Glasgow — it’s a city more steaming than steam cooking, by reputation at least.
Still, it was hard to resist the promise of a calorie neutral meal popping up at city restaurant The Sisters this week, following successful stints with London crowds.
The premise is promising: a restaurant where you can dine out on fine food, and yet burn off every calorie consumed.
Aided by Miele’s rather flash steam appliances, top chef Jacqueline O’Donnell produced five dishes, all under 135 calories.
But first, those of us lining up for free grub were asked to down our green tea and take part in a Bodybalance class.
There were giggles, the occasional wobble and, in my case, a shoe accidentally lobbed at the poor instructor’s head — but after some fun stretches, the focus shifted to our hard-earned food.
First up was a dish combining purple broccoli, cured salmon and almonds. So far, so healthy. The veg was still crisp and tasted of broccoli — a far cry from the over-boiled stuff — with the nuts adding a warming, toasted touch.
A steamed beetroot dish was better; puy lentils still firm enough to pop and the beetroot tasting fresher and earthier than the stuff in a jar.
Prawn-stuffed lemon sole was pleasant, if a little bland — it’s clear that steam is a great way to cook fish, but I found myself hankering for a naughty hit of butter or salt.
There was high praise around the table for venison loin — yes, even red meat can be steamed, if you know how — presented perfectly pink and even and paired nicely with seasonal brambles.
Pineapple and rhubarb provided a nice finish, along with a show-stealing coconut ice cream (one to try at home, thanks to Chef Jak’s easy recipe).
There’s a satisfying feeling to eating right and exercising enough to make it count, and our talented chef and Miele steam team proved that healthy needn’t always mean dull.
It’s safe to say that even if I could afford a specialist oven, I’d soon be trying to figure out how to steam an extra cheesy pizza.
Still, everything in moderation — I may break out the steamer yet, inspired by a hard night’s graft at The Sisters.