Salads might just be the most perfect lunch. Simple, satisfying, fresh and packed with nutrients to keep you going and focused through the work day. Which is why we love salad bars. There’s something so satisfying of choosing what you are going to eat with the visuals right in front of you! Salad bars are also a great way to stick to your healthy eating plan- the variety of toppings and dressings can keep things fun when you feel like cheating with a burger. Hong Kong is full of wonderful salad options, whether you want something you can grab and take back to the office, or whether you want to sit and enjoy an hour of healthy peace. Below, we roundup a few of our favorites.
Quick Takeaway Options
Looking for a quick and healthy lunch? (Who isn’t, really?) A takeaway salad bar is the perfect option. These provide a selection of leaves (from rocket to romaine), fresh veggies and proteins (think steamed broccoli or grilled chicken), toppings (like toasted nuts or dried fruit) and lots of delicious dressings. You can mix and match to make your perfect lunch or choose from a pre-designed option- all without prep or planning. Sign me up. We have three classic salad bar chains in Hong Kong: Just Salad, originally from New York, and with 22 locations around the globe, is located in both the Hong Kong MTR station as well as in Kowloon Bay; Toss & Turn, which hails from Singapore and may be Asia’s answer to US phenomenon Sweetgreen, is at Three Pacific Place; and Dressed, another quality takeaway salad bar with many locations around town such as Harbour City, IFC, Millennium City and Three Pacific Place (Sep 2016 Update: Dressed has now closed all its Hong Kong locations). For a Mexican-inspired build-your-own-bowl affair, try Cali-Mex, with 10 spots spanning from K-Town to Quarry Bay (and one in Mong Kok).
Vegetarian & Health-Forward Options
The plant-based amongst us may worry that they are left behind. Sure, you can get a veggie bowl at the takeaway shops mentioned above, but isn’t it great to find establishments that are dedicated to the vegetarian cause? MANA Fast Slow Food‘s salad bar is always a great choice, as is HOME Eat To Live (July 2017 Update: HOME Eat To Live has now closed down) which has really upped the ante when it comes to plant-based eating in Hong Kong. Nood, Pure Fitness’s healthy dining concept, uses organic produce to make their raw, vegan and gluten-free salad bar offerings. They have a fair few locations including Hutchison House, Lincoln House and Kinwick Centre. Veggie Spinner, over in Tai Hang, serves up creative vegetarian fare that includes a range of delicious prepared salads for dine-in or takeaway. Fresca is the new locavore kid on the salad block, with many of their all-veggie cold & hot salad bar ingredients grown and harvested fresh from their Hong Kong. And who doesn’t love the steadfast salads at The Fringe Club‘s Light Vegetarian Buffet Lunch where every day, a different cuisine is celebrated from Thai to Indian. Another new kid on the block, Knead is a great option for those who like to make their own salad and want ingredients that are a cut above (think caramelized onions, basil pesto and smoked mackerel.) and they are in Sheung Wan & Quarry Bay
Sit Down Salad Bars
Sometimes you want to be able to stop and smell the roses, or maybe it’s the kale in this case? The Restaurant By The Kinnet (September 2017 Update: The Kinnet has now closed down) has a moreish salad counter in addition to their menu salads: buckwheat soba or grilled veggies. The Sheung Wan cafe also boasts other healthy and organic eating options, including cold-pressed juices and superfood smoothies. We also love Simply Life, which has a large selection of salads made with quality, fresh ingredients, and you can complement your greens with something from their bakery or if you are really hungry, their savory dishes buffet. Simply Life is all over the place too, with locations in Cityplaza, Festival Walk, Queensway Plaza, Fashion Walk, AIA Tower and New Town Plaza. And finally, make sure to try 3/3rds‘ (September 2017 Update: 3/3rds has closed down) Ottolenghi inspired prepared salads made famous at their original Wong Chuk Hang location.
The Luxe Salad Options
Just because you want to enjoy a healthy lunch does not mean you can’t do it in style. Sometimes you want to indulge your leaf cravings in a beautiful environment. The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong in the ICC building offers an organic salad bar where one of their chefs will expertly hand toss the ingredients of your choosing. And did we mention the breathtaking view from their 102nd floor location? The Lounge at JW Marriott is another extravagant salad buffet option with a smorgasbord of leaves and toppings, allowing you to make your salad dreams come true. Another must-try? Gourmet Italian stalwart Isola in IFC, which also treats diners to the most gorgeous view of our fair city. Their selection of salads and antipasti will scratch the salad itch of even the most discerning saladistas.
Images courtesy of: 3/3rds (lead photo), The Fringe Club, Just Salads and Through The Looking Glass, .