As the Yangon restaurant landscape continues to expand, I was hoping to find something different that stands out from the rest — and got lucky that Healthy Me Salad and Coffee Bar opposite Ruby Mart at the corner of Bogyoke Aung San Street and Pansodan Road provided exactly change I was looking for.
Healthy Me co-founder Ko Sai Phan Lu is a local Burmese fellow who worked at a salad house in Singapore for nine years. He and a good friend started thinking about opening a business in Yangon back in 2015.
“Fitness is 20% exercise and 80% nutrition,” says an inspiring quote on the wall.
Ko Sai Phan Lu began to create Healthy Me’s menu early in 2016 and opened the new place in August.
Since then, Healthy Me has become a downtown spot to relax or chit chat where you might and eat some healthy dishes.The concept is to introduce a new way of healthy eating — and to make it appealing for Myanmar people.
“Fitness is not only one of the most essential ways to achieve a healthy body system; it is the groundwork of all scholarly activities too,” he said.
The food and drinks are entirely Western. Drinks include fresh fruit juice, coffee, ice lemon tea, detox water starting from 1,500 Ks to about 3,500 Ks.
Healthy Me opens at 9am daily with breakfast choices including toast and garlic bread, oatmeal, poached eggs and fruit as well as homemade yoghurt. Prices range from 1,200 Ks to 3,500 Ks.
Lunch choices include hamburgers, pizza, salads such as tuna nicoise for 4,900 Ks, fresh flat bread with salad and sliced beef — 3 for 4,000 Ks.
A lunch or dinner choice would include smoky chicken with salad, egg, corn, mashed pumpkin for 8,500 Ks.
There’s also a seasonal fruits platter with yoghurt, an HM garden salad for 6,000 Ks and other choices.
Healthy Me also has package delivery - including a one-week package for delivery to your office for every breakfast, lunch and dinner. Delivery is free. facebook.com/Healthyme.salad.bar
“I can guarantee foods from my menu are 100% healthy,” he said.
But when he started, it was difficult to get the very freshest ingredients.
“Day by day, we have had more customers and suppliers. So we always change the foods from our cabinet after only two days,” he said.
Ko Sai Phan Lu says that while going to the gym is healthy, people should also eat the healthiest foods possible to gain the maximum nutrition.
“Fast foods won’t give you a healthy body,” he said.
You’ll find no oily Myanmar curry on the Healthy Me menu. In fact, the salad style is totally different from traditional Myanmar style salad.
“It is not easy to convince Myanmar people to eat salad as a main dish so we had a lot of challenges when we started,” said Ko Sai Phan Lu.
But it is clear that he’s passionate enough that he’ll never stop.
He plans to open another branch this year, with a new menu.
“I eat all my own food so I can guarantee it is healthy,” he said.