Cheers to healthy eating with Green Croft!

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Situated on the first floor of the Galaxis building at 1 Fusionopolis Place, Green Croft is hard to miss with its inviting image. A combination of optimal lighting, minimalist décor and spaciousness draws you in for a much needed respite.

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My friend Wendy and I were invited over for a food tasting and so we headed down one fine Saturday afternoon to have a better understanding of the restaurant’s philosophy towards food and strong advocacy of healthy eating.

Mr James Chan, the co-owner of the restaurant, was already awaiting our arrival at the corner of the 60 seater site. The food tasting started off with a tour around the restaurant as Mr Chan explained the concept behind the establishment. One main takeaway from our conversation with Mr Chan was his reassuring emphasis on the establishment’s take on healthy eating, in which he hopes to bring “more awareness especially to the younger generation” of this new trend through Green Croft.

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We finally got on to looking at their order sheet and we were pleasantly surprised with the large array of options one can possibly include in his or her salad bowl. With portion sizes ranging from normal to supreme, you will definitely be satisfied regardless of your appetite.

The layout of the order sheet was easy to navigate despite the myriad of ingredients. After much consideration, we came to the conclusion that the only problem that you would encounter would be piecing together your favourite ingredients to get the perfect combination while working within the limits of the menu. The paradox of choice couldn’t be truer in this context!

If you don’t want to be caught in such a dilemma, simply pay a little bit more and opt for the “additionals” option. We’ll leave this decision to your stomach!

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Apart from the salad bowl as the highlight, the eatery also serves a few other dishes including the Sambal Crabmeat Pasta and a variety of drinks and sweet treats. We managed to try the Markisa, or passion fruit drink and the Crème Brûlée as well. A very popular Indonesian drink, the Markisa has the right sweetness to it and helps to wash down your food. My only gripe with it was the passion fruit bits included in the juice, which made it a little difficult to drink.

The Crème Brûlée was smooth and creamy, with a nice hint of the charred taste associated with the crispy crust typical of a nicely done Crème Brûlée, though it was a tad too sweet for my liking. At a reasonable price of $3.50, it would definitely end your meal off on a sweet note.

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Meet Ms Sriwati, the manager who was patient with our queries and made us feel right at home. Meticulously preparing our orders, she emphasised the importance of using only the freshest ingredients that constituted our salad bowls as she added each of them in.

Previously, in the preparation of the salad, the protein and the carbohydrates were first prepared inside the kitchen and added into the bowl, before the bowl is sent behind the counter on the outside for the addition of vegetables and toppings. However, this led to delays in service, which goes against the establishment’s commitment to speedy service. The salad bowl is now prepared in the reverse manner and this takes an average of less than 5 minutes even during the frenetic lunch period (12pm to 2pm). Talk about being efficient!

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Evidently, we were overly ambitious in our selection of ingredients and the choice of the size of the salad bowls. Overwhelmed with the presentation of the salad bowl, we couldn’t wait to dive into them, only to realise that such finely prepared masterpieces deserve a shot or two prior to messing them up with our ravenous approach to them!

The ingredients that stood out for us in the first bowl were the Smoked Duck and Tandoori Chicken Thigh – both were succulent and packed with much flavours! The duck had the right amount of fattiness accompanying the tenderness of the flesh, and we were also drawn to the chicken which offered a decent level of smoky aroma with each bite. Additionally, kudos to the restaurant for using fresh avocado in our salad, having the right taste and consistency typical of a nicely ripened fruit.

As for the other ingredients (Scrambled Eggs, Salmon Balls, Smoked Salmon and Brown Soba), well, they were pretty standard. In our opinion, the eggs and smoked salmon were a tad dry, the salmon balls had only a hint of salmon, and the soba was quite slimy as well.

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As for the second bowl, we were a little disappointed with the Sous Vide Grilled Salmon Fillet, which was overcooked and hence tough (with the skin almost burnt), as well as the Sous Vide Chicken Breast which exhibited the very reason why some people do not prefer this part of the chicken, that is being dry. That being said, the sauce drizzled over the chicken helped ameliorate the latter, making it taste less dry.

The Fusilli Pesto did not have much of the pesto taste, but it was al dente. Also, if you are not a big fan of strong tasting coagulated casein, you may want to reconsider putting the Goat’s Cheese as one of your options, although my cheese-loving lunch companion gave her seal of approval.

All in all, Green Croft offers a cosy environment suitable for a great catchup with your family and friends, and also a quick dining option especially catered for the working class. Although a few ingredients of the salad bowl did not match up to our expectations, the majority of them are still worth trying and would definitely sate your appetites given their generous amounts.

Besides, to entice you further, you can enjoy a FREE homemade drink (worth S$2.80) with any meal purchased when you flash your student pass!

Photo credit: Wendy Wong

Nicholas Ong
Nicholas is a fourth year Pharmacy major who (when not buried in his notes) is finding new ways to inject a dose of quirkiness into people's lives; after all, perfect is boring.