How many of you have sworn to eat healthier for this year? Wow, so many hands? How many of you have eat healthier, eat lesser, exercise more, lose weight, get fitter or something of its like in one or all of your new year resolution(s)? Wow, even more hands? Especially with the Christmas and New Year holiday just passed us by, many of us are still carrying the excesses in our bodies. For us Chinese, we are dreading (or secretly rejoicing) for the coming Chinese New Year which meant more indulgences, snacks and extravagant meals to come. I bet we are already imagining the scale needle moving towards the right.
So let’s all try to eat a little healthier for this month, to shed the excess of last year’s indulgence while for us Chinese to prepare for the upcoming unavoidable feasting just around the corner. Just thinking of the tuin nim fan (reunion dinner) on the night before the Chinese New Year, I can already visualize a table kept filling with rich dishes one after another like where can only have it in special occasions.
Last year (I am still enjoying using that reference of as if long, long ago which could also just mean few weeks ago), Q and I went for a late lunch due to some unexpected circumstances, I would not want to mention here what it was as she might give me a knock on the head again. So, after the unexpected occurrence, I was feeling hungry as I haven’t had my lunch yet and since it is on the way back home, we dropped by Sri Hartamas for some healthy Korean jook (congee) at Bonjuk.
I read about this place once at KY (I seem to have read about many places there or have KY eats at all the places that could be eaten already?), since then I had always wanted to drop by to try it out. I am the type who are always in for some healthy food, the type who is eager to check out the organic shop and the type who would hop over to see what the fuss is all about some new healthier version of an old classic. I am also the type who would be attracted to a tweaked healthier version of a recipe, the type who would sneak in healthier alternative when she cooks or the type who would not resist having any healthy desserts (there are actually such foods). I usually would not bring J for such healthy options as for a big ravenous guy like him jook would not fill him enough, what more healthy jook? Luckily this time, I have Q to bring along to indulge (pun intended) that healthy part of me.
Bonjuk’s interior was simple and clean, and since it was at weird hour, neither lunch nor dinner, so it was pretty quiet with just another table of a mother and her son. We sat down and were served the menu immediately. We were spoiled many choices of healthy jook to choose from and if you are interested on it, do hop over at their website and read through all the choices and its nutritious benefits. Note: I have just checked, their website is currently down, do check back next time.
I ordered octopus and kim chi jook, as I have always been a fan of Korean kim chi (Korean fermented vegetable). It came in a striking orange hue, which had Q looking at it wide eyed; I was already salivating by then. It had a pretty unique taste, slightly spicy, slightly salty with hint of kim chi and sweet with the generous chewy octopuses. It was also mixed in with sesame seeds and seaweeds. It seemed to be made up of all the food that I like, healthy too I might say.
Q ordered shrimp jook, which was generous with prawns and chopped carrots and vegetables. It was also sweet and salty, with the right blend of tastes. The jook here are cooked with small grain rice that still have some bite to them, yet already in the form of stickiness. It was certainly a well cooked jook.
The nice thing is that each jook came with a set of side dishes, which can be refilled to one’s heart content; I did a few times! There were kim chi, though not the best I have tasted but for kim chi I am all for no matter how. Then there were the salted meat slices which were dangerously addictive and go really well with the jook. There was also a paste which I am not sure what of, but it was a bit spicy with hints of garlic. The final side dish was a bowl of soup which Q found really odd as it was more on the sweet side, yet it was suppose to be a savoury version as it had daikon and and chili in it, the most special part is that it was served chilled, with crushed ice. I found it quite a palate cleanser thus enjoyed it pretty well but Q stayed away from it. I guess indeed it was an acquired taste, and I believe I do have trained my tham jiak tongue to acquire many tastes, textures and temperatures in this case.
We washed it all down with green teas; mine the Korean rice green tea while Q, not such a fan of ‘ricey’ green tea ordered the plain one. I guess it was an acquired taste too?
The food was indeed good, filling and most of all healthy. Bonjuk claimed that their foods are made to order and as fresh as can be. After the meal I was still satiated late into the night, not feeling quesy(yes I have a sensitive stomach) or hungry easily. Instead I felt fresh! So thumbs up for a filling yet healthy meal and I would certainly go again whenever I have a chance out with girl-friends that are also the type who join in the healthy hype.
18, Grd Flr, Jln 25/70A,
Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur