Health-focused food served by glossy-haired lifestyle evangelists used to be as out-there as illicit dalliances in red rooms of pain. But now that ‘50 Shades of Grey’ has sent bondage mainstream, anything goes when it comes to food. All of a sudden, the must-have accessory for hip Londoners is a little plastic flask of nutrient-packed green juice. Who would have predicted that?
The glossy-haired gals behind Maple & Fitz have cottoned on to this trend, aiming their super-charged salad and juice bar squarely at central-London office drones who want to look forward to lunch but can’t face a carb crash come the afternoon. You can mix up to three salads per £6.95 box, adding protein such as a perfectly ripe, lightly griddled, chilli-flecked avocado half for £2 or £3.
A great deal of thought has gone into the composition of all the salads, particularly the distinctive dressings. Our favourites were the house twist on a classic Caesar, with shredded kale (‘massaged’ by the chef to spare your chewing muscles), pecorino, and a sharply balanced lemon, mustard and yoghurt dressing. Equally yummy options included an Asian-style slaw of shredded vegetables and herbs with a miso and sesame dressing, and a special based around curried cauliflower. The only dish that slid into worthy territory was an endlessly chewy barley salad with pomegranate, walnuts and celery.
The tiny two-floor corner site is pleasant to eat in, with fresh flowers on the white wooden tables and free water (go for this rather than the cold-pressed juices, which bump up the price of lunch and assault your taste buds into the bargain). However, most customers will likely be popping in for something al desko. Wherever you eat them, these salads are so saintly they don’t require a safe word.