While quinoa is not new to the dining scene in Singapore, it has become a more mainstream grain over the years and is not only used as a staple for salads. The grain is sold in supermarkets and organic shops, which carry a variety of quinoa products such as chips, wraps and even “milk”. And now many restaurants are serving up quinoa and grain meals as part of their menu. Try these 13 restaurants for the yummiest and healthiest dishes when you dine out:
Text: Eunice Quek/The Straits Times
What: Modern Chinese restaurant Xin Divine has an interesting take on millet with its Chinese Polenta ($8). The homespun Sichuan dish uses nutritious millet and grits in place of rice and the grains are cooked with steamed pumpkin in chicken stock. The sweet and savoury porridge also includes dehydrated pieces of youtiao (dough fritter), a shelled crab claw, huai shan (Chinese yam) and truffle foam.
Where: 10 Duxton Hill; open: noon to 2.30 pm, 6 to 10 pm (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays
Info: Call 3100 0030 or visit www.facebook.com/XinDivine
What: Known for its soba and brown rice bowls, Wheat also offers a dish of quinoa with chicken ($12), which comes with grilled chicken thigh, pumpkin, mesclun salad, corn, tomatoes and cranberries. Quinoa, as well as Bhutanese red rice, is also offered as a topping choice for the Design Your Own Bowl option at its newest outlet at Marina One. Bhutanese red rice is a gluten-free grain and replaces the brand’s usual brown rice option.
Where: All Wheat outlets including #B2-33 Marina One, The Heart, 5 Straits View; #B1-08 Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road; and #B1-32 One Raffles Place; various opening hours
What: The new Verde Kitchen at Hilton Singapore offers a variety of locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, as well as gluten-free and vegetarian options. For your grain fix, opt for the Super Food Organic Spinach & Quinoa ($25) with green apple, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate and extra virgin olive oil; or the organic amaranth and rice pasta ($28), with local tomatoes and mushrooms, sweet basil and parmesan.
Where: Level 2 Hilton Singapore, 581 Orchard Road; open: 10.30 am to 5.30 pm (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays
Info: Call 6730 3397 or e-mail VerdeKitchen@hilton.com
What: Quinoa is used in two ways – blanched and lightly seasoned, or dehydrated and fried – at Peruvian restaurant TONO Cevicheria. The popular Causa Lima ($22) is a Peruvian potato salad with aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow chilli pepper), crabmeat, tartar sauce, tobiko, avocado puree and red quinoa. Other options include Yellow Pituco ($24), with yellow tuna, chilli vinaigrette, crispy quinoa and plantain chips; and Huatia ($32), with roast pork, mint and coriander sauce served with beans and crispy quinoa. Its new menu will feature a seed called kiwicha or amaranth, which comes from The Andes. It will be used as a garnish for dessert.
Where: 01-49/50 Duo Galleria, 7 Fraser Street; open: noon to 2.30pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), 6 to 10pm (Tuesdays to Thursdays), 6 to 11pm (Fridays and Saturdays), closed on Mondays
Info: Call 6702 7320 or visit www.facebook.com/TONOCevicheria
What: The Make Your Own Healthy Bento menu has many quinoa-based options, including The Bento People’s signature Quinoa “Fried Rice” with sous vide chicken, eggs and beans; Quinoa Lemak, white quinoa with cold-pressed coconut oil; and steamed quinoa with a choice of white, red, black or tri-colour. Prices start at $10.90.
Where: 02-17 CT Hub, 2 Kallang Avenue; open: 11.30am to 3pm (Mondays to Saturdays), 5.30 to 8.30pm (weekday dinner), closed on Sundays and public holidays
Info: Call 6443 2006 or visit www.thebentopeople.com
What: RVLT wine bar used to have a burnt cabbage with barley dish and now it has another grain-based dish on the menu – kohlrabi, crab, quinoa and tamarind ($21). Its chef-partner Manel Valero is also working on a chocolate terrine dessert with sea salt and buckwheat.
