North by Four Seasons: Wellness by the Fireside

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Although North by Four Seasons is a tribute to the age-old tradition of fire-grilling, one can eat a balanced and nutritious meal when dining here. “We focus on ‘eating intuitively’ – our menu encourages you to make a choice based on both flavours and nutrition,” says Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai Executive Chef Liam Nealon.

With 80 percent of the ingredients sourced locally, the menu highlights options for those who would like to enjoy a hearty meal with a side of wellbeing. “We include fermented foods such as sourdough and sauerkraut to promote gut health, while keeping our salads light and fresh. Locally sourced ingredients are key, including the salt used in some of the dishes – for instance, the salt-crusted arctic char – which is sourced from Northeastern Thailand,” explains Liam.

Quinoa and chickpea salad – a popular dish for health-conscious diners, it offers plenty of fibre and protein such as quinoa, chickpeas, pumpkin with a yogurt tahini dressing that are rich in "good" fats. “Chickpeas have macronutrients that work together to give us a feeling fullness after eating, while also controlling blood sugar levels. A perfect starter that packs optimum nutrition such as magnesium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron and zinc,” explains Liam. 

For some light fish dishes, guests can enjoy the Tasmanian salmon fillet or seabass. The portions at North are balanced and the Tasmanian salmon fillet comes with a chimichurri sauce made from fresh herbs and spices. It is packed with nutrients, heart-healthy olive oil, and antioxidant-rich fresh herbs. The seabass comes with a Mediterranean mix of green beans, olives, fennel, and tomatoes – all beneficial to heart health and digestion. 

Tasmanian salmon pastrami on sourdough bread provides essential fatty acid omega-3. Omega-3 fats in salmon oil can inhibit your body’s inflammatory response and may help manage symptoms associated with certain inflammatory conditions. “It may also support skin health and promote heart health by reducing triglycerides and increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol,” explains Liam. Sourdough bread supports gut health – simply put, the phytase enzymes released by the yeasts as the dough acidifies, effectively pre-digests the flour, which releases micronutrients and in turn, reduces bloating and digestive discomfort.

Chestnut "no meat" ball is a wonderful Mediterranean nutrient-dense dish when craving a filling dish minus the animal protein. Chestnuts help with digestion, protect the heart, contain antioxidants, promotes regulatory, boosts bone health and improves brain function. Beans are a great source of fibre and folate, and they are also low in calories. They can help reduce blood sugar, decrease blood cholesterol and improve gut health.

Quinoa spaghetti is another Mediterranean-inspired dish on the menu that is packed with nutrition. “Pesto provides mono-unsaturated fats as well as antioxidants while quinoa pasta provides a source of protein as well as magnesium, iron, and manganese. Quinoa is high in fibre and has a low glycaemic index. These properties have all been linked to weight loss and improved health,” says Liam.

Organic chicken is an absolute favourite on the menu and it’s clear why! High-protein and low-carb, chicken is a plentiful source of B3 and B6. This dish is complemented nicely with a delicious pumpkin puree and brussels sprouts making it well balanced with gut supporting nutrients. “Pumpkin is rich in vitamins and minerals while being low in calories and rich in fibre. It also contains the antioxidants alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and many others, which may protect your cells against damage by free radicals,” Liam explains, adding, “It contains vitamins C and E, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help keep your skin strong and healthy.” The dish is served with brussels sprouts, which are highly underrated, but significantly low in calories while being high in many nutrients, especially fibre, vitamin K and vitamin C. They help promote regularity, support digestive health and reduce the risk of diabetes. They also contain antioxidants and compounds that may help lower levels of inflammation.

“All our dishes come with hearty sides – a good mix of salad leaves as well as an unusual choices of vegetables such broccolini or pumpkin that offer extra fibre, vitamin C as well as beta-carotene, calcium, folate and iron. So while guests enjoy a truly wholesome fire-side meal, we ensure that it’s packed with nutritional benefits, for a holistic dining experience,” smiles Liam.