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Best Places for Healthy Salads and Sandwiches in Singapore

Best Places for Healthy Salads and Sandwiches in Singapore

Not all healthy foods are green, mean and downright tasteless. In 2016, keep to your #EatClean resolution with these 14 best places for satisfying, tasty, healthy salads and sandwiches. From a little known salad joint tucked in the basement of Chevron House to hearty Nordic sandwiches, there’s no need to compromise on the quality or flavour of your food when it comes to treating your body well. After all, green is the new black.
Burpple Guides
Burpple Guides

Say aloha to the food trend that is sweeping all across the world — poke (pronounced 'poh-kay'). A staple of the Hawaiian islands for centuries, poke bowls are salads that feature marinated raw fish, much like its chirashi counterparts from Japan. In fact, the original poke flavour that sees the freshly cut sashimi cubes tossed in a sweet marinade, is a nod to the strong Japanese influence on the Hawaiian islands. While yellow fin tuna is the default choice of fish in Hawaii, Aloha Poke also offers salmon as an alternative base, alongside a vegetarian option. For lunch, choose from three different sizes (one, two or three scoops of poke). Go for the standard Nalu (2 scoops, $15.90) with this winning combination — 150g of original tuna and wasabi mayo salmon with brown rice and avocado, topped with flying fish roe and cherry tomatoes. Every bowl comes with a slice of lime, bite-sized pineapples and scallions on the side. You may also opt for the spicy flavour if you prefer some heat. Come by in the evening for the Roasted Pork Belly ($12) served with pineapple cubes, washed down with either a pint of ice cold Hawaiian Kona Beer ($13.90) or a Mauna Loa cocktail ($18) at the newly launched Tiki Bar (in a cute Tiki mug of course)! Pro tip: order your salads one day in advance via email to beat the queue.

When the call for a good, hearty sandwich arises, head straight for Gæst (pronounced 'guest'). This Nordic café situated right across the madness of Amoy Street Food Centre allows you to enjoy a hard-earned respite. Indoor seating is limited, so make plans to go early, or enjoy your lunch alfresco. What makes this place so special is their housemade sourdough, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better slice of sandwich bread anywhere in this country. For a weekday breakfast, order the Egg-in-the-Hole ($12) — two slices of freshly baked sourdough pan-fried with two sunny side-up eggs cracked on top, plus a generous helping of rocket and cherry tomatoes. At lunch, get the crowd favourite Pork ($14) sandwich, where roast pork is studded with crackling, orange-marinated red cabbage, parsley, red apples and a mustard mayonnaise, kind of like a Nordic sio bak sandwich. They also have a Salad of the Day ($14) that comes with housemade bread. Aside from weekday breakfasts and lunches, this is one of the rare CBD spots that open on weekends too. Drop by for a quiet brunch of Scrambled Eggs and Salmon ($15), that includes unbelievably fluffy scrambled eggs, locally sourced smoked salmon, a side salad and sourdough, or the huge Brunch Plate 1 ($20) that never fails to please.

From the boys behind Kilo comes this four-month-old venture that has been well-received by the Shentoners (can we call you that?). Located at the new CapitaGreen building, this high-ceilinged, concrete-floored space is abuzz with excitement come lunch time despite the price tag on these bowls. The menu is simple — pick from any six of the aforethought Hero bowls ($16) like El Hibaro, a combination of warm striploin steak, lightly charred vegetables, wafu tomatoes and salsa verde on a bed of sushi rice. Alternatively, customise your own bowl and go for the char-grilled salmon, tuna or the flavour-packed pulled pork from the proteins, and don't miss the wild mushrooms from the hot veg. Of the sauces, the Miso Caramel and the Beetroot Feta Yoghurt are simply irresistible. Go easy on the grains here, portions are generous and they fill you up even before you start to dig into the rest of the bowl. Come with a lunch buddy and split up — one to snag a seat and one to order. Otherwise, be prepared to dig into your bowls at the alfresco standing bar. For maximum effect, add a dash of the chili flakes and chili padi found next to the utensils before digging in! p.s. Do try their White Cold Brew ($7.50) before you go!

