RACHEL FOX
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Hu Kitchen NYC

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If you have read any of my food blog posts previously, you’ll know that I have a love for natural and wholesome foods. I really enjoy finding restaurants and cafes that have health at the centre of their focus.

While I was in New York I discovered Hu Kitchen, a sit-in or takeaway restaurant that is a place where they and their customers are comfortable with every ingredient. The cafe is located on Union Square, 78 Fifth Avenue, 14th Street.

I love how they promote themselves as a place that uses no ‘weird’ ingredients. They continually evolve as they grow and learn more about the food industry. In the restaurant space, it is very evident that their goal is to live actively, age gracefully, and flourish. They seem to be very much inspired by quality food’s ability to heal versus poor quality food’s guarantee to hinder.

They offer a range of food and dishes to suit pretty much all dietary choices: they have meat options, fish, vegetarian, vegan and also gluten and soy-free choices. They pride themselves on using organic ingredients, high-quality foods and staying clear of preservatives, chemicals, vegetable oils, refined sugar, unverified natural flavourings or overly processed foods.

I returned to this lunch/dinner spot multiple times as I felt very comfortable in the welcoming and relaxed environment; the food was equally as delicious. Their six elements that build up a positive lifestyle and contribute to healthy wellbeing stood out to me:

Unprocess: find out what’s really in your food; the more unadulterated, the better.

Move: move your body often; maximise natural, functional movements.

Sleep: put down the phone; make the room dark and cold. Sleep more.

Laugh: you are a member of one of the few species that laugh; so do it a lot. Don’t forget to laugh at yourself.

Play: take breaks; declutter your mind; rest.

Experiment: try different diets, exercises and routines. Add, eliminate, and reintroduce. Discover what makes you flourish.

When I was there, I tried out a few of their different menu options. I did however find it very hard to select something as a result of the huge range of choice on offer. I would recommend the Mashbar, and especially The Bonito which was made up of grain-free granola, almond butter, cashew cream and strawberry. The Bowls section of the restaurant allows you to choose from a vast selection to create your own combination. for example, a base of organic quinoa and root vegetable mash with a topping of vegetarian white bean chilli. They also have prepared food such as the Stuffed Squash with kale, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, leak, coconut milk, onion and an array of herbs.

We sat in the seating area upstairs to eat our food. I went for the three sides option of roasted sweet potato, broccoli and root vegetable mash. I also found a paleo blonde in the market section. We got student discount on this which was good. The food was very yummy; the best food I had all week in New York. The blonde was possibly one of the best things I have ever tasted! It was so moist with chocolate chunks in. It almost tasted like a soft chocolate chip cookie. I left the restaurant feeling very content.

Although expensive, their homemade chocolate was very yummy; they have such a lot of interesting and innovative flavours. Hu chocolate bars are made from stone ground innovative dark chocolate and are organic/fair trade cacao, paleo and vegan. They are also made with great ingredients. The first flavour I tried was the Almond Butter and Puffed Quinoa, one of their most popular chocolate bars. The creamy almond butter adds a rich nutty flavour and the dry-roasted almonds add to the crisp, but subtle ‘pops’, as well as the quinoa throughout for a satisfying crunch. The other bar that I loved was their Simple Dark Chocolate; their signature chocolate. I found the notes of caramel very delicious and not too sweet or too bitter. They do their chocolate on their website so I am very tempted to order myself some more.

Unlike most other food locations, Hu Kitchen has their own small market inside which I really enjoyed walking around. The market consists of a collection of small-batch, artisanal foods crafted by up-and-coming food innovators that produce Hu-compliant products. They sell snacks and beverages, refrigerated and non-refrigerated, made in house and by trusted vendors. Other things on the shelves were sweet treats and granolas.

If you happen to visit Manhattan in the future, I would definitely recommend this breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner spot or even to have a wander round the market and possibility pick up a sweet treat and hot drink or juice.

Rachel

FoodRachel Fox