Whether it’s for reasons of health, religion or environmentalism, veganism is becoming an increasingly popular way of life. It’s a diet generally considered to be higher in fibre and lower in cholesterol, protein, calcium and salt than a carnivorous one, with studies showing that it reduces the risk of heart disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. And Hong Kong’s vegan restaurant scene is quickly catching up in terms of the breadth of options on offer. From indulgent vegan comfort food to farm-to-table salads and nutritional lunches, here we highlight some of the city’s most exciting vegan eateries.
Everything at Treehouse is made in house, from its 24-hour fermented whole wheat sourdough, flavoured in a blend of either Green (coriander and oregano) or Red (paprika, cayenne and cumin) spices, to the Israel-inspired salads and sauces. The menu is plant-based aside from just two optional ingredients — egg and halloumi. Influenced by the founder Christian Mongendre’s travels, there’s vegan ramen from Japan and detox juices that use Thai flavours, plus the chance to build-your-own flatbread with more than 10 sauces, and 33 different toppings.
Treehouse, Shop 1, Ground Floor, Ezra’s Lane, 45 Pottinger Street, Central; BaseHall, Jardine House, Central; facebook.com/treehouse.eco
Despite its vegan doctrine, the linchpin of this Sheung Wan restaurant is hearty comfort food, with an indulgent menu of global culinary fare. From its Grilled Beyond Burger, which sandwiches a Beyond Meat patty between toasted rye sourdough buns and an assortment of delectable toppings, to British-favourite bangers and mash, and a classic Philly cheesesteak, Confusion Kitchen takes a naughty approach to plant-based cooking that is sure to satisfy meat cravings. There are tacos, burritos, wraps and rice dishes too, with Confusion Kitchen proving that vegan cuisine is more than just salads and raw fruit.
G/F, 103, Jervois Street, Sheung Wan; 2563 3699, confusion.hk
Miss Lee dishes up modern Chinese vegetarian cuisine, with a healthy proportion of the menu catering to vegans. Vegetables are at the forefront of every meal, prepared with traditional techniques inspired by the flavours, smells and textures of Chinese cooking. From Fire Balls that are a vegan version of sweet and sour pork, made using oyster mushrooms, pineapple and sweet plum sauce, to noodles drenched in a vegan sesame sauce, there’s plenty to enjoy. Plus, the immaculate Wes Anderson-inspired decor by interior designer JJ Acuna that is a take on the traditional dumpling or noodle shop with retro furnishings – tasseled lamps, a mustard blanchette and marble floors that are both nostalgic and current.
G/F The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central; 2881 1811; misslee.hk
This fast-slow-food restaurant brought plant-based, eco-friendly cuisine to the mainstream in Hong Kong with it’s build-your-own salads, flats and burgers. It’s run by Bobsy Gaia, who pioneered the movement with his Bookworm Cafe on Lamma Island in 1997, followed by Life Cafe in 2004 – the first fully vegetarian cafes in the city. Now, they have three stores, the latest of which has a vegan cheese deli, where diners can find everything from plant-based brie to a zaatar-infused goats cheese, and a vegan coffee bar. A “Zen Den” will be used for movie screenings and concerts, as well as its latest Hippie Hour, with morning mindfulness and meditation.
8 Staunton Street, Central; mana.hk
Hong Kong’s first plant-based hotel serves up a mix of Eastern and Western food with almost half the menu catering to vegans. The restaurant is called Veda, which is derived from the Sanskrit word vid meaning to know — knowledge and wisdom. Located at the newly rejuvenated Ovolo Central, it’s helmed by Australian chef Hetty McKinnon who creates comforting dishes to suit both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Plates are creative, bold and bright, featuring a baked aloo gobi, an Indian-cauliflower and potato curry, and hearty vegan and gluten-free bowls of soup, noodles and daal.
Ovolo, 2 Arbuthnot Rd, Central; ovolohotels.com/ovolo/central/veda
There are few 100% vegan restaurants in Hong Kong, but that’s exactly what this pastel-coloured oasis is. It’s called Kind Kitchen and was launched in 2018, by the plant-based retail and deli chain Green Common in Central. The menu highlights everything from Vietnamese banh mi and Japanese ramen, to Sichuan dandan meen. It uses meat substitutes such as Omnipork in its gyoza, lotus patty and meatballs and Beyond Meat in its burger, which comes with a truffle mayonnaise. Designed by Editecture, the restaurant is a playful space of brushed concrete, blue blanchettes, and huge windows.
Shop 1, 1/F, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Rd Central; greencommon.com
Lock Cha Tea House
This traditional Canton-style teahouse in both the Parade Ground of Tai Kwun and the original location in Hong Kong park, serves up vegan dim sum dishes against colonnaded facades and verdant greenery. The name Lock Cha Teahouse comes from the Cantonese word ‘lock’ that means happiness, enjoyment and fortune. The restaurant acts as a welcome relief for non-meat eaters who can struggle with the usual carnivorous dim sum offerings in Hong Kong. Busy throughout the day, by the afternoon most dishes will be sold out, so get here early and be prepared to queue for a table.
Lock Cha Tea House, The K.S Lo Gallery, G/F, Hong Kong Park, Admiralty; Shop 01-G07, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central; 2276 5777, lockcha.com
Zen Eat Cuisine
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True to its name, Zen Eat Cuisine serves traditional Japanese shojin ryori vegan food within a tranquil space complete with a meditation corner. Phones must be stowed away and voices lowered upon entering the restaurant, all the better for diners to focus on the selection of vegan sushi, onigiri and bento sets for nourishing the body and soul.
Room 503, Cheung’s Building, 1-3 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan; 2838 0018
Neighbourhood haunt Fresca sells farm-to-table food on Hollywood Road, Central. Redefining freshness in a city that imports much of its ingredients, the family-fun business sources most of its produce from a private Hong Kong garden and farm, dishing out salads that fuse the flavours of East and West. The menu changes daily in accordance with what’s in season but it’s always vegetarian and mostly vegan. The homemade bread is delicious and comes in a variety of different flavours including bamboo charcoal, green tea and turmeric.
54a, Hollywood Rd, Central; frescahk.com