Raspa 100 Hoxton is the newest Filipino fusion restaurant to be recognized by the Healthier Catering Commitment (HCC). By joining this new commitment, Executive Head Chef Francis Pinoy and owner Andrew Zilouf are pledging to reduce saturated fat, salt, and sugar content of menu items in their restaurants, as well as making smaller portions available on request.
The HCC’s website features a list of essential criteria for improved health in participating restaurants. The mandates include that oils must be polyunsaturated or monounsaturated, salt must not be added to cooking water for rice or pasta, and kitchens must offer low-sugar drinks and smaller portion options that are ½ or 1/3 the size of a standard serving.
A further 25 criteria are identified on the HCC’s assessment form and a minimum of 8 must be fulfilled, including the 4 essential criteria, to be recognised as a member of the HCC.
The HCC allows restaurants to encourage healthy eating through an incentive structure, which allows them to achieve awards from the London Borough of Redbridge Council which oversees the committee. This allows businesses to gain publicity and potential customers.
The dishes at Raspa contain freshly sourced ingredients, with a recommended serving suggestion of up to 2/3 dished per person. Some of the most popular dishes on the Rapsa menu are the salad with Giantaan coconut pumpkin curry, sisig, and Jersey oysters. These dishes contain fresh, colourful ingredients with great seafood and vegetarian options.
Some dishes are also designed to be shared amongst friends and family, such as the boodle fight – which is coined in the Urban Dictionary as a “military style of eating”. The Boodle fight is usually prepared on a long table and served on top of Banana leaves, offering meat, fish, or vegan options. Traditionally eaten with hands, Chef Francis Puyat aims to provide a unique eating experience to customers through this distinct dish These party-sharing menus are an effective way to keep portions under control.
A study by Oliver Huse and his research team examined the effectiveness of accreditation schemes for incentivizing food retailers to promote healthier eating. The researchers found that “the Implementation of accreditation schemes was associated with healthier customer purchases in convenience stores, schools, and hospitals, but evidence from restaurants was mixed ''. This was partially due to the lack of data available; while schemes using simple food criteria are more easily understood by restaurants and less costly to monitor, they may only create significant changes in healthy eating if they offer substantial quantities of fruits and vegetables on their menu.
London is home to more than 400 fully vegan restaurants, and polls from YouGov show that 41% of Britons are interested in consuming more vegan and vegetarian options. However, more work may be needed to fully understand the character of a truly impactful scheme, and if these characteristics may have to change depending on the setting and menu.
Edited By Sydney Smith
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