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Food of Life, glow @COMO Shambhala

News   •   Feb 25, 2014 13:19 GMT

Perfecting the art of reclusive luxury the renowned wellness retreat, COMO Shambhala Estate is a haven for those looking for a tranquil hideaway. Thankfully, its breezy restaurant, ‘glow,’ welcomes outside guests to enjoy tasty, thoughtfully prepared food with panoramic views over a steep gorge
carpeted in thick tropical rainforest.

Meaning ‘sacred place of bliss’, COMO Shambhala Estate Ubud pays homage to the mythical Shambhala – the enlightened kingdom of ancient Tibetan egends. As it’s signature restaurant, ‘glow’ serves up healthy cuisine guided by the philosophy of retaining the nutritional integrity and ‘life force’ of food. There is no dairy, no sugar, nothing processed, and the use of local organic products guarantees absolute freshness, as well as support for local farmers. We start with some cleansing juices, including the Lean and Clean, which is a shade of lush dark green, that you just know makes it good for you, and includes a tasty blend of apple, fennel, spinach, celery, spirulina, and green pepper, with a crunchy addition of crushed macadamias. The Blood Builder features the popular combination of apple, beetroot and carrot, and spices it up with a kick of turmeric. Australian-born COMO Group Executive Chef Amanda Gale, is based here in Bali and oversees cuisine at COMO properties world wild. Her menu at ‘glow’ includes raw food dishes, lean fish and meat and healthy Indonesian fare. Everything we try is crisp, wholesome and brimming with vibrant colour, starting with a lightly grilled Zucchini Carpaccio, scattered with soft tender crab, fresh soy beans, and piled high with watercress infused with tangy hints of mint, fennel and preserved lemon. The Fragrant Grilled Fennel and Sumac Spiced Salmon is imbued with citrus overtones, while the delightful quinoa that accompanies it contrasts the savoury crunch of grain with sweet juicy bursts of pomegranate. The Spelt Flour Tortilla with Black Beans, Quinoa, Sweet Corn, Guacamole and Cashew Cream,
presents a tasty, full Mexican flavour without the dairy or calories.

People often think raw food is confined to salads and juices, but actually that’s just the beginning, and I am curious to try some of the ‘glow’ raw dishes – as preparing varied, tasty food without cooking it, takes great skill and imagination. Advocates claim a raw food diet is the healthiest, as ingredients retain enzymes, vitamins and proteins which are often destroyed by the cooking process. The secret to keeping it interesting is the use of a dehydrator which gently heats food to 40 degrees, without actually cooking it. This keeps all the nutrients intact, and here at ‘glow’, creates the fabulous cracker-like base for the Macadamia and Pumpkin Raw Pizza topped with a savoury and sweet mix of avocado, pineapple and mango. As much as I enjoy raw food, I am a little sceptical about the Chilled Cucumber, Aloe Vera and Avocado Soup with Soursop Sorbet that I spot on the menu. My mind is thinking avocado, cucumber, in a dessert? But what a wonderful surprise, and this turns out to be my favourite dish of the day – a thin, sweet soup, topped with shredded young coconut mingling with zesty ginger and fresh mint, and a slightly tart soursop sorbet. I have to admit, I have eaten like a trooper, but this is the beauty of healthy food, you can do that and be left feeling satisfied and totally energised, rather than that more usual feeling of heaviness that follows a big meal. Sunday Brunch is also highly recommended. Alison

glow @ COMO Shambhala Estate | Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod, Payangan | P +62 361 978 888 | Open 10.30am - 11pm

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