MANILA — For the many who’ve included “lose weight” in their New Year’s Resolutions after the holiday binge fest, a visit to Zig for their healthy and happy selections may help with the continuing pursuit of health and happiness.
“Zig was borne out of the need. Because of the pandemic, we are forced to eat healthier to make sure that our immune system and our nutrition is really up to date,” said John Michael Hilton, CEO of Viscum Ventures, the company behind Zig.
As with all their concepts, Hilton and his team did a lot of market research before setting Zig up. One of their findings was that locally, eating healthy is seen to be prohibitive because of the high cost and the perception that healthy food is bland and boring. Hilton hopes to change all that with the pricing and menu at Zig.
The salads are big draws because these are filling meals by themselves. They say that the more colorful a dish is, the more it’s good for you. Green leafy vegetables make a great background for the rest of the filling ingredients. Another is that these aren’t the tasteless one-dimensional bunch of leaves that give healthy food a bad rap. Rather, these are packed with flavor and some even include carbs or protein for a balanced meal.
The menu even has handy icons for those looking for particular entrees (e.g., cholesterol-free, low fat, low sodium, etc.) to suit their diet.
Here are some of the healthy and happy highlights of Zig’s menu.
While there are the usual choices like Caesar’s salad, try out the more unique options like Hilton’s own salad, the No Big Deal topped with pears, dried figs and gorgonzola.
The salads can come with carbs and protein as with the Thai Beef Salad, with thin slices of beef cooked medium rare, with a spicy salty dressing, and the Fusilli Pasta Salad with pesto, tomatoes, olives, and Parmesan cheese.
The salads can be ordered as a wrap such as what Zig did with this burrito-like taco salad with chili con carne, beans, salsa, jalapeno, guacamole and corn.
While Zig started as a salad and wrap restaurant similar to those found in Australia, they also launched with pizzas available with either a sourdough or wheat bread crust. Their rectangular pizzas come with lettuce leaves and alfalfa sprouts and are great to make vegetable wraps.
Sushi bowls made with fresh tuna, salmon, and shrimp are available with either white or brown rice. There is an option to upgrade to quinoa for a small additional cost. Each comes with their own dressing like this shrimp sushi bowl has sriracha mayo on the side for an extra kick.
For drinks, Zig partnered up with Pure Nectar for healthy custom-mixed juices and with Happi Lab for kombucha served cold from the chiller.
Some Zig branches now open as early as 7 a.m. to serve breakfast. Part of the breakfast spread is an assortment of toasts, open-faced sandwiches on big slice of sourdough. Toppings range from sweet, as with the Strawberry and Lemon Ricotta with homemade granola, to the savory, like the Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese.
Zig’s signature Mini Croissant Cereal Bowl should be a hit with kids. The cereal looks and has the crunch of “inipit” and goes great with strawberries, edible blue flowers, and milk infused with tea from sister concept, T2.
Come back later in the day for tapas like Squash Blossoms with Napoletana sauce, Pumpkin Ravioli, Roasted Corn in Half Cobs seasoned with Paprika and Himalayan Salt, and Tuna & Avocado Tartare.
Wind down the evening happy and healthy with Zig’s fruity cocktails spiked with gin, bourbon, or liqueur.
Zig’s mall branches can be found at Robinson’s Magnolia, Glorietta 4, and SM City Grand Central. These are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Branches with al fresco dining areas are at Bonifacio High Street South, and P6 Greenhills in front of Promenade and are open from 7 a.m. Check out @zigfoodph on Instagram and Facebook for promos, and for delivery information.