Monday, September 25, 2017

A healthier me reviews Healthy Me

Since I was recovering from a bout of flu, a healthy restaurant seemed like a good idea. Luckily, one has opened just a few minutes’ walk from my office: Healthy Me, in front of Ruby Mart on the corner of Bogyoke and Pansodan roads, proved to be exactly what I was waiting for.

Encouraging art on the walls is a staple feature of Healthy Me, a new and affordable healthy food option on Bogyoke Road. Photos: Myo Satt / The Myanmar TimesEncouraging art on the walls is a staple feature of Healthy Me, a new and affordable healthy food option on Bogyoke Road. Photos: Myo Satt / The Myanmar Times

You may have seen it on Facebook, where it has shot to popularity – nearly 9000 likes – during its first three weeks in business. The day we went, most of the customers looked like they were there for the first time.

You should know two things before you go in. Firstly, the food and drinks are Western. A classic, oily Myanmar curry isn’t in their line-up, and their idea of a salad won’t look anything like the traditional Myanmar idea of a salad. If you want to see it before you order, the waiter can show you a picture on her tablet.

Secondly, The background music is Bon Jovi. You’ve been warned.

Opening at 9am, the restaurant offers breakfast, featuring various kinds of toast and garlic bread, oatmeal, poached eggs and fruit, with prices ranging from K1200 to K2500. As it was past noon, I skipped ahead to the lunch menu, where I found the Best Omega-3 salad (K5900).

Listed as containing salmon, lettuce, tofu, olives, walnuts, chickpeas, pumpkin, cherry tomato and a spring sauce, the Best Omega-3 sounded like a real mouthful. It stood out to me for its health effects: The oil in the salmon keeps skin and hair healthy. It also had eight different dressing choices available, plenty of flavour to make a healthy meal perhaps a little less so.

I went for the Best Omega-3 salad, which boasted positive effects like healthy hair and smooth skin.I went for the Best Omega-3 salad, which boasted positive effects like healthy hair and smooth skin.

My colleague ordered garlic chicken pasta (K4500) with garlic-infused sliced chicken, carrots, red peppers and pasta. The dish is one of five different pastas and salads, a theme that Healthy Me continues with five kinds of protein rice bowls and meat dishes.

To drink, they offered a variety of coffees, hot chocolates, teas, smoothies, juice and soft drinks as well as their own Healthy Me Café. You can also get a detox/cleanse at K2500 a cup or K3900 a jar. I ordered Flu Fighter juice (K3200), which came with carrots, oranges and ginger. My colleague chose the latte (K2000), and then we settled in to wait.

And wait.

My Flu Fighter, when it eventually came, was worth the wait for the freshness of the ingredients and a refreshing hint of sourness. I don’t know what my flu germs thought of it, but I liked it.

The salad seemed fresh and tasted delicious, if a little dry. (I added some salt.) My companion also found her pasta a bit dry, though I suppose that’s to be expected when searching for healthy foods.

My companion’s garlic chicken pasta was packed with nutrients, if a little dry.My companion’s garlic chicken pasta was packed with nutrients, if a little dry.

As we were finishing lunch, we realised her latte had yet to arrive. In the end, we had to ask them to give it to us in a to-go cup.

We even had to wait an unusually long time for the bill. You don’t expect that, even in Myanmar.

The latte, at least, was delicious, or so my companion said (it did, finally, arrive with the bill).

The whole meal cost K15,900, but for this month the restaurant is rounding down, and dispensing with tax and service charges, which brought the total down to K15,000.

Still, for all the delays – I put it down to teething troubles – there is room for a restaurant like Healthy Me in Yangon. I’m sure I’m not the only one who eats too much unhealthy food every day. It’s a little pricey, but not overly so.

Healthy Me is at 86 Bogyoke Road, Mingalar Taung Nyunt township, and its hours are 9am to 9pm. They’ll be waiting for you.

Which is the way it should be.

Healthy Me
86 Bogyoke Aung San Road

Restaurant Rating: 3/5 stars
Food: 7
Drink: 8
Service: 4
Value: 7
X-Factor 8 

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