Where: 38 Carpenter Street; open: 5.30 pm to midnight (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays
Info: Call 9388 1436 or visit winervlt.sg
What: Rang Mahal’s quinoa upma is cooked with olive oil and spices such as asafoetida (from the dried sap of giant fennel), curry leaves, fresh ginger and mustard seeds. The fine-dining Indian restaurant also uses ragi (finger millet) to make dosa at its live-cooking station. Both items are available for Rang Mahal’s lunch buffet ($58++ a person, Sundays to Fridays).
Where: Level 3 Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard
Info: Call 6333 1788 or visit www.rangmahal.com.sg
What: Selected restaurants under The Prive Group offer the Awesome Superfood Bowl ($16), which includes quinoa, kale, broccoli, goji berries and cherry tomatoes; as well as Mediterranean Salad ($16), which includes chickpeas, puffed buckwheat, roasted zucchinis, Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes and blueberries. An upcoming addition to the menu is Mexican Taco Quinoa Salad, with quinoa, butternut squash, black beans, Hokkaido corn, red peppers and smashed avocado.
Where: Most Prive outlets including Keppel Bay, 2 Keppel Bay Vista; 01-02 Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place; and 01-33 Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street; various opening hours
Info: Visit www.theprivegroup.com.sg
What: It may still be a long way to this year’s Dragon Boat Festival on June 18, but Tangerine at Resorts World Sentosa is already planning to bring back its rice dumpling, which includes quinoa, lotus seeds and konbu. It will be available in its 5-in-1 Dumpling Festival Package of gourmet rice dumplings presented in a three-tiered bamboo steamer. The package also includes dumplings from Resorts World Sentosa’s other restaurants, such as Feng Shui Inn and Forest. Pre-orders start from May 1 till June 15.
Where: Tangerine, Espa, Level 1 Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway
Info: Call 6577 6688 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
What: Italian restaurant Aura’s salad bar ($21.80++ a person for weekday lunch, 11.30 am to 2 pm) features grains and seeds such as amaranth, couscous, quinoa, farro, spelt and barley in offerings such as quinoa salad with Japanese cucumber and tomberries; farro with roasted peppers and caramelised onions; amaranth couscous with confit tomatoes, parsley, raisins and pine nuts; and spelt salad with fava beans, lentils and candied orange.
Where: Aura Sky Lounge, 06-02 National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road
Info: Call 6866 1977 or visit www.aura.sg
What: The next time you pick a base for your grain bowl at Grain Traders, opt for quinoa instead of the usual soba noodles or brown rice. Pearl barley and bulgur wheat are available too. All grains are dressed in extra-virgin olive oil. Its new signature bowls ($16) – Hen’s Nest and Senor Hombro – both feature quinoa along with other proteins and vegetables.
Where: Outlets at CapitaGreen, 138 Market Street; and 01-03/04 100AM, 100 Tras Street; open: 8am to 8pm (weekdays), 11am to 8pm (weekends at 100AM outlet only)
Info: Visit www.grain-traders.com
What: Start your day with supergrain bowls from SPRMRKT Daily. The restaurant offers Aburi Salmon Bowl ($20+), with quinoa, torched salmon cubes, sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, and sous vide egg; and a Veggie Bowl ($19+), with quinoa, grilled zucchini, roasted eggplant, charred vine-ripened tomatoes, hard-boiled egg and savoury sesame dressing.
Where: STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, 41 Robertson Quay, 01-01; open: 8 am to 4 pm daily
Info: Call 9736 4032 or visit www.sprmrkt.com.sg
What: A mainstay for online restaurant Grain is its Tofu-Powered Tabbouleh ($9.50), with aubergine, roasted pumpkin and bulgur – a whole wheat grain. An upcoming dish from March 12 to 26 is Jamaican Jerk Chicken And Freekeh ($13.95), with tikka masala sauce. Freekeh is a whole grain made from green durum wheat.
Info: Order online at www.grain.com.sg or via the Grain app on both iOS and Android. Meal-box orders are available on weekdays and catering is also available for large groups and events daily.