Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Oxymoron - Mana! Slow Fast Food

Oxymoron is a literal technique that puts two opposite words together to draw a bigger contrast: consider beautiful ugly, etc. But oxymoron does not only appear on books: it exists in real life as well, say the new vegetarian cafe called Mana! Slow Fast Food along Wellington Street right next to the always-busy Nga Thrang.

Slow eating and fast food - yes. I believe what makes eating 'slow' at Mana is the quality and meaning behind the food, while 'fast' refers to the speed and way of serving: similar to most fast food chains, you self yourself and wait for your number to be called. But Mana definitely has more to offer than plain, unhealthy 'fast' foods.

I was there one afternoon, looking for a light lunch to-go. The place was full of customers, mostly foreigners, happily chit-chatting at the al fresco seats outside the cosy interior. The cafe uses recycled chairs and tables, and only bio-degradable packages, 0% plastic is allowed. They also serve filtered drinking water, sell environmental-friendly books, soaps and etc.

Back to food. Menu is simple here, offering salads, flats, wraps, a few desserts made of raw chocolate, shakes, juices and organic coffees. But carnivores will not be bored as there are multi-colored, fully flavored vegetarian salads on offer at $55 for a small box. I felt too stuffed for even a small salad so I settled for just a juice - time for some detox as the week comes to an end.

Only 3 kinds of juices were available: sun, earth, or the green. Apple appears in all three, which I bet is to add some sweetness to the otherwise 'vegetarian' juices. I find beetroot tempting so I ordered a 'earth': apple, beet, carrot, celery, to go, which I had to pay an extra $2 (or 5% of the total bill) for the package. I felt guilty not eating in immediately.

The juice was slow to be ready, which came in a non-plastic cup and a paper straw (yes, it's made of paper!) The first suck was pretty 'rustic' as I could taste the rawness of the celery and a slight hint of apple-sweetness. But as I sipped more, my tastebuds were more and more refreshed and I started to be able to distinguish the different tastes of veggies in the juice: the earthy flavor in the carrots: the crispiness of the celery: and the body of the beet, and strangely a hint of ginger spiciness too.

Albeit its price ($45), it was a delight to drink as my taste buds had long been any more refreshed and rejuvenated. I guess that's what slow-eating and vegetarian diet is all about: freeing your sensations from the artificial, chemical, unhealthy greasy food you throw in to satisfy your hunger, almost like giving your senses a spa treatment on Bali or something. It was as refreshing as that.

Eating like it matters is what Mana is all about. Not only does it do good to your own body, it also does good to our Mother Earth. So next time when you wander around in Central thinking where to have lunch, give Mana a try, and give environment a chance.

Mana ! Fast Slow Food

好食到彭彭聲 [paang4paang4seng1]
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