The words ‘clean eating’ and ‘fast food’ are rarely seen in the same sentence.

Kettlebell Kitchen’s mission is to bring fast, clean, healthy eating to the city centre. Cleverly located a stone’s throw away from a couple of gyms, almost everyone apart from me was dressed in sports clothing.

Despite feeling
body shamed
by the other
customers, I’d
come back for
the food.”

Perhaps I should have dressed down for the occasion.

There weren’t a huge number of people sitting down to eat their food, but there was a steady stream of people getting food to take away post-workout. Clearly their target market are getting what they want.

The decoration is spartan, with a few kettlebells scattered willy-nilly. Will untreated chipboard overtake exposed filament light bulbs as the latest must-have design feature? I certainly hope not, because the dust under the table of the cramped booth came off on my trouser leg. The stark lighting and tinny music made it feel like I was in an extension of a gym.

I always die a little inside when a menu orders me to choose a protein. It makes me feel as though I am being bullied into ordering for nutritional value alone, as opposed to something that I will enjoy eating.

I am also slightly suspicious of the health benefits of some of the goods on offer. Ionised fitness water with its antioxidant, alkaline and anti-ageing properties? Oh please. It’s water. Also, claiming that “we do not over-use salt” feels subjective and unnecessary.

REVIEW | Kettlebell Kitchen - fast food for healthy eaters I Love Manchester

I hesitate to describe Kettlebell Kitchen as a fast food restaurant, mainly because it took 25 minutes for my food arrive, with a couple of items missing. They’re an independent that’s only been going for a month, so I’ll cut them a bit of slack, but I was a bit miffed when I was told slightly unapologetically that they had run out of knives.

The chicken protein waffle burger is soft and sweet, although it feels more like a breakfast food. The clean beans – what appears to be a mixture of kidney and cannellini beans – come in a mild smoky tomato sauce and the sweet potato fries aren’t bad either.

REVIEW | Kettlebell Kitchen - fast food for healthy eaters I Love Manchester

A far cry from a thick deep-dish pizza with a chewy base, the crisp Fit Festo pizza with pesto, tomato, feta and spinach doesn’t actually taste as healthy as it looks or sounds. I’m not sure if I was looking at £10 worth of pizza, but enjoyed it anyway. The burger/wrap meal deal that comes with fries, a side and a small brownie for £9.95 seems like much better value.

On my way out I enquired about the ‘meal prep’ service. The idea is that you get three meals a day, for six days a week tailored to your dietary needs. All you need to do is reheat the food before eating. It costs £395 a month, which works out at around £4.40 per meal. Personally, I’d rather skip the gym and spend the extra time and money pottering around my own kitchen, but each to their own.

Despite feeling body shamed by the other customers, I’d come back for the food. But I’ll probably get it to go next time.

Unit 5, Nuovo, Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, M4 5AB

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