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 and vegetarian 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; @treehouse.eco
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Tucked away in an unassuming commercial building amidst the bustling Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district, Veggie Kingdom is a true hidden gem in the world of vegetarian dining. The restaurant reinterprets traditional dishes for a creative plant-based take on Chinese cuisine. What appears to be deep fried “oysters” are constructed out of bean curd sheets and black truffle sauce, while Monkey Head mushrooms replace meat in Veggie Kingdom’s rendition of the all time favourite sweet and sour pork. The restaurant beautifully demonstrates the infinite possibilities of plant-based cooking — all you need is a little bit of creativity.
7/F, VIP Commercial Centre 120 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon; veggie kingdom.hk
Moxie is at the forefront of Hong Kong’s conscious dining scene. Helmed by chef Michael Smith, Moxie harnesses the power of the plant for a veggie-centric menu that prioritises mindful eating through the use of fresh, locally and sustainably- sourced ingredients. With a team that is constantly experimenting, menus are seasonal and constantly changing. Baked fresh in house, their selection of pastries are switched up on a daily basis too. In an effort to further push the boundaries of their future-forward approach to food, Moxie is now making it their mission to go completely dairy-free.
Shop 203, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Road, Central; moxiehk.net
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. Miss Lee has also recently announced some exciting news! Furthering their commitment to vegetarian dining, their latest concept, a vegetal-focused French restaurant called Feuille, is launching in May.
G/F The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central; 2881 1811; misslee.hk
Hong Kong’s first plant-based hotel serves up the deliciously bold flavours of contemporary Indian fare. The restaurant is called Veda, which is derived from the Sanskrit word “vid” meaning to know — representative of their constant pursuit of new narratives to tell through food. Located at Ovolo Central, it’s helmed by chef Raul Tronco, who creates comforting dishes to suit both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Plates are creative, bold and bright, featuring a roasted aloo gobi, an Indian-cauliflower and potato curry, and other hearty vegan and gluten-free bowls of noodles and dhaal.
Ovolo, 2 Arbuthnot Rd, Central; ovolohotels.com/ovolo/central/veda
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Homegrown lifestyle brand Years opened their first eponymous cafe in 2019. They’ve since expanded with four different establishments under their belt, namely Years, The Park by Years, Friends of Years, and Be with Years. All four are plant-based, carrying an exciting menu of fusion delights, quick bites, and mouthwatering homemade desserts that vegans and vegetarians alike won’t have to miss out on. From a Japanese katsu curry risotto and a Sichuan mala spaghetti, to the signature Years Impossible cheeseburger and a heavenly salty-sweet chocolate, caramel and earl grey tart, the vegan options are truly endless.
Multiple locations across Hong Kong; yearshk.com
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Situated in the heart of Central just a stone’s throw from Cupping Room Coffee Roasters, Root Vegan is a casual spot serving up an impressive menu of fully vegan (and majoirty Buddhist-friendly) Asian-centric fusion fare. The Korean kimchi burger features an ultra cripsy housemade plant-based meat patty made with a secret formula that sets it apart from other vegan burgers, while the star of the khao soi curry noodles are the “chicken drumsticks” made from deep-fried beancurd sheets. Despite vegan cakes being notorious for having dry or crumbly consistencies, Root Vegan’s cakes are lauded for being deliciously moist. And because vegans can have their cake and eat it too, enjoy a slice al-fresco on the restaurant terrace, or place an order for a delectable treat to complement any special occasion.
Shop 102-103,1/F, Sunwise Building, 112-114 Wellington Street
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
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