Healthy Eating — At What Cost?

TEMPTATION awaits at every turn in Singapore. The aromas, the sights, the tastes. Oh, the food.

With that kind of draw, it’s hard to say no to working your jaws on a regular basis.

But, on occasion, conventional wisdom dictates that the gorging should be curbed. And Frunatic may be the place to do it. This oddly-named restaurant is where you go to get yourself a food fix, but not necessarily for a good time.

A nutritionist, dietitian, traditional Chinese medicine physician and naturopath gang up to assess and deliver a diet that aims to restore balance to your system.

These personalised therapeutic meals will top up the nutrients that are lacking in your system through a mix of juices, small portions on plates and curious tastes. A case of yin and angst.

Ideally, you should get a once over before the right mix of ingredients are put together for you.

Health Plan

Motivated by the success of their longterm wellness packages and home delivery service, Frunatic has opened up a “fine-dining” restaurant in the basement of Palais Renaissance, often dubbed the white elephant of Orchard Road.

Perhaps Frunatic’s fortunes might fare better than other restaurants that have folded over the years, since you’re likely to visit it knowing full well what you’re getting into. No other restaurant serves what Frunatic offers…which is quite telling in itself.

Almost clinical in presentation, there are two, eight-course menus to choose from daily. Each course includes 100% natural food (sans pesticides and other unwelcome impurities) like cold pressed juices, dehydrated snacks and mushrooms and nuts.

Given what’s on offer, the folks at Frunatic strive to preserve the nutrients and taste. But it’s not always possible.

dehydrated mushroom
Always room for dehydrated mushrooms

The pumpkin seed smoothie is blended with dates and comes through nutty and milky. It tastes more like a power supplement drink than a starter, and that’s soon supplemented with the Luau Macadamia Salad, which is packed with quercetin, used to improve athletic performance. The latter offers a more defined impression on the palate.

The Kale Berries Juice is a near neon green potion that reminds you of something out of a mad scientist’s laboratory. Sipped with some trepidation, it’s surprisingly — and mercifully — tastier than it looks.

Thus far, it has not been the usual, savoury lunch. But it gets more intriguing.

brown riceA small bar of super seed and oats fibre is presented next. This sleep inducer starts to work as you keep chewing to a hypnotic rhythm.

Fortunately, the spicy mushroom chips work their magic after that. Dehydrated for up to five days, it retains all its nutrients with a crunchy texture. It would be great as a snack in front of the television, though the cost of that is likely not to be trifled with.

The main course of Brown Rice And Seasoned Tofu is a clear reminder that this is a healing restaurant and reinforces the general belief that if it’s healthy it’s likely not to be tasty. The pale brown rice tastes like chicken rice with a bit more bounce to it. The tofu was…well…tofu, and a tad too firm. And the few vegetables on the side added colour if not any real flavour.

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Bitter-Sweet Ending

The compensation for the main course arrived in the form of the Chocolate Banana Brownie With Pecan Caramel. Dark chocolate lowers blood pressure, so you think you’d sink your teeth into this heavenly ending. But who’d have thought that banana could be so cloyingly sweet?

A bitter-sweet ending of dark chocolate and banana.

And you can’t wash it down with coffee, since Frunatic doesn’t serve any.

While you may have visions of juicy burgers, chicken curry or char kway teow while you’re picking your way through the healthy, $108++ fare at Frunatic, the benefits kick in a couple of days letter.

Your system does get cleaned out.

Jason Fong, Frunatic’s Managing Director, says Frunatic isn’t about drastically changing your lifestyle to become a vegetarian, or vegan. “Doing this a couple of times a month, could prove beneficial. You can carry on with your own favourite foods, otherwise.”

That’s comforting to note.

#B1-06 Palais Renaissance
390 Orchard Rd
Singapore 238871

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