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HEALTHY GOURMET LUNCH BOXES FROM THE HEALTHY FOOD PEOPLE

Posted by crizlai On July - 21 - 2015

Have you ever felt that going out for lunch at times could be quite a hassle? By the time you drive out, find a parking space and barely had proper time to chew your food, your one hour of lunch time would probably be up and you would need to drive back to your work place. Well, some of you might argue that your office is surrounded by all sorts of eateries and lunching out won’t be a problem. That’s actually THE PROBLEM. Are you really having a balanced diet? As carnivorous homo-sapiens, we tend to follow where our eyes and nose lead us to without even considering the side effects of having the wrong choice of food. Awww… those prawns and squids look too good to resist! Wow… They have aromatic and tasty coconut milk infused curries! Whoa… Those flat noodles with big succulent prawns, squids and cockles would be nice for my meal today! By the time you realized that you have put in so much of oily and high cholesterol items into your body, it’s already too late to manage your diet plan. But you can always find more info about any recipe prior to cooking so that you can make the right decisions about your diet. You’ve just lost your battle against your temptation to savor those high cholesterol food items again. This is not uncommon as it happens to us almost all the time. Eventually, WE ARE WHAT WE EAT…

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Luckily, I managed to get to know The Healthy Food People (THFP), a healthy gourmet lunch box delivery service that would ensure that I can have my daily guilt-free food consumption. Not only did I save on my petrol expenditure, parking fees and the risk of being exposed to the UV rays from the sun and the acidic rainfall, I did find more time in indulging every bite from my lunch box and yet getting the adequate rest during my lunch break. Most importantly, with the balanced proportions of carbohydrates, vegetables and protein in the lunch box, I managed to continue my work efficiently and effectively without feeling the lethargy as before. Most of us realized the effects of carbs-boosted items within our bodies and yet we still consume them excessively and habitually. Instead of the body producing just the right amount of glucose and glycogen in your blood, cell, muscle and liver, the surplus carbohydrates will eventually be converted to fat. That’s how you have the unnecessary flabbiness all over your body.

Let’s not talk more on how to diet as you can easily look up the information online. We should just concentrate on the ways on eating wisely so that we can maintain or dropping a size. Moreover, eating healthily can reduce the risks of major diseases. The reasons I like about the lunch boxes provided by The Healthy Food People are stated as below:

– Fresh & quality ingredients used.
– Balanced diet of Carbohydrates, Vegetables and Protein
– Minimal usage of salt & sugar and maximize usage of natural ingredients
– Air frying, grilling, roasting, steaming, broiling, etc without deep frying to ensure lesser oil in food
– Innovative cooking styles without many repetitive main dishes monthly (if they have is also due to the request of consumers), thus you won’t get bored with their food.
– Great delivery time to ensure the freshness of your meal.

Though the dishes won’t be the same weekly, here are some samples of their nutritional dishes for a week:

Chicken Teriyaki Soba Noodles

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Starch: Soba Noodles
Vegetables: Pickled Carrot & Cucumber
Main: Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
Verdict: I’m impressed on how THFP served their chicken breast meat. The grilled teriyaki chicken breast meat was packed with flavors and it was moist and juicy until the last bit. The mildly flavored soba noodles were mixed with some slices of earthly flavored Shitake mushrooms. The pickled carrots and cucumbers complemented real well with the meat and noodles.

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Sea Bass with Garlic Crumbs Topping

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Starch: Penne Pasta
Vegetables: Tricolors Zucchini, Yellow Squash & Carrot mixed with Pasta, plus Iceberg Lettuce with Dressing
Fruits: Pomelo with Fuji Pears
Main: Baked Sea Bass
Verdict: I do find THFP to be quite generous in the serving of fresh fish. The thick slab of sea bass with the slightly salted garlic crumbs was quite addictive. The buttery, cheesy and herbed penne pasta with lots of tricolors vegetables complemented the fish dish real well. Compared to the previous serving, I had two other bonuses for the day which were the iceberg lettuce and the fruits. It was the perfect meal and I won’t mind ordering this set again if it’s in their menu in the near future.

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Baked Coconut Chicken

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Starch: None
Vegetables: Mixed Greens with Mustard Vinaigrette
Fruits: Mixed Local & Imported Fruit Salad with Homemade Yoghurt Dressing
Energy/Calories: Mixed Dry Fruits & Nuts (Protein, Fiber & Healthy Fats)
Main: Fresh Grated Coconut Coated Grilled Chicken
Verdict: This set was something out of the norm as it did not come with any starch item. However, you still get your required energy from the accompanied fruits and nuts. I’m actually not quite fond of having grated coconut on savory dishes but I still find this set to be quite acceptable to my liking as THFP used unsweetened grated coconut for this recipe.

