GOING for healthy options can sometimes be a burden on the pocket.
Realising this, Agrain founder Jason Ooi aims to offer healthy and appetising, high-quality choices at affordable prices for customers.
“When people think of healthy food, salads come to mind but it is not something that you eat everyday.
“Some of the choices available in the market are cold and raw, mostly Western-styled dishes and salads.
“Here at Agrain, we offer warm food with an Asian twist, natural flavours and grains instead of salads,” he said.
Agrain’s first eatery in Menara Hap Seng opened in 2016, later expanding to Intermark Mall and the most recent in Gardens North Tower. There are plans to open three more restaurants in 2019.
Ooi said ingredients are oven-baked, prepared using minimal oil and there was no deep-frying or pan-frying involved.
“We did meticulous ingredient sourcing. We use fresh chilled chicken and fresh Cameron farm vegetables.
“Sauces are made from scratch without additives, MSG or chemicals,” he said, adding that the menu is updated every four to five months.
With a system in place to gauge diners’ preferences, Agrain is able to collect data on which items are popular with customers and those that are not. This helps the management plan the ingredients and reduce wastage and cost.
Agrain’s formula must be on the right path as it won the QSR Media Asia 2019 Best Menu Innovation In Health Award and Rising Star Award.
Customers can either choose from preset bowls or build their own bowl. Items that contain gluten, dairy, nuts or are spicy, are labelled.
The menu is pork-free and alcohol-free. There are also options for vegetarians.
What diners have to do is start by selecting their base and choices include ecoBrown rice, pasta, buckwheat soba, cauliflower rice, mixed lettuce and baby spinach.
Next, select the type of protein with options such as chicken, tofu and fish. Customers need to top up for some options like baked salmon, beef stew and white fish.
You then choose supplements like onsen egg, herb-roasted potato, marinated cherry tomato and many more.
Among the choices for toppings are mixed sesame seeds, shredded nori and crispy garlic.
The number of add-ons and toppings depend on whether one opts for a “petit” serving (RM13.90), regular (RM16.90) or large bowl (RM20.90).
Finally, select the dressings. Choices include butter yoghurt, rosemary-infused olive oil, basil pesto and salted egg yolk.
If you are not sure which dressings go with the items of your choice, fret not, as the staff are on hand to advise you.
I was pleased with my choice of buckwheat soba, baked salmon, spicy edamame, curried pumpkin and chilli okra, topped with sunflower seeds and soy lime cilantro.
There are also juices and homemade tea. The mint limeade (RM3) was refreshing.
True to what Ooi said, healthy food need not compromise on taste and flavour.
Agrain currently delivers food through various food delivery service partners.
For details, visit www.hale.my/agrain
AGRAIN, Suite G.01, Ground Floor, The Gardens North Tower, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2202 0595) Business hours: 8.30am to 3pm and 5.30pm to 8.30pm (weekdays); 8.30am to 3pm (weekends).
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.