Prep Kitchen Review

April 12, 2016 by Rich - Foodie Reviewer

Prep Kitchen Review

It's clear to me, we are fast becoming a nation of healthy ‘do gooders’. It just seems everything carries some sort of health warning; we’ve got no choice; if we want to live long and prosper we have to take heed of those warnings and make healthy choices. But, I think we’d all agree, anything laden with calories is gonna taste good! However, over recent years restaurants are giving us a helping hand when trying to make those all important healthy decisions. One great example is the massive difference in 'fast food', a once incredibly un-healthy food choice.

I think you've only got to look back 10 or 12 years, fast food was awful. A bland burger from the dreaded Golden Arches was about as good as it got! We've really come along way in a relatively short period of time. Yeah, ok unfortunately Maccy D's are still on every street corner, but just look at the other chains which now grace the high street. Leon for example, who’s tag line is 'naturally fast food'. What about 'Pod'? These guys are serving up some incredibly healthy and nutritious sandwiches and salads. Don’t forget Itsu, the ultra healthy Japanese chain, offering pretty good sushi and sashimi; a great alternative to a lunchtime sandwich. All of these places and many others are designed with the sole purpose of catering to our busy 'lunch on the go' lifestyle, but with a healthy slant of course.

What about pubs? One big surprise recently was Weatherspoons. Love em or hate em these guys are offering a helping hand on the nutrition front. Whilst on an excursion to Billericay last weekend, I popped in to the Blue Boar, they had three different menus! Dairy free, gluten free, and a point’s menu, designed to help those following weight watchers. Honestly, I was impressed. Even on their standard menu each dish has its calorie content labelled.

But it's not all about the national chains, loads of little independent cafes and restaurants are offering uber healthy food. You may remember I reviewed the Squeeze cafe a few months back, and what about My Kitchen in Westcliff. Both are doing incredibly well catering to the health conscious. May I just add here, its not just boring rabbit food! Oh no, you can still have your burgers, steaks and curries; they just simply cook them the healthy way.

I too like to eat healthy whenever possible, it's not all pie and chips for me! Not forgetting a little fitness too. Gosh if I didn't go for a trot along the seafront every once in a while, Id resemble a life size wee-ball! Oh, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, I'm in training! Yep Foodie Rich has signed up to the Southend half marathon in June! That's gonna be tough’n, the furthest I've ever run is 4 miles; I've gotta do 13! If you’re nearby on the day feel free to pop along and give me a cheer. You'll notice me straight away. I'll be the one who can hardly breath with bright red cheeks and wearing a top with '' splashed across the back! Sorry, I'm loosing track here a little, I'm meant to be writing about wonderful food not preaching about healthy living!!! But, all this chat fits quite nicely in to a cafe/restaurant I visited last week.

We all know Mangetout right? That grill house now occupying the old Churchill’s venue? Well, the guys that run this place, have clearly noticed, as I have, the healthy eating trend. So much so they've branched out from huge steaks and gargantuous burgers, to open ‘Prep Kitchen’.

Located were Mangetout started out, opposite Warrior Square, this whole restaurant is geared up to healthy eating. It’s conveniently situated directly next door to a gym! So you can sweat your booty off on the treadmill, then pop next door to Prep Kitchen for some tasty grub, that won’t undo all your hard work! I was incredibly keen to give Prep Kitchen a go, after all, I am know an athlete in training!!

These guys are only open for breakfast and lunch, so Lou and I popped in there for a spot of lunch last weekend. I like its style; clean, bright and with strategically positioned copies of Men’s Health magazine dotted around the place! Straight away I was feeling healthier! The menu is simple; they have a breakfast section that includes protein pancakes, smoked salmon and eggs, all the way to the body builders favourite, steak and eggs; they even have a breakfast burrito! To order from the lunch menu, you have to follow a few simple steps. Pick a protein such as jumbo shrimp or steak, then choose your carbs. How about a sauce? These sounded tasty with BBQ or Piri Piri to name just a couple. Then finally pick a side, how does sweet potato hash browns or fennel spiced ratatouille take your fancy? This sounds far too good to be healthy. But it is, fill ya boots my friends!

Lou chose grilled salmon with herby giant cous cous, salsa verde with garlic & rosemary sweet potato wedges on the side. This certainly impressed me. A large fillet of salmon, cooked well, with a damn tasty cous cous and a generous side of wedges, it was good. The winner of this plate hands down was the salsa verde. It was tangy and packed full of glorious basil and other herbs. It complimented the fish a treat. I went uber healthy! Chicken, basil infused brown rice, zingy salsa and the garlic veg medley. The chicken, I’m guessing was poached as it was lovely and juicy. The rice was cooked well, still with a little bite, which I love. The salsa was, as it said, zingy! The veg was a mixture of courgettes, French beans and carrots, and not forgetting garlic! If you don’t like garlic this isn’t for you, it certainly packed a garlicky punch, as it should I suppose! My only criticism here, not enough chicken! You’re given the opportunity to order more of any protein, but I would’ve liked to see just a little more. But hey, I was only here for a light lunch anyway so I wasn’t too disappointed. With the rice and veg it did make for a satisfying, very tasty meal. How much? I got change out of £20, so it works out pretty reasonable too. Just to add, no booze here so just a soft drink for me and a cup of tea for Lou!

With the increasing number of us watching what we eat, prep kitchen is a welcome addition to our dining scene. If you’re a hardened gym bunny, or just wanting to choose a healthy breakfast or lunch venue, Prep Kitchen is there for you. No deep fried, greasy, mass produced garbage here. Just honest healthy fayre; time to make Prep Kitchen part of my half marathon training regime! 

Prep Kitchen is based in Chichester Road, Southend and open from 8am until 5pm. 

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