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Honey Soy Glazed Salmon

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Starch: Steamed Brown Rice
Vegetables: Summer Garden Greens
Main: Pan Seared Salmon with Honey Soy Glaze
Verdict: Though this set might be a bit small for big eaters, I found that THFP were rather generous in serving a thick slab of grilled salmon. The sweetness with a tad of light saltiness from the honey soy glaze was quite appetizing. There were some greens and brown rice to complement the main dish. However, I won’t mind if THFP replaced the brown rice with some rosemary baked potatoes instead.

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Hoisin Glazed Chicken Kebab

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Starch: Cilantro Basmati Rice
Vegetables: Spiralized Sesame Carrots Salad
Main: Grilled Chicken Chunks with Vegetables
Verdict: The skewers of low calorie hoisin sauce marinated chicken breast meat combined with a mixture of greens were fragrant and flavorful. The chopped cilantro boosted basmati rice went well with the meat. The spiralized sesame carrots salad was a bonus for some extra crunchy bites.

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If you needed something more to go with your meal, you can always order their other products. Their All Natural Jolly Jar (RM9.90nett) was filled with loads of fruits, oats, yoghurt and seeds. Wow! I would consume a jar of this delicious Parfait with all the wonderful nutrients within daily.

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THFP do also serve Cold Pressed Juices (RM8.50nett/bottle). You have to check out with them on what would be available for the day. I ordered their Hand Crafted Singular • Raw Fit Juice of Cashew Milk which consisted of raw cashew, Himalayan pink salt, agave nectar and cinnamon. It was superbly healthy and delicious.

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For a person who would not go on a healthy diet on a daily basis, I do find the dishes served by THFP to be flavorful and attractive enough to change my perception on dining healthily. Of course, you would not find every dish served by them to be palatable to you in a short period of time. It might take some time for us to get use to eating healthily but it’s the best for our own health. If I can cater from them on a daily basis for a few months without getting bored on dining healthily, why can’t you? 🙂 Anyway, you have the option to choose your favorites by checking out their FB for their weekly menu as stated below.

Name: THE HEALTHY FOOD PEOPLE
Central Kitchen: Sungai Nibong, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +6019-420 2047
Email: thehealthyfoodpeople@gmail.com
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/thehealthyfoodpeople
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/thehealthyfoodpeople
Testimonial: http://bit.ly/bzeathealthy
Payment Mode: Cash On Delivery (COD) or local bank transfer
Delivery Fees: Flat rate of RM3 per trip
Delivery Days: Monday until Friday, excluding Saturdays and Sundays and some public holidays

RATING:
Food Choices: 9/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Cleanliness: 10/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

“Eat your vegetables!” was the first thing that came into my mind when I was approached by Idealite – Malaysia’s 1st Wellness Education Restaurant to write on their NO MEAT, NO GLUTEN, NO MSG, NO WHITE SUGAR & SALT, NO PEANUTS, NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORING, ETC healthy menu. It may sound like some sort of imprisonment torture for many foodies but I can guarantee you that I did not suffer from any hunger side effects. LOL! The restaurant is not similar to any other vegetarian restaurants as it also uses other fresh/organic produce such as garlic, onions and eggs, minus the mocked items of course. As opposed to the normal dining experiences, Idealite would focus on satiating your appetite with a well balanced diet such as adequate protein, carbohydrate, fiber, mineral and vitamin for a healthy living. Their cuisine would be based on the usage of natural/organic and quality ingredients to boost up the food in taste, colors and flavors with some light touches of uniqueness and creativity. Even their fruits and vegetables are washed by an ozone machine to remove any existing chemicals and pesticides.

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Idealite would serve healthy and well balanced breakfast as low as RM4.70 from 8.00am to 11.00am daily (except Monday). Being an adult with a kid in the heart, I could not resist ordering their Kid’s Breakfast Meal (小孩營養早餐 – RM10.70) with a “Hello Kitty” wholemeal bread mascot (upon request). This breakfast set meal would ascertain that your kid/adult get the right amount of carbohydrate, protein, mineral, vitamin and fiber for the day. Items given might differ from day to day as they have yet to firm up on the actual menu.

