All about healthy living and mindful eating? From quinoa burgers to quinoa ‘nasi goreng’, here are some unique quinoa dishes that will turn you into a quinoa convert
Health buffs are probably already well-aware of the benefits of quinoa, but we reckon some of you still need some convincing! Hailed as the “super grain of the future”, quinoa is a nutritious grain that prevents diabetes and hypertension. What’s even better? It’s packed with protein, low on calories and fats, and can also slow down the aging process. But apart from being a highly nutritious superfood that’s good for your body, quinoa can – believe it or not – also taste amazing especially when incorporated into chef-curated dishes. So to hush all you cynics, we’ve sussed out eight cafes and restaurants in Singapore with unique quinoa dishes that will make you a convert in no time.
Aside from its well-curated interior that encapsulates the juxtaposition of old with new, DW Workshop also packs quite a punch with its contemporary food fare – especially with its make-your-own healthy lunch bowls that are only available during weekdays. Can’t live without quinoa? Then opt for red quinoa (top image), instead of brown or basmati rice, for your delicious lunch bowl that you can assemble with savoury grilled chicken or sweet potato frittata, and sides like wild mushrooms, marinated chickpeas and guacamole.
DW Workshop, 41 Rochester Drive, Singapore 138582, p. 6659 0879.
Tucked within a beautiful design hostel, COO Bistro at Tiong Bahru offers a contemporary ‘Glocal’ menu that draws inspiration from both global and local cuisine. Here you can definitely find a palatable quinoa dish named COO Bistro Quinoa. The quinoa is boiled to perfection, and is then complemented with other fresh and wholesome and ingredients like pomegranate, raisins, toasted pistachio, carrot purée and lettuce – presenting an appetising healthy meal!
COO Bistro, 259 Outram Road, Singapore 169056, p. 6221 7060.
Specialising in raw and vegan plates, this intimate, industrial-chic café serves up tasty quinoa dishes that would make even the most insatiable carnivores give meat a miss. Try its popular quinoa and spinach ‘hash brown’ burger with romaine lettuce as a bun, decked with quinoa, spinach, goat cheese, rolled oats, breadcrumbs and drizzled with macadamia cheese sauce; or its herbed quinoa bowl that is deliciously marinated with herbs and spices, cherry tomatoes, green apples and dried cranberries, and topped off with a bed of lettuce and mesclun greens. And if you drop by at the right time, you might be able to have a slurp of its seasonal take on the Italian minestrone, the Quinoa-strone soup.
Afterglow, 24 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089131. p. 6224 8921.
The Living Cafe & Deli
Joined at the hip with holistic wellness centre, Balanced Living, The Living Cafe & Deli serves up a healthy yet delectable Quinoa Veggie Burger. This is made up of carrot, celery, spinach, bell pepper sauce, onion, mushrooms, basil, balsamic reduction, and raw cashew mayo – making it a perfect option for burger lovers who are also vegans or are merely watching their weight!
The Living Cafe & Deli, 779 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269758. p. 6468 4482.
A cafe, bakery, and bar all rolled into one, this stunning standalone bistro offers a unique spin-off of a familiar local dish, nasi goreng (fried rice). Instead of white rice, Red Baron’s Quinoa Goreng uses quinoa as the base, which is then served with shrimps, chicken, chilli padi and topped with a sunny side egg and ikan bilis (fried anchovies).
Red Baron, Blk 45 Malan Road, Singapore 108937, p. 6334 6734.
The Bento People
A firm believer of quinoa as a healthy staple – they also view quinoa as a viable substitution for refined processed rice or wheat products – The Bento People is your go-to spot to get your quinoa fix. A must-try here is surely its bestseller, quinoa fried rice Yangzhou-style, that uses tricolour organic quinoa and is served with tender char siew and eggs. But if you’re searching for a heartier meal, your best bet would be its quinoa lemak bowls (white quinoa with virgin coconut oil, sambal, sous vide Cajun chicken, walnuts, almonds and kyuri), or its ultimate quinoa bowls available in both beef or chicken.
The Bento People, #02-17, CT Hub, 2 Kallang Avenue, Singapore 339407, p. 64432006.
A Poke Theory
This cosy new poke joint in Telok Ayer provides a range of fresh Hawaiian poke bowls, but what’s unique is that they also offer lemon herb quinoa as one of the options for the base of your bowl – just in case you’re avoiding carb-y sushi rice or don’t feel like munching on green romaine lettuce. Here, you’ll also find quinoa-incorporated desserts with its Blackberry Binge Smoothie Bowl and Cacaoholic Smoothie Bowl that are sprinkled with quinoa puffs.
A Poke Theory, 27 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069623.
East Manhattan Bakery Cafe
On top of its artisanal bread cakes and pastries, East Manhattan Bakery Cafe also dishes out two health-conscious, gluten-free (and most certainly guilt-free!) mains that have innovatively incorporated quinoa in them. Relish its basil chicken quinoa that’s made of chicken bake with basil pesto, quinoa, and potato gratin; or satisfy your fish cravings with its salmon quinoa that comes with pan-seared salmon, quinoa, and mushroom.
East Manhattan Bakery Cafe, #01-04, Katong V, 30 East Coast Road, Singapore 428751, p. 6672 0109.