Thursday, 7 July 2011

Nutrihub The Organic Vegetarian Cafe

Based on what I gather from the blogs I follow, Nutrihub is not a new kid on the block. What's new is its recently opened outlet that has moved out of Cuppage Plaza to Temple Street. The exact reason of this relocation is not clearly stated, but I do observe that compared to Cuppage Plaza, Temple Street has a more accessible location within a short walking distance from Chinatown MRT. Even the human traffic is heavier.



When Nutrihub was still in Cuppage Plaza, I had wanted to visit it. Unfortunately its was closed on Sundays and public holidays, which happens to be the time when I am free enough to venture out of Aljunied for vegetarian food. At its new site, Nutrihub is still closed on public holidays, but at least it operates for shorter hours on Sundays. Just like a hub it called itself, Nutrihub offers a range of services, namely operating a cafe, retailing various health products and conducting cooking classes.

I had wanted to try their popular brown rice set but it was only available from Mondays to Saturdays. Then again it was better off that way, because this misfortune led me to try a dish from their raw food cuisine section, which I hardly blogged about.

The Food

Asian Pizza, S$ 10.80

Ordering Asian pizza (A new item according to the menu) for lunch was a mistake. Its wafer-thin crust hardly filled my stomach. I was to learn later on that this was a unique characteristic of raw vegan pizza. In raw food diet, it is believed that important nutrients and enzymes cannot survive temperatures beyond 40 degrees Celsius, thus rendering cooked food “dead”. One of the means to make the ingredients more palatable is to dehydrate them. Due to the temperature constraint, the drying process is carried out under extremely low heat. As a result, the “cooking” time is ridiculously lengthened. Imagine trying to “bake” a thick pizza crust. According to the boss (I think) at Nutrihub, they took 19 hours just to make the crust!

Since the pizza had decided to be Asian, one would not find the usual tomato paste applied on the traditional version. Instead the chef concocted her own sauce, which was indeed special in taste. Slightly sweet with a mild alcoholic flavor, I suspected that Hua Diao Jiu (A variety of undistilled Chinese wine used in cooking) was used. In my opinion, this house blend coordinated very well with the crust, that was nothing much on its own in terms of flavor. Another Asian feature of this dish, the shredded leaves either belonged to chye sim or bok choy. Whatever it was, this had to be the first time I took Chinese vegetables uncooked. While no attempt was made to mask the raw taste, the thin sauce did help to make the bitterness more bearable.

The rest of the ingredients included Chinese black mushrooms and a slice of tomato per crust. Although the juice that oozed out of the tomatoes upon biting contributed some moisture to the pizzas, they somewhat reduced the crispiness of the crust. I personally enjoyed these raw pizzas on the whole, but I had to admit that the flavor was an acquired one.

Oat Milk Bo Bo Cha Cha With Konjac Jelly, S$ 3.50

Traditional bo bo cha cha consisted of diced sweet potatoes and taro cooked in coconut milk. Due to its high saturated fats content, the coconut milk was replaced by oat milk to imitate the thick consistency. Although coconut milk is perceived to be unhealthy (Recent research seems to to show otherwise), the oil from the same fruit does not share its notoriety. On the contrary, coconut oil possesses numerous cosmetic and therapeutic benefits, such as hair care, weight loss, proper digestion and maintaining cholesterol levels. One of the service crew at Nutrihub even claimed that her relative treated her thyroid problem by consuming coconut oil regularly. Fortunately, yours truly does not have any of the abovementioned health issues. Hence what I find most beneficial about coconut oil was how it impart that crucial coconut flavor to the bo bo cha cha dessert.

Refined sugar, another villian in the realm of health and nutrition, was substituted with organic molasses, which explained the brownish color of the dessert. Nutrihub understands that taste is subjective, hence they are willing to add more molasses for customers with sweet tooth. As for me, I was satisfied with the default recipe.

Apart from the usual ingredients, one could also find kidney beans and konjac jelly. A jelly made from konjac plant, konjac jelly, was another nutritious addition to the dessert. More commonly known as konnyaku jelly in Singapore, this jelly is high in fibre content and so it can play the role of cleaning up the waste in our bodies. Unlike what one might find outside, the jelly in this dessert neither had taste nor did it absorb the flavor of the oat milk. In fact I thought it was extraneous in this dessert. It would be better if the chef could increase the quantity of the relatively cheaper sweet potatoes and taros. Other than that, I was impressed with the ingenius modification of the dessert to make it healthy and tasty at the same time.

Conclusion

As with most organic eateries in Singapore, price is a sore point of Nutrihub. No matter how justifiable the cost may be, when it comes to money, the emotional side of me deters me from dining at such places on a regular basis. Still, I had a good time at Nutrihub on that day. Besides the generally delicious food, the boss and service crews were generous in sharing their health knowledge, thus providing me with valuable materials to write about in this post.

P.S.: I wonder how raw foodist filled their stomach with those kind of food.

Address:46 Temple Street
Opening Hours:-
Bus Service:-
MRT Station:Chinatown
Website:http://www.nutrihub.blogspot.com

3 comments:

  1. Nice review Prefer Vege!

    Makes sense that they moved to a more popular part of Singapore. Although I will miss the quiet and peaceful setting of Cuppage Plaza.

    Keep up the great work!

    Luke

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  2. LAU YU KEE-Vege Health Food at Albert Food Centre 01-75. Check it out when you run out of vege outlets to Review. Try not to go there on Sun afternoon, as a few times when I was there, it was closed.

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  3. Hi Luke

    At least you had been to Nutrihub when they were at Cuppage Plaza. I never had a chance.

    Hi Anonymous

    Thank you for your recommendation. Being closed on Sunday does make it a little harder for me. Got to wait for a rare Saturday when I am a little more free.

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