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We started our lunch with the Curry Tofu Salad (咖喱豆腐沙拉 – RM5.70). The dish had a block of tofu on a colorful bed of fresh greens (purple cabbage, carrot, cucumber & coral green), dressed with a combination of soy yoghurt and curry powder and garnished with some raisins, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and chopped almonds. The taste of the dressing had that mild beany soy sourness, very mild spiciness with a touch of fruity after taste. I presumed the soy yoghurt was cultivated with fructose instead of glucose or sugar. This dish would only be suitable for consumers with an acquired taste for such flavor. Soy yoghurt is low in fat and is suitable for people with milk allergy, diabetes type II and high blood pressure. I believed that the curry powder used had a high content of turmeric in it. Turmeric has been used for centuries as a wonder spice with anti-inflammatory medicinal values.

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As for side dishes, we were served with Chee Cheong Fun (酵素珠常粉 – RM3.70), a steamed rice roll made from a mixture of rice flour, tapioca flour and water in cream consistency batter for that al dente texture. The special order made rolls were benzoic acid free. The rolls were served with a secret recipe sauce in placement of the usual prawn paste (蝦膏), red sweet sauce (紅甜醬) and chili paste (辣椒醬). The secret sauce had that sea brine saltiness with a darkish purple color which I presumed was from some species of seaweed. The overall taste was still acceptable but it lacked that thick creaminess. Since they do not use peanuts as it contained a high level of aflatoxins (黃曲霉素) which is bad for the liver, maybe some finely blended hazelnuts would add in the slight nutty creaminess? The Chee Cheong Fun came garnished with some toasted white and black sesame seeds.

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We were served with two versions of vegetarian sushi. The first was the Vege Sushi (蔬菜壽司 – RM6.70). It had strips of raw carrot, cucumber, purple cabbage, jicama (sengkuang), coral green lettuce and some pounded hazelnuts all wrapped within a poh piah (traditional Chinese spring roll) skin and garnished with some toasted sesame seeds. Some sweetened lime juice was dressed for that refreshing bite.

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The second version of sushi was the chef’s latest creation named as the Jade Seaweed Vege Sushi (白玉紫菜蔬菜壽司 – RM7.70). This sushi will be available in the menu soon. Except for the usage of the benzoic acid free steamed rice roll and nori, the fillings were the same as above. Most of us preferred this version as the earlier one got soggy too fast due to the moist within the vegetables.

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There was also the Seaweed Roll Sushi (紫菜壽司筒 – RM7.70). This was the unique one amongst the rest as there was some taste difference. This sushi has coral green lettuce, jicama, cucumber, carrot, spring onion and pounded hazelnuts all wrapped up with a thin strip of nori. There were some drizzles of sweetened lime juice, sesame oil and some dashed of black pepper. I love this sushi most~ 🙂

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The next side order was the Poh Piah (健康薄餅 – RM4.70). Somehow this dish was rather disappointing. It lacked flavors and texture as the carrot, jicama and mushrooms were too finely shredded and easily got overcooked. It became too mushy to even being wrapped firmly with the lettuce and poh piah skin. The vegetables should be coarsely shredded and cooked until translucent but still maintaining the slight crunchiness. The mushroom was totally bland without the addition of some marinates. I just wondered why bean curd and some toasted garlic were not added for the extra flavors. Even a light coat of red sweet sauce would have done more justice to this local delicacy.

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For those who would want to have some rice with dishes, there would be a few set meals to choose from. We tried out the Dry Curry Set Meal (香辣乾咖喱套餐 – RM9.70) and it was amazingly delicious. The main dish consisted of dry curry stir fry savory and sweet potatoes filled with herbs and spices. The only two ingredients missing that would add in more aromatic flavors and benefits would be the curry leaves which have Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, calcium and iron in plenty and mustard seeds which would help in supporting healthy blood circulation, appetite, pancreas, metabolism, overall digestive and gastrointestinal health. Each of the set meal would come with a bowl of organic brown rice with soy bean in olive oil, a healthy salad with homemade mayo dressing, tofu with tom yam sauce and a slice of fresh fruit.

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The next set meal was the Eryngii Mushroom Set Meal (特色杏鮑菇套餐 – RM9.70). The set meal also came with a bowl of organic brown rice with soy bean in olive oil, a healthy salad with homemade mayo dressing, tofu with tom yam sauce and a slice of fresh fruit. The slightly sour based stir fry eryngii mushroom had some sprinkles of black pepper to pep up the flavors. Although the main dish was rather appetizing, I personally felt that the sour sauce had overpowered the natural taste of the mushrooms. It would be great if they were to present the dish in just plain mushroom sauce. Get’em Smack did a great job in maintaining the mushroom flavor by mildly sautéing them in olive oil with some chopped garlic and these mushrooms went well with pasta too.

