Fishbowl is a chain of restaurants that offer Japanese-style fish and salad bowls around Sydney and Melbourne. They say they are here to shake up fast food and empower people to make healthier decisions – and they definitely do – but, how do they stack up for calories? We checked out the Fishbowl nutritional information and came up with our guide to Fishbowl calories – and the best options to pick if you’re counting them.
Why Did We Pick Fishbowl For a Calorie Guide?
After all most of the eateries we cover in this section are huge household names – and right now, Fishbowl is well known in Sydney, but not so much everywhere else in Australia or the rest of the world.
The answer is simply because I ordered one!
I picked my choice -the Big Papi – and a brief moment of being sensible, choose the regular size option.
I started eating, and eating, and eating – this thing seemed to go on forever and it contained the most moreish almonds I’ve ever tasted – and at this point I wondered if maybe, it might be one of those deceptive salads that actually contain more calories than the burrito bowl that I’d originally been heading to Mad Mex to order.
And so I figured if I was wondering about the calories in Fishbowl, you might be too.
The Fishbowl Concept
Now, if you’re here looking for nutrition information you probably already know how Fishbowl works, but, just in case, here’s a refresher.
Every meal served at Fishbowl is made from scratch for you to your specifications.
To order you pick a base – there are currently seven to choose from including brown rice, sushi rice, rice noodles and cabbage – and then add one of the pre-planned selection of toppings.
You can then add extra toppings like more protein, more crunch, extra dressing etc if you want them.
What this means is that each bowl is individual and so it’s impossible to put the calories on the menu – and so, to work out exactly how many calories are in your bowl you have to do some maths.
This is find in a quiet time, but the queue behind you is not going to be thrilled if it’s their lunchbreak and you’re calculating what difference it makes to choose the Big Papi with a cabbage base over the Miso Eggplant with a noodle one.
So, that’s where we come in – we’ve gone through the Fishbowl nutrition chart and found the lowest calorie options.
However, there is a caveat – the latest nutritional information in Fishbowl doesn’t exactly match their latest menu – some old favourites on their list seem to have disappeared and the limited edition offerings aren’t on there.
Admittedly this might be because, Fishbowl aren’t calorie driven – as they say on their menu ‘you are what you eat and not how many calories you eat’ and, the fact is that they know that the ingredients are healthy no matter what combination of them you pick.
However, if you are calorie counting, you do want to know what the numbers are for your choice – and so, we’re here to help you out.
Let’s start with the TL:DR version….
What’s the Lowest Calorie Meal in Fishbowl?
The short answer is to pick a cabbage base (25 calories) and then add the Miso Eggplant option with no extra toppings (240 calories).
This adds up to just 265 calories for a regular size portion.
Although, to be honest, that’s probably a bit too low for a healthy lunch. 400 calories is more like what you should be aiming for, even when trying to lose weight, and so, you might want to change that to a rice and cabbage base which will add 115 calories – or, stick with the cabbage but choose the large portion which will give you 365 calories.
You could also add an extra portion of Edamame to up the protein and make it a bit more filling which will take you to 400 calories.
What About the Rest of the Fishbowl Menu?
Well, let’s start with the good news – if you stick with a regular sized portion (which if the one I had was anything to go by is pretty satisfying) even if you ordered the most calorific base (brown rice or sushi rice) and topped it with the most calorific topping The OG – you’d still only be consuming 700 calories which isn’t that bad (especially as you’d be getting a hefty chunk of essential fatty acids in the salmon The OG is topped with).
Numbers go a bit higher if you upsize though, so, let’s break things down….
What’s the Lowest Calorie Base in Fishbowl?
Not surprisingly, its the plain cabbage one which is just 25 calories for a regular portion and 50 calories for a large. They have also recently introduced a mixed leaves option, that they don’t list calories for but I’d be expecting that to be pretty similar, if not lower.
If you want some carbs with your lunch, your best choice is to pick one of the half and half bases like half cabbage, half rice noodles which has 120 calories a portion in regular size and 200 for a large.
The brown rice/cabbage combo is a little higher, but, is likely to be more filling so, don’t discount it – it’s 140 calories for a regular portion and 260 for a large.
What’s the Lowest Calorie Bowl Toppings in Fishbowl?
As I said, a couple of options aren’t listed but with that caveat in place….
As I said above, the absolute lowest calorie bowl is the Meru Miso Eggplant which has 240 calories as regular size and 315 if you go large.
If you’re not veggie and want to pick from either the Sea or Land based bowls, your two best choices are Mr X (with salmon) for the fish eaters – 275 calories regular or 390 calories large.
Or, if you prefer meat, pick the Lil Umani which has 265 calories regular and 360 calories large.
