When you think of KCal, you probably don’t think gourmet. If you’re like me, you might think one step further: bland, boring, diet food.
But last month, the Le Méridien Miya Seyahi launched Gourmet by KCal – a restaurant that aims to challenge your preconceptions about healthy dining.
The KCal team and the Le Méridien chefs have worked tirelessly together to develop recipes that are both nutritious and delicious. They have a 100% gluten-free kitchen and use fruits, veggies and eggs sourced locally. Most ingredients are organic where possible. The fish is caught wild. And in classic KCal style, you get an analysis of calories, fats, carbs and protein.
The atmosphere is relaxed with a modern, rustic look. There’s a live olive tree in the middle of the restaurant and the seats are upholstered with free-trade burlap coffee bags – not the softest of fabrics, but hey, it looks good. There’s also outdoor seating overlooking Barasti for when the weather’s nice.
You’ll find recipes that are inspired by a range of cuisines – from Tex-Mex (such as their chili con carne – minus the carne), to a Havana chicken, to Vietnamese spring rolls, to their black rice biryani.
These chicken spring rolls clock in at only 224 Kcals. They are plain, simple and taste very healthy.
As the kitchen is gluten-free, your pizza will come on a veggie-based crust. This light barbecue chicken pizza is on a thin crust made of zucchini. But if you prefer more beta-carotene, you can choose a crust made of carrots.
One of my favourite dishes was this black and brown rice biryani with smoked chicken. They call it a “traditional” biryani, but if you know anything about Indian food, it’s far from anything traditional. But the crunch and chew of the rice was delicious and the sauce was rich and flavourful. This is one of the higher calorie mains, which is probably why I liked it – one serving will set you back 603 Kcal.
One of my favourite desserts was the caramel almond tart – a walnut and almond tart with a liquidy coconut caramel filling, CasaLuker 85% dark chocolate and fresh raspberries. (609 Kcal)
Below is the dark chocolate mousse, made with CasaLuker 85% dark chocolate, avocado mousse and an almond date crust. This dessert looked divine but the taste didn’t really do it for me. (587 KCal)
Verdict: Not everything was to my taste, but it’s still a great place to go if you want to feel good about what you’re eating. Better still, you can even get a glass of wine with your meal.
Note to self: Stay tuned – breakfast launches on 10 June.
Gourmet by KCal
Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
Tel: 04 511 7139
Chow for now!