By Pattarawadee Saengmanee
The Nation Weekend
BILLING ITSELF as a one-stop dining and shopping venue for health-conscious people, Club No Sugar recently moved to new premises on Rama III Road large enough to combine the dining space, cafe and supermarket under one roof.
The brainchild of Pirat Reungronghiranya and his family, it opened last year on Rama II Road and with the move has expanded its culinary creations from Thai fusion dishes to ketogenic delights, otherwise known as the “keto” or very low-calorie diet.
Surrounded by tropical trees and plants, this 200-seat restaurant has a rustic feel with black metal and orange bricks contrasting with a mosaic floor and wooden furniture. A shady garden with a large fishpond stand in the middle of the property and serves as an outdoor dining space for those who prefer an al fresco ambience.
The Reungronghiranya family has teamed up with five chefs, all of them graduates of Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School, to create a wide selection of healthy keto dishes, pastries and drinks, ideal for those trying to lose weight or suffering from diabetes.
“I love eating and people around me have diabetes. That inspired me to learn about the ketogenic diet, which is now gaining in popularity in Thailand. I started by joining the Thai Keto Friend group on Facebook and found that keto dishes really helped me to lose weight,” says deputy managing director Pirat.
“The keto plan is made up of a daily diet of five-per-cent carbohydrate, 20-per-cent protein and 75-per-cent fat to reduce blood sugar (glucose) that stimulates insulin production. This helps the liver produce ketones from fat and use it as a fuel source for the body. It is a viable diet for anyone who is overweight. We get our healthy fats from salmon, olive oil, avocado and hard-shelled nuts.”
As the restaurant’s name suggests, the Club bans monosodium glutamate and sugar, instead using stevia, arhat fruit, erythritol and inulin. Lard oil and MCT oil extracted from coconut oil are used to cook all dishes.
Grilled Salmon Belly Salad
Rich in omega 3, the best-selling dishes are Grilled Belly Salmon Salad (Bt180) soaked in olive oil and a light Caesar dressing and creamy Spaghetti Carbonara (Bt220) featuring chewy konjac noodles, parmesan cheese and whipping cream instead of milk.
Other firm favourites are Spicy Red Curry with Roasted Duck (Bt180) and Fried Salted Chilli Blue Crab
(Bt350) in home-made garlic sauce that are best paired with tasty mashed cauliflower (Bt50) as a replacement for steamed rice. There’s also an option of low-sugar Kor Khor 43 rice for those not quite ready to give up on the national grain.
Perfect for sharing, aromatic Chicken Satay (Bt250) is marinated with spices, coconut milk and yellow curry paste and the Fried Cauliflower Rice with Prawns (Bt160) speaks for itself. Meat eaters will enjoy Premium Beef Striploin Steak (Bt500) in gravy. Using grass-fed, 45-day diet beef, it’s served with minced cauliflower and topped with baked mozzarella cheese.
“Many people think healthy food is always tasteless and not delicious. But for keto recipes, we just change some ingredients and ensure diners still enjoy the full flavours,” Pirat says.
“We also plan to offer a delivery service, frozen food and a healthy course in keto food.”
Red Curry with Roasted Duck and Mashed Cauliflower
For dessert, look no further than the cafe corner and its healthy Thai and Western sweet offerings. Don’t miss the Original and Cranberry scones (Bt75 each), which are made fresh every day and served with raspberry jam.
“We create new recipes for keto sweets using erythritol and gluten-free almond and coconut flour as well as whipping cream instead of dough and milk. Eggs, whipping cream, natural butter, coco powder and gelatin remain the main ingredients. We just adapt some techniques to ensure smooth textures and the original flavour,” pastry chef Jittima Sroikam says.
A soft Chocolate Muffin (Bt75) and Keto Bun (Bt60) come with caramel arhat fruit sauce and the Munchkin Cake (Bt40) offers a choice of coconut almond, coconut chocolate and coconut pandanus leaf flavours.
Other tasty treats are the Smooth Blueberry Cheesecake made with cream cheese and the Lemon Cupcake confected with almond flour and lemon cream and topped with fresh blueberries. Both are priced at Bt155. There’s also Raspberry Crepe Cake (Bt195), a blend of almond and coconut flour, egg and cream. The recommended Thai delight is avocado-like Look Choop (Bt195 for seven pieces) made with almond flour.
Blueberry Cheesecake, Raspberry Crepe Cake and Lemon Cupcake
Beverages include Iced Macadamia Butter Thai Tea (Bt180) and Black Coff Caramel (Bt180) extracted from Bolaven Arabica beans from Laos and fused with whipping cream and caramel malt fruit. Those wanting to avoid caffeine can enjoy ACV Pony Punch on Ice (Bt150), a mixture of apple cider, vinegar and passion fruit-infused kombucha.
The supermarket sells all kinds of ingredients for preparing keto food and pastries and the restaurant hosts a free monthly workshop on the keto diet.
CRAZY FOR KETO
>> Club No Sugar is on Rama III Road Soi 39 and open daily from 11am to 10pm.
>> Find out more or make a reservation at (063) 146 8224 or visit the Club No Sugar page on Facebook.