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One of the most healthy dishes by the Hakka clan would be the Hakka Lei Cha (客家擂茶飯 – RM12.70) and the dish would also be available here at Idealite. The dish came with a bowl of steamed brown rice and soy bean in olive oil, garnished with mixed sesame seeds and pine nuts, served with cabbage, long beans, carrot, homemade preserved radish, sweet leaves (sayur manis/star gooseberry/馬尼菜), chickpeas, fried bean curds and dressed with a concoction of blended basil (九層塔/羅勒), mugwort (蒌蒿/艾草), coriander (香菜), mint (薄荷) and tea leaves (茶葉) with mild seasoning. The dressing was just right and not overpowered by the intense taste from the basil. It was an ideal dish for anyone. People who often consume this dish are believed to benefit from improved vitality, relaxation and body detoxification.

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We also tried out a few of their noodles which were made from Spinach (菠菜), Pumpkin (南瓜) and Buckwheat (蕎麥). We started with Green Curry Ramen (招牌青咖喱拉麵 – RM9.70) served with Pumpkin Noodles. Due to their principles of not using coconut milk or lactose filled milk, the dish lacked the creaminess. The soup had some potato sweetness almost similar to the Jawa Mee gravy. As it was green curry, there was a strong Thai basil flavor in it minus the spiciness from some green chilies. The pumpkin noodles were smooth and had the right al dente but were overpowered by the strong flavors from the green curry.
The dish was served with some potatoes, long beans, carrot, eggplant, tofu puff, and half a hardboiled egg. They should find ways on how to improve the creaminess maybe with the usage of lactose-free soy milk, almond milk or even hempseed milk (大麻子).

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The next version of noodles which was the Organic Curry Ramen (有機咖喱拉麵 – RM9.70), served with Spinach Noodles, was far better tasting. The dish was served with some long beans, bean sprouts, chick peas, tofu puff and dark soy sauce brewed bean curd aka “pig’s blood”. The soup base basically had thick curry paste with mild flavors. Overall, it was still a nice bowl of ramen. It would be even better if they could add in some lemongrass for the extra fragrance. The only setback was that the curry flavors overpowered the distinctive taste of the spinach noodles.

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The Organic Lo Ramen (有機滷味拉麵 – RM9.70) served with Pumpkin Noodles was another dish that was not within my acceptance level. They failed in getting the right flavors into the gravy. It was rather diluted and bland in taste except from the overwhelming flavors from some star anise (八角). They could have blended in some potatoes to thicken the texture plus sweetness of the gravy and also add in some mushroom stock/juice. The dish was served with some bean sprouts, radish, mushroom, mildly dark soy sauce brewed bean curd and half a hardboiled egg. I rather have some bean curd stick rather than the flavor-drained radish slices.

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Of all the ramen dishes, my pick would be the Organic Dry Ramen (有機乾撈拉麵 – RM9.70) served with Buckwheat Noodles. It was an uncomplicated dish where I get to savor the true flavor of the buckwheat noodles, together with some mushroom slices, purple cabbages, carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts and green coral lettuces. There was the simple fruity flavor dressing that made the whole dish awesomely refreshing. I could have this dish all the time.

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Frankly speaking, I loved all types of pastas and also cooked them frequently. I was not impressed at all with the next dish which was their Tomato Spaghetti (番茄意大利麵 – RM9.70). The dish lacked flavors, textures, colors and taste. It was basically some overcooked pasta minus the al dente in some quite diluted homemade tomato and basil puree, lightly garnished with some dry herbs. They should have added in some blanched carrots, cauliflower and broccoli for the extra bite and colors. Of course they won’t use cheese which contained dairy but alternatively they can utilize non diary nutritional yeast with nutty, creamy and cheesy flavors would have boasted up the flavors. Moreover, they lacked more varieties in this category. They could have given more options such as the Aglio Olio which consists of garlic and olive oil or Eryngii Pasta with mushroom, garlic, olive oil and parsley. Even Pesto (blended garlic, basil, pine nuts, olive oil and cheese) which is good for constipation would make great pastas. They can always replace the cheese with non diary nutritional yeast.

