Eating paleo can be treacherous if you are dining out. The best way is to cook your own food at home and bring it to work. However, if you find yourself around Raffles Place without home-cooked food, here are some places that are good for paleo eating. Most of them still require careful thought on your part in choosing the correct ingredients. In order of decreasing cost, they are:
1. Urban Bites Mediterranean Cuisine $$$
Source: Urban Bites
Address: 161 Telok Ayer Street
Urban Bites serves Lebanese food, which includes lots of meat, cheese, yoghurt and fresh salad. I visited their restaurant last week for dinner and was blown away by the food. I wanted to try everything on the menu! Even before the meal was finished, I was planning my next visit. Just remember to pass on the rice and flat bread.
2. Sushi Tei $$$
Address: 20 Cross Street, China Square Central, #01-28/30
I love Sushi Tei’s sashimi salad. The sashimi is always fresh and portions are generous. Very strict Paleos may have issue with the salad dressing, which contain soy sauce. The problem with soy is that it contains phytoestrogens, which can contribute to breast cancer. I also can’t tell if the dressing contains sugar.
3. The Rotisserie $$
Address: 51 Telok Ayer Street #01-01, China Square Food Centre
I go to The Rotisserie for both breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, they serve something called the Aussie Breakfast, which is essentially a “full breakfast” or “English breakfast” that allows you to choose from a variety of fried dishes, including eggs, bacon, mushrooms and grilled tomatoes. It’s not cheap at $12 but it can be an occasional treat. The meal comes with two slices of sourdough bread that you can request to be left out. For lunch, you can order their roasted chicken, which comes with a choice of vegetables or salad.
4. Salad Stop $$
Address: 1 George Street, #01-01
Salad Stop sells quality salad. The variety is really good, which means that it should be quite easy to pack your salad with hearty, clean ingredients. You can choose your own ingredients or take one of the pre-designed salads. It’s better to make it yourself so you have full control over what you’re eating. The dressing will be the issue here as I can’t tell what goes into them. If in doubt, choose the oil and vinegar dressing.
5. Platypus Gourmet2Go $$
Address: 50 Market Street, Goldenshoe carppark, #01-14A
Platypus Gourmet2Go deserves kudos for their twist on the burgeoning salad trend. Instead of having a huge variety of ingredients, they focused on a few well made dishes and is cheaper than Salad Stop. You can stuff a small lunch box for just $6.50 with a maximum of two meat dishes. The salmon is the best and the most popular. Alas, by the time I headed to Platypus, there were none left and I had to go with two chicken dishes. Buried underneath the meat are olives and almonds – yummy!
There are no seats. Everything is take away.
6. Munch Salad Smith $$
Address: 112 Robinson Rd
Munch is located at China Square food court. They are similar to Platypus in that the salad is warm and cooked rather than cold and raw. One meat and two side dishes (as above) cost $13.90. They also sell breakfast including bacon and eggs, as well as mushroom omelettes – those go for $5.
7. Sarnies $$
Address: 136 Telok Ayer Street
Sarnies is a nice little cafe tucked way at Telok Ayer Street. Two items on the menu caught my eye when I last visited:
- Paleo steak salad with mixed lettuce, tomato and guacamole $16.50
- Grass fed steak with mushrooms, caramelised onions and mix greens. $16.50
This is paleo heaven. Plus the coffee was really yummy. Pricey but then good quality food is always pricey.
8. Yong Tau Foo $
Address: Mei Hua Foodcourt, 9 Raffles Place, #01-01 Republic Plaza
Yong Tau Foo can be found in most hawker centres and foodcourts. These are all the ingredients you can put into your bowl of soup, including vegetables, tofu, fish balls and squid. I usually take a glance at the type of ingredients the stall has before deciding to eat there. If everything is stuffed with tofu, I will not eat at the stall. Fishballs are not to be eaten too. Contrary to the name, the balls contain flour and sugar as well. But if the stall is selling lots of vegetables and meat, yong tau foo dishes are a good and cheap choice for healthy eating.
My favourite is the yong tau foo at Mei Hua Foodcourt. The portions are generous and they have a good balance of leafy and starchy vegetables. I always go for the pumpkin, tempeh and brinjal. Beware though, it gets extremely crowded during lunch time.
9. Chicken rice $
Similarly to yong tau foo, chicken rice can also be found in most hawker centres in Singapore. Order chicken rice (without rice) and you’re all set to go. Yummy yummy.
10. Economy rice $
The final option is economy rice, also known as cai fan in Chinese. I love cai fan. I practically grew up on it. I love that you get to choose your dishes so every meal is different and interesting. Technically, you can order meat, vegetable and egg dishes without the rice but I find that most stalls drench their dishes in questionable sauce. The sauce tends to be thick and contain thickeners like corn starch. There are very few dishes cooked simply in just garlic and oil. So I would avoid those dishes that are covered in sauce.
What do you think of these paleo options around Raffles Place? Do you have your own favourite restaurants and eateries?