Arguably the city’s only salad bar, this fresh new spot provides healthy options for downtown diners by sticking to the basics. By Andrew Headspeath. Photos by Jonny Edbrooke.

These days, Saigonese are buying memberships to trendy modern gyms, guzzling protein shakes and even swapping motorbike rides for jogs in the park but Saigon dining scene has been slow to catch on, leaving health enthusiasts with limited options.

That is, of course, until Beets appeared. Just a few months old, this little gem on Ham Nghi is a salad bar that’s taking up a very big gap in the market.

“When people try to diet here, they’ll skip meals or eat vegetarian food, which can contain a lot of spices and oils,” says Nguyen Nguyet, Beets’ managing director. “At Beets, we only use fresh ingredients, delivered every day, and hope to show people who are dieting what their ideal portions should look like.”

The restaurant’s décor is simple yet pragmatic: wooden furniture echoes the farm-fresh crates in which the food is delivered. Deconstructed menu items grace the walls, with every ingredient proudly on display. Green and purple, Beets’s signature colours, tastefully line the room.

For those who know what they like, Beets offers customers the option of building their own salad bowl. Its salad bar is a vibrant pick-n-mix, displaying all potential ingredients. Start with a healthy portion of greens at VND 50,000. Diners are then free to select toppings from several tiers. Free additions include beets, edamame and croutons, of which you can choose up to four. Other ingredients like bacon and avocado are also on offer for between VND 10,000 and VND 20,000 per helping.

Designed salad bowls are also available on the menu (VND 50,000 – VND 85,000). Beets originals like the honey tuna salad (VND 75,000) are delightfully fresh, with this particular dish’s myriad textures complemented by the subtle taste of honey. The tuna is cooked beautifully, and a few slices of orange give the bowl a little zing.

Another recent addition to the Beets menu is its Perfect Portion section. Putting veggies, proteins and grains into their ideal percentages, these meals aid customers in achieving their nutritional goals (VND 85,000 – VND 120,000). The chicken breast dish (VND 85,000) tastes as beautiful as it looks, with a lemon vinaigrette tying the dish’s salad portion together, which adds a satisfying crunch to the tender chicken and soft brown rice.

Wash it all down with some freshly-pressed fruit juice or detox water and you’ll be leaving Beets feeling satisfied and completely guilt-free. If you’re too tuckered out to visit the restaurant, you can call for delivery.

111 Ham Nghi, District 1
Tel: 08 38 211 282
7am – 9.30pm Mon to Sat, 8am – 9pm Sun