A clean and healthy lifestyle has slowly been gaining ground in Malaysia. And we’re not simply talking about the rising number of yoga studios and fitness gyms that keep opening up in almost every neighbourhood in the city. Aside from salad bars that allow you to create your own healthy bowls of green leafy goodness, there are now dozens of restaurants that are firing up their kitchens with hearty and nutritious dishes to cater to more discerning, health-conscious Malaysians.
The Good Co. is one of these eateries championing the #eatclean movement. We recently stopped by their restaurant in Bangsar for a meal, and discovered that vegan and vegetarian-friendly food can be tastier than their meat-filled versions. Meanwhile, popping by Raisin’ the Roof – a vegetarian cafe that serve delicious toasts, wraps, desserts, and coffees that are free from gluten and dairy in Bukit Damansara – led us to desserts that are so delicious you can’t even tell there’s no sugar in it.
Whether you’re aiming to lose weight or just maintaining your figure, dining at these healthy restaurants will make it a lot easier to stick to your goals.
Daging Tarik by The Good Company
The dish: We couldn’t get over how good the Daging Tarik was. Packed with tomatoes and lettuce, it sure makes one light yet very satisfying sandwich that explodes with flavour. Made from blackstrap molasses, the barbecue sauce has a sweetness that is toned down by an eggless mayo coleslaw and mild cheddar. It leaves behind a distinct smokey taste, which makes the pulled mushrooms taste almost like thinly-sliced beef between toasted organic thyme bread.
The place: Strategically located in front of Bangsar Shopping Complex, the Good Co. occupies the first floor of Bon Estates Gallery. Diagonally slanted wood pillars separate it from the boutique development’s main lobby. With glass walls that let ample light in, the modern space is furnished with a simple black marble counter, which is complemented by minimalist hanging lamps as well as beech wood tables and chairs.
The Good Co., Ground Floor, Bon Estates Gallery, No. 184, Jalan Maarof, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2202 6536.
Chocolate lava cake by Raisin’ the Roof
The dish: We’ll trade anything for Raisin’ the Roof’s chocolate lava cake. Topped with molten strawberry chia jam, the sponge cake’s texture is just right and not as dense as usual lava cakes. The chocolate filing inside tastes absolutely sinful, making it hard to believe it’s actually made without vegetable fat or refined sugar. Ask for a scoop of ice cream (made of coconut cream and natural sweeteners like dates and molasses) if you’re craving for extra sweetness.
The place: A laid-back spot painted in cheery turquoise and lemon yellow, Raisin’ the Roof offers a range of wholesome salads, sandwiches, wraps, toasts, desserts, as well as coffee and tea that are made with all-natural, unprocessed, or organic ingredients.
Price: RM15.90 (cake), RM5 (ice cream on top)
Raisin’ the Roof, No. 61, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2011 5313
Nara Donburi by Nara Kitchen & Co
The dish: Nara Kitchen & Co. offers a variety of nutritious comfort food that won’t ruin your diet. From its Big Belly salad (a mix of orange, arugula, white organic quinoa, roasted beets, hummus and miso vinaigrette) to grilled chicken avocado, you’re sure to find something that won’t ruin your diet plans. Our pick is the restaurant’s signature Nara Donburi, a simple but delicious Japanese rice bowl layered with seared salmon, a poached egg, and shredded nori, and topped with truffle mayo.
The place: Located just across the Damansara-Puchong highway, this cafe is within walking distance to the Jalan SS21 area. Parking can be quite a challenge, though, especially during the peak lunch and dinner hours. But the wait is well worth it, as the food is good. We love the eatery’s ambience too — it is a casual, minimalist venue decorated with green plants and paper artworks against white walls for pops of colour.
Price: RM 34
Nara Kitchen & Co., No. 61, Jalan SS 21/1, Damansara Utama, 47400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 7733 5897