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Idealite also serves Tomyam Steamboat (營養健康東炎火鍋 – RM17.70-1 pax/RM27.70-2 pax) served with olive oil steamed brown rice with soy beans. It was a mild spicy but sour soup steamboat filled with plentiful vegetables such as sweet corn, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms and seaweed. The soup practically had the flavors from the vegetables especially a strong seaweed taste and got saltier as it reduced. Somehow, I could not taste the presence of lemongrass and kaffir lime leave being used to boost up the taste. Moreover, the dish lacked more options such as tofu and bean curd sticks which would go well with the tomyam soup.

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We were also served with a numbers of desserts with my favorite being the Signature Sesame Paste (招牌黑芝麻糊 – RM5.70). It had that mild sweetness from the organic brown sugar used and nice flavors from the blended black sesame seeds, cashew nuts and brown rice. This is one must have dessert during your visit.

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I also quite like the 7 Color Bean Paste (七色豆養生糊 – RM4.70) which had blended mung beans, azuki red beans, soy beans, white kidney beans and black beans aka black turtle beans, cooked with blended 10 multi grains such as organic sorghum, organic millet, organic buckwheat, organic pearl barley, organic oats, mountain red rice, black rice, unpolished brown rice, parboiled rice and wheat. It was also mildly sweetened with organic brown sugar.

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We were also introduced to a weekend special dessert which was the Bubur Cha Cha (摩摩喳喳 – RM4.70), a Nyonya dessert. The dessert was cooked in a broth like texture with some blended grains plus sweet red potatoes, yam and black eyed peas. It had oat milk instead of coconut milk as a healthier version, thus it lacked that creamy and fragrant coconut taste.

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There was also the Dragon Fruit Konyaku Jelly (龍珠果蒟蒻 – RM1.70/3 pcs) available here. It had that bouncy and chewy texture as how a konyaku jelly should be with a mild fruity flavor. No doubt it was a nice dessert but it would be best if some of the fresh fruit meat be added in for that extra freshness.

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As for beverages, the selections were rather limited. We had the Organic Cocoa Oatmilk (有機朱古力植物奶 – RM6.70), Organic 5 Grain Energy Oatmilk (有機五穀植物奶 – RM4.70), Sugar Free Organic Soy Milk (無糖有機豆奶 – RM4.70), Organic Masala Chai (有機馬薩拉口味茶– RM3.70), Organic Lemongrass Green Tea (有機柠檬香草绿茶– RM3.70), Organic Assam Tea (有機酸梅茶 – RM3.70) and Pumpkin Barley (金瓜薏米 – RM3.70). I quite like the Organic Cocoa Oatmilk as it tasted quite similar to my daily breakfast boost of Cocoa with Malt. The Sugar Free Organic Soy Milk was also thick and nice. The Pumpkin Barley was one drink to compliment too as it has the natural sweetness from the pumpkin and fibrous barley grains for great bowel movements.

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Here’s the young and energetic Chef Hung with his creative meals the healthy way~ 🙂

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Overall, the dishes served here were extremely healthy with a reminder to us to follow the age old principles of cooking and dining healthily. Some dishes served indeed required an acquired taste bud as we are all so used to the taste from today’s world of fast and processed food. As for the dishes, there are still rooms for improvement as the choices of dishes were just average with not many options. The restaurant basically concentrated on the Eastern way of cuisine without providing much insight into the healthy diet from the West. They could have added in items such as the asparagus soup which is great for irritable bowel system. Even the usage of tofu has not been explored further other than the usual few selections. As an example, it could just be steamed tofu with egg in pumpkin paste to name one option. As for beverages, it lacked the creativity in combining fruits and vegetables as juices. One such drink would be the usage of cucumber to benefit the skin, nails and hair. Cucumber plus mint leaves juice would be a refreshing and nutrient rich drink for any ages. All price stated is nett.

It’s not hard to find Idealite at it’s located just two shop houses away from Hotel Waterfall (Little Cottage 2) and next to Double Dragon Inn Restaurant along Jalan Gottlieb. Parking spaces could be rather limited during weekends especially when Little Cottage 2 is having their weekend buffet. Currently, they are utilizing only the first floor of the shop house.

IDEALITEMAP

Name: IDEALITE – MALAYSIA 1ST WELLNESS EDUCATIONAL RESTAURANT
生命陽光-馬來西亞首創正食養生餐廳 (Beside Waterfall Hotel)
Address: 27C Jalan Gottlieb, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 3650
Business Hours: 7.30am-11.00am, 12.00noon-3.00pm, 6.00pm-10.00pm (Closed on Monday)
GPS: 5.430574, 100.299698

RATING:
Ambience: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

HEARTY DISHES AT YOUNG HEART RESTAURANT

Posted by crizlai On July - 31 - 2009

BONUS: 10% DISCOUNT VOUCHER AVAILABLE FOR MY READERS AT THE END OF POST!

