Food News, Lifestyle

Food Review: Fish & Co. Under 500 Calories Menu – Matthew Fam

Enjoying the same great recipes from Fish & Co. without bursting your calorie budget? This is totally possible with the restaurant’s new Under 500 Calories Menu. 

It’s no secret that we love to dine out. According to a 2010 health survey, 60% of Singaporeans eat out at least 4 times a week. However, dining out doesn’t always mean eating healthily. Firstly, it’s hard to gauge how many calories you’re consuming when your meal is presented on a large platter. We tend to finish whatever is on our plates, as we psychologically feel full only after its been cleared. This gives way to consuming excess calories.

How then, can we strike a balance with maintaining our calorie intake while still enjoying our favourite restaurant meals? Enter the new Under 500 Calories Menu by Fish & Co.

Healthier Portions of the Same Recipes You Love

Fish & Co.'s Under 500 Calories Menu contains 11 portioned dishes so you don't burst your calorie budget.

Fish & Co.’s Under 500 Calories Menu contains 11 portioned dishes so you don’t burst your calorie budget.

Fish & Co. partners with the Health Promotion Board to offer portioned-controlled meals that are less than 500 calories. The restaurant’s Under 500 Calories Menu features 11 favourite Fish & Co. dishes that have been re-portioned to cater to healthier diets.

You are even given a choice on how you wish to have the dish served. Sides are interchangeable- so you can opt for a serving of steamed vegetables in place of rice, for instance, while still keeping the dish below the set calorie amount.

Plus, these portion-controlled dishes are priced at 40% off their standard counterparts. Set from $7.95 to $11.95, you can do away with the misconception of paying more for healthier food, and enjoy them at reasonable prices.

Clinical dietician, Jaclyn Reutens explaining the importance of portion control.

Clinical dietician Jaclyn Reutens explaining the importance of portion control.

Why 500 Calories?

Clinical dietician Jaclyn Reutens, was at the event to share how this magical number came into play. She tells us that the recommended intake of calories for females is pitched at approximately 1700 calories. Sounds manageable? A single food court meal can go up to 800 calories per serving. And that’s not inclusive of the desserts we usually enjoy after! With this set target of 500 calories per meal, you can easily fit three within each day and sneak in a snack- all while keeping within your calorie allowance.

The Taste Test

Seafood Spaghetti, 376kcal.

Seafood Spaghetti, 471kcal. $10.95.


When I first ordered the Seafood Spaghetti, I thought having smaller portions meant measly smatterings of seafood chunks. But instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find my plate dressed with ample servings of prawn, squid, and mussels.

Moreover, with the option of having whole wheat pasta, one serving of this dish gives you 7g of fibre (out of a daily recommendation of 20g). I liked how its tomato-base sauce had the right amount of tang to compliment the seafood.


Grilled Salmon Cajun, 443 kcal.

Grilled Salmon Cajun, 443 kcal. $11.95.


I was also pleased to know that the same great taste of my favourite Fish & Co. dish (the Grilled Salmon Cajun) was not compromised, even though its portion had been reduced. The fillet wasn’t overcooked and remained succulent on the inside.

Even though I didn’t finish one serving feeling completely filled, the portions are adequate. Fish & Co.’s Under 500 Calories Menu isn’t designed to be a feast of epic proportions, but is instead a sensible way to enjoy the restaurant’s tasty dishes without breaking the calorie bank. Be it an outing with family, friends or dates, these portioned servings will satisfy your cravings and keep waistlines in check.


Material World was invited for a tasting at Fish & Co. and was not paid for this review. All opinions are the author’s own.

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and contributing beauty assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines. Follow him on Instagram at @mattjfam.



Food & Supplements, Health & Fitness

The Lazy (and Greedy) Girl’s Guide to Healthy Eating – Denise Li

I'm a long way away from reaching Gwyneth Paltrow levels of healthy eating ...

I’m a long way away from reaching Gwyneth Paltrow levels of healthy eating …

One of the biggest misconceptions about me is that I’m a very healthy person. People usually draw that conclusion when they find out I exercise on average four times a week, but nothing could be further from the truth. Regular exercise is only one-half of the healthy equation and, in fact, recent studies have shown that it is, in fact, the smaller half; it’s been suggested that for optimal health and weight management, diet could play a bigger role than exercise.

