It’s official – you are what you eat. According to a report by UK consultancy Future Market Insights, more people are turning to traditional as well as 21st century nutrition in search of edible remedies. Even mixologists and chefs are into this. In the Maldives, for instance, mixologists are serving cocktails laced with fresh, beneficial ingredients, while young chefs in the US and Asia are experimenting with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbs in their dishes.
Petrina Loh, chef-owner of Morsels in Singapore, is part of this new generation of chefs embracing the food as medicine philosophy. “I read a lot and have visited Chinese medicine halls, and talked to TCM masters to understand more,” Loh shares. “To me, it’s important that each dish is balanced both in flavour and the benefits to one’s body.”
Loh’s dishes include lamb ribs using more than 12 herbs, including dang gui (female ginseng root), and Kurobuta Pork Collar served with goji berry jam. Loh also creates gut-friendly fermented dishes such as kimchi and fermented watermelon salsa for her diners.
Over at Tonic, the hip swim-up bar at The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives, the spa and bar team collaborated to produce signature cocktails that not only taste great, but are good for you. The Rose Petal and Rosemary Sparkling Tonic for instance, features anti-inflammatory kombucha – and antioxidant-packed goji berries.
The Halapua Koh Samui’s cocktail bar features concoctions such as Toa with sake, rum and superfood maca (Peruvian ginseng) powder while Serenity has sake and protein-rich spirulina.
Although shifting to a more nutritious diet may help keep diseases at bay, food alone cannot be a replacement for medicine when it comes to tackling more serious conditions. It is heartening to know, however, that the next time we feel run down, we could simply pop out to our favourite bar or restaurant.
3 feel-good spots around the region
1. Halapua, Koh Samui
This plant-based restaurant is not only reimagining steak and foie gras in vegetable form, but it’s also serving cocktails filled with superfoods.
2. Tonic, The Maldives
The signature low-GI Golden Curam Beauty Elixir comes with ginger (also a flu fighter), turmeric, camu camu berries and coconut cream.
The Six-Taste Thali platter is based on the Ayurvedic principle of incorporating sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, astringent and salty for a balanced meal.
Illustration by Lee Xin Li
To book a flight to these destinations, visit singaporeair.com