Healthy Choice introduces organic fine dining
Aruna Harjani, Contributor, Jakarta

The term "organic" within a restaurant's name might be a little intimidating for passersby.

Co-owner of Healthy Choice restaurant Steven Lie explodes the myth that organic food is less tasty than other food.

"There is no difference in taste between nonorganic food and organic. The only difference is the latter is healthier to consume because the ingredients have not been sprayed with pesticides nor given a hormonal injection," he said.

Organic food should be free of sugar, pesticides, preservatives, chemicals, gluten, trans fats, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and hormonal injections: everything-free except for the price.

Steven said that the plants and animals are raised minus the chemicals or pesticides.

The Healthy Choice in Kemang, South Jakarta, is a three-in-one hub. As you enter the place it is a supermarket where you can find everything from onions, garlic and carrots to maple syrup, plus a counter for bread.

At the back is a restaurant and on the side a detoxifying clinic.

The restaurant is handled by two chefs. Dayu Ratnaintan deals with the food and Antonius Sibarani ("Anton") the pastries and bread.

Chef Dayu supervises the cooks, making sure that the food served retains its high-quality taste.

"We don't use Teflon, microwave or aluminum when cooking the dishes. We use only glass pans or pure stainless steel for health purposes.

"There is nothing to worry about concerning dishes such as spring roll, which is fried. We use grape seed oil, which has a high smoke point, and is also a high source of antioxidant.

"We also don't use MSG. Instead, we use G-seasoning and for the soy sauce it is replaced with liquid aminos, which have a low level of sodium. For sugar, we use black molasses, which is highly recommended for diabetics," she said.

Bread and pastry chef Anton has been baking since he was 8 years old. By the time he was 12 he started taking orders, thanks to his maternal grandparents and mother, who are bakers too.

His carrot cake is made from brown and rice flour, cornstarch, olive oil and shredded carrots and sugar, topped with a scoop of vanilla soy ice cream.

Chef Anton claimed that his carrot cake is both sugar-free and gluten-free.

"I want to help people change their food lifestyle the fine-dining ways. It doesn't mean that just because you are into health foods you can't be a gourmet," he said.

The Healthy Choice started when Riano Sutanto Budiharsana, also the co-owner, opened a detoxifying clinic.

As months passed by she saw the need for her clients to replace their regular diet with health foods; she asked Steven Lie, a retailing expert, to help her establish a supermarket and restaurant.

As the months went by more and more people became aware of the need for using healthy ingredients and, by word of mouth, they expanded their business; the Kemang premises is their third branch.

Healthy Choice says it "represents hope for the future, while recognizing that all of us are simple human beings looking for a better life for ourselves and our children".

Healthy Choice Restaurant
Jl. Kemang Raya no. 32
South Jakarta


tel. 7198482