Take’s Take: Healthier Fine Dining at Philippe

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Velvet Chicken

If you have driven past the Ganzavort recently you may have noticed something missing…Philippe. But no need to worry, Philippe hasn’t left Miami. In fact, I think they made an upgrade to the South of Fifth neighborhood, specifically the old Tavrena Opa location.  This means you don’t have to park your car valet anymore—unless you want to of course. Now most people may not associate healthy or healthier with Chinese but I am very pleased to report that you can get both at Philippe. That’s right, even healthy!

When you open the menu—considering you don’t open the wine menu first—you will notice multiple sections to start off you evening. You have your basic “Soup” and “Salad” section, which I nominate the Won Ton Soup and Philippe’s House Salad, respectively, as healthier options. All the “Chef Chow’s Lettuce Wraps” items are great choices. You can choose between chicken, beef, shrimp or vegetarian wraps. From the “Noodles & Dumplings” sections the Vegetable Dumplings, Jade Dumplings and Chicken Sieu Mai are all winners! If you want to try one of each—which I did—order the Dumpling Sampler as it includes all three. All three dumpling varieties are steamed so they get a high “healthier” grade.

All the entrees come family style for two to three people so if you want to fully experience the healthier side of Philippe I suggest with coming with two or three people since there are several great selections on the menu. Most items are available in half order versions as well so I suppose you could order a buncha those for yourself and accomplish the same objective. But who does that??

From the “Poultry” section I’d go with the Chicken & Broccoli or the Velvet Chicken entrees.  Both come with vegetables—which is always healthy—in a light sauce and neither dish is battered or fried. If you have to have some beef, go with the half order of House Mignon (7oz.) or Philippe’s Surf and Turf which also includes the half order of mignon.

In the main entrée section there are several different versions of prawns. Every time I see prawns on a menu I’m reminded of Jamie Foxx’s movie “Bait”. There is a scene where Foxx’s character gets arrested for stealing prawns. What make the scene hilarious—and  informative—is how he tries to explain to the arresting officers that prawns and shrimp are two different species as they laugh at him for getting caught stealing shrimp…I mean prawns.  Although I’m sure all six versions of the prawns are amazing, in the interest of sticking with the healthier theme go with the Green Prawns (the green color comes from a spinach coat). The green prawns are wok sautéed with stew mushrooms, mixed bell peppers, and cashew nuts in a fresh chicken broth and rice wine sauce then lightly finished with mild Chinese spices. Other healthier entrees include the Drunken Sea Bass which is served over a bed of wood ear mushrooms and the Three Within—Philippe’s version of the triple delight that comes with chicken, scallops and shrimp (not prawns). Both are wok sautéed with rice wine sauce. The American Black Bass is another healthier item in the entrée section.

Drunken Sea Bass

To accompany your entrée there are several healthier sides to consider. All entrees come with white rice but I recommend substituting it for brown rice. For vegetables, choose the broccoli, string beans, mixed vegetables or bok choi. Bok choi, also known as Chinese cabbage, originated in China and is often found in Chinese cuisines. It is revered for its nutrition value—low in carbohydrates, zero fat, high in antioxidants, beta carotene and Vitamins A, C and K. Studies have also shown that it can lower the risk of certain cancers. Needless to say, I thoroughly endorse bok choi.

As I said in the beginning of my blog, you can actually order a healthy meal from Philippe. So if you’re wondering how it’s possible to order something healthy from a Chinese restaurant, allow me to present to you my choices for Philippe’s healthy dinner:

  • Philippe House Salad
  • Drunken Sea Bass
  • Brown Rice
  • Bok Choi

吃个! That’s “bon apetit” in Chinese which is “enjoy your meal” in French…in case you didn’t already know.

For more information on Philippes go to www.philippechow.com or call 305.764.0250 to make a reservation.

Shuichi’s Guidelines to Healthier Eating

Please visit www.shuichitakefitness.com for more information on health and fitness.

Shuichi Take, one of Miami’s most sought-after personal trainers, has worked with clients from all walks of life with a diverse range of goals throughout his 15+ years in the fitness industry. He has trained many of Miami’s celebrities, professional athletes and other elite clientele including Haute Living Publishers Kamal Hotchandani and Seth Semilof. Shuichi has combined all of his experience, knowledge and expertise to create a finely tuned approach and philosophy to fitness by shaping a healthy body and mind that builds sustainable, healthy lifestyles. Although eating healthy throughout the day and regular exercise is the foundation of  his healthy lifestyle, Shuichi firmly believes that life, and everything it has to offer, is meant to be enjoyed—including food! Taking care of your health and body should be an essential component of one’s day that fits into your current lifestyle and daily schedule.

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