Metabolix.

Metabolix is a new calorie conscious delivery service bringing healthy meals to your doorstep for about Rs. 500 and 500 cals.

Eating your way through Colombo isn’t easy. We’ve watched glumly as our waistbands have tightened, we’ve endured the ‘you’ve put on, ahs’ from all our aunties and uncles, and we’ve even considered taking a taste & waste approach to food. But food is an indispensable part of Sri Lankan life – and as a city guide, our jobs depend on it.
And so we eat.

But Sri Lanka, while full of culinary gems, isn’t quite home of the healthy. While you’re never out of walking distance from a crusty chicken pie, a crescent-shaped patty or one of those actually-not-Chinese Chinese rolls, finding a decent salad is like finding a non-honking, moderate paced bus – practically impossible. While we did come across a couple of healthy(ish) joints (see Milk & Honey) along our culinary trawls, the healthiest place to eat has long been our homes, where nothing quite spells nutritious like your grandmother’s gotukola.

Following a tip, however, we came across Metabolix – the existence of which only seems indicated by a photographed menu floating around Facebook (they’re still new). Offering tasty sounding meals for reasonable prices and – I think this might be a first in Colombo – a calorie count specified beneath, this seemed to be the long awaited solution to our dietary troubles. Tex Mex chicken and rice, lamb kebabs, Mediterranean salad… each weighing in at about four to five hundred cals. The heavens had finally answered.

So what does 500 calories in rice look like? Small. And how does it taste? Healthy. Which sadly, isn’t the greatest of tastes. The food is essentially fine, but it’s bland, lacking in salt and basically all those guilty ingredients that make normal (ie. unhealthy) food so great. We ended up desperately tipping a pot of chilli oil over our chicken and squash (Rs 475, 400 cals) – which likely added an unhealthy number of calories, and defeated the entire purpose.

If you’re not a fussy, rice and MSG loving Sri Lankan, this is tolerable food. You can have a healthy, non-bloatey serving of red rice and chicken or a fresh salad and wrap. It’s all fine; it’s just not delicious. But then diets rarely are.

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