So, that’s the basic information, but again, it doesn’t hugely help you if you’re standing in the queue and need to order fast – so, for that situation here’s all the choices in Fishbowl for under 500 calories
The Lowest Calorie Choices in Fishbowl
Under 300 calories
With a Cabbage Base
Miso Eggplant (regular) – 265 calories
Tofu Boyz (regular) – 280 calories
Lil Umami (regular) – 290 calories
Mx X with salmon (regular) – 295 calories
Under 400 calories
With a Cabbage Base
Miso Eggplant (large) – 365 calories
The Big Papi (regular) – 375 calories
Beef Brisket (regular) – 375 calories
Tofu Boyz – (large) – 385 calories
With Half Cabbage/Noodles
Miso Eggplant (regular) – 360 calories
Tofu Boyz (regular) – 375 calories
Lil Umami (regular) – 385 calories
Mr X with salmon (regular) – 395 calories
With a Half Cabbage/Rice
Miso Eggplant (regular) – 380 calories
Tofu Boyz (regular) – 395 calories
Under 500 calories
With a Cabbage Base
Lil Umami (large) – 410 calories
Miso Salmon (regular) – 415 calories
Mr X with salmon (large) – 415 calories
Beef Brisket (large) – 465 calories
OG (regular) – 470 calories
Miso Salmon (large)- 490 calories
With Half Cabbage/Noodles
Beef Brisket (regular) – 470 calories
The Big Papi (regular) – 470 calories
With a Half Cabbage/Rice
Beef Brisket (regular) – 490 calories
The Big Papi (regular) – 490 calories
With Rice Noodles
Tofu Boyz – 475 calories
Lil Umami (regular) – 485 calories
With Rice (Brown or Sushi)
Miso Eggplant (regular) – 500 calories
What Happens if You Add Extras?
The last part of the Fishbowl experience is to decide if you want to add any extra toppings – as so many of the bowls are very low in calories you might want to do this, so you probably want to know what this adds, so here’s a rough guide…
Salmon is the highest calorie addition adding 190 calories (but again, they are exceptionally healthy calories).
Beef Brisket comes next at 160 caloires
The lowest calorie protein that you can add is Tofu which has 25 calories on a regular bowl, 40 on a large one.
Tuna has 60 or 95 calories, while chicken is 115 on a regular bowl and 170 on a large one.
Toppings & Crunch
Most of these contain just 10 calories or less a portion so add away! The only ones you might need to track if you’re adding a few extra toppings are…
Avocado 80 calories on either size bowl
Seaweed salad is 45 calories on either size bowl
The amazing Tamari Almonds are 45 calories on either size bowl (worth every one!)
Edamame is 35 calories on a regular bowl and 55 on a large one
Beetroot is 20 calories on a regular and 30 on a large
Sesame seeds are 20 calories on a large bowl
Carrot is 15 calories on a regular and 30 on a large
Crispy Shallots and Tobiko are 15 calories each
What About the Missing Items?
It’s a bit frustrating that the nutritional information doesn’t update with the menus, but the good thing about Fishbowl is they tell you how many calories are in a lot of their additions which, if you have the time and a basic understanding of calories, means you can estimate at least how things might stack up against the other bowls.
It’s therefore my prediction that of the unlisted Land Bowls, the Ghost II has more calories than the Lil Umani (as it has higher calorie dressing). The Miso Soba is tricky – I’d say it has more calories than the Lil Umani as it adds noodles – but, it would depend on exact portion size.
In the current Sea Bowls, the Wabi Sabi is missing. Again, this uses the kaffir lime dressing which is the highest in calorie and so I’m going to stick my neck out and say it may be higher calorie than the lowest ‘Sea option’ th eMr X.
The missing item in the Plant Bowls list is the pumpkin-based Pump it Up – I’m going to take a guess and say this is very similar in calories to the Meru Miso Eggplant perhaps 20-30 more in the regular size.
My theory is they both use a miso glaze, their dressings are roughly the same calories, but the Miso has edamame which has slightly fewer calories than an addition of almonds and – pumpkin has slightly more calories than eggplant – but, I don’t think there’s a lot in it here.
At some point, perhaps they will print the full information for these and I could be proved horribly wrong – but, assuming portion sizes of the main ingredients don’t vary hugely, that’s my guess.
Is Fishbowl Healthy?
Yes, absolutely. It’s all fresh ingredients, the fish offers a good source of the healthy fats we don’t eat enough of and the salads are packed with vegetables.
The only thing to just be aware of is sodium intake if you’re choosing anything with a soy sauce/shoyu base as it can be high in sodium.
Anything with a soy sauce base is obviously also not gluten-free – and this also include shoyu which is a type of soy sauce. You can book a non-soy base when ordering online or, let them know if you’re ordering in store.
You’ll also boost your health potential picking brown rice over the other carby elements to the bases.
So, there you have it – our guide to the lowest calorie options to pick in Fishbowl. If you have any more questions, please do let me know. Right now, their menu doesn’t list the exact nutritional breakdown so I can’t look more into what might fit specific diets but as a general rule, anything with a cabbage base (and no added noodles) could theoretically fit into a low carb plan – the portion sizes may see you tip over on a strict keto diet though.
If you’re looking for some other calories guides, you’ll find some other big name Aussie brands like Mad Mex, Guzman y Gomez, Grill’d and more in our calorie guide sections. Have a look here to see if one of your favourites is there.