Smart dining and "resto-hopping" class

Posted by OmarTarakiNiodeFoundation
06 November 2012 | blogpost

A day before Halloween we were invited by Women’s Health Indonesia magazine to attend It's Good To Be You Smart Dining Class, one program of the Jakarta Culinary Festival 2012.

The newly published media earlier announced a contest on their social media pages, promoting an opportunity for readers to do restaurant hopping at three renowned eateries in Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, and learn how to choose healthy food from a variety of  menu.

Social House 

Selected guests gathered at Social House – Restaurant, Bar and WinePost where Angela Wahyuningsih the Editor of Women's Health Magazine Indonesia warmly greeted us all.

“This is a special event,”Angela said, “as it is not just dinner, but an opportunity to experience an exciting culinary evening and learn from Emilia Achmadi, MS.RD., a nutrition expert.” She went further by citing numbers from the World Report Menu released by Unilever Food Solutions: 30% of the people who visit restaurants come to entertain or to be entertained, while 42% spend a lot of money to have good but unfortunately unhealthy meals.”

Emilia Achmadi led the first dinner by passing tips for healthy eating when visiting a restaurant:

  • Choose a clean restaurant that follows food safety standards
  • Notice the balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat in selecting food from the menu
  • Watch the amount of sugar content, when consuming food and beverages. "Sugar is the new drugs,"  consuming too much sugar will affect your health.
  • Eat and drink before you are hungry and stop when you are not fully satisfied yet.

Angela then invited one of the Social House’s chefs to introduce all the foods presented: Salad Mix Vegetable, The Bleus Salad, Barbeque Baby Chicken with Sambal Bajak, Sushi and Sashimi.

Emilia pointed to Sushi as the best and healthiest. Sushi contains balanced carbohydrates, protein, fat and vitamins. It stands out for its fresh and raw ingredients.

Pasta De Waraku 

The second place we visited was Pasta De Waraku, a casual restaurant offering a range of Italian traditional dishes with Japanese ingredients and flavors.

Chichi Bernardus the Chief Editor of Women's Health Indonesia who just came from Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, a world food event in Turin joined the class,  welcoming and urging guests to be more selective in choosing their food.

Pasta de Waraku offers 80 different Japanese Pasta items, serve in large portions. “There are pros and cons of visiting such an outlet,” said Emilia.

The Pros are the large food variety that delight guests, more affordable meals and sufficient portions to be shared with friends and families, while The Cons are:

  • Patrons often prefer tastier food such as meat and chicken, rather than more healthy food such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Guests who come to an all you can eat restaurant are usually pressed for time and consume whatever offered
  • Food waste is unavodable as visitors pile food on their plates without finishing them

At Pasta De Waruku we relished a range of food from Tomato Meat Ball and  Prawn Avocado Basil to Lotus Beef, Cold Pasta and Salmon Salad.

Of all the appealing dishes, Emilia favored Lotus Beef  as it contains carbohydrates, protein, fat and vitamins. It was also well presented and captivating. Prawn Avocado Basil while delicious has a lot of fat content.

Emilia directed our attention to the condiments on the table. The more items available on the table such as pepper, cheese, sauce and salt,  indicates that the chef does not have a sense of the visitors’ preferences.

Sushi Groove 

The third eatery for the evening was Sushi Groove, a trendy and casual sushi bars.  Here we took plaasure in tasting Chicken Udon, Tako Tuna Roll, Sashimi Partie, Deep Forest Roll, Sunshine Salad Roll and Mega Maguru.

Emilia’s favorite was the Tako Tuna Roll, again for its balanced carbohydrates, protein and fat. Deep Forest Roll has too many carbohydrates with mayonaise mixed in it, providing too much fat for some.

Knowing the event will soon come to an end, the group bombarded Emila Achmadi with questions. 

“Is it true that eating durian fruit (Durio zibethinus) will make make a jump in your cholesterol level ?” To this question from Chichi Bernardus, Emilia said the culprit is not the durian it self, but consuming it excessively will trigger the liver to signal the brains that there is a high jump in the cholesterol level.

“Will eating hot food along with consuming cold drink damage the digestive system ?” Emilia responded to Dian Anggraini’s question: “consuming hot food hot along with cold drink will not harm the digestive apparatus as they will be immediately adjusted to our body temperature. The damage, however, will be on your teeth.”

Healthy keepsakes

Questions lingered, but Emilia Achmadi had to end the inspiring evening. She shared more tips: “to be a healthy person observe the food and beverages you consume. Drink lots of water,  eat less sugar, exercise every day and have enough sleep. Adopt a healthy lifestyle from now on.”

Group photos become our memorable keepsakes of Smart Dining with Women’s Health Indonesia.


Images: Omar Niode Foundation, Women's Health Indonesia.