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Living right with Eat Right

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By Madushka Balasuriya 

Colombo has over the past few years been undergoing a transformation of sorts. Food has long been king in the tiny island nation, but the abundance of cooking shows, social media posts, and better access to quality ingredients, has seen Colombo’s food culture truly flourish. 

Within this change has been an ever-growing shift towards a healthier lifestyle, with more gyms popping up, more health-focused restaurants around, and inevitably – as in other parts of the world – a constantly evolving notion on what ‘healthy living’ truly means. Attempting to stay at the forefront of this ever-changing movement is Eat Right.

Among the pioneers of Sri Lankans’ burgeoning embrace of healthy living, the health food restaurant is only just starting to get the recognition it deserves, most notably with Lux Life UK Magazine naming it the Best Health Food Restaurant for 2017 at its annual awards.

An even more impressive achievement when you realise that Eat Right did not have any role in submitting its nomination, with one of many satisfied customers having put in the nomination on its behalf. This, while unexpected, is also somewhat unsurprising given the level of general customer feedback surrounding the restaurant.

Custom meal plans

Having set up initially in 2015 as a pure delivery service  (www.eatright.lk) – with a brick and mortar presence arriving midway through 2016 – Eat Right has been building up a not inconsiderable, but definitely loyal customer base. While its location in Kohuwala means many in Colombo see it as a suburb too far, especially when competitors operate much closer to home, sharing premises with the High-Octane Fitness gym has helped in providing a steady stream of customers.

And though it also has its fair share of walk-ins, Eat Right is still at its core a delivery-centric business – this however is no bad thing. Unlike a fast-food restaurant, it encourages its customers to order food earlier, as this ensures both freshness and allows the restaurant to cater to each customer’s individual health goals – be it if you’re vegan, looking to lose weight, or simply have a healthier diet.

Customers can pick from any of 30 dishes and tailor it so that it caters precisely to their requirements. All that’s required from the customer end is simply a few comments on what their health goals are, and the exceptional staff at Eat Right, complete with a panel of nutritionists, will do the rest. Furthermore, customers can opt for weekly meal plans which will be delivered to their doorsteps daily.

Affordable, healthy and delicious

With nearly all of the non-sharing options below the Rs. 1,000 mark, it is also among the more affordable outlets around. All this however would be for naught if the food itself missed the mark, but fortunately Eat Right takes great pride in ensuring the highest standards in their dishes.

Among those that we tried, the first that caught our eye was the Topsy Turvy Koththu (Rs. 550-650), a healthy variant on Lankan comfort food. While sceptical at first, the first bite put all our doubts to rest. True to its name, the dish subverts the traditional koththu ratios – we were informed it was 75g of atta roti, 150g of meat, and 150g of vegetables – but thankfully the flavours were not compromised in the slightest. Served with a delicious, slightly spicy, curry sauce, it’s up there with some of the best koththu this writer has had.

The other standout was from the sandwich and wraps section, where we tried the Open Sandwich with Chicken (Rs. 550). Probably the pick of the bunch, the dish saw delicately shredded chicken served amidst a paste made of Thai chilli, onions, tomato and mayo, on a bed of the softest of homemade brown breads. The glorious hit of spice is also sure to thrill the culinary daredevils out there.

Keto diet

Much like many of its customers, Eat Right is also constantly looking to improve – the latest endeavour of which is its focus on providing dishes that go in line with a Ketogenic, or Keto, diet.

High in fat, adequate in protein, and low in carbohydrates, the Keto diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. As part of our review we were offered the Keto variants of a few of its best-selling salads.

The Classic Caesar Salad (Rs. 550) simply had the croutons removed, which had marginal impact on the flavour as the rest of the dish was outstanding. The chicken was cooked to perfection, while the homemade salad dressing is worth the price of the dish on its own; the boiled egg meanwhile made up for the missing texture from the croutons.

The Classic Tabbouleh and Barley Salad (Rs. 650), meanwhile, came without the barley nor the side of hummus and pita bread. While we tried the dish in its entirety later – and loved it! – even without those accompaniments, the simple blend of parsley, tomato, lemons, onions, with a light citrusy dressing, hit all the right notes.

Striving for perfection

In the end however, the one aspect of this review which stood out the most was something that happened right at the end, after we had polished off our meal with Eat Right’s excellent homemade oatmeal cookies and the last remnants of its excellent juices, one of which was the Energizer (Rs . 400) – a mango, passion, and ginger delight.

After all that, we were asked to try a crumbed chicken dish, where it had replaced the usual bread crumb crusting with one made of desiccated coconut – as part of its Keto range. We gave honest feedback which we’re more than confident it will take on board, but that level of taste testing should be applauded. Though to be honest it’s not something unusual for the brand, which is known to frequently send its customers free samples of new dishes to gauge feedback.

Indeed, one key condition of winning of the Lux award was the requirement for nominees to show ‘dedication to customer service’ and ‘an ongoing commitment to excellence and innovation’. 

These are clearly facets Eat Right has in spades, and with rumoured expansion plans abroad and in Colombo, this is one chain to definitely keep an eye on.

Pix by Indraratne Balasuriya

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