After several aborted attempts to phone in my order at this new salad bar in JLT, my first face-to-face encounter with Richy’s came quite by accident. Passing by, on my way to dine elsewhere, I popped in for a quick recce to find an incredible aroma and a lone but happy customer, munching away and telling me between mouthfuls that this was the best salad he had ever tasted.

On my next visit, this time to dine in, I was greeted by the same wonderfully fresh scent. I wasn’t greeted by a friendly fellow customer, but by equally friendly staff, who also proved to be knowledgeable about the menu. Quizzing the server behind the counter on the soups and salads and taking in the array of ingredients in front of him, I decided to opt for the unique-sounding soup of the day: broccoli and quinoa. Torn between the unusual concoctions in the signature salads, as well as the option to create my own, I choose the five-spice distinction salad, a mix of grilled beef, soba noodles, spring onions, cherry tomatoes, peppers and sesame seeds, with a ginger and soy dressing.

I sat in the simple bar-style seating area around the window overlooking the lakes and waited for the two dishes, which arrived quickly. The dressing was thoughtfully packaged separately from the salad; the soup came with a small portion of croutons and instructions to slurp loudly because it makes other people uncomfortable. The soup was creamy and smooth yet still with a light, airy consistency, and a lovely popping bite from the quinoa. It also had a fantastically green and gardeny broccoli flavour, and the accompanying croutons appeared to have been baked with minimal oil for an added healthy-eating bonus.

Pouring the dressing over the salad, and following Richy’s instructions to shake it (because it would never get dizzy), I opened the packaging to a vibrant aroma of ginger and soy. The salad proved to be excellent. The beef was tender, the soba noodles had a great bite to them, there was a good mix of sweet and fresh from the tomato, cucumber and carrot, and the wonderful flavours of sesame, soy and ginger just kept on singing, clear yet cohesive, in the background.

The servers appeared to be hurriedly packing up delivery orders almost the entire time I was there. The phone seemed to be constantly ringing, but the server answering it never stopped talking either; eventually, I asked what the deal was with their phone. The server explained that because it’s early days, Richy’s can’t quite cope yet with the intense demand. Having finally cut out the telephonic middleman and headed to Richy’s in person for my salad, I can definitely see why.

The bill (for one)

1x soup Dhs22
1x regular salad Dhs34
1x small water Dhs5
Total (excluding service) Dhs61