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The newly opened PasarBella at Suntec City is unlike it’s bigger sister at Turf City – it’s much smaller in size and it’s got a Lower East Side New York City vibe, complete with graffiti on the walls and fruit crates covering every corner of the ceiling. The food selection here is also different, with entirely new concepts filling the stalls. One stall to zoom in on in this 100-seater space is Porsena Deli, opened by chef Kyle Henderson (previously from Lolla at Ann Siang). The menu is straightforward — protein-rich sandwiches featuring slow-cooked meats and house-made pastrami. Go for the crowd pleasing Pork Belly Banh Mi ($9.50), chunky slices of slow-cooked pork belly that melt in your mouth, or the flavourful Smoked Beef Pastrami ($14) served with sauerkraut, jack cheddar and spicy dill pickle. Other small bites to look forward to include Grilled Portobello ($9) served with provolone cheese and jalapeño salsa, and the Roasted Lamb Shoulder ($12.50) served with cucumber and yoghurt. Simply add $3 to make it a set with soup or vegetables and a freshly baked cookie!

After all that hard work shopping in town, don't flush your efforts down the drain and spend your calories on fatty food. Instead, head over to Saint Pierre Market and eat your way to a healthier you. This fuss-free concept from the Emmanuel Stroobant Group, also responsible for the Quayside Isle restaurant, Saint Pierre, dishes out quality sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups and pastries. Chef-owner Emmanuel Stroobant's idea of eating clean focuses on using the very best artisanal vegetables and fruits. Get the affordably priced pre-packed sandwiches to go, or pop by for a power lunch with your colleague slash yoga buddy. For a satisfying vegetarian option, dig into their Kale Soba Salad ($13.80), organic kale leaves with a gratifying crunch, served with buckwheat noodles and a side of cubed silky tofu and sprinkled with roasted nori, toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds best paired with the gomadare dressing. Alternatively, the Lentil Salad ($13.80) boats clean flavours, with skilfully poached sakura chicken breast, tender puy lentils, a refreshing side of celery and a flavourful portobello mushroom topped with sunflower seeds. If a straightforward sandwich is what you're after, the tasty, classic Smoked Salmon Sandwich ($14.80) slathered with dill mayo on a cereal baguette is sure to satisfy. Wash it all down with a cup of Nespresso, Alain Milliat juices or coconut water to end that perfect #eatclean meal.

Located in the basement of Chevron House, Omnivore is an exceptionally affordable version for protein-rich salads. Each box comes with one carb, three toppings and one dressing with your choice of protein ($9.90 for one protein, $12.90 for two, $15.90 for three). Portions here run big, prices are reasonable and the quality is consistently good, which makes it the much-talked-about salad place amongst the fitspos. It'll be easy to convince your buddies to grab a salad with you for lunch, especially when there's the good-looking crispy skin Salmon (add $2), wobbly sous vide egg, sweet potato and the refreshing aloe vera topping! Drizzle some honey soy before digging in and wash it all down with a pint of their homemade Cold Brew Black Coffee ($5.50)! That is one fantastic way to eat clean.

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Determined to bring the joy of bagels to Singaporeans, the two gentlemen behind this establishment at Icon Village pride themselves in hand-rolling each bagel with love. Get initiated with these boiled-then-baked breads with the simple Sea Salt ($2.50, plain). Then, choose a spread, also called a "schmear" in the bagel context, such as the decadent Creamy Peanut Butter and Berries Jelly ($4.50, price inclusive of bagel), or Sun-dried Tomato Cream Cheese ($4.50, price inclusive of bagel) for a comforting breakfast. Experience the vibrant Lox ($11.90) come lunch time, a classic combination of cured salmon, cream cheese, red onions, beets, dill and capers, atop crisp yet chewy bagel halves. Also satisfying is the HogV2 ($13.90) with pulled BBQ short ribs and purple apple slaw. If you've had a bad day and require treat in the form of breakfast-for-dinner, have the Piglet ($8.50), an all-day breakfast bagel served with a crispy bacon strip, sunny side up, fresh lettuce, hash brown and aioli. Pro tip: For breakfast or tea time, grab a friend and share a bag of three bagels + schmears for just $6!

