Salads are going (sort of) mainstream these days and I do like a good salad. But most salads in this neck of the woods is more lettuce leaves than anything else. And, to be honest, I am much too lazy to make one at home. But I now have two favourite places where the salads are not just salads but SALADS that give you some serious food cravings.
This started with Baker & Spice - yes they are responsible as is Nick, who I met for the breakfast "meeting" (breakfast was delicious) at the Souk al Bahar. I saw the salad counter and vowed to return. I did. And since then I have been back a few times and have yet to try anything else on the menu because I cannot get past their wonderful array of salads. And for lunch (not sure if they do it for dinner) they have the option of picking 4 salads for 58 AED (approx 16 USD). The wide array of vegetarian, and non-vegetarian options with (rarely) a lettuce leaf in sight. If you haven't tried it and you love your food, try their salads once and I promise you will crave them. Over and over again. I keep promising I will try other food there, but it hasn't happened yet.
The other place I tried was Richy's. I stumbled across them online - possibly an ad somewhere. I looked at their menu and they have the option to make your own salad. They too claimed to have only fresh ingredients and according to their site, "the salad was adamant about being served center stage, it decided to up its game a notch and find a creative solution where the lettuce wouldn't take up all the volume". They weren't kidding. There is lettuce but you could choose a bed of pasta or noodles if you did not fancy it. You could choose up to 6 ingredients (including fruits), pick your addons like meat or cheese or nuts and then pick your dressing.
I haven't been to the outlet in JLT but judging by the menu (available online and for download). I picked the easier option of one of their signature salads and selected the Citrus Influential Salad (on a bed of rocket with tomato, sweet peppers, grapefruit, orange, mint, fennel, strawberry, avocado, spiced pecans, chicken breast and a raspberry dressing. I went for the junior portion that was quite sizeable - at least it was enough for me as a main course. And true to their word, the rocket did not overtake the other ingredients and the raspberry dressing was not too sweet. Very satisfying.
I would highly recommend Richy's. Their online system works just fine - you order online, give them instructions and they send you an instant email confirming your order including how long it will take to deliver. The average delivery time they give is 1 hour and while they try to deliver faster, they haven't done it yet. So don't wait till you are hungry to order, give them time. So far, I have tried this salad and two of their wraps: Buffalo Chicken and Mexican Burrito. Both very, very substantial and great value for money too. The Burrito is definitely my favourite. A colleague has order a classic Nicoise and was very pleased with the portion size of the "junior". The Tuna they used was not tinned which was also a treat.
I know that, for me, based in Dubai Media City, Richy's is definitely my go to lunch place. It may not be quick but its definitely simple and easy and absolutely delicious.