I respect restaurants with morals, those neighbourhood haunts where environmental sustainability and conscious business practices are as important as the food itself.
Enter Yong Green Food
Whilst Yongs is not my local, I do tend to visit the north side just for a Yong fix.
It is a restaurant that “serves predominantly organic vegetarian food prepared according to ying and yang principles and using eco-friendly methods as much as possible”. They are committed to a low carbon future and also support farming practices. In fact, the toilet paper in the bathrooms is by Who Gives A Crap, a company that donates 50% of their profits to building toilets and developing sanitation in the developing world. Yup, this is a business with ethics, morals and environmental awareness.
Now about the food…
The menu is extensive to say the least. My first visit to Yong’s was slightly overwhelming. I couldn’t believe there was a place that offered so many different vegetarian dishes so it was difficult to choose. There is something for everyone, even the dedicated meat lovers would find tasty options.
Let’s start with dessert.
I’m quite the fan of their raw desserts, especially the green tea ganache. The portion size of the Green Tea Ganache is perfect, it is just enough to satisfy.
And now for the main course:
I always leave Yong Green Food feeling nourished, never bloated and full. This is a good indicator of the high quality ingredients used in the dishes. Wholesome foods are treated with love and respect before being presented so beautifully at the table. One of my favourites is the buckwheat pancakes. Rolled pancakes that are both light and dense (i hope you understand what i mean) and are filled with flavoursome shitaki mushrooms, cabbage and sprouts. This is a real winner. Buckwheat is one of my favourite ingredients, it is a seed and is related to the rhubarb family. Buckwheat boasts a number of nutrients, it has good carbohydrates that release slowly into the bloodstream- a winner for blood sugar levels and regulating mood. Buckwheat is also rich in protein so it promotes the feeling of fullness after meals.
Yong offer a dragon bowl and a macro dragon bowl. Why dragon when you can macro dragon- The macro dragon bowl comes with biodynamic brown rice, leafy lettuce varieties, red cabbage, shitaki mushrooms and other seasonal vegetables. It is accompanied with a tahini cream and miso soup. Tahini is rich in essential fatty acids and miso is a fermented food which our gut loves.
And now for the Nutrient Analysis:
Considering we are starting with dessert…
The desserts and many of the smoothies tend to be sweetened with Agave syrup. For some reason, agave has been adopted by the health industry as a nutritious sweetener. Agave originates from a cactus plant and due its glycemic index (effect on blood sugar levels) is suitable for most Diabetics. So I understand why agave has been touted as having numerous health benefits.
However, in actual fact, most agave syrups and nectars are highly processed. The finished product resembles nothing of the cactus plant of its origin, rather it is a highly sweetened product that has undergone far too many processing steps to be classed as ‘natural’.
Having said that, moderation in life is key. As such, if you share the desserts and view them as an occasional treat, it is okay to consume them.
For the main course…
As a nutritionist I often rate meals based on their ratio of vegetables. Veggies are always the hero! Yong Green Food does exceptionally well on this front. There are plentiful serves of veggies in every main dish. There are also nuts and seeds that are included in dishes which boost their fibre, protein and essential fatty acids content. This is all good news for the body and mind.
Yong Green Food serve food and drinks that are heavy in nutrients and flavour. There is something for everyone. However, I would love to see honey used as a sweetener rather than agave.
4 out of 5