Healthy & Flavorful 5-Course Grazing Dinner at Onaka

Have you taken a full course healthy dinner/lunch before? I haven’t–well not until Hubby and I got to try the 5-Course Grazing Dinner by Onaka Healing Kitchen Cafe and Juice Bar about a month ago. We’re basically a gluttonous pair and the thought of bringing our gastronomic indulgence into the next level by trying a healthier alternative was a no-brainer. The moment we saw the discount coupon advert for Onaka’s 5-course dinner, we knew we had to give it a try!

What is Onaka?
I first came across Onaka Healing Kitchen Cafe and Juice Bar about five months ago when I was thinking of taking special cooking classes focused on healthy eating. But cooking classes and holding seminars/talks/workshops about healthy living are just their sidelines. Mainly, they serve a healthy menu of mostly vegetarian, fresh and usually organic-when possible dishes.

Healthy Indulgence
I haven’t been to other branches of Onaka aside from the one in Rochester Park. The place is simply decorated yet cozy. The exterior dining area reminded me of a garden wedding set-up with lots of white chairs and wood and plant ornaments. I think the ceiling was adorned with draping light fabric–although I can’t really remember. Anyway, we chose to stay in the air-conditioned area where the design was plain and functional but still comfortable. I was seated next to a food shelf or refrigerator, I think.

The 5-course dinner began with Mushroom Tea served with plain crackers. It’s like the usual Chinese herbal tea; it was bitter and Hubby didn’t enjoy it much, saying it tasted too healthy.

Next came the Tofu & Beet Salad. It’s a mix of fresh herbs and greens with grilled, curried Tofu in pink creamed tofu-mustard dressing. Being fresh salad lovers, we both enjoyed this tremendously. The sauce was sweet and sour in taste which brought out the freshness of the greens and herbs. But the real star was the tofu. The curry flavor was light and the tofu melted in our mouths!

Since Hubby loves tomatoes, we chose the Vitamin A-bsolutely Tomatoes for our Noodle Bowl. It’s organic spaghetti served with classic pomodoro sauce, cherry tomatoes, roasted parmagiano, fresh mozzarella and basil. It was simple, light and vegetarian. I think the silky mozzarella enhanced the texture of the sauce. Hubby loved it so much that I’ve been trying to replicate the recipe for him–with no success.

By the time the Big Plates arrived, we were both quite full. We had Gratin of Portobella– big portobello mushrooms stuffed with herb quinoa and glazed with a tomato-based sauce. It’s topped with melted cheese and a toasted cheese cracker. We would have enjoyed it more if not for the fact that we’re already feeling stuffed and our palates too tomatofied from our pasta serving earlier.

For desserts, we had three selections. The usual chocolate brownie topped with ice cream, the crepe filled with bananas and berries and the asian red bean porridge with coconut milk (not pictured above). The desserts were just alright. Nothing special but definitely a good ending to a very filling, flavorful dinner.

Is it Worth Another Bite?
Hubby and I asked ourselves the same question right after dinner. Although we’re congenital gluttons, we weren’t exactly born with big digestive compartments and if only we weren’t afraid of literally bursting any minute after dessert was served, we would have loved to try any of the cakes. All in all, we enjoyed the experience. We both agreed that the unusual dinner–organic, vegetarian fresh and all– made us feel happier and morally detoxified from previous unhealthy indulgences. Due to the inconvenient location of Onaka’s branches and the 5-Course Grazing Dinner being not exactly cheap (it’s SGD$120 for two but we got a 52% off after taking a coupon deal online), we also agreed that it’s not something realistic for us to take often. We do hope to drop by at least once a year, though, and probably try some of their non-vegetarian dishes and finally, their cakes. Have you taken any “healthy” cake? We surely haven’t!

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  • Polly

    A friend of mine went to Onaka and recommended the place to me so I was tempted to purchase the online deal too. However, eventually I felt the location was way too far for me, so decided to give it a miss. The portions don’t look very big from your pics, but if the meal causes you to be bloated after that, it’s not exactly very healthy eating either! :-)

    • Vivi

      oh no, we didn’t feel bloated. just full ’cause we don’t have big compartments, just big appetites. A pair of gluttons. :p

      the servings were okay, in healthy sizes. But by the time we finished the pasta, we were already 3/4 full, lol.

      Yes, the location is really a bummer… I’d love to try the Gratin of Portabella again but I live far east and their branches are usually in the west area. Generally, it was a good experience, though.