May 18, 2016

Sprout Salad Bar @ Duxton Road, Tanjong Pagar ~ Great Salads, Hipster Vibes But Comparatively Expensive

When in doubt, eat at Sprout? Sounds like a great idea..... because we know for sure that a salad-centric meal at Sprout Salad Bar will be healthier than the typical (but ooh why-so-delicious?) fare at a hawker centre.

But to overcome temptation from the numerous yummy Korean fried chicken shops that dot the vicinity of Duxton and Tanjong Pagar where Sprout is nestled can be quite a challenge haha.

Still, Sprout has charmed its way into this PinkyPiggu's tummy with an array of delicious, winsome salads. Its premises makes a noteworthy mention as well. Bright, spacious, and I especially like the corner where glass ceiling allows in streams of uplifting sunshine.

Certainly a place deserving of frequent visits. If only the salad bowls can be priced a little lower.

A DIY Salad starts at $16 (Basic B: 1 base + 4 toppings) and $21 (The Chiara: 1 base + 4 toppings + 1 protein). Be prepared to fork out an extra $2.50 to $6 for each additional topping, leafy green, protein or grain.

Do take advantage of the Lunchtime Promo (11am-1.30pm) of Salad + Soup + Drink by adding $6 to any salad.

There is also an expanded menu of Egglet Waffles ($11.90) from 2.30pm to 5.30pm, and Bagels ($9.90 to $12.90) on weekends.

Sprouts' recommendation for first-time visitors would be to try their signature Salads ($11.90 to $19.90) and Salad Bowls ($16.90 to $19.90) which include grains like quinoa or pearl cous cous.

The Japanese Salmon Bowl ($19.90) comprising of salmon and avocado on a bed of buckwheat noodles is said to be one of the more popular items. Truffled Portobello Salad ($15.90) will suit if you're looking for a vegetarian option.

It seems like my choice of Korean Chicken Bowl ($16.90) has a rather broad appeal. I overheard other customers ordering it, and quite a number were seeing tucking into the combination of chicken breast, baby spinach, shitake mushrooms, silken tofu, carrots, Japanese cucumber, toasted sesame seeds, mung bean sprout and soft-boiled egg served over pearl cous cous with kimchi soy dressing.

All meats at Sprout are sous-vide before quick searing or grilling to ensure greater consistency. Though the chicken breast is sufficiently tender, it could do with more moisture. Flavors were a tad flat and I could only taste the saltiness. Perhaps the Korean element can be stronger too for its namesake. Not the most perfect bowl, but still palatable enough to be finished lah (I try not to waste food unless it really sucks).

My colleague went, "huh, $19.90 for 3 prawns?!". Err yes, but Sprout justifies the price by using really big prawns for the Yuzu Rocket Prawn Salad ($19.90). Besides, they don't slice the prawns into half or cut it into smaller pieces to make it appear as though there's more in quantity.

This is a delightful bowl for the prawns' crunchiness and freshness, and also the yuzu dressing which tied the bowl with an invigorating note. I like!

But when in need of something more substantial, the Beef & Broccoli Bowl ($18.90) with seared striploin strips and warm quinoa would suit better. That was my most satisfying bowl at Sprout so far.

The folks at Sprout believe that a good salad is not just a bowl of vegetables, but a balanced meal when the right ingredients are incorporated. I totally concur. Then again, there are many cheaper options nearby (International Plaza alone has at least 4 to 5 salad stalls and is only a 10-minutes walk away).

This will not be number one on my list for an "everyday salad" place, but on occasions when I need to enjoy some refreshing greens in a nice ambience, Sprout will win hands-down. Also makes a great alternative venue for casual business lunch meetings, and if your date is into clean-eating, you know where to bring him/her :)

Sprout Salad Bar
Address: 41 Duxton Road, Singapore 089505
Contact: +65 6221 1227
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-8.30pm / Sat 11am - 7pm / Closed on Sun & Public Holidays

Prices stated are in Singapore dollars and nett.

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