Inspired by the song name by blur, Parklife is set to be a trendy, hip food establishment for everyone. From carnivorous meat lovers to vegans and everything in between
BY SYED ZAID
I want to promote something I am passionate about. I am very into sport, I realised that athletes’ performance stems from a good diet.”– Ewen Lim
TO BE honest, I’ve always thought ‘healthy food’ as a not-so-marketable term in general. In my mind, the term usually comes with the expectation of the food to be tasteless, bland and boring. It’s ironic since I’m writing for a health magazine but I still haven’t grown out of my sugar-loving phase. However, I still like to keep an open mind – and the culinary world has made its stride in terms of healthy food preparation.
Located at The Sphere in Bangsar South lies Parklife, a Mediterranean restaurant which aims to provide wholesome, good, delicious and nutritious food. The Health team was welcomed by the founder, Ewen Lim – an entrepreneur with a passion for food and sports.
With the vision and taste profiling from Chef Ling with decades of gourmet experience under his reign – and that is an understatement, Parklife is set to be an innovative move. It is to usher the new age of healthy, yet delicious cuisine, catering to all customers.
The restaurant features a welcoming front. The terrace is filled with luscious greenery, decorated with green painted beams, which creates an ambience to calm the mind.
It generates a contrast to the hustle and bustle of city life surrounding it. The wooden bench and table décor gives Parklife its rustic atmosphere. The display window features 12 varieties of scrumptious vegetable dishes. Located next to it, is the pastry section, an island of home-made desserts with vegan and gluten-free options.
Upon reaching there, we were welcomed with a small chit-chat session with Ewen Lim.
She said: “I want to promote something I am passionate about. I am very into sport, I realised that athletes’ performance stems from a good diet.”
That said, Lim’s goal is looking to make the athletes’ diet to become the staple for the general public.
The vegetarian platter
After a cooking demonstration from Chef Ling, we were presented with a vegetarian platter – served on a paddle. An untraditional combination that feature grilled zucchini, eggplant, Portobello mushroms and capsicum slices, along with raw frisee and radicchio lettuce, accompanied by a plate of tahini sauce, hummus, and the Romesco sauce, grilled halloumi cheese and raw goat cheese cut into cubes. To top it off, the platter is decorated with pomegranate and chickpea, seasoned with mixed herbs and various spices.
We started the platter with the halloumi cheese as recommended by Chef Ling. The grilled cheese gives off an aroma that reminds you of the sea. It has a chicken-like consistency, chewy on the outside and thick on the inside. The caramelised surface of the grilled exposed surface creates an additional flavour to the sour, yogurt-y taste of halloumi
cheese. On the other side of the plate; I still remember the way that the goat cheese crumbled in my mouth.
The grilled vegetables were something worth talking about – grilled enough to tenderise the vegetable but not to lose its texture as the chef doesn’t take lightly to overcooked, mushy vegetables. I especially like the grilled eggplant slices. The flesh is cooked well and the skin holds the consistency together – so that it doesn’t fall apart when lifted. They go well with the tahini sauce especially. The sweet and sour taste of the sauce compliments the well-seasoned eggplant slices.
Finally, their signature hummus holds up to the hype. It has a great consistency to latch on to the pita bread. A splash of olive oil and fresh pomegranate makes a great dipping sauce for everything on the plate. It had excellent consistency and texture that goes well as a condiment with anything. We had some to take home and have them with a slice of white bread. The hummus tasted as fresh as it was after a day in the refrigerator.
To wash the meals down, we were given a serving of kombucha and lemon flavoured water kefir. All in all, the experience was worthwhile, from the well-thought out concept to the chef’s vision and the founder’s aficionado in making an impact in the overall Malaysian diet. Needless to say, Parklife is truly admirable and has won my interest when it comes to healthy meal restaurant options. While it doesn’t do much for my personal palette, I would definitely recommend the establishment for those who are seeking healthier options where they do not compromise on taste. 7/10.— The Health
The vegetarian platter, suitable for those who are trying to lose weight or do a meat cleanse for a day. A healthy dish to satisfy one’s appetite.
What actually is the Mediterranean diet?
THE word “diet” normally puts a bad taste in some people’s mouth. Some would hate how restrictive most trendy meal plans are, and most would not be convinced they’re actually good for you.
However, the Mediterranean diet isn’t about counting calories or cutting out entire food groups.
A typical Mediterranean diet includes lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, cereals and cereal products. Wholegrain bread, pasta and brown rice for example. It also contains moderate amounts of fish, white meat and some dairy.
It’s the combination of all these elements that seems to bring the coveted health benefits, but one of the key aspects is the inclusion of healthy fats. Olive oil, which is a monounsaturated fat, is most commonly associated with the Mediterranean diet.
Research into the traditional Mediterranean diet has shown it may reduce our risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are all risk factors for heart disease. Researchers have also found that people who closely follow a Mediterranean diet may live a longer life and be less likely to put on weight.
To put it simply, the Mediterranean diet has no preservatives. It is freshly picked, plucked and cooked. — The Health