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Beautifood by Alvin Leung – salads with a twist

It’s said that Jennifer Aniston ate salad for lunch every single day for 10 years while filming Friends… A decade’s worth of salad eating?! That is commitment!

Although Hong Kong’s salad scene has a fair way to go before it can rival the likes of what’s dished up in Hollywood, it’s exciting to see a new A-list player has decided to throw itself into the mix. Created by Michelin-starred chef Alvin Leung (the self-styled ‘Demon Chef’ behind ‘Xtreme Chinese Cuisine’ restaurant Bo Innovation), Beautifood started tossing salads in January this year.

I’m always on the lookout for healthy yet tasty meal options, so when Beautifood offered to send my office a bunch of salads for lunch recently, I was as keen as a string bean! Beautifood delivers to most places across Hong Kong Island – something I was extra pleased to learn considering I normally have to traipse about 20 minutes down the road to get my hands on decent greenery. Salad direct to my desk plus extra time up my sleeve = a winning combo!

With five varieties to choose from, Beautifood’s menu isn’t extensive but it does cover a range of tastes:

  • Salty ‘Ling Mut’ Salad (mixed greens with grape tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans, smoked salmon and Demon Chef Preserved Lemon Honey Dressing)
  • Demon Black Caesar (romaine lettuce with grape tomatoes, chicken breast cooked sous-vide and Demon Chef Creamy Black Garlic Dressing)
  • The Green Salad (mixed greens with kidney beans, chickpeas, tempura tofu and Demon Chef Kaffir Lime Dressing)
  • Iconic True 8 Chef Salad (mixed greens with beetroot, shaved carrots, grape tomatoes, egg wedges and Demon Chef ‘Pat Chun’ Vinaigrette)
  • Mandarin Nicoise (mixed greens with haricots verts, grape tomatoes, tuna and Demon Chef ‘Chan Pei’ Dressing)

Enclosed in distinctive clear plastic egg-shaped containers, the Beautifood delivery caused quite a stir when it touched down at the office.

I ordered the Demon Black Caesar – a basic chicken salad that came to life once drizzled with its accompanying creamy black garlic dressing. I liked how the chicken and dressing were packed into separate compartments within the container to ensure the lettuce and tomatoes didn’t arrive soggy (I’m not a fan of limp lettuce).

When I was ready to chow down, I combined the ingredients, closed the container lid and gave it a good shake. The result was a well-dressed bowl of fresh, finely chopped greens. It was easy to consume at my desk and didn’t create a drop of mess. I don’t often eat chicken cooked sous-vide style so it took me a few chews to get used to the tender moist texture of the meat – I soon adjusted though! Coupled with the sweet grape tomatoes, the Demon Black Caesar didn’t disappoint.

Lunchtime passed and the salads managed to tick all the right boxes. Across the board, my colleagues thought they were well presented, generously sized, tasty, and – at $50 a pop – decent value too.

I don’t plan to follow Jennifer Aniston’s Friends diet anytime soon but on busy days when taking an off-site lunch break isn’t an option, a Beautifood salad is definitely something I might consider ordering, especially now the sweltering HK summer has set in. As they grow (rumour has it there may be a Beautifood salad bar opening at some stage soon), hopefully the number of menu options also expands as I’m sure a few more choices would be well-received.

All Beautifood salads are $50; there is an additional $10 delivery fee (per order, not per salad). Orders must be placed before 6pm the previous day (no same day delivery).

Beautifood Shop 3, G/F, J Senses, 60 Johnston road, Wan Chai
2860 0012 www.beautifood.com.hk

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