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The Cav, Ponsonby

This Auckland fave’s Grassy Knoll salad is no reference to the late JFK but refers instead to a crumbed Grassy Knoll beef eye fillet with lettuce, tomato, shallots, edamame, Japanese katsu mayonnaise and roasted sesame dressing. In a sort of deconstructed salad, they also do bite-sized iceberg lettuce cups of spiced chicken mince, toasted cashews or one with pulled pork, spring onion and coriander in a handy iceberg lettuce leaf container.

The Empire, Auckland CBD

Apart from staples of lamb salad and an enticing haloumi salad with red onion, roast pumpkin, courgette chips and mesculin, The Empire also does a refreshing twist with its prosciutto and rockmelon salad alongside cos leaves, feta and candied walnuts with a citrus dressing.

Speights, Queenstown

Never fear that beer always needs to be paired with a big protein. At Speights Ale House the roasted vegetable and feta salad, topped with crumbled feta cheese and balsamic glaze is matched with a house Gold Medal Ale, while tender marinated Otago Highland lamb, grilled medium rare, and laid on fresh garden salad, served with crispy potatoes is matched with Speight's Distinction Ale.

Chow Bar, Wellington

At the distinctly Asian-influenced Chow bar in Wellington, an orange and pistachio salad comes with refreshing mint, coriander and a hit of chilli while an all-time favourite is manuka smoked salmon, served with a salad of cucumber, cherry tomatoes, coriander and nahm prik chilli sauce.

The Green Man Pub, Wellington

At this eye-poppingly bright boozer, the Vietnamese salad comes with a choice of either Panko-crumbed squid or beef cooked medium rare, served with a lime, chilli and Vietnamese mint dressing and crispy noodles. Bam!

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