Cover Pete Fisher, co-founder, Nutrition Kitchen (Photo: Nutrition Kitchen)

The co-founder of healthy meal plan service Nutrition Kitchen reveals the restaurants he loves in Hong Kong and Singapore, what he misses most and where he goes for a guilty pleasure

“Never sacrifice on flavour.” That’s one of meal plan service Nutrition Kitchen’s key principles. While balancing the macronutrients in each of its dishes is essential, flavour is never forgotten.

“We approach each dish from a nutritional and flavour perspective,” says Pete Fisher, co-founder of Nutrition Kitchen and founder of ATP Personal Training. “We understand that there are some compromises that must be made in order to hit certain macronutrient targets, however we’re believers in going big on flavour and we use a wide variety of herbs and spices from around the world.”

As a result, eating healthily with Nutrition Kitchen tastes really good, with meals that range from sesame crusted tuna with shredded cabbage, carrots, red peppers, bok choi and shitake mushrooms, and green papaya and bumbu Balinese chicken salad with butter lettuce and nahm pla phrik, to seared rainbow trout with pickled beetroot, kale and blood orange vinaigrette on the menu in both Hong Kong and Singapore. Similarly enticing dishes can be found on Nutrition Kitchen’s meal plans across the UK, which launched in January 2022, with Makhani coconut chicken curry with broccoli and green beans; burnt miso chicken with pomegranate and pickled walnut salsa, roasted aubergine and courgette; and Moroccan chicken tagine with preserved lemon, spiced cauliflower and fennel among them.

One of the principles of Nutrition Kitchen is to provide “the foundational elements that allow clients to spend ‘discretionary calories’ how they choose,” says Fisher,. “This means that clients can be on Nutrition Kitchen during the week and relax a little at weekends enjoying meals with friends and family while still making progress towards their health and fitness goals.”

For Fisher himself, who is a personal trainer, strength coach and nutritional consultant, he says “most of the time I eat pretty healthily, and I’ve been doing this so long now that on a subconscious level I gravitate towards sensible choices. Typically this means focussing on protein first and avoiding really oily or needlessly starchy meals. I typically have more carbohydrates with my evening meals, or around training.”

But that’s doesn’t mean that his tried-and-tested favourites from his time in Hong Kong and Singapore are always on the “sensible” side. Pizza, dumplings and Peking duck pancakes all feature, as well as the odd burger, even if you will find an avocado toast among his recommendations. Having spent a decade in Asia, split between Hong Kong, a place he considers to be his second home, and Singapore, his return to the UK has found Asian flavours distinctly lacking. He reminisced about some of the highlights for him of Hong Kong’s and Singapore’s dining scenes.

 

What do you miss most on the food/drink front from your time in Hong Kong? 

I miss having access to so many different cuisines, brought to you by world-class chefs, on your doorstep. Hong Kong has a truly unique restaurant scene where you can walk between five-star restaurants in the heart of the city.

What would be the first dish you would go for when you came back to Hong Kong, and where would you go for it?

Dumplings at Crystal Jade at Hong Kong airport's arrivals hall.

Do you have a favourite restaurant in Hong Kong—for fine dining and for more casual experiences? 

While I was living in Hong Kong, the best spot for fine dining was Café Gray Deluxe at The Upper House, which I understand has been replaced by Salisterra. We went for the unrivalled views and phenomenal food. I have to give 22 Ships an honourable mention too. I enjoy the buzzy atmosphere and the great tapas—and it’s our culinary director Serge Theriault’s favourite spot in Hong Kong. For Chinese food, two of my favourites are Yè Shanghai and Ho Lee Fook. And Maison Libanaise was a good spot for a casual date night. We lived on Park Island and Little Mario’s, a two-minute walk from our apartment, served excellent pizza.

Related: Ho Lee Fook Reopens With New Head Chef ArChan Chan

Where did you ensure you always went with visitors to give them a real taste of Hong Kong?

We would always take visitors from out of town to City Hall Maxim’s Palace for the best Hong Kong dim sum experience.

Where do you like to meet up with old friends for food/drinks?

ABC Kitchen in Sheung Wan Cooked Food Market. It serves fantastic value food and is a great place to go for a unique, memorable dining experience; the BYOB set-up only adds to its appeal.

Do you have a favourite café in Hong Kong?

The Cupping Room was always good for breakfast and coffee; their avocado toast is unbeatable.

Is there anywhere else that you never miss visiting when you are back?

Shake Shack on top of IFC is a guilty pleasure.

What do you always take back home with you when you leave Hong Kong?

Bakwa for my father-in-law and children, and pineapple cakes.

Related: The Best Healthy Breakfast Spots In Hong Kong

What did you enjoy most about living in Singapore on the food front?

I loved the variety of dishes from hawker stalls. I find good Singaporean food is really difficult to replicate overseas; nothing matches up to the real thing from a great hawker centre.

Do you have any favourite restaurants in Singapore?

Imperial Treasure does amazing Peking duck pancakes, which have the perfect ratio of skin to meat. No Menu is a great Italian restaurant in the heart of the CBD. The English House by Marco Pierre White has an excellent breakfast. Hammee's was an awesome burger joint. Finally, I have to mention hawker centre chicken rice, which I have great memories of.

Where do you go to find authentic flavours of Hong Kong and/or Singapore where you live in the UK?

This is such a challenge. Our children have struggled with the transition to English food. Sylvie, my five-year-old, complains that “they don’t have chicken wings or soy sauce” at school lunches. Imperial Treasure in London has very good duck pancakes, but sadly there isn’t much available in Walton-on-the-Hill [a small village in Surrey, South East England] to satisfy cravings for Asian flavours.

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