Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Onaka Restaurant & Wine Bar @ ARC

Onaka first caught my attention because it means "stomach" in Japanese so why would anyone want to name their restaurant this way? Well, it turned out that this name stands for Optimum Nutrition And Kitchen Arts. What draws me here the most is that the place offers a nutritious and tasty menu catering to different dietary needs: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian.

Dairy-free, Egg-free, Vegan, Vegetarian.
Our appetizer was the Asian Hummus ($8) -- a blend of organic chickpeas, tahini, topped with chilli-marinated olives.  The dip which was fortunately served at room temperature and thus had a good creamy texture. But it would have be a delightful dish if the whole meal pitas weren't as hard as crab shells.

Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian.
Looked like satay? These are Soy Melange $10: mixture of two types of soy, tofu and tempeh. Tempeh, as fermented soybean product, has a unique chewy texture that sits between Chinese tofu and steamed yam. Dip them into the kecap manis sauce for the extra mild umami taste.
 
Dairy-free, Gluten-free
For the mains, would you be surprised if the Chilli Crab Cakes $24 come in three big fat lemongrass skewers? The chilli sauce version is thicker, sweeter and not as spicy as compared to the zichar style. The texture is similar to Thai fish cakes that are not deep fried. The Organic Rice cubes drowned by the sauce tasted like a hybrid of ketupat and nasi-lemak. The rice had a sticky texture but gives out with whiffs of coconut fragrance.


As fish-lovers, how could we miss the Pear and Salmon $20? The 47degree seared salmon was moist, soft and lubricated with the soft poached egg. The julienned Asian pear is rarely paired with fish but turns out well as it adds a refreshing fruity flavor and crunch to the dish.

Although the Modernist Chicken Curry $25 is dairy free and egg free, the gravy was still thick and creamy as it  was blended with sweet potato. The corn-fed, free range, hormone-free chicken tasted so different from the usual chicken and I wonder if this should actually be how chicken tasted like. It did not appear very modernist to me and could be spicier.

 gluten free and egg free
Similarly, the flavors seemed too conservative in this hot and sour prawn rice noodles $18. The noodles were springy but there were not enough broth of shrimps, herbs and lime to go with the starch.
Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian.
For desserts, go for the avo-choco emotion $12 . The avocado mousse did not had an overpowering vegetable smell and complemented with the airy, lightly-sweetened chocolate layer. Not too creamy and thus a good end for the meal.

However, the yoghurt chocolate parfait $9 which I had mistaken to be tiramisu ( this was from the display cake selection) turned out to be rather lacklustre. Perhaps the lack or minimal use of cream resulted in thick layers of chocolate bricks which even a strong man had difficulty breaking through with a spoon.

Fortunately, this banana pastillas (vegan)$10 saved the earlier parfait. The puff pastry filled with cinammon-roasted bananas, walnuts were "air-fry" together, which I supposed no oil is used. Drizzled with caramel sauce and eaten together with cardamom banana ice cream, this hot-cold dessert was no less sinful than goreng pisang but tasted amazing.

In short, the food here is worth trying and I'm pretty sure the extensive menu leaves one spoilt for choices. There is also a vending machine (scroll to top for picture) in front of the place that sells all kinds of organic health bars and snacks. Perhaps whether the food is egg free, gluten free etc... or not may not be that significant in influencing our health, ultimately it is still dependent on what and how much we choose to consume. So lets try to eat smart :)
 
Onaka Restaurant & Wine Bar @ ARC
460 Alexandra Road #01-32 PSA Building, Singapore 119963 
Mon-Fri 11am-10pm
Sat-Sun 10am-10pm
Menu and Details on Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/Onaka.at.ARC#!/Onaka.at.ARC  

2 comments:

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