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Sweetie Salad

You may have heard of Sweetie Salad because of their unfortunate PR stunt gone wrong last year, but there is much more to them than scantily-clad gladiators handing out salad.

We all know it’s hard eating healthy, especially somewhere like Beijing. Sweetie Salad offers a sizeable range of good, affordable salads. All the salads come in clear cylinders, complete with layers of colourful ingredients. The Sweetie Salad website advise you to pour in the dressing and shake, but I’ve found that the ingredients are so tightly packed that shaking the salad will leave you with nothing but sore arms (depending on how vigorously you shake) and a sense of frustration. Much wiser is to pour the salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss it with the dressing there.

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The Chicken and Avocado salad (45 RMB) is one of my favourites. Each time I’ve ordered it, the avocado is just ripe, and the texture of the mango coupled with the tender chicken is a match made in heaven. The spicy South American dressing is as it’s name claims, and is as spicy as they come. If you can handle spice that leaves your lips numb, this dressing is for you.

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The Spicy Vegetarian (25 RMB) is made with an array of vegetables and features some interesting inclusions too, such as quail eggs and water chestnuts. The water chestnut is surprisingly, one of the best parts of the salad, with a firm crunch and almost apple like texture. One side note – since I’ve started ordering Sweetie Salad, I’ve noticed that the sautéed mushrooms in the salad have become steadily more garlicky with each order, which is mildly unpleasant especially when coupled with the freshness of the other vegetables.

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The Walnuts and Salmon salad (55 RMB) is a standout but is only available for a limited time, so order it while you can. Chunks of flaky cooked salmon, chewy lemon-yellow kernels of sweet corn and slabs of juicy mango make this salad taste like something that should be bad for you, but it’s really not. This super salad comes packed with 19 grams of protein and is only a mere 387 calories. (All nutritional information is available on the WeChat ordering system). All salads also come with a roll called Scandinavian health bread. The bread is soft and sweet, with fruit throughout – it may be healthy, but it tastes horrible and is reminiscent of the stale bread rolls they serve on the airplane. If Sweetie Salad were to change the bread they offer to a nice slab of whole-grain, or a crusty roll, it would make the salad infinitely better.

The nice thing about Sweetie Salad is the flexibility. Want a chicken Caesar salad but don’t want Caesar dressing? No problem – the order system allows the customer to pick whichever salad dressing they want. Another plus for Sweetie Salad is that the salads are always incredibly fresh and do not go soggy, unlike other takeaway salads which normally arrive limp, brown and unappealing.

To order Sweetie Salad, add their WeChat ID: sweetheart_salad. Right now, the ordering system is in Chinese but the salad names are in English. Keep in mind that Sweetie Salad needs to be ordered at least a day in advance. Navigating the menu is pretty straightforward, but if your grasp of Chinese is rudimentary at best, ask a Chinese co-worker or friend to help you out.

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