURAL FOODS
OURS Eatery focuses on simple and natural on-the-go food which is healthy and fresh with flavourful ingredients, without compromising on taste. The menu boasts ingredients which are non-processed and free from additives, preservatives and stabilisers.
Pick its skinny beef rendang: Oven-roasted beef rendang minus the coconut milk (substituted with soya milk instead). For the sweet tooth, try its famous brownies made of black bean, dark chocolate and honey.
Lot G-12 Ground Floor, Damansara City Mall, Kuala Lumpur.
Sala is an eatery is worth checking out if you’re keen on trying leaner versions of Mexican and Malaysian cuisines such as burritos, tacos, salads, bagel burgers, falafel wraps, dhal and curry laksa. It serves plant-based food which is low in calorie, low in cholesterol and high in clean protein.
Chomp on the Mushroom Asada Burrito (made of homemade flour tortilla marinated with Mexican spices) or make your own Nourish Bowl from greens, protein (chickpeas, seared tofu or spicy tempe), healthy fat (olive oil, coconut oil, tri-colour sweet potatoes, etc), nuts and fruits. Try Sala’s gluten-free/refine sugar-free black bean brownies for dessert.
A-G-03A , Galeria Hartamas, No 21, Jalan 26a/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur.
HEALTHY FOOD ON THE GO
Promising food that “taste good and do you good”, Hale offers healthy food on the go, served gourmet style. The company serves 100 per cent trans-fat free wholemeal burger buns, oven-bake patties, whole wheat pasta and wraps and rice dishes cooked with red rice and parboiled rice. The food served is free from preservatives and enhancers.
Its signature Australian grass-fed beef burger is the talk of the town. Or, grab The Ultraman: Garlic ecoBrown rice with chicken thigh, shimeji mushroom and onsen egg, sprinkled with salted egg yolk sauce.
1.Lot 1-20, First Floor, Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur.
2.Agrain, Gardens North Tower, Suite G.01, Lobby, Ground Floor,
The Gardens North Tower, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur.
3.Agrain, Intermark, Lot LC-17, Lower Concourse Floor, Intermark Mall, 348 Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
Head on to RGB & The Bean Hive (RGB stands for Rather Good Beans) if you’re craving for artisan coffee and gluten-free alternatives. The café serves a wide variety of meals categorised into vegan food, vegetarian food and Buddhist vegetarian food as well as delectable options for meat lovers and children.
The café is famous for its homemade cakes and sourdough breads. For vegans, satisfy your taste buds with vegan waffle, hempburger (made of hemp, flax seeds, oats, carrots and lentils) or Russett Potato Rosti (a dish with tempe bacon, wilted spinach and creamy vegan cashew sauce).
35, Jalan Damai, Kampung Datuk Keramat, Kuala Lumpur.
WESTERN- AND ASIAN-INSPIRED MEALS
Pickle & Fig is known for its panini, smoothie and coffee. Its menu is a spread of Western- and Asian-inspired meals that range from appetisers and snacks to main course options.
Get the taste of Poke-Poke protein bowl that contains smoked salmon, pickled carrot and daikon, seaweed, mixed greens and 63-degree egg served with sriracha mayo. Check out its Thai Beef Ribeye with Thai sweet sour dressing with crispy mushrooms as add-ons.
For pick-me-up, choose the Avocado Dates smoothie and taste the wholesome goodness of avocado, milk, dates and yogurt.
26, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
CHEMICAL-FREE VEGAN ICE-CREAM
Taste the pleasure, not the guilt. Kind Kones might be your next favourite pit stop for that quick fix of chemical-free vegan ice-cream. The homemade ice-creams are freshly churned and use no artificial flavouring or colouring. It offers plenty of gluten-free options, and is kind to those who are lactose intolerant as the main ingredients are mainly coconut and nut milks. Unrefined coconut cane or molasses sugar is used for sweetness.
Grab that watermelon strawberry mint sorbet for a refreshing treat on hot day.
1.LG-7, 1 Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.
2.F.29, Level 1, Bangsar Village, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur.
3.Lot LG-02, Empire Shopping Gallery, Subang Jaya, Selangor.
4.LGC-30, Lower Ground Floor, Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur.
5.Plaza Damansara, No.61, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.
HEALTHY COLD-PRESSED JUICES
Goodness Greens café is a brand under cold-pressed juice company La Juiceria. In fact, the name Goodness Greens originates from the company’s bestselling La Juiceria green juice. The cafe serves a wide variety of food in its homely café ambience and among its signature dishes include healthy brown rice bowls, homemade pastas, smoothie bowls and cold-pressed juices.
Pick its Big Breakfast combo and enjoy your breakfast like a king. The combo comes with organic coffee with chlorophyll shot. Or, complete your morning fix with its famed Vatte — vegan latte with almond milk.
No 32, Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.