There's ssam-thing sandwiched between Four Seasons Gourmet Market and Viet Baguette Café that ought to be the talk of the town, at least amongst those who work in the CBD. Operating mainly as a takeout joint (there are two bar tables that sit a max of three pax each) that bangs out healthy Korean and Mexican fusion grub, Ssam (which means 'wrapped' in Korean) is a fantastic choice for carnivores. The show-stoppers of this salad bowl are its meats — 40-hour Korean BBQ marinated beef short ribs, ginger soy chicken thigh, and the crowd favourite kimchi sweet and sour shoulder and pork belly with crackling skin (!). You can have a salad, rice bowl or burrito, of which the latter two come stuffed with a generous portion of cilantro lime rice, kimchi rice or hash browns. Opt for the Ssam Salad ($7.50-9 depending on your choice of protein) — think fragrant basil and romaine lettuce, with tangy kimchi and tomato salsa, onion lime relish, pickled cucumbers, kimchi and seaweed with unbelievably tasty beef short ribs, all topped with sesame seeds and fried shallots! For the herbivores, go for the equally tasty Sesame Soy Kimchi Tofu. Jinjja daebak!

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Located just a stone’s throw away from Raffles Place MRT Station is Kraftwich, the latest venture by Swissbake. Step into this urban looking bistro, complete with beautifully crafted hand lettering and illustrations adorning the walls, and dig into affordable sandwiches and build-your-own salads. Start your day with the Early Bird Special ($6.90) with one breakfast item like the Poached Egg and Turkey Ham and coffee or tea. At lunch, the Smoked Salmon Kraftwich ($8.90) served on their signature Kraftkorn bread is a crowd pleaser, or the Portobello Mushroom Kraftwich ($8.90), jammed full with succulent mushrooms, tomatoes, and vegetables. Alternatively, the Your Kraft Salad ($7.90) comes with a veggie base and five toppings, of which you can choose from beetroot to gherkins and even green apples, for a truly wholesome spread. Keep to that #eatclean diet and opt for a cold pressed juice, like the Spinach and Apple Pressed Juice ($6.90), for a tangy yet refreshing afternoon pick-me-up!

This one-year-old salad bar located at One Raffles Place serves protein-rich salads that have been attracting a strong crowd, with long, snaking queues come lunch hour. The menu is straightforward — choose from three sizes, the Regular (one protein, $12), Large (two proteins, $15) and the Beast (three proteins, $18). All salads come with one complex carb, three toppings and one dressing. Standout proteins include their super-tender chicken breast and the lovingly grilled sirloin steak (additional $1, totally worth it). Don't miss the complex carb of sweet potato or brown rice, or the wobbly sous-vide egg! Grab the ginger ponzu sauce for dipping your proteins or drenching that lovely brown rice in. Wash it all down with coconut water from Cocoloco or freshly pressed juices from Gorilla Press. Pro tip: Come here with a friend and share the Beast, making it just $9 for double the fun ;)

There's something about sitting outside on the pavement of Telok Ayer Street with a good hearty sandwich from Sarnies in one hand and a coffee in another to start your Monday on the right foot. Opened by two Aussie siblings, Sarnies is a no-frills café serving tasty, mammoth sandwiches and salads that has captured the stomachs of many office workers because it’s filling, satisfying and downright healthy in the most appealing way. At lunch, feast on an Aussie Grain-fed Beef Sandwich ($16.50) bursting with caramelised onions and mushrooms, or a dead simple, juicy, breaded Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich ($14.50) with mayo and rye bread. If a big bowl of salad is what you're after, then indulge in the Tuna Tataki ($16) flavoured with bonito flakes, soy and mirin, or the mountainous Paleo Steak ($17.50) that comes with a scoop of guacamole on top. Better still, go halfsies with your friend and share a salad + sandwich! Don't forget to finish off with a flat white.

The humble beginnings of this unassuming salad bar started six years ago, with the intention of providing a healthy, affordable alternative for the CBD crowd. Staying true to its mission, bowls here go for just $4.90 (prices range from $4.90-$5.90 depending on the outlet). Choose five toppings and one salad dressing with a standard serving of mixed mesclun leaves. Favourites include soba, firm tofu, sautéed mixed mushrooms, walnuts and croutons (not the healthiest, but tastes so good!). The hardest part of building your own salad here is probably choosing the dressing — there are 16 to choose from! There are the usual suspects like Caesar and Balsamic Vinaigrette, alongside more unique flavours like Japanese Sesame and Wasabi Mayo. Also opt for a premium topping (additional $1-$2) like Tuna or Rosemary Chicken Breast. With a new outlet at Westgate that opens all week long, there's no reason why westies can't adopt a healthy diet!

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The top picks, popular finds and newly opened places in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, curated by Burpple editors!

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