Saturday, October 29, 2011

Some Like It Green with Madame Lawrence Aboucaya @ The Pomelo Restaurant, The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Ipoh

Did you know that a brocolli sprout contains higher concentration of nutrients per gram compared to a whole broccoli? 

That is one of many things I learnt from Madame Lawrence Aboucaya during the media review recently. Her restaurant in Paris is called Pousse-Pousse (which literally translates to sprout-sprout in French) and is a favorite of renowned chef, Alain Ducasse. 

Sprouted grains are germinated adult seeds which has been grown under lights so it develops chlorophyll. Chlorophyll deploys its preventive and curative protective virtues, including oxygenation, nourishment and reinforcement of blood -- therefore fighting fatigue, boosts health and increasing energy. They contain high anti-oxidants, and makes you feel full faster. A common sprout we can find in Malaysia is alfafa sprouts and can be integrated easily into your salads or sandwiches. 

One 30 ml glass of sprouted grains is equivalent to more than 2 pounds of green vegetable. Superfood indeed! 

"Some Like It Green" event, featuring Madame Aboucaya is available until 6th November 2011 at The Pomelo Restaurant in The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Ipoh, Perak. A special menu featuring organic, vegetarian cuisine (gourmet pleasure) is the highlight during the event. There will also be cooking classes this weekend for those interested in learning how to incorporate delicious organic food into their daily routine. 

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is a beautiful place, with gorgeous views of 250 million year old caves and the natural hotspring. 

The Pomelo Restaurant

Madame Lawrence Aboucaya

Madame Aboucaya is very passionate about organic, vegetarian food. Her favorite vegetables include asparagus, artichokes, peas and sweet potatoes. When asked what is her favorite ingredient in cooking, she answers "lemon" -- which she believes has many diverse uses in the kitchen.

Some of her favorite tools in the kitchen are slow juicer, steam oven, steamer, sprouters, and of course the dehydrator. Though some of her cuisine involves cooking food, most of them are raw -- raw or living food means none of the ingredients will be heated above 42°C. She believes that eating food as close to its natural state will enhance your health. 

Watermelon juice

We sampled some of her gourmet pleasure cuisine and was pleasantly surprised -- very tasty, well-flavoured and definitely NOT boring. The raw ravioli was our favorite; the turnip provided a crunchy texture and the hummus filling was delicious. We wouldn't have guessed this was raw. The sprouted chick peas are steamed for 3 minutes only, and then tahini, tamari, and lemon juice is added.

The tajine of root vegetables, one of the cooked dishes, was equally delicious. The organic pumpkin had a lovely natural sweetness, complemented by some chick peas and sunflower seeds for different textures.

Then, we moved on to the no sugar jelly made with pomelo and star anise. Madame Aboucaya uses minimal sugar, but if necessary she will use brown sugar. The gluten-free cake, made with almond powder, green tea and topped with raspberry was  also delicious. It's amazing that she can create such great tasting desserts without using dairy, butter or cream.

Quinoa with greens and lemon zest for added zing. Quinoa is easily digestible with high satiating power -- perfect for detox. 

The raw dehydrated crackers were surprisingly addictive, and would make a lovely snack. It is made with several types of seeds such as sunflower, brown and golden flaxseed, buckwheat, black and white sesame seeds. A very nice crunchy texture and nutty flavour.

Dehydrated lotus root and raw dehydrated crackers with seaweed -- the latter has a nice umami-ness to it. 

Beetroot and chilli raw dehydrated crackers

We also tried the soup from Madame Aboucaya's dinner menu -- green gazpacho soup (RM33), made from avocado, granny smith apples, cucumber and mixed herb topped with some raw dehydrated crackers. It was wonderfully tangy and refreshing to eat. We would have loved to try the desserts but unfortunately we missed last orders.

Other dishes on the "Some Like It Green" menu include:
Appetizer & Soup (RM33 each) - Live organic hummus of sprouted chickpeas, Thousand vegetable leaves, Velvety cold eggplant and almond soup.
Main course (RM68 each) - Quinoa with green vegetables, Soba noodles with raw pineapple and cashewnuts chutney, Tajine of root vegetables.
Dessert (RM29 each) - "Rawvioli" of pineapple, Phyllo pastry with banana and lime zest, Non-dairy ice cream.

It was definitely an interesting and educational experience for us. We definitely wouldn't mind including organic, vegetarian cuisine into our daily diet if it was always as delicious as Madame Aboucaya's food.

For previous post on Some Like it Green, click here. Please contact The Banjaran for more information on cooking courses available.

Full set of photos available to view here. Will be sharing more photos from The Banjaran soon.

Location: The Pomelo Restaurant, The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, 1 Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, 31150 Ipoh, Perak.

Tel: 05-210 7777


GPS Coordinates: 4.63082, 101.15617


  1. All the food look too nice to eat. If I have a chance, I would like to try.

  2. The green gazpacho soup certainly looks unique, with the shoots coming out of the soup as though it was a kinda mossy pool. :)

  3. what a great-looking retreat. it looks so peaceful and secluded, surrounded by beautiful scenes of nature! i'd love to stay here for a weekend someday! oh, and this special menu contains some ingredients i actually really like but rarely manage to eat: quinoa & tahini! :D

  4. I didnt know that. Have heard of this place but never been there before

  5. Fujiko: Very impressive organic, vegetarian food.

  6. LFB: Yeah, Madame Aboucaya's food are visually attractive - she puts a lot of thought into her food presentation.

  7. Sean: The retreat is tranquil and the villas are sooooooo gorgeous! You really shd go :)

  8. Small Kucing: First time for me at this resort too - am totally impressed! :)

  9. I think I might know where this is. :) hehe.

  10. The food looks so delicious and healthy! Guilt free, beautiful and tasty all at the same time.

  11. I stay in Ipoh all my life and I didnt know about this place till now.. thanks for sharing. now i will hop over to their website..

  12. oh my . . . so this is in Ipoh > . <! I though it is at East Malaysia yo lol!

  13. Nice place & great food. Next time we can stop by here before going to Cameron Highland. Thanks for the sharing.

  14. Wow did not know there is such a nice place in Ipoh. Got to check this place out! Thanks for sharing.

  15. the food does look exquisite

  16. Ms.Tindall: Yes, who would have guessed vegetarian organic food could look and taste so good?

  17. Reanaclaire: It's located in Tambun, so shd only take you 10 mins to get there :)

  18. Kian Fai: Hehe yeah, just 10 mins from Ipoh.

  19. PureHeart73: Just to let you know - only hotel guests and restaurant diners are allowed into this resort.

  20. QuayPo: It's fairly new - only opened since January last year.

  21. KY: Yup very visually attractive indeed.

  22. Yup, if only the retreat is not that expensive, would have considered doing a 3-4 days option here. And finally detox. Or back to the fray of eating and eating again ...


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