I’ll get straight to the point. Imagine a low-calorie four course menu created by a Michelin Star chef. Too good to be true? Well, imagine that the number of calories for the four courses totals no more than 800 (not including wine). Seriously.
Well that’s what I experienced last week at Hotel Xenia where I tasted Alberto Rossetti’s Cucina Evolution menu.
In case you haven’t heard about Cucina Evolution, its theories are based on a healthy eating concept whereby the menu is guaranteed to be calculated under 800 calories. This may seem a little extreme but when you think about how sedentary our lives have become compared to when it was decided that women needed 2,000 calories per day and men, 2,500 it completely makes sense.
So what was on this menu? Don’t think lettuce. In fact, there wasn’t any salad on the menu which not only surprised my tastebuds but introduced a combination of ingredients which I had never considered before – as you will see.
For starter, we had a mix of calamari spiked with mint, Maldon salted pistachios and edible flowers – all of which swam in a pea and cream soup. The calorie intake was equivalent to 40 grams of rice. But most importantly, the starter was delicious. I particularly enjoyed the blend of the pistachio and pea flavours.
The next course involved roasted prawns, sweet potatoes, pistachios and three sauces. This course was introduced as a healthy version of the prawn cocktail and its number of calories equated to two pots of yogurt.
And for dessert we had a cream parfait with honey, peanuts, raspberries, parma violets flowers and pollen. There were also a couple of slices of parma ham added to this dish, which worked perfectly. I particularly enjoyed the saltiness of the ham alongside the creamy texture of the parfait. And this dessert was the equivalent of two apples. Can you believe it?
During the evening Alberto Rossetti provided a cooking demonstration with the founder of Cucina Evolution providing a running commentary, which I found fascinating. You can find out more about Hotel Xenia’s Cucina Evolution menu here.
Experiencing such a tasty menu for so little calories does make you realise that eating out doesn’t have to mean piling on the pounds. But given that Hotel Xenia’s restaurant is currently the only venue that serves the Cucina Evolution menu in the UK (there are many more in Italy), it’s obvious where one needs to go if you want to experience a tasty nutritional menu.
Disclaimer: I was a guest at Hotel Xenia’s event but as usual, my opinions are unbiased.