Thanks to Modus, clean, healthy and delicious eating is actually possible in a foodcourt!
Foodcourts are usually my least preferred choice when it comes to dining out (don't really fancy the mostly generic stalls, nondescript and sometimes overpriced offerings), but the game is now changing. We certainly didn't expect to see Modus, a foodcourt stall within Esplanade Xchange Food Inn that specialize in quinoa bowls!
Yes! Quinoa, the grain that is touted as a fiber and protein-rich superfood with benefits of aiding weight loss, promoting cell recovery, increasing metabolism and a host of other health benefits.
A lot of cafés and salad bars serve quinoa dishes nowadays, but quinoa bowls in a foodcourt? Modus is possibly the first in Singapore.
In case you're unfamiliar with the location of Esplanade Xchange, it is the underground mall which links up Raffles City, South Beach, Marina Square as well as Suntec City, and accessible via Esplanade (CC23) and City Hall (NS25/EW13) mrt stations.
Its foodcourt, called Food Inn, houses a number of stalls, and Modus is the one that stands out.
Modus is opened by two fine-dining chefs who wanted to cook tasty, nutritious food at a value-for-money price for everyone to enjoy. They believe that every dish has their own balance, and balance is their modus operandi.
Meet Ian Phoon and Alvin Tan.
Both might look young but have 26 years of combined culinary experience between them. Ian has worked at various fine-dining establishments including The Waterboat House, whilst Alvin once held positions at Les Amis and Roots Kitchen Bar.
With Superlife Co as the investment arm, the duo are able to get hold of very good quality organic premium quinoa that is saponin-free (saponin is a compound that gives unwashed quinoa a bitter taste).
There are currently 5 flavors available for the Quinoa Bowl, namely Japanese - Aburi Salmon, Chinese - Kung Pao Chicken, Thai - Basil Pork Shoulder, Korean - Sautéed Beef and Western - Australian Striploin.
Each bowl is priced at only $7.50! So affordable! I guess this has dispelled most notions that healthy eating is expensive to some extent.
I like it that orders are prepared ala-minute, and the flavor characteristic of each bowl is brought out very well.
For instance, if you blindfold me for a taste test, I can confidently tell you that the bowl consisting of kung pao chicken and sautéed bell peppers is undeniably the Chinese bowl.
The Thai bowl with basil pork shoulder pleases much with tender pork slices enveloped in the distinct aroma of Thai basil, while the Korean bowl wins for the inclusion of crunchy and mildly spicy and sour kimchi.
Perhaps the Western bowl would be more to my liking if the beef was thicker-cut and less well-done.
My favorite is the Japanese bowl with aburi salmon. The fish is just lightly-torched to retain a soft, buttery mouthfeel which went excellently with the tasty quinoa. If you can't decide which bowl to choose, just go for this one!
I would also recommend adding a Poached Egg ($0.50) to give the quinoa bowl an extra touch of creaminess.
All the accompanying sides such as kimchi, pineapple salsa, pickled cucumber and marinated sprouts are fermented in-house.
Not only does these sides add taste and texture layers to the quinoa bowl, it also completes the meal with high probiotics which aids with digestion and builds up one's immune system.
It might take a while for some people to get used to the idea of having quinoa to anchor their meal bowls instead of the usual rice or noodle, but once that mentality hurdle is crossed, one might be surprised how satisfying a quinoa bowl can be.
Modus has successfully combined a meal that is high in probiotics, complete protein, fibre and vitamins and yet low in GI, calories and price into one quinoa bowl.
Not only does the tasty quinoa appeals to many of us adults, the little girl sharing our table couldn't get her mouth off her mother's bowl too. Oh yes, it's always good to start them young when it comes to healthy eating.
Quinoa itself, being non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) and gluten-free might be suitable for those with dietary restrictions too.
Address: 90 Bras Basah Road, #B1-33 Esplanade Xchange Food Inn, Singapore 189562
Contact: +65 8688 5920
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-9pm / Sun 11am-2pm
Prices are stated in Singapore dollars and Nett. Information is correct at point of published date.
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