Many Singaporeans are familiar with eating out; after all, we’re one of the finest food cities in the world. You may also be aware of the issues of overindulging in all that delicious food, especially our popular hawker fare.
Too much sodium, too much unhealthy oil, too much sugar, not enough vegetables… solely surviving on food from restaurants and eateries can make one’s diet imbalanced and harmful to health.
Oh, and not to mention, it causes you to get flabby and pudgy.
Thankfully, healthy restaurants and eateries are popping up left and right in an already vibrant food scene. In between meals at the hawker centre and a family Chinese restaurant, one can easily enjoy a hearty and healthy meal at one of these healthy food establishments.
In this series, we look at some of the players in the healthy food game, and discuss what exactly makes their food healthy.
When you walk up to level 2 of Asia Square Tower 2, you’re greeted by a host of food stalls — restaurant food served food court style. It’s no wonder so many men in suits and women in classy dresses frequent this area for lunch.
One of the many stalls is Wafuken, serving a fusion of Japanese and Western cuisine.
WAFU – Japanese style of western cuisine
KEN – Kenko, which means wellness in Japanese
Wafuken serves healthy food that rebels against what people think healthy food would look like.
Technically, you can walk away from the stall with a plate full of steamed greens, but that would be a challenge for anyone who’ve laid eyes on the menu.
Make no mistake, they serve healthy food that you’ll actually be excited to eat.
After much deliberation (that started the night before, when we looked at their menu online), we decided on our orders.
Glo’s meal: Salmon, spicy bean sprouts, cold soba, and onsen egg ($14.50)
HL’s meal: Chicken breast, steamed broccoli, japanese brown rice and onsen egg ($9.50)
What makes Wafuken healthy?
No excessive seasoning required with sous-vide
One of Wafuken’s novelty is the use of the sous-vide cooking method, typically found in gourmet restaurants. It’s a precise and gentle cooking method that involves placing ingredients in a heat-safe vacuum pack and submerged in a temperature-controlled water bath.
Not many people realize that a lot of unnecessary calories in our food come from the excessive oil, sauces and seasoning, rather than the ingredients themselves. Wafuken somehow managed to solve that problem by making food tasty without these additions.
The sous-vide cooking helps to retain the nutrients and flavor in the ingredients, and allows for perfectly cooked food consistently. Because of the way ingredients retain their flavor, Wafuken doesn’t have to use excessive oil, sauces or seasoning to provide that extra oomph.
You know how you feel all thirsty and like you’re wearing lip gloss after a meal at a cheap restaurant because the food was so oily and salty? You’re not going to get that here. They do provide sauces and seasoning on the side, but we didn’t find the need for those.
Use of healthier cooking oils
Speaking of oils, not all oils are made equal too. Palm oil, which is high in (harmful) saturated fat, is the most commonly used oil in F&B as it’s cheap. Not in this establishment though, as Wafuken uses healthier oil in their cooking.
Flexible menu allows for a balanced meal
Another thing we really like about eating here is the flexible menu. One of the biggest complaint we have about eating out is how so many F&B’s get their proportions all wrong. Excessive carbohydrates, not enough vegetables and protein… you get the picture.
It’s fine if you’re just having a cheat meal (some people have ONLY cheat meals). But if you’re working towards a health and fitness goal, then having the right proportion of the different food groups is extremely important.
With Wafuken, you’re able to choose the servings of protein, carbs and veggies as you wish. Of course, you can still get the proportions all wrong if you order 5 servings of carbs and zero vegetables, but at least the option to order a balanced meal is there.
Is it tasty?
Serving us healthy food and all is greatly appreciated, but the most important question is: Is it tasty?
Thankfully, the food didn’t disappoint.
The proteins, chicken breast and salmon, were all top notch. Chicken breasts are an unpopular cut of meat as they’re commonly thought of as dry and tough. Which is unfortunate, because Wafuken demonstrates that chicken breast done right can be tender and smooth.
The salmon was also exceptional, easily flaking with every prod of our forks. Lightly seasoned but full of flavor, it was refreshing to reach the last bite of the salmon without feeling sick of it.
The sides were all well done too. Honorable mentions go to the Japanese brown rice with furikake and the onsen egg.
Address: 12 Marina View, Asia Square Tower 2, #02-05 Singapore 018961 (Nearest MRT: Downtown)
Opening Hours: 11.00am – 8.00pm. Closed on weekends and Public Holidays.