La Tasca is highlighting healthier dishes on its spring and summer menu following calls from diners for help in identifying which of the restaurant chain's dishes had less calories, fat and salt in.
The Spanish tapas chain now has a 'healthier choice' selection, made up of 10 existing and new dishes chosen for their lower calorie and fat content, alongside its 'chef selection' dishes.
La Tasca head of food Perry Hunpley told BigHospitality the move was in response to increasing requests from customers, 65 per cent of them female, who had asked for help negotiating their way through the menu to find healthier options, not because of pressure from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
"We are working with the FSA in many ways, but this wasn't introduced because it asked us to. This is more in response to research from guests who say that's what they want. It's designed to appeal to our large number of female guests and those who are coming in mid-week and maybe want lighter dishes then," he said.
Dishes listed in the healthier choice section include Salmón Espanol (salmon fillet served on a bed of wilted spinach raisins and pear) and Brochetas de Pollo (skewers of chicken breast and pepper marinated in paprika). Hunpley said two new salads had also been added to the menu - Ensalada de Pera y Jamón (Serrano ham and Pear salad) and Ensalada de Manzana y Queso Manchego (Manchego cheese and red apple salad).
"We are quite lucky because some of the ingredients we use like Spanish olive oil, are good for you and the Spanish diet in general is quite healthy, but we have been doing lots of things," said Hunpley.
Like many restaurant companies, asked by the FSA to make it easier for customers to make healthier choices while dining out, La Tasca has been making moves to reduce the amount of salt in dishes. It also removed salt cellars from tables six months ago and instead supplies salt at customers' request.
The chain has also been in discussions with Weight Watchers to find ways to assess the calorie content of its food and make it easier for customers on diets to choose low calorie dishes when dining there.