Top 6 places to find salad in Central
Picture the typical lunchtime scenario: It’s hot, you’re strolling around aimlessly, and the thought of a grease-laden meal makes you shudder. The question usually arises: “Where can I grab a good salad that’s reasonably priced and won’t make me feel hungry an hour later?”
Such is the dilemma that stumps many in Hong Kong. Despite the plethora of food options, it’s surprisingly difficult to find a simple yet satisfying salad (operative word being satisfying). And unless your stomach is the size of a rabbit’s, a “green salad” with nothing but wilted mesclun leaves (kale costs extra people) drizzled unevenly with a lazy oil dressing won’t be enough to fill you up. The price tag however, will empty your wallet, matching the state of your stomach after 30 minutes.
While there are some usual spots that come to mind like Nood Food and Simplylife, we’ve chosen a few venues that are sometimes overlooked. So the next time someone bemoans the lack of fresh, filling and reasonably priced greens in the city, hit them up with this list.
Do you ever wonder how your salad leaves are washed? If you shudder at the idea of lazily washed greens, you’re in luck. Fresca offers pick-and-choose type salad boxes, and the open kitchen format on the second floor (which offers spacious seats) gives you a glimpse into the precision that the vegetables – organic when possible – are soaked, rinsed and washed. The friendly, family-run venue pays careful attention to detail, being sure never to serve snap peas with the ends still on. The only downside is that Fresca is a vegetarian venue, so carnivores might snub their noses. But give it a chance: salad option sides include beets, mushrooms and usually some sort of stuffed shell pasta with spinach leaving you satiated.
Price & Options: ~HK$65 for a small salad box with toppings
Address: Felicity Building, 54-58 olly Hollywood Road, Central
2. Healthy Chicken
If you couldn’t tell by the name of this venue, it serves the most ubiquitous bird, chicken – and all the different ways you can have it – in a healthy way. That includes chicken in burritos, as part of a salad or straight up. You can pick only white chicken breast as an option, if you’re really trying to cut the fat. The portions are substantial, and the options elevate it from just a chicken and greens place to a hearty lunch option. Pick from spinach or mixed greens, red or black beans, toppings or no toppings: you get the gist. Seating is limited, so this is better as a take-out option (or why not head to the park nearby)?
Price & Options: ~HK$68 for a salad with toppings
Address: Khuan Ying Commercial Building, 87 Wellington St, Central
So this isn’t exactly the typical “salad” option, but it has greens (optional) and is healthy. Coming straight out of America (well, Hawaii), Pololi serves up yummy bite-sized pieces of sashimi (aka poke) soaked in a variety of concoctions – think wasabi, soy sauce ginger, Thai dressing – and then left to marinate for a day. Pololi offers a filling sashimi bowl packed with either rice or salad. Seating is limited to the counter.
Price & Options: ~HK$98 for a small bowl
35 Graham Street, Central,
4 Swatow Street, Wanchai
Centre Mark II, 305-313 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan
4. Oliver’s in Landmark, Prince Building
Hong Kong supermarkets lack the wondrous salad bar options served up in U.S. chains like Whole Foods, or hell, even the ones in Thailand. If you’re looking for options ranging from leaves to toppings, it’s hard to find that self-serve buffet style salad bar (unless you’re actually at a hotel buffet).
Step in Oliver’s: Though you won’t be physically picking up the throngs and dumping salad on your plate – let’s be real, it’s probably more sanitary this way – your salad will be mixed, chopped and packed up for you efficiently and generously.
Though the international supermarket Oliver’s is widely known, the salad bar option set in the back corner of the store is a secret kept amongst those that work in the Central area. There’s a ton of fresh vegetables and proteins as sides offered at the salad bar area: best of all, all the toppings are the same price, so there’s no need to worry if you’re feeling decadent and opting for the smoked salmon. Service is quick and easy as this is a mainly a pick-and-choose salad lunch stop (find seating outside)! Choose from mixed or romaine leaves with your choice of up to three toppings.
Price & Options: HK$65- $100 for a basic salad bowl + toppings
Address: Shop 201-205, 2/F Landmark Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong.
The only deterrence from going to Mana all the time? Long a** ques! Seriously this place is a bonafide hotspot, ironic considering most dishes are served cold and raw. Mana offers healthy wraps, sandwiches and filling salads that often feature the more rare cheese (in Hong Kong): the filling halloumi. And while this place is also vegetarian, the thick slabs of Portobello and roasted red peppers will leave you feeling full regardless
Price and options: HK$65 – $100 for a salad with toppings
Address: 92 Wellington Street, Central
6. Balance Kitchen
For those looking to cater to their diet specifically – low-carb, gluten-free and high-protein options – Balance Kitchen is the place to weigh your options.
This new healthy eating restaurant and take-away venue offers everything from salad bowls, pizzas and sides, suitable for vegans, vegetarians and anyone searching for something healthy. Perfect for that post gym workout (don’t let the weights go to waste!) and also those wanting to know their caloric intake. Which really should be everyone.
Price and options: HK$50 – $100 for a salad
Address: 2 Arbuthnot Road
Hannah Leung American-born and raised, Hannah Leung spent most of her life in New Jersey watching bad television. After four years of breathing in fresh, New England air during college, she moved to Beijing where she worked in PR and edited the Lifestyle section for a State-owned newspaper for four years. Having not purchased an air purifier the whole time, she moved to Hong Kong, where she continued writing (and gave her lungs a break).