When we are talking about eating out, we believe that it means to delight in the sensual pleasures of high quality ingredients and excellent service. But many a times we forget that when we eat out we may be putting our health to test. Nowadays eating right is a global philosophy and some restaurateurs advocate this philosophy and these kinds of business people deserve respect and attention for they care for our health. William Tan former COO of Tung Lok Group and ex-president of the BreadTalk Group is one such person. He owns Heart Bistro at the basement level of Palais Renaissance. A person who believes in a healthy lifestyle, William strongly believes that Heart Bistro is for customers who are interested in good food, food which is wholesome and food that does not damage or exert their digestive systems. I would say that Heart Bistro is also for those who think healthy food is bland food so that they can change their mind! William said “Our food is healthy menu with Pan Asian touch and attractive in appearance while ensuring the customer does not leave feeling unsatisfied. Nothing but the freshest and tastiest ingredients is used to ensure a very special experience that will leave you feeling light, fresh and invigorated”. He also said the restaurant is based on the philosophy of “You are what you eat and how you choose to eat”.
Heart Bistro is an open concept and simple looking restaurant that occupies the entire basement area of Palais Renaissance. On top of the usual appetizers and mains kind of menu, the restaurant also has a juice and tea menu! There was no deep fried or battered food in the menu but instead you will see steamed, grilled, roasted or poached dishes on the menu and as far as possible minus fat in the cooking methods.
We were given small shots of lemon grass tea as welcome drink. The Pickled Tea Leaves with Ripened Tomatoes and Mung Beans was an interesting Myanmar inspired dish. I detected pickled tea leaves, roasted peanuts, roasted chick peas, roasted mung beans, tomatoes, chilli, salt, sesame and many more ingredients making this salad spicy and very addictive. Poke (pronounced Poh-Kay) is a Hawaiian dish that consists of seasoned raw fish or other meats or even tofu. It is usually served as an appetizer to whet the appetite of to raise interest in the rest of the meal. Heart Bistro serves a very nice Salmon Poke. The salmon was sliced thinly and seasoned just right and you can smell the aroma of sesame oil.
Next we tried the Gingko Nut and Enoki Egg White Chawanmushi. The Chawanmushi had the creaminess of custard and the rich flavor of mushrooms and the bite from the gingko nuts. It was good lapping it up all knowing that there are no egg yolks!
White Truffle Ricotta Ravioli with a Sage and Pine Nut sauce was a very simple dish of ravioli filled with soft ricotta to nourish the mouth and stomach and had the beautiful touches of toasted pine nuts to satisfy the eye. Ricotta cheese is usually made of skimmed milk and pine nuts are said to known to help reduce cholesterol and help combat high blood pressure. Pine nuts are also high in protein and amino acids, Vitamins B1 and B3. I was not able to get the full flavor of truffle or sage.
Black Cod has always tasted like butter to me but then it is laden with Omega 3 Fats and is so versatile becau se of its delicate texture – you can roast, steam, grill, poach it and it is a favoured fish to many including me. I tried the Roasted Black Cod with Baby Spinach and Edamame (pronounced eh-dah-MAH-meh) in a Ginger Broth. The cod was a cod but the broth was a killer. Edamame is rich in heart-healthy isoflavones. And according to nutritionists, a half-cup of shelled edamame contains as much fiber as four slices of whole-wheat bread, no cholesterol and no saturated fat! So there you are, this fish dish is all brimming of goodness for the heart and studded with flavors that make you want to drink the soup to the last bit....I did anyway.
For dessert we tried the Carrot Cake and Sticky Pudding. Now here is a question – are these desserts healthy? Well, I assure you that it has been done with reduced amounts of fat and sugar but at the same time not compromising on taste. The carrot cake was laden with walnuts and dried fruits and the topping was not as sweet as the traditional carrot cake. The caramel syrup for the stick pudding was served separately.
The Juice Bar offers unique blend of vegetable and fruit juices and cocktails. My tasting partner and I left the place satisfied with high fiber foods with relatively few calories and heady with our steamy, passionate love affair with healthful eating and head full of inspiration anecdotes from William who sat through and had a meal with us. Service at Heart Bistro is pleasant, attentive and never intrusive.
390 Orchard Road
# B1-08/09/10C, Palais Renaissance