Well, that’s just really shitty news for someone who has no problems putting in gym time, but can’t stay away from ice cream. While greed usually gets better than me, I’ve recently vowed to change my diet, one tweak at a time. I’m motivated by the fact that I suffer from frequently flagging levels of energy, and I’m also curious to see how much my boxing and running performances will improve, along with my diet.

But changing my ways was not easy … I’m not just someone who eats bad food regularly … I eat bad food in large quantities. For instance, I think NOTHING of polishing off a whole pizza by myself, and I get territorial if someone wants a slice of my pie (get your own, dammit!!!). Most of the times, my meal choices are also motivated by convenience, rather than conscious choice.

The task seems gargantuan, but I’ve found out that little tweaks can translate into big results so without further ado, let’s delve into them.

1. Cut sugar where you can

Recent reports have shown that woman should aim to consume less than six teaspoons of sugar a day. If you have four cups of tea or coffee with a teaspoon of sugar each (the norm for me), that means you’re close to maxing out your sugar limit … and that’s not even taking into account sugar in food! So now, instead of 3-in-1 coffee, I opt for the sugarless variety instead. Did you know a packet of the regular Ah Huat White Coffee (my favourite brand) with cane sugar contains a whopping 186 calories?! Buy the “siu dai” (less sugar) version, and that brings down the calorie count to 135. Get the sugarless version and the calories drop to just 86 calories. That’s 100 calories saved PER CUP when you make the switch to sugar-free instant coffee! I drink around three cups of these a day, so that brings my total calorie savings to 300. Just like that.

Some people don’t like how things taste with no sugar added, but that’s just cos your tastebuds have gotten used to the taste of sugar. Stick with sugarless coffee for a few days and I guarantee you’ll soon find it quite palatable.

2. Plan where you’ll be dining in advance

This is really important for people who rush through mealtimes or eat on the go. Whenever you chance upon a restaurant or food stall serving up healthy nosh, note it down. I have an Evernote list just for healthy eating places, which I whip out whenever I feel pressed for time and tempted to just grab whatever’s quick and convenient. The thing is, healthy food choices are in abundance these days, especially if you’re working in the CBD, so it’s pretty hard to use “I couldn’t find a place selling healthy food” as an excuse. Recently, Material World did a post listing some of our healthy food joints. I’ve also found Stretch City to be a great resource for discovering new smoothie and juice bars and the like.

3. Drink lots of water

Sounds like a no-brainer, I know. But I think it’s worth rehashing anyway. Your brain sometimes confuses the signals for hunger and thirst, so feeling peckish could be more a sign that you’re dehydrated, rather than hungry. Since I started consciously drinking more water, I no longer get attacks of the midnight munchies as much as I used to.

4. Stop thinking that healthy eating = deprivation

Just today, I had an amazing baked brown rice from Real Food at Central. It was stuffed with chunky mushrooms, tomatoes and beans, and topped with a thick layer of cheese which made it truly hearty and satisfying. Was it THE healthiest choice I could have made? Not exactly … but it was a whole lot better than my usual food choices (like bak chor mee and chicken rice). Another yummy dish I tried recently was the green shakshukha from Mediterranean vegetarian restaurant Pita Pan, which was topped with an egg so I got a protein fix too.

Food made with quality ingredients and fresh produce can also be extremely tasty, on top of being healthy, and the full flavours go a long way in making the meal a satisfying one. My portions are still large, but I never get that disgusting, overstuffed feeling as I do after I’ve eaten a McDonald’s meal.

One day, I might actually get around to making my own food, but for now … baby steps.

About the Author: Denise Li is a founder of Material World and a freelance writer-editor. Before that, she spent a few years in the Features section of CLEO and Cosmopolitan Singapore. She considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home and makes it a point to head there for a yearly pilgrimage. She’s also a fitness buff and enjoys boxing, running and the occasional yoga session. She thinks hummus must be God’s gift to vegetarians. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets.

[If You Like This, You May Also Like]

4 Carnivore-approved Healthy Eating Places

Sunday Healthy Sunday

My 3-day Vegetarian Challenge