Last week, I was invited to try Healthy Day along Banawe St. in Quezon City. I was totally blown away by the food by the time we were done! Literally surprised and awestruck! Food presentation level: Iron Chef.
I wondered why I hadn’t noticed the place before – I drive through Banawe at least once a month or once every couple of months for some reason or other. Healthy Day was well-lit, looked hip, new and clean, and I was curious but a bit hesitant to try “healthy food” – imagining being served raw vegetables, lettuce and sprouts.
One of a Kind Drinks
The front of the restaurant looks like a typical coffee shop while the tables for serious dining are at the back.
Here’s their coffee shop menu:
We were given some drinks to try, and the one I liked the most was the Caramel Nuttychilla (P155 for the biggest cup, similar to a venti size). It’s a coffee-based frappucino-type drink, but the thing I really liked about it was that it did not feel heavy, even if it was creamy. The ice was also crushed and blended very, very fine – they just melt in my mouth immediately! I couldn’t even feel any ice crystals!
If you like green juice, the Lemon Matcha (P155 for the biggest cup) is also very good. I find matcha to be an acquired taste, but I really liked this one, too – this is the drink I liked second best. It’s a green juice and it’s matcha, so it’s obviously going to taste like leaves and grass, but it actually tastes clean and refreshing.
The Oatmeal Mochachilla has very finely ground oatmeal, so you can get some healthy fiber while drinking your mochachilla! This is not a kind of drink I see in other places!
They Grow Their Own Herbs / Vegetables
On one side of the restaurant, there is a plant incubator where they grow their own vegetables.
Right now, they are growing some wheatgrass, basil and arugula.
About Healthy Day
By now, you must have realized that this coffee shop/restaurant, as its name implies, is serious about serving healthy food. You might be wondering what this restaurant is all about, and why there is an obsession with healthy food.
The owners are doctors by profession, and Healthy Day Restaurant is an extension of their desire to help their patients eat healthy. Most people, me included, think that eating healthy food means sacrificing taste and flavor and being forced to eat boring and bland food. But the meal I had at Healthy Day made me rethink what is possible in terms of healthy eating. Not only are their dishes healthy and delicious, but the food pairings are inventive, and the presentations are works of art.
Aside from food, there’s also a Healthy Day Spa right beside the restaurant, where you can get your pampering services while sipping on one of their Nuttychillas.
When I arrived at the restaurant and started perusing the menu, my first thought was, “Oh, it’s so expensive!” The main courses started at P360, and the seafood and beef ranged from P500-680. But after trying them all, I changed my mind and now actually think that they are very good value. The food is prepared very well, the servings are generous, and the presentation is so pretty! If I were to order something similar at a hotel or other high-end restaurant, it would be at least P800-1,500 per dish, and the servings would not be as generous. I find the food served at Healthy Day to be at the same level, if not higher, than, more expensive restaurants. Take a look at these pictures and tell me that they are not Food Level: Iron Chef!
And on top of the food being good-looking and mouthwatering — THE FOOD IS HEALTHY!
I find the dishes big enough for sharing.
This is my favorite dish – Dill-Crusted Salmon with Carrot Potato Mash (P560)
They used lean salmon here. I found the salmon creamy. The pesto, the honey mustard sauce, the decorative herbs, all helped to make this dish a symphony of flavors. I also liked the carrot potato mash – the potatoes seem to have been roasted before mashing (boiled potatoes are usually more gummy). I found the mash substantial, well-seasoned and rustic. I didn’t even notice that I was eating “healthy”. I did not miss the usual abundance of cream or butter at all.
Writing this now, I am suddenly beset with a craving for this salmon! It’s really good. I think this dish will feature in my food dreams for a while
I also loved this Chicken Roulade with Wild Mushroom Risotto (P380)
The risotto is made with brown rice to make it healthier. I liked that the risotto had some “bite” to it because of the brown rice. The chicken roulade was also seasoned well, the red-wine reduction making it sweet and giving it added depth of flavor. And I love wild mushrooms, what can I say?
This Filet Mignon with Garlic Potato Mash (P680) is also good. The beef is cooked just right (medium) and is very tender. It goes very well with the mushroom sauce on the side. Again, I love the sauteed fresh mushrooms on top of the beef!
Here are some of the other dishes that we got to try:
Grilled Chicken Salad (P280) – I kept coming back for seconds, thirds and fourths. The dressing was sweet and light and reminded me of coleslaw.
Kani Roll (P160) – this one is very filling because of all the vegetables.
Tomato Mozzarella Salad (P310) – tomato filled with pesto & bread crumb filling, topped with mozzarella and baked!
Roasted Asparagus & Bell Pepper Aglio e Olio (P190)
Spinach Pumpkin Carbonara with Salmon (P220)
We had lovely desserts of Oatmeal Crusted Mango Cucumber Cheesecake Souffle and Oatmeal Crusted Strawberry Cheesecake Souffle. The oats add fiber and texture to the crust. The cheesecake is lightened with yogurt to make it healthier, too. The combination of mango and cucumber may be weird, but I kind of like it.
The wait staff were very knowledgeable about the food. I was impressed because this is actually rarer than you think. The staff knew the complete name of the various dishes, and they could answer our questions about the food, they are familiar with herbs, they knew the ingredients that were used to make the dishes. I found them very engaged in their work.
FYI, Healthy Day also has a service where they can prepare your meals for you according to your dietary goals/restrictions (for example, you can tell them you want x calories per meal). The price is around P2,200 for 15 meals (3 meals x 5 days), but at the moment, they deliver only within the vicinity of the restaurant.
I originally thought the restaurant prices were expensive, but after seeing the quality of the food, I think it is well worth the price. I would even think it a good value, considering that other restaurants would charge more for this level of food.
I found the food combinations inventive! I truly did not expect to find such great food at a small restaurant like this. As an added bonus, all the food is healthy – minimal fat, minimal unhealthy stuff, maximum flavor and good use of herbs. They really do make an effort to make the dish healthier by incorporating more good veggies into your meal.
Someone said that eating at Healthy Day made eating healthy not feel like a punishment. I say, their food makes eating healthy seem like gluttony! If this is what I am going to be served, sign me up for healthy eating!
Address: 739 Banawe Street, Brgy. St. Peter, Quezon City, Philippines
Contact #: 0917-6381391 & 871-7753
Hours: Mon – Sun: 8:00 am – 10:30 pm
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The Barat Queen
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