Traditional medicine on a plate

At "Red White & Pure" in Singapore, diners can savour dishes prepared with traditional herbs such as self-heal spike and jujube, sip water from Mount Fuji, and end the meal on a sweet note with bird's nest ice cream.

by: Jovanda Biston | 23 Aug 2007

If all that goodness is not fortifying enough, you can also head upstairs for a consultation with the resident traditional Chinese medicine physician who might recommend a herbal remedy or a spot of acupuncture.

'Red White & Pure' is a new venture for Eu Yan Sang, a purveyor of traditional Chinese medicine in Singapore since the late nineteenth century.

The chic two-level restaurant-cum-spa is located in Singapore's largest shopping mall and looks nothing like the dusty, smelly herbal dispensary that many people associate with traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM.

The spacious first floor has an elegant dining room with an expansive waterfront view and low wicker couches for intimate conversations by the bar. Upstairs, there are rooms for yoga, acupuncture, for weight and skin consultations as well as beauty treatments such as facials with lingzhi mushroom and gold foil.

The menu features organic greens and hearty entree choices such as beef cheek, chicken curry and fish cooked with various ingredients such as tamarind, ginseng, Buddha's fruit, angelica root and reishi mushroom.

Bing Lam, the co-owner of 'Red White & Pure', created the menu with the traditional Chinese medicine philosophy of foods with warming and cooling qualities in mind.

"People might have the perception that traditional Chinese medicine means bitter foods, or having seahorses in your soup," said Joanna Wong, head of Eu Yan Sang corporate communications.

"But we serve appetizing and fresh cuisine that's innovative and attractive to a bigger base consumers,not just traditional users of Chinese medicine," she told Reuters.

The modern twist on tradition is popular among customers.

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