By Dimithri Wijesinghe
Photos Pradeep Dambarage
Natural Eats is one of those hidden gems we discovered while scrolling through the health section of Uber Eats – certainly a section in the app we never explored before. You can be sure to expect more “health food” reviews coming your way, now that we’ve fallen into this rabbit hole.
Natural Eats was a bit of a mystery to us as we couldn’t really find a whole lot about it on the internet, and so opted to go to the source; owner of the restaurant and all-round fitness enthusiast Rushini Goonathilake.
Rushini and her business partner Dilshan Basnayake came up with the idea for a health food stop when they were studying in England. They saw how eating healthy was a lifestyle in Europe and the West in general and realised that if it was to be part of your everyday routine, it had to be affordable.
Speaking about the intensely fair rates at Natural Eats, Rushini said: “It’s really not too difficult to keep it affordable. By definition, health foods go through less processing and most of it’s in a raw state, so it should cost less. We try to stick to local ingratiates, primarily.” However, she added that “there was a task in ensuring that the produce was fresh and of the highest quality.”
Natural Eats first started off as a stall at Good Market and are currently situated at CrossFit Ceylon, No. 50/14 Sir James Peiris Mawatha, Colombo 3, and they will open up their own space at the end of this month.
An interesting feature Natural Eats employs is the inclusion of a calorie count and then the breakdown into carbs, proteins, and fats, which is fantastic for those following specific diets. It also has multiple vegan options and Rushini – a vegetarian herself – understands how to make your veggie meal taste that much better.
If you are a new patron and receive your food for the first time, the portions may come as a surprise; at first glance, they don’t seem all too big.
Rationalising that the quantities may be justified considering the insanely low prices – and perhaps wondering if you made a mistake and are ordering from a hole-in-the-wall place that just claims to provide many items – as you start consuming the dish, you realise the portions are just right.
All of the food we tried was shared between two ravenous people and despite the fact that they were all single portions, we were totally full.
Breakfast bowl – Rs. 400
Yoghurt, granola, banana, and passion fruit jam – Cal 300
Delicious! For something that came with no added sugar, this one was tasty. Personally, I’m not a fan of granola as I think it tastes funny, but all of the other elements of fresh fruit, passion fruit jam, and smooth yogurt blended together beautifully.
My only complaint was that the granola tasted a bit stale, like it was left out longer than recommended – not as crunchy as we would’ve liked.
Spicy omelette – Rs. 300
Egg, veggies, spicy tomato puree, and curd – Cal 230
We ordered this one solely to round up our order and to cover a satisfactory number of bases. But we were so very glad we did.
The omelette itself was cooked well enough – no major gripes there – but when paired with the spicy tomato puree and the curd, it blew our collective minds.
However, it wasn’t that spicy – the spice was almost undetectable – so if you want some heat, steer clear of this dish.
Cold chicken salad – Rs. 400
Chicken, curd, parmesan, and olive oil – Cal 337
This one was probably the most basic of the lot; it was a standard cold chicken salad. The curd was a pleasant substitute to the usual drowning mess of mayonnaise.
We would’ve liked a little more parmesan, but I suppose it would’ve defeated the purpose of consuming health foods.
Basic protein shakes – Rs. 600
Whey double chocolate, skimmed milk, peanut ball, and banana
This one was a split decision straight down the middle – while one of us absolutely loved it and went to town, the other preferred a strong chocolaty taste and expected it so was somewhat disappointed.
It’s more banana than chocolate – a warning or an endorsement depending on what you like.
Electrolyte me – Rs. 300
Star fruit, spinach, local oranges, and thambili – Cal 74
A standard green juice with an interesting combination of flavours, it was slightly on the watery side but we believe that was intentional. The thambili functioned as a great medium that held everything together; this one was very nice.
There’s also the added bonus of feeling great about yourself as you drank this super healthy-looking green drink.
We enjoyed it well enough that we thought we should slowly make our way through the entire menu. The food tastes great, it’s affordable, and healthy – so why not!
Phone – 0771 359 161