You’ve stepped out of the gym after an adrenaline-pumping, sweat-dripping workout, so the last thing you’d want for lunch is something that would render all that pain useless. Now that wellness has finally become a priority again for Singaporeans, it’s no surprise that fresh-faced health freaks are getting their midday fix at salad bars in Singapore’s CBD area.
These salad bars offer more than a satisfying, feel-good meal. The convenience that comes with their food is a plus for busy working individuals, and the sheer number of permutations you can customise your bowls in means you’ll be hard pressed to run out of options and patience.
These healthy meals are also packed full of fibre, protein and nutrients, while being low on simple carbohydrates — making them perfect for optimum muscle recovery while keeping you satiated for the rest of the day, especially after a brutal lunch break gym session.
Now that both boutique and franchised gyms are on the rise within the bustling vicinity, we’re not surprised more and more salad bars in Singapore’s CBD are also popping up too, so we’ve picked the best ones to join the queue at. Here are 10 of our favourites to get you started.
The first is one that doesn’t need an introduction — you would’ve noticed the massive queue in the basement of One Raffles Place or Tanjong Pagar Centre. Known for its protein-centric salads — think Jamaican jerk dory or shoyu marinated steak —with a massive selection of seasoned greens and toppings (our favourite is the furikake), The Daily Cut makes clean eating painless and actually enjoyable.
The Daily Cut, 1 Raffles Place, Singapore 048616, +65 6288 6264
The brainchild of the team who also brought you Kilo, GrainTraders is a heartier alternative that includes unusual base grains like bulgur wheat and quinoa. Protein choices are also unconventional — think sous-vide and chargrilled salmon and seared marinated tuna — paired with sauces such as beetroot feta yogurt or miso caramel to keep the salads interesting and frankly, more exciting. If you can’t decide, its Signature Bowls menu of fixed options will save you the unnecessary stress.
Grain Traders, 138 Market St, #01-01/02/03 CapitaGreen, Singapore 048946, +65 6384 6559
This isn’t your regular salad stop. The Green Bar switches things up with its focus on being a little more creative by adding strawberries to a roasted chicken salad, or chilli crab to farfalle pasta for a local kick. The modern hippie-esque space promises its greens are imported fresh from Australia every day and its dressings are made in-house for a homemade vibe not many other salad places can offer.
The Green Bar, Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Blvd, Singapore 039596, +65 6336 0780
The folks behind this aren’t strangers to Japanese food — they’re also the brains behind Tanuki Raw, Shinkansen and Standing Sushi Bar. Salmon Samurai is a new concept catered specifically to salmon lovers in Singapore, and while it offers a variety of bases like mixed grain rice and udon, salad is also an option. For an extra dose of nutrients to your poke bowl, Japanese-inspired add-ons such as an onsen egg or ebiko are available.
Salmon Samurai, Ocean Financial Centre, 10 Collyer Quay, B1-08, Singapore 049315, +65 6634 8593
Like its name suggests, RawBar serves up a combination of raw and cooked food to keep your meals balanced. Its philosophy includes keeping the food in its most natural state as much as possible to keep all the ingredients’ nutrients intact, so you’re really getting more bang for your buck. Choose to fully customise your bowl, or hit up one of its fixed options such as the Fattoush — a combination of capsicums, lettuce and sesame with a pomegranate molasses dressing.
RawBar, 9 Raffles Place, B1-08 Republic Plaza, Singapore 048619, +65 6535 3230
Situated within a cosy nook at UOB’s towering Plaza 2 is The Salad Shop, a creative concept that offers an array of gourmet options. For the adventurous, there’re options such as blue cheese, chicken tikka, and even crayfish to go with its 23 types of homemade salad dressing. Can’t say you’re out of choices then.
The Salad Shop, UOB Plaza 2, 1st Floor, 80 Raffles Place, Singapore 048624, +65 6536 3686
Served within this casual lunch spot is a wide variety of salads incorporated with an unusual fusion of Asian and Western influences. One of its signatures, the Rebel Buddha-Bowl, is a nutrient-packed bowl full of hormone-free chicken, avocado, hummus, and pumpkin, though organic salads are also available alongside homemade dressings.
The Kitchen by Food Rebel, 28 Stanley Street, Telok Ayer, Singapore 068737, +65 6224 7088
If you have cravings for Japanese or Asian food sans the carbs, Wheat is your best bet. Although the green soba is largely popular, the salads offered are combined with Japanese favourites such as teriyaki chicken and grilled salmon. These are tossed in your choice of roasted sesame, yuzu or teriyaki sauce.
Wheat, 1 Raffles Place, B1-32, Singapore 048616, +65 6443 3391
Now a major fad on local shores, the Hawaiian staple has made waves for its hearty portions of lightly marinated fish over a bed of rice or salad. Aloha Poké offers generous amounts of tuna or salmon atop superfoods like chia, avocado or pomegranate to give your lunch a potent hit of nutrients. Every bowl is then topped off with scallions, pineapple and lime for a refreshing zest and even more flavour.
Aloha Poké, 92 Amoy Street, Singapore 069911, +65 6221 6165
With a vast selection of fresh produce and Asian-inspired options, The Rabbit Hole is well-versed in mixing up the saturated salad scene with the help of interesting combinations. If you fancy something sweeter at lunch without the guilt, the apple pie salad is a unique blend of crunchy apples, goji berries, cheddar and croutons, while the Taste of Thai includes mango and crushed peanuts for a (somewhat) believable experience. The wholesome establishment also offers a selection of cold-pressed juices to round off your meal.
The Rabbit Hole Salad & Juice, 1 Raffles Place, One Raffles Place, #04-30, Singapore 048616, +65 9476 1221