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Healthy Valentine Dining at Florabel

In search of a place to have a romantic but healthy dinner this Valentine’s? Florabel restaurant at the Podium in ortigas might just be the place for you – with its healthy dishes, South Beach Diet versions of flavorful mouthwatering dishes and cozy ambiance – you need not go far for that perfect romantic date. Florabel’s reputation for serving good healthy food precedes its name. Ask a savvy restaurant diner if he knows of a place that serves healthy fare, and chances are that Florabel will be mentioned. Having been around for only a year, the restaurant has already managed to create a niche of its own, especially among health-conscious diners.

Named after its owner and prominent restaurateur Chef Florabel Co, the restaurant is conveniently located at the ground floor of one of the metro’s most posh malls, The Podium, at the heart of Ortigas’ business center. First-time guests will be greeted by the restaurant’s homey interior and spacious dining area. With a second floor eating area, the restaurant can seat around 80 guests. The restaurant’s walls are adorned, with beautiful flower paintings, staying true to the meaning of its namesake, which means “beautiful flower”.

And with dishes especially made for diabetics like sugar-free desserts and South Beach versions for most of the food in its menu – Florabel is a haven for diabetic couples and families, and all those who love their heart and their health.

Spreading the South Beach wonder
One of the most popular attractions of Florabel is its South Beach menu. Although Florabel’s cuisine can be generally classified as continental, a lot of the dishes in the menu can be prepared South Beach-style. The South Beach Diet, popularized by. an. American doctor, Arthur Agatston, relies on the premise that you can “lose weight, banish cravings, (and) shrink your belly – without feeling like you’re hungry.” According to Dr. Agatston, the South Beach Diet is not low-carb nor low-fat, rather it teaches a person to choose the right carbs and right fats to lose weight, lower cholesterol, reduce one’s risk of heart disease and diabetes, and get rid of cravings without feeling hungry.

Chef Florabel’s fascination with the South Beach Diet comes from her experience of trying the famed diet herself. “Prior to the opening of this restaurant, I was so inclined to the South Beach Diet. I lost 30 pounds with it!” she says. Chef Florabel says she has been doing the South Beach Diet for three years already and that “it’s very effective.”

Because of her experience with the South Beach Diet, plus good response from people like some doctors recommending their patients to her for her South Beach recipes, Chef Florabel decided to put up a restaurant where health-conscious diners and those with special health conditions like diabetes, can enjoy their meals without feeling guilty.

“People nowadays are very health-conscious. Even the nondiabetics are very conscious of what they eat, they usually settle with sugar-free [fare] even if they don’t have diabetes,” Chef Florabel says. For such picky diners, Florabel offers South Beach versions of meals from soups, . salads, steak, pasta, to sugar-free desserts, all of which, according to Chef Florabel, are made with “natural ingredients to bring out the flavor
of the food.”

For starters, you can have the South Beach version of some of their soups like:

  • Onion Soup “The Classic Way”;
  • Vegetable Barley Soup with Fresh Herbs;
  • Tomato Soup with Ricotta Cheese and Arugula

Meanwhile, all their salads can be done South Beach style. They even have the Diet’s version for a Tenderloin Beef steak. And for pasta lovers, you have a choice of whole-wheat or multi-grain pasta for your enjoyment. Chef Florabel says that the South Beach Diet version of the dishes she serves her clients were the dishes that she tested herself and made her lose weight. Some of these delectable dishes that have South Beach versions are the following:

  • Pan-Seared Prawns and Scallop in Lemon Caviar Butter Sauce with Three-Rice Risotto, Dried Cranberries, and Almond-Flakes
  • Pan-Fried Chilean Sea Bass with Potato Puree and Sauteed Spinach and Mushrooms in Pommery Mustard Sauce
  • Lapu-Lapu Stuffed with Prawn Mousse in Leek Sauce with Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Vegetables

Diabetics can also have a feast with the restaurant’s sugar-free dessert selections:

  • Sugar-free Chocolate Decadence Cake (or A la Mode with Sugar-free Vanilla Ice Cream)
  • Low-fat Ricotta Cheese Cake with a Muesli Crust
  • Sugar-free Ice Cream
  • Fresh Fruit Plate

For diabetics who want to eat carbs, Chef Florabel mentions that they also serve good carbohydrates in the restaurant like barley, wild rice, brown rice, and violet rice which she says are healthy and high in protein. Even children who dine with their parents on weekends have a separate menu specially created for them. Some of the yummy dishes in the children’s menu are the: Chicken Burgers with Mushroom Gravy and French Fries; and the Hamburger Steak with Buttered Vegetables and Mashed Potatoes.

At Florabel, you can be assured that you will be treated to a great dining experience as the staff is willing to go beyond the usual service to ensure your eating pleasure. For one, they accommodate special requests from customers; like you may request for your food to have less salt or less oil. Chef Florabel says the order-takers are knowledgeable when it comes to special requests like that and the kitchen staff will gladly accommodate such wishes from customers.

Even for their catering service, they offer salt-free, sugar-free and healthy versions of dishes from appetizers down to desserts. For private parties, the Chef says they also accommodate requests for particular cuisines to be served, even if those are not part of their regular menu. Chef Florabel shares that as part of their special treat for Valentine’s, they will serve all sugar-free or all diabetic food for the set menu on that day. And since Valentine’s Day is a busy day for most restaurants in the metro, Florabel requires that you call for reservations so you may enjoy their healthy dining offerings.

So this season of love, pamper your heart and your tummy with healthy food and delight your soul with a pleasurable dining experience. You never know – Florabel might just be the perfect place for that perfect Valentine date.

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