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CBD Trail - Eating Clean

12:00 PM , , 0 Comments

Following the greens post, I decided to check out the online options of eating clean without having to move an inch from the office. Laziness does come at a cost.

A number of these online offerings worth with gyms to offer gym bunnies and health nut wannabes like myself more options. In this game of convenience lies two camps - the heat and eat and the other, eat it straight.I am not an advocator of the microwave, hence the reviews done are solely one ready to eat meals without intervention.

Everything is electronic - zero interaction with any over enthusiastic helpline nor pushy people in the queue where I need to check my options furiously and hand it over for processing. All is done with clicks of a button and lunch was on its way. 

So does "whatever tastes good is probably not good for you" stand true?

This convenience however is strangely only applicable to folks in acccessible areas - far flung areas after Jurong East are beyond the reach of these providers. 


Cost per meal: $10 - 12.95.
Delivery charges: Applicable depending on location, free within hotspots of Raffles Place

I was gifted a token to check out their services and food. 

They pride themselves for helping diners achieve "abs made in the kitchen" - really cute way of connecting with the gym bunnies and health nuts. If anything, their quest to help everyone eat better is laudable.

Despite being one stop away from Raffles Place, I was immediately not considered to be part of any "Grain Hotspots" and that meant the privilege of personalizing my grains and getting the delivery fees waived instantly disappeared. Life rule 101: Being in the good books and on the right side of things always works. Orders for same day deliveries close at 10am, great for last minute folks.

I played around with the system and realised that my $25.90 lunch would come with a $17 delivery charge. OUCH. I also did not like the fact that I cannot combine orders from their Grain Personalized and weekly menu.

However, if I chose to bother myself and take a bus or train down for $1.80 two ways, I save that $17 charge. Truth be told, even a cab fare down and back would not cost me $17. While the tip is to order in bulk to save on delivery fees but how many people do I need to bring the delivery costs to $1.80?

My booked timeslot for delivery was from 1215-1245pm and they promptly arrived with a phonecall minutes shy of 1245pm. Naise. The courteous delivery guy handed me my orders and there were at least 20 other lunch boxes next to mine. 

Customizations up the notches for Grain! Lovely touches mesays.

Are you ready for lunch?

Grain Creation ($13)
Stirloin steak (+$3)

With three sizes available for their salad sets, opt for one to fill the hunger pangs!

I picked a base of organic mixed grains, stirloin steak, grilled tofu, edamame beans and brocolli with a side dressing of soy with wasabi and citron. All salads come with complimentary arugula and salt and pepper seasoning. 

I wish my sirloin steak slices were served medium with that tinge of pink but being packed in boxes does cause over cooking to continue and I suppose that is understandable. 

Tasty and very hearty salad with a spot on flavouring. Who says healthy food has to be limited to steaming, braising and blanching? I relished the organic rice grains right to the last and boy was it delicious. Sesame oil was used generously throughout, rendering it a tad oily but I am not complaining.

Grilled Saba on Japanese Salad with Soba ($12.95)

With a menu that changes weekly, it is truly a case of catch it while you can! Fresh saba without a trace of its usual fishyness and the fruit salad with soba made up for super heartyness in a box. It's a bento gone super healthy and all for a tune of 495 calories.

I liked everything about Grain - the convenience, userfriendly website, pocket friendly prices (I suppose saving on rent in the hotspots of CBD area helps loads), tasty courses and weekly menu changes. They even bothered to check why I was not purchasing anymore meals - the guilt trip does work.

That being said, I do not fancy the very odd pricing model for delivery charges. Unless I am stuck in Pulau Ulu for instance, I do have a dozen other cheaper options.

As of September, they have shaved their exorbitant delivery charges to just $9.50 flat for a minimum delivery of $30 islandwide. Good move methinks. 

Food Matters

Cost Per Meal: $7-10 (Upsize to gym portions $2.50)
Delivery Charges: FREE

They offer catering services at a subscription fee starting from $40 a month to $140, the unit price of each meal would vary from $7 - 10, working on a concept of economies of scale. Prices listed are inclusive of delivery and each week there are six choices to pick from.

Mexican Bean Salad with Steak 

My first lunch delivery arrived bright at early shortly after 11am, so it sat out until my designated lunch hour before I tucked into my very hearty 396 calorie lunch. I loved the heat from the spices, a tongue tingling kind of delicious and the steak was done tender. Strange thing is, there was no cutlery provided with my meal.

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon

My lunch was very pale looking, the glazed salmon and greens. Thankfully honey soy was such a strong tasting condiment that salmon actually tasted really good, skin included when I usually shun away from the limp skin.  

Salmon Cilantro Fishcakes with Miso Salad

It looked like it weathered a storm even before arriving at my desk this time round. Tasty salmon potato cakes and a quinoa salad that was on the oily side. 

Finally, cutlery is delivered with my order. 

Hummus Veggie Wrap

On my final order for this subscription, they somehow arrived so late - the first three orders all arrived before 12 noon and even at 11am once! I had to communicate with an email address on the status of my wrap though technically the delivery window of 11am to 130pm is too wide for any food to even be considered fresh. Granted at cooked food is best consumed within 4 hours by buffet standards, I may very well be happier ordering a wrap just downstairs. I am already leaning towards Grain for their half hourly time slots and truly, waiting 30 minutes is more bearable than 2.5 hours.

It finally arrived at 1245pm much to the amusement of my colleagues. Sloppy and without cutlery. This inconsistencies are finally getting to me and thankfully it is the last of my monthly subscriptions.

Communications are clear - one day before the order arrives and the morning before! 

The only grouse I had was it comes without utensils (intentionally or not, I cannot tell) and the monthly subscriptions rolls on if you forget to cancel. Even when you do, it becomes a credit for future redemption which involves a fair bit of memory work!

Cancellations are done with a click of a button, easy peasy and fussfree.

Icon Village

#eatyourgoals is their philosophy and armed with a five prong approach - perform, soothe, shape up, glow and build, meals are designed for these purposes. While they do not do delivery yet, their nutritious meals are cooked on the spot and resemble food that gym bunnies would love.

Rightfully this should not make the cut for this post but sharing IS caring!

Cauliflower Fried Rice, Chicken and Asian Veggies (($9.90)

Packed with wok hei, the coarsely chopped cauliflower rice passed off as fried rice though strictly speaking this would have been a stir fry at best. Delicious with egg strips.

Thai Fish Cakes with Super Green Salad ($10.90)

I fell for the thai fish cakes that turned out to be flimsy pieces of fish cake and chillies. The salad was less desirable since it is mostly packed with lettuce.

Of the lot, this was least satisfying, it could have been my choices but I am just not about raring for a return.

It is quite an irony having food delivered and not moving my butt one bit when lunch time should really be spent buring some calories walking around town - but the internal struggle with heat and comfort these days.

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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