Monday, 29 May 2017

The Rabbit Hole Salad

A Salad With Benefits Beyond Health

It was not difficult to make a healthier choice when it comes to lunch around the Raffles Place area.  I was surrounded by so many cafes serving salads, sandwiches, soup and cold-pressed juice where I worked.  Even when the temptations of cheap and delicious local fare at the likes of Lau Pa Sat, Market Street and several food courts were just a stone’s throw away, my desire to have a quick lunch that was healthy and guilt-free, within an air-conditioned environment often won hands down as an option for lunch. 

Let’s face it, when I indulged in a bowl of salad, I felt relatively happier that I need not have to face the wrath of my personal trainers and explain myself later.  The salad always looked so colourful that it was instagrammable, and that helped because I was a social media whore. I often come out of the café smelling and looking refreshed compared to having come out of a food court smelling like chicken rice.  That was useful particularly when I had to meet the boss after lunch for a presentation. A salad meal meant that I had left enough room within my calorie count for the day to have a cupcake that I might accidentally chance upon at the office pantry.

But did we need yet another café serving clean eats when there were already so many that had sprung up across the CBD? How different can another café serving up salad, sandwiches, soup and cold-pressed juice be?  You would still be served a salad bowl with a base of lettuce leaves, and other vegetables and a protein topping of your choice, right? The last time I checked, a lettuce tasted like a lettuce no matter where I bought that box of salad from.  After packing a random box of salad back to the office, could you tell the difference between what had been served at the Daily Cut, Omnivore, Salad Stop, The Salad Shop, Grain Traders, Wheat, Raw Bar, and Lean Bento?  Some salad aficionados might differ in opinion.

The truth was that, now that I have been walking on this journey towards better health, and knowing that I needed to eat right so that I could be fuelled enough to get me through my very hectic work schedule, I would not think that there could be too many of such cafes.  I would usually head for the one that was most convenient and had the shortest queue.

However, when the Rabbit Hole Salad & Juice opened at One Raffles Place, that would usually be my first stop for salad because that café served up clean eats with a difference.

This café is a social enterprise, set up to not only feed people with great tasting and healthy salads complete with a choice of home-made dressings, sandwiches, soup and cold-pressed juice.  It also provided an opportunity for people with autism to integrate into mainstream society by learning valuable skills like food-handling and customer servicing.

This was a café after my heart.  If I had bought some lunch, knowing that what I bought was giving someone with autism a chance in life, it made my lunch tasted even better.

The Rabbit Hole not only won hands down with me because of their social purpose.  They wowed me with their customer service too. 

A few weeks ago, I contacted The Rabbit Hole via Instagram and told them that I wanted to add more kale in my diet.  Super food right?  Must be good.  However, I hated the taste of kale, and if I could drink it all down in one gulp, that would help.  Pure kale juice was not offered within their menu.  However, they obliged and prepared a glass of pure kale juice for me. 

Today at lunch, while waiting for them to prepare my kale juice, I was so glad I had the chance to explain to some people at the salad queue about the wonders of kale. 

It looks like the Rabbit Hole might need to put pure kale juice within their menu after all.



About The Writer:

This blog post was co-written by my brother Jerome and I. Although we are siblings who grew up 11 years apart, shaped by differing experiences to see the world from different perspectives, we do share a common obsession – FOOD.  We celebrate our passion for life with food.  However, our attitudes to food are quite different and the way we celebrate our love for food are also quite different.  Jerome lives to eat and hoovers everything edible that crosses his path.  As he shovels food into his mouth with that fork in his right hand, he takes photographs of what he eats, and posts pictures and notes up on Facebook with his left.  Often, his beautifully written prose about what he had eaten would be 7 paragraphs in length and would not have any punctuations in between because he had been too busy multi-tasking. 

I, on the other hand, eat to live. It is not just about my attempts to eat healthily. As I am a “cam-whore” and “social media hussy”, I spend about half an hour styling my food, taking photographs, writing notes and posting them across my social media platforms before eating them, right after the hubby has paid for the bill and is about to head out of the restaurant.  I enjoy reading all my posts about what I had eaten because I know that I had lived fully in spite of watching what I eat.  Welcome to the foodie world of the quirky Ong siblings.


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