If you’re on the 5:2 diet or are looking for some low calorie options when eating out, then Sam’s Brasserie is soon to become your number one food spot.
The 5:2 , or Fast Diet as it’s otherwise known, is based on a lifestyle of intermittent fasting. Typically this involves five days of eating ‘normally’ and two days eating a restricted diet of either 500 calories for women, or 600 calories for men. As someone who lives by the rules of the 5:2 diet, but also liked to eat out regularly, Sam Harrison, owner of Sam’s Brasserie in Chiswick, grew frustrated at the lack of low calorie options available when dining out with friends. As a result, he worked alongside his head chef, Mark Baines, to put together a special 5:2 menu that would offer calorie controlled food but at restaurant standard, and served within his very own restaurant.
Inspired by 'The Fast Diet Recipe Book' by Dr Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer and '5:2 Vegetarian' by Celia Brooks, the restaurant offers a seasonal menu of either two courses for £13.50 or three courses for £16.50 - we sampled the 3 course menu for experimental purposes, obviously.
To start we shared a deliciously fresh feta and watermelon salad alongside some tangy garlic and chilli prawns. For main we delved into a hearty plate of Lo Lo pork meatballs with kale alongside a wild mushroom stroganoff on a bed of lentils. To finish, we halved a creamy passionfruit panna cotta and an gooey chocolate pear pot. (Believe me, we were as surprised as you probably are now reading this seemingly indulgent and rich menu.)
Not only was each course bursting with flavour and textures but the portion sizes were also as well sized as a normal diners plate - which was beneficial for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we weren’t left feeling like we’d dined on a mix of dust and leaves - we were entirely satisfied, full even, which is exactly what’s needed after a long-day of full-on fasting. Secondly, the reasonably sized portions and hearty looking food meant we were able to consume an entire 3 course meal without anybody being any none the wiser that we were in fact on a strict calorie count. As such, it’s ideal for those more discreet dieters who don’t necessarily want it to be obvious to their company that they’re watching their weight. Conversely, it also means the resident 5:2’ers aren’t left with a serious case of food envy as the steak and chips gets placed down beside your bowl of scrummy air.
Ultimately though, were the dishes as nutritious as they were delicious? Absolutely. Our 3 courses came to approximately 466 calories - roughly the equivalent of just looking at a Mcdonalds cheeseburger.
Available 12pm-3pm Monday-Friday & all evening Sunday-Thursday. (Dishes available a la carte lunchtime Saturday & Sunday and all evening Friday & Saturday nights).