Mc Donald’s, KFC, Burger King (Hungry Jacks in Oz), Pizza Hut and Domino’s have made a great job in making me relate franchises with food to be avoided: fast, highly processed food loaded with salt, sugar and unhealthy fats, that don’t even taste as good as their equivalents in a regular restaurant (not to mention home cooked meals).
Things are a bit different here in Australia, there are a number of franchised restaurants specialised in delivering healthier alternatives under a brand name (Boost Juice, Hero Salad, Sumo Salad, Saladworks, among others). The closest to my office is Saladworks, so I tried it long time ago on a “break” day (meaning that I didn’t prepare my lunch the day before). I totally loved it and there’s where I usually go when I don’t bring my lunch (my other common choices are Iku and Pulsation Cafe).
So, what does Saladworks have that the others don’t? For starters, even when the ingredients are not freshly chopped, the salads are assembled on order, they are not sitting in the (hopefully) cold display already mixed with the dressing since early hours in the morning. That also gives you the advantage that besides the salad menu you have the option of choosing your own ingredients. It reminds me of the restaurant where I had lunch most days when working in Mexico City. The only difference is that the small salad there would be the large here and the large there would be family size (that’s why Mexico is the second most obese country in the world).
Anyway, Saladworks’ fixed menu has enough variety for you being able to choose a tasty salad quickly if you’re in a rush. I’ve tried some and they’re quite good.
If it’s not salad what you want, there are soups and sandwiches, too. I’ve never tried them but they look tempting.
They also have a short list of fixed juices plus options to DYI.
If you’re up to dessert or a mid-morning/mid-afternoon snack, there are sweet treats (cookies, breads, muffins), plus granola bars, mixed nuts with dried fruits, and yogurt. I’ve tried the apple and pecan cookie and the banana bread and both were really good, they tasted fresher and healthier that the usual stuff.
This time I had a medium DYI salad with mixed leaves. You get to choose up to 7 ingredients (I chose beetroot, chickpeas, olives, artichokes, cucumber, sunflower seeds and feta cheese), some kind of meat (I chose smoked salmon) for an extra cost, and a dressing (I chose the balsamic vinaigrette). I also had a revive juice (apple, watermelon + rockmelon) and the free bread roll that comes with the salad.
Lunch was yummy, just like every time I eat at Saladworks. I didn’t finish the bread roll, I think next time I’ll have to decide between the juice and the roll.
Saladworks Clarence St
83 – 85 Clarence St
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9223 0677