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I have been thrown this question many times by my readers and friends on where would be the ideal place for dining if they would want to stay healthy without having their worries over their cholesterol, triglycerides, fat or even glucose levels. As we know, Penang is the food paradise of Malaysia and dining healthily would be almost impossible unless we cook our own food at home. This would be quite a hassle for most modern families as most of them are working individuals. Ever since my first visit to Young Heart Restaurant (养心殿) earlier this year, I knew that this would be the ideal restaurant for those people around town who would yearn for some home cooked food but without having the time to cook in. Most of the ingredients used here are fresh from the nearby wet market and they use rock sugar instead in their beverages. Some of the dishes are even traditionally prepared with the usage of charcoal.

So, what’s new in the recently revamped menu as well as the facilities? It actually had some of the items from the earlier menu with some newly created items added in to make the menu a more complete one for all ages such as Junior Meal and Vegetarian Meal. On top of that, they had set up a cozy and air-conditioned dining room upstairs with a DVD player and TV for the comfort and relaxation of a small private event of up to 12 persons. Booking has to be made in advance.

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A group of us managed to relax ourselves prior to the food feasting with some hot beverages. To start off, we had Ginseng Oolong Tea (人參烏龍茶-RM15.00 for 1-2pax with unlimited refills). The bulb shaped oolong tea leaves mixed with some powdered ginseng was indeed refreshing. It surely booted out the tiredness in me after weeks of endless projects.

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The next pot was from one of our selections in the Natural Flower Tea list – Rosehip, Hibiscus and Green Apple Tea (雙花蘋果茶-RM9.00). The tea tasted somewhat like a rosy flavored blackcurrant drink but with the sour but fragrant taste from the green apple slices. Some of us preferred to add in some rock sugar syrup to sweeten up the sourness but I like it the way it is – natural. Rosehip has been used for generations to strengthen the body’s resistance to infection, reinforces digestive function, combats all kinds of illnesses with fever, flushes out the kidneys and urinary tract and relieves mild rheumatic pain. The fleshy red sepals of the Hibiscus flowers (Malaysian National Flower) have been used as traditional remedies against cough, dyspepsia, fever and hypertension. With the combination of vitamin rich green apples, this beverage sure would help in a person’s general health. Do check out with Ms Ann on Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni or commonly known as Stevia aka Sweet Leaf, the FDA approved natural substitute for sugar. They do have the dried leaves form here for your tea.

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The meal started off with a bowl of carefully monitored charcoal boiled Soup of the Day – Lotus Roots & Peanuts Soup (蓮藕花生湯-RM6.00(M)/RM9.00(L)) as starter. It was exactly how Grandma would cook it. The collagen filled soup had many ingredients and herbs that constituted to its richness in taste. Prominently you would see some lotus root slices, fresh peanuts, dried cuttle fish, chicken feet with the rich taste coming from the red dates (紅棗), Angelica sinensis (Dong Quai-當歸), dried Ophiopogon japonicus tuber (Mai Dong-麥冬) and dried Codonopsis pilosula (Dang Shen-黨參). The soup was so rich that I’m sure I can form gelatin if chilled properly. This is a must have for soup lovers.

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Deep Fried Prawn Dumpling (蝦仁炸餃-RM6.00/4pcs) was served next as appetizers. The golden colored mixed minced meat and prawn filled dumplings alone were impressive with some tails sticking out. The exterior remained its crunchiness while the interior had the required moisture in it. These would be great to be taken with some Thai chili sauce.

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Although I had many encounters with a chayote fruit (佛手瓜) in fresh and preserved ways before, the next dish came as a surprise as I had not seen a live version of the shoots (龍鬚菜) except from some Taiwanese TV channels. The Stir Fry Chayote Leaves with Roasted Duck Meat (RM5.00(M)+RM4.00(Duck Meat)/RM8.00(L)-龍鬚菜炒燒鴨肉) was awesome with the fragrantly roasted duck meat. The gravy of the dish was mildly flavored with some basic seasoning.

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Some might want their vegetables added with some meat or seafood but I love mine to be plain. In fact, I found that I love the plain Stir Fry Chayote (清炒龍鬚菜) tasted better, considering that I can have the actual bite of these fibrous vegetable in their natural state. Moreover, too much of duck meat would not be good for health as they are high in fat and uric acid, leading to gout, kidney stone, diabetes type 2 and many other diseases. On the other hand, the fruits and leaves of a chayote plant have diuretic, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory properties. Even the leaves that had been made into tea had been practiced in the treatment of arteriosclerosis, hypertension and to dissolve kidney stones. Maybe for this case, the combination of duck meat and chayote leaves might not be so bad after all.

