Yes, healthy and fast food can go together

Thursday, November 12th, 2020 00:00 |
A freshly made burrito. Photo/PD/Nailantei Norari

You need to pick up something to eat ASAP.  But what you don’t need is food that will leave you feeling tired or bloated for the rest of the day. That’s not too much to ask, right? Well, this city restaurant focusses exclusively on providing healthy food on the go.

Nailantei Norari @ArtNorari

Growing up, it used to be hard to find a place to get a good salad, not just in the city, but in the small village I grew up in.

In part, because the food eaten was already wholesome and clean enough that we did not need to go all out and feast on uncooked leaves. 

Although we did eat uncooked leaves during school cross country runs, any pupil could claim that a particular herb was edible and all of us students would congregate around the shrub and eat it while bandying critical opinions on taste and texture.

How we never ate a poisonous one and just the amount of trust pupils have for each other astounds me to date. 

These were my musings as I sat at Roro’s Café in Sarit Centre, completely ignoring my date.

I was sipping on a non-dairy strawberry smoothie; I love dairy, but are more than willing to try plant-based milks to give my system a break.

To say that I had come here for the food alone would be a lie, I, like most netizens had showed up for the photography wall too.

You know the green wall with a carrot that is in the background of every photo for every Instagram savvy person who has been to Roro’s?

That one, that wall is testament to how a restaurant having a good Instagram aesthetic can help score new clients, especially from Generation Z and Y.

After endlessly browsing through their salad bowl offerings, which include a grilled steak salad, a smoked salmon salad and a quinoa salad bowl that foodies have raved endlessly about, I opted for a rice bowl instead.

I have had tofu, a vegan protein made from curdled soy milk, on just one previous occasion.

So it was completely plausible that I should choose a bowl with a healthy serving of the same.

I ordered the barbecue tofu and mushroom savoury rice bowl. It comes with a side of sesame rice, kales and grilled butternut with a dipping sauce that elevates the dish.

While most people think of healthy dishes as bland and not filling, this was the exact opposite.

Carefully plated and with a beautiful variety of colours, the dish was just as much a delight to look at as it was to eat.

The butternut was beautifully baked with tiny charred lines that added texture to every bite.

To think that this was a malenge (pumpkin), a dish I loathed growing up since it is what one was weaned on from around six months to infinity.

The only change to it was the added varietals of spinach, beans or meat that were added and pureed with it according to the growing baby’s dietary needs. 

My friend ordered a braised pulled beef wrap with an iced lemonade. And since wraps are normally split into equal halves and are, therefore, meant to be shared, I gladly took one of the halves.

Yes, do not dine with me unless you are willing to share your food. The fillings were crammed inside in a beautiful array of colours and textures.

Caramelised onions added some sweetness to the slight tangy creaminess of the gouda cheese and the umami from the pulled beef, while the pickled carrots added some much needed crunch to every mouthful. 

A couple shots

With our stomachs full, we people-watched for a while and discussed everything from the role health plays in leading a fulfilling life, whether we would order a sandwich or a burrito on our next visit, to whether the man and woman seated near us were a couple or siblings.

And since conversations tend to marry beautifully with shots, we ordered some.

My friend had the immune booster shot while I took the digestive aide shot, which is made of apple cider vinegar, ginger, honey and moringa.

It does exactly what it is named for, helps you digest the food you have just gouged yourself on.

The food was sumptuous and fairly priced, with a rice bowl going for around Sh1,000 bob, a wrap going for around Sh700, iced tea costing Sh300 bob, a shot at Sh80 bob and the smoothies all costing Sh500 whether dairy or non-dairy. I will be back, this time for a superfood smoothie and another shot.

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