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 scene, and discuss what exactly makes their food healthy.
It was a hot Saturday afternoon as HL and I walked down Duxton Road searching for our lunch destination. As we walked down the seemingly deserted alley, I commented “Are you sure there’s a restaurant or cafe here?”
Pretty sure that we were at the right area, we made a u-turn as we figured that we may have missed the joint — and sure enough, tucked away in a corner was the lunch spot we were looking for, Ninja Bowl.
There were no clear signboards or big crowds outside of the cafe, so it was easy to miss. But when we opened the doors to enter, we were thinking “Where did all these people come from?!” (just like how a ninja hideout should be).
What brought us here?
Ninja Bowl is a cafe that’s popular for their Japanese-inspired, healthy grain bowls. It’s opened by former radio DJ, Darren Wee, who told us that he believes “healthy food doesn’t have to be bland or dry”.
When asked about why he chose Ninja for a name, he responded with “because ninjas are cool”.
We think he’s right in both statements.
What makes Ninja Bowl healthy?
Ninja Bowl serves a mix of healthy and indulgent items and we’ll be focusing on their signature healthy grain bowls here.
They say “eat the rainbow”
When you first lay eyes on one of their grain bowls, you’ll notice that they’re quite the opposite of something like a plate of Char Kway Teow. No offence to all the Char Kway Teows out there, but they tend to have a lack of color.
A Ninja Bowl however, is vibrant and packs a good variety of color, thanks to the myriad of vegetables topping the bowl. Even if you’re not a veggies person, fear not as their veggies are well-seasoned and tasty. Even I, who’s not a big fan of carrots, had no trouble downing the ones in my bowl.
The colors are not just to make your instagram page look nicer, as different-colored veggies provide different nutrients that your body needs.
Leaner cuts of meat
You won’t find fatty cuts of meat like pork belly in their grain bowl menu. Instead, Ninja Bowl uses ingredients such as beef and pork cheeks, which is leaner, yet tender when cooked.
Thanks to that, they’re able to keep the calorie count for their bowls low, without sacrificing taste. This is great because we should be eating food that’s not only healthy, but TASTY as well.
Well-balanced and customizable
I don’t want to sound like a Char Kway Teow hater, because I’m not. But just for comparison, a plate of Char Kway Teow has a disproportionate ratio of veggies to protein to carbohydrates.
A Ninja Bowl however, has substantial amount of veggies and a hearty portion of protein for their base. If you want a heavier meal, you can choose quinoa, Ninja rice (a mix of brown and japanese rice) or orzo as add-ons.
Otherwise, you can just skip the add-ons, or order garden greens for even more veggies.
How does it taste good?
I had the Kamo ($18) with quinoa ($3) for $21.
HL had the Sakana ($16) with Ninja Rice ($2) for $18.
It’s funny how we agree that the veggies were the highlight of the meal, and it shows just how tasty the veggies were. It doesn’t mean that the rest of the meal were lackluster though, as they were fantastic and portions were generous as well.
If you’re looking for a place to have a good cup of coffee, have good conversations with good company, and enjoy a healthy meal, then consider Ninja Bowl for your next outing.
Address: 15 Duxton Road, Singapore 089481 (Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar / Outram Park)
Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays 9.30am – 9.00pm. Saturdays and Sundays 9am – 6pm