It was all by accident on a Saturday evening at around 6 pm, wondering around the Uptown area in the rain and its busy streets without an umbrella, we chanced upon this little place quite by accident as there was a carpark there and we just stood long enough at the entrance to realize there was a café upstairs.
Now I am not too keen on upstairs cafes unless it is Korean simply because it is a known fact that Korean restaurants are usually on the first floor, so we trodded up these green staircase and soon we entered this little cosy unassuming place.
We seated ourselves, rather casual with radio music playing in the background, it was a little homey actually, perhaps a home of a student living in a fairly nice place, that’s what came to mind when I was looking around, or perhaps it was all Ikea Furniture that looked so familiar but unfamiliar because this was a restaurant setting.
So we waited, staff seemed to be busy and then this guy comes up to take our order. Expecting him to go on and on in Mandarin or Cantonese, I was quite surprised when he spoke in English. There was not much food left as it was a weekend and they close Sundays so we took one of each item that was available.
Now being a cook I half expected to see some cooking action. But everything was done in a quiet manner, so this gave me time to walk around the place.
So being the busybody I looked at their products.
It seems Nutreat sells grains and these grains are also used to cook their foods and desserts as well as their drinks. Now I came across grains I never heard off in my life. Coix Seeds, Poria, Cassia, Leaek Seeds, and Pueraria just to name a few. They even had onion seeds. It was like walking into Diagon Alley make your own spell shop.
So our food came. We had a Burger, then I thought, “hey this is vegetarian” and it was a homemade veggie pattie made by the owner himself and the taste was pretty impressive. I was not too keen on the bun but I was told later that the owner was going to be making his own bread in the café. This I certainly would like to taste because I find the burger buns are always a big let down, and this being a healthy food café, I think concocting your own bread would certainly be a better choice. So do expect real bread in the next week or so. This was told to me simply because I commented on the bread.
As I don’t like sauce in my food especially burgers or hot dogs, I think the salads and the hint of mint sauce which was something truly different. It did give a nice aftertaste to something that would have tasted ordinary. I like this. Even just the patty with the salads would be nice.
In fact I wish they would sell it just like that, like a “steak and salad platter” of sorts.
Then Nutreat Grain Spaghetti. Everyone’s face changed because we actually saw grains, unlike some places that advertise grains and then it’s like bird droppings. Not Nutreat, I was quite baffled how the spaghetti sauce actually tasted like spaghetti sauce. It has buck wheat, celery seeds, kidney beans, soy beans amongst the many beans we noticed because it finished a little too fast. And I was also quite shocked that this had no onions and garlic and still tasted like a real wholesome sauce. So there you go, true blue vegetarians can come to this place for a nice meal.
What I liked about this spaghetti was it was just the right amount. A spaghetti, with a nice enriching Nutreat Smoothie would just be the perfect dinner for the weight conscious. So I should talk.
Then we had Sze Chuan Rice. Made of soft tofu and hum choy, I thought it looked insipid till I took a small mouthful. It was pleasant and had just the right flavor with the rice. I don’t think it would taste well on its own but with the rice it was just perfect. The peppery spiciness and the chilly spiciness blended well with the tofu.
It sat on the palate pleasantly as I was told to write this down. And it did.
As a non meat eater for the past three weeks, I think this place was just ideal, and the food was not overflowing that you left the place all bloated.
We also had Nutreat”s version of Steamed Rice, which looked a lot like fried rice. Nice and simple and no feeling of overeating and it was not fried. Didn’t taste oily as well. This is a shonky photo though.
We did have Smoothies but somehow it didn’t turn out as photogenic as the name sounded, so perhaps you go and judge for yourself. I feel this place needs a lot more support seeing that it is just about 2 months old. The owner is always opened to suggestions and he seems to be constantly trying to improve things even when we were there.
Do check their facebook, Nutreat Grain.
All in all, it was a nice evening, by the time we finished, the rain stopped. Now how I wish something like this existed where I lived, so much easier than the nonsense sold around me.
Nutreat also has another outlet in NSK in Kuchai Lama. But they only sell the powders over there.