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The next few orders consisted rice and noodles. Some came from the handmade noodles, rice and personal meal sections. Each dish in the Personal Meal section would come with some meat, a vegetable of the day plus a bowl of white rice. In case you prefer their handmade noodles instead of white rice, just pay an additional RM1.00 to the price. On top of that, another RM1.00 extra would make you eligible for a drink of the day (if you dine between 12noon and 2.00pm).

The first rice dish made me broke a heart. LOL! The Hearty Pumpkin Fried Rice (愛心金瓜炒飯-RM7.80) indeed came in the shape of a heart and I was quite reluctant to be the first one to break it apart. Hmm… I forgot who did that first! Haha! Anyway, the fried rice had the required Wok Hei (high heated cooking) as each grain of rice was well fragranced with the minimal seasoning and yet providing the fresh taste of the small pumpkin cubes and shredded carrots within. The fried rice came garnished with some fried shallots, cucumber slices, a set of specially and freshly seasoned wings and a dish of vegetable of the day. The chicken wings were delicious and were just as good as the Kaffir leaves enhanced chicken wings we had earlier this year.

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The next rice dish was the Lotus Roots & Wax Sausage Fried Rice (莲藕腊肠炒饭-RM8.80). Since fresh lotus roots are bland in taste, the combination of chopped wax sausages and some shredded carrots added that special touch to boost up the overall taste of the “wok hei” filled fried rice. This dish tasted saltier compared to the sweeter pumpkin fried rice and I love this more. The order also came with a separated plate of the vegetable of the day.

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What? 3+1 Cup Chicken Noodle (3+1杯雞麵-RM8.80)? I thought the recipe was to be a cup each of sesame oil, soy sauce and Shao Xing/Hua Tiao wine (花雕酒)? That was my first impression when I saw the name in the menu. The “+1” appeared to be a mixture of red chilies and bird’s eye chilies. In fact, the chef had their own combination of this dish, thus the sauce for the noodles tend to look lighter in color but still delicious with the pungent taste from the added “little bombs”. The thick and springy handmade noodles were superb. Each mouthful was smooth flowing. Aiks! Some more please! 😛

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For those spicy food lovers, you would love the next handmade noodles as well. Fiery Hot Noodles (紅油拌麵-RM8.80) was the name of the noodles I had ordered but it was not as fiery hot as I had expected. One sauce dish of some dried shrimp enhanced chili paste in red hot oil was kid’s stuff to me. The next full dish had my tongue burning and ears having steams. I just could not believe how anyone could gobble down such hot stuff? Anyway, I survived the ordeal as I was not in tears as my dinner the night before. That hotness was Level 5! LOL! It’s actually up to us to adjust our own chili intake but I was a bit too adventurous. The noodles came with some minced meat, a semi cooked omelette, fried anchovies and garnished with lots of chopped spring onions and lettuce. This was in fact my most loved noodles so far in this restaurant. I simply love the taste!

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A seafood dish was next – Pan Fried Salmon Head (豉油王煎三文魚頭-RM15.00/half head). The salmon fish head was grilled in a specially prepared sweet soy sauce. Although I do not fancy fish head a lot, I found the fish to be real “fresh” amongst those frozen ones I had tried before. LOL! It was indeed well prepared with its juices still maintained within. Well, my preference would still be on sashimi and sushi over this spiky teethed fish.

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“OMG! What a pathetic fella! Who asked you to stuff yourself with so much pickled cabbage until you end up on the table?” Haha! The Pickled Cabbage Stuffed Chicken (梅菜雞 (須預定)-RM28.00/whole bird (pre-booking needed)) really had that miserable look on its face after so many hours of steaming. Overall, the taste was just normal and the pickled cabbage was rather sweet to my liking. Anyhow the management had rectified the problem as the brand of pickled cabbage used that night was sweeter than others. Moreover, the bird was a bit too large for the fragrance from the pickled cabbage to seep right into the meat. Let’s hope it would be better during my next visit. Well, this bird can feed 4-6 persons and the price for so much meat was way much cheaper than the “one person share” salted chicken I bought from Ipoh, Perak which cost me RM16 per bird. A bowl of hot steaming rice would be good with this dish.

