I'll be honest here. I jump at the chance at doing this review because I thought I was going to review a Japanese restaurant because of its name. Turns out its actually an acronym for Optimum Nutrition And Kitchen Arts, ONAKA.
What does ONAKA actually serves?
"Their food is a merging of Asian culinary cultures and traditions with modern Western influence, using only wholesome and selective organic ingredients. They are dedicated to using all-natural ingredients without artificial additives, chemicals, colourings, flavorings, MSG, preservatives and trans-fats. About 50% of the menu is vegetarian with special focus on Low Glycemic and Gluten-Free options. No pork and lard is served at the restaurant."
Their key mantra, “Eat Consciously; Live Mindfully”.
With this in mind, they only used whole grains with a “No White Bread, No White Rice and No White Sugar” policy and healthier cooking methods such as baking, boiling, dehydrating, grilling, sautéing, stir-frying, steaming, steam-frying and sous vide are designed around the ingredients to enhanced the flavours.
I am all for healthy eating and living, but still what if it tastes like, you know, bland and boring? Or worse. My cooking?! Oh the horrors!
Well, I'm about to find out.
|Nicoise Paper Roll|
Noodles and Grains:
|Roasted Mushroom Soba|
|Hot & Sour Prawn Rice Noodles|
|Maritime Barley Risotto|
|Red Lamb Stew|
|Pumpkin Sea Bass|
|Pear & Salmon|
I thoroughly enjoyed each and every dish that was served. The explanations given by head chef, Jason Vito, when each dish was presented, gave us a whole lot of assurance that much care and details was crafted into each dish and carefully put together to ensure the flavours comes alive in every bite.
At one point, it got too much for me and I just blurted out to him, "How do you even know what to mix and cooked them together?!"
He looked at me and laughed.
"Well, alot of tasting is involved and you got to have alot of passion for it" he said.
Ahh. Tasting I have, passion, not so much. That explains my lack of cooking skills and why he's the head chef.
And it is also why at ONAKA, they make every meal an enjoyable one with lots of laughter and sharing.
"The joy of eating does not rely solely on food. It is the company, the sharing of food and the camaraderie that matters the most. Our unique Grazing Menu is designed to allow our guests to share a variety of dishes and taste new ingredients for the first time, without having to eat an entire dish on his own."
Not to mention, waist-line friendly too.
Thank you ONAKA for being such a kind and generous host!
ONAKA Restaurant & Wine Bar @ ARC
460 Alexandra Road
#01-32 Alexandra Retail Centre
Disclaimer: This was an invite for a review and no monetary compensation was involved.