Tender and juicy lamb cutlets drenched in decadent chocolate sauce. A flavourful satay burger served with fries and cola. And a rich and creamy chocolate cake.
These dishes may seem to be loaded with calories and cholesterol, but are actually leaner versions made by well-intended chefs to cater to increasingly health-conscious diners.
With one in two Singaporeans considering themselves overweight and wanting to lose weight by dieting and reducing their intake of fat and sugar, according to a Nielson report in March, it is no surprise that more eateries are now providing healthier alternatives to traditionally sinful meals.
VeganBurg, is one example. Singaporean entrepreneur Alex Tan started the local vegan burger chain in 2010 so that his two young daughters could enjoy healthy and tasty fast food, ranging from soy and mushroom burgers to potato spinach pops, tofu sausages, seaweed-flavoured fries and organic cola.
Its marketing and communications manager Katrina Hossen said they serve wholesome fast food, not junk food.
“For a lot of people, when they hear the term 'fast food', they will think, McDonald's and Burger King. But this is something new we are bringing to the table. This is healthy and wholesome and the whole family can enjoy it," she said.
“Our burgers don’t contain any animal fat or cholesterol. So the food's zero-cholesterol and trans fat-free. It’s guilt-free!”
Now expanded to three outlets and a kiosk, VeganBurg has earned praise from celebrities including Paul McCartney of The Beatles, Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders and more recently, Hong Kong actress Cecilia Cheung.
For those who prefer hawker food, The Green Room located at Bishan Park offers vegan laksa and rendang – minus the fat.