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Braised Duck with Special Bean Paste (狗仔鸭(須預定)- RM20.00/half bird or RM38.00/whole bird (pre-booking needed)) was served next. The English name might sound normal but this was supposed to be a very strong herbs and spices recipe for “woof woof” during the olden China. Instead, duck has been used as both have the extra strong scent in the meat. Specially selected galangal ginger (南薑), star aniseed (八角), fermented bean sauce and chopped red chilies had been used in the preparation of this juicy and tender duck dish.

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We also tried out their Braised Sweet & Sour Black Trotter (炭煮猪手醋-RM9.00(M)/RM16.00(L)). Although the meat served were healthily lean minus the fat, it somehow made the whole piece of meat rather hard. I would suggest that the fat be kept to maintain the tenderness of the meat. We could always get rid of them if we felt that they were bad for our health. Tenderizing the meat with grated ginger juice prior to cooking might help too. Moreover, the black vinegar used was a bit too overpowering as it was too sweet for our liking. The dish also lacked in the gingery taste from crushed old ginger. Young ginger would not be strong enough to boost up the taste. Since this was a precooked dish, heating up might be to be blamed as slow steaming and microwave would give a different meat texture. Let’s hope they would improve on this aspect of customer feedback for this dish soon.

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Desserts were wonderful as we had something unique. Firstly, it was the Old School Pan Fried Water Chestnut Cake (花香馬蹄糕-RM5.00/4pcs). The sweetness from the mixture of osmanthus (桂花) and chamomile (洋菊) brew, combined with some water chestnut flour, water chestnut slices plus a touch of rock sugar to make this jelly-like delicacy perfect. Each piece would be pan fried carefully to have that extra crispiness on the surface. This dessert was delicious although I personally felt that the texture should be a bit firmer by adding more water chestnut flour.

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Yellow petals with a tint of white stamens and purple anthers were what I saw in the next dessert. It has the beautiful colors of an attractive flower. The dessert was actually chilled Mango Puree and Sago Pudding (芒果花園-RM4.50/bowl) garnished with some diced red dragon fruit. It was awesome in every part of presentation and taste. The sago was soft and mildly sweetened with some rock sugar syrup and combined with the mango puree, some fresh young coconut meat slices and juice plus the colorful red dragon fruit made this dessert the gem of the night. Perfect!

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If you happened to have the urge to grab something light for tea (between 3.00pm and 6.00pm), do look out for their coming soon promotion which would be their tea time deal for two at RM19.90. You could even grab some light snacks and finger food ranging from bean curds, dumplings, chicken wings or even their Crispy Bean Curd Puff (RM5.00/5pcs) with stuffed meat.

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Beverage wise, there are more iced, chilled, fresh, blended or beer for you to choose from. We had the Honey Lemon Sea Coconut (蜂蜜檸檬海椰-RM6.00). It would be best to consume this drink while there are still ice cubes as a warmer version would have the sour reaction of the lemon affecting the taste to be rather fermented. Anyway, it was nice that way too. The Pumpkin Soy Bean Milk (黃金豆漿-RM6.00) was my favorite as it was mildly sweetened with rock sugar syrup and it had that unique fresh taste from the blended ripe pumpkin. The Banana, Black Sesame & Soy Bean Milk (無間道-RM6.80) was another unique combination as it had the rich creamy taste of blended bananas combined with the fragrant fro the roasted black sesame seeds. For the juniors, the would surely like the Ice Blended Mixed Berry Vanilla drink (香草綜合莓果-RM6.00) – sweet but lovely.

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For those who are interested to know the full range of the latest menu, you can click and save the YOUNG HEART MENU here. Now here’s the Discount eVoucher, especially for my readers as promised. You can print it (color or black & white) and present it to the restaurant management (prior to billing) to enjoy the privilege from 31 July 2009 until 31 August 2009. Have a great and healthy dining then! 🙂

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Reaching the restaurant would be easy if you are coming from Jalan Burmah into Jalan Cantonment. Just drive along Jalan Cantonment until you reach the first left junction (Pulau Tikus Market – Jalan Pasar). Just go further up after this junction and you will see Wisma Kota Kembar – Pulau Pinang-Medan Information and Promotion Centre on the corner lot. The restaurant is just next to this centre. There would be a 5% service charge for the food ordered here.

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Name: YOUNG HEART RESTAURANT
Address: 44A, Jalan Cantonment, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 12.00noon-10.00pm (Closed Monday)
Contact: 604-228 8084, 016-410 8098 (Ms. Ann Kee)
GPS: 5.430508, 100.311350

RATING:
Ambience: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 9/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

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