For the discerning healthy eaters among us – there’s Dressed, by Zipporah Gene

Dressed. For the discerning healthy eaters among us – there's Dressed.Tucked away on the ground floor of the Mercury Ville mall, bathed in sunlight and clad in an unassuming monochrome interior, is every health nut’s paradise.

You wouldn’t be faulted if, in the past, you’ve ever overlooked its intentionally neutral backdrop and assumed that the bustling atmosphere within, was that of yet another quick service fast food joint. But, in case you still aren’t in the know, this latest American import, is definitely the best thing since sliced bread.

It’s a simple yet effective, no frills eating style that merges our love of easy breezy café culture, with fresh, raw, ingredients.

You are in total control and can ‘build’ your very own, made-to-order pasta, salad, or wrap. However, unlike a regular salad bar, the impressive selection of over 75 locally sourced toppings, and 24 different types of salad dressings on display, means you’re sure to be getting your money’s worth. For that level of choice, you’ll be glad to hear that prices start from 79 baht for salads, 89 baht for wraps, and only 119 for the ingenious create-your-own pastas.

If, like me, the thought of all that option petrifies you. Then you’ll want to focus on the latest à la carte menu. The signature salad, the New Orleans Chicken, is by far the most popular and there’s no denying the fact that it’s the perfect marriage of tender mixed oak, succulent cherry tomatoes, cajun chicken, cucumber, quails eggs, roasted red peppers, edamame, sweetcorn and feta cheese – all bathed in a piquant sundried tomato vinaigrette.

The seared tuna makes a lasting impression, as the most beautiful looking salad I have ever come across. But be warned, that this generous helping of sushi grade peppered tuna, mixed mesclun, grilled asparagus, red peppers, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and fried capers, comes with a feisty chipotle vinaigrette.

My personal favourite was the detox antioxidant salad. This plentiful helping of baby spinach, roasted beet, roasted garlic, broccoli, red pepper, sundried tomatoes, carrot, and sprinklings of sunflower seeds came in a surprisingly beautiful blueberry and pomegranate dressing. It was tart, but sweet and I had to exercise a lot of restraint to stop myself from licking the leftover sauce, after we’d fought over the very last bite.

For something heartier, I personally recommend the margherita panini.

Who knew that tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, on a perfectly crisp ciabatta bread, could have ever tasted so good.

Thanks to a new earlier opening time of 9am, the Chidlom branch now serves up some of the classic breakfast favourites such as ham, egg and cheese sandwhiches, salmon and egg bagels and of course the much loved breakfast burrito. There are also fresh soups made daily.

If you’ve ever wanted an uncomplicated smoothie and been left wanting, then, the earthy creaminess of the minted avocado is right up your street. The mango tango protein shake, a favourite with gym buffs, and personal trainers alike, has got to be its best kept secret. It’s definitely the perfect, on-the-run liquid companion and packs oodles of energy in a cup.

However, if you’re not much of a smoothie type, don’t worry because you still grab something from the wide selection of high-grade imported teas and the usual gang of coffees.

You must try the devilishly moreish, dulche de leche crepe. There are three perfectly tender crepes in total to choose from, and I defy anyone to pit themselves against such wantonly, delicate, creaminess.

Thank heavens I can actually order all these healthy, but delicious meals from the likes of Chef Xp and Food Panda. I hear they also do delivery for work functions and events.

You can find Dressed at:
Mercury Ville: Ground Floor. 540 Ploenchit Road. Chidlom / Langsuan Intersection.
BTS: Chidlom. Open Daily 10am-8pm. Tel. 02-658-6688

Siam Paragon: Ground Floor. Between MK Gold and Gourmet Market.
BTS: Siam. Open Daily 10am-10pm

Empire Tower: 2nd Floor. At Main Entrance to Building from Sky Walk. BTS: Chongnonsi. (Opening March 2014)