Just in time for Christmas, check out these restaurants that can’t be missed this holiday season.
With the temperature dropping in Hong Kong and holiday celebrations upon us, there are many ways to have a good time. Among them all, our favorite way to celebrate the season is through feasting together. In order to help you pick where to eat this December we have compiled a list where vegans and vegetarians alike can dive into refined, beautifully constructed dishes.
Some of the menu’s we have sampled harness local flavors authentic to Hong Kong, while some interpret flavour through the lens of international inclusion. Here is to the diverse range of culinary options available in Hong Kong- we hope you get a chance to taste a few this festive season with friends and family (as virus restrictions allow of course)!
When I think Korean food, I think of hot and spicy kimchi stews, lots of barbecued meats such as bulgogi, and fried chicken. Soul to Soil, a Korean restaurant at K11, plays off these traditional perceptions, while providing a menu with a modern (and more environmentally friendly) twist. All of Chef Gu Jin Kwang’s creations are vegetarian and/or vegan. But the absence of meat does not mean absence of flavour- the dishes burst with umami goodness. The kitchen follows Buddha-Dharma teachings, meaning they avoid the five pungent ingredients – garlic, spring onion, leek, chive, and onion – to ensure an elevated, tranquil culinary journey so guests aren’t distracted by any impure thoughts that come along the way.
Miss Lee brings a homey, Chinese approach to vegan food. With an eye-catching, retro statement entrance, it’s easy to think this restaurant is about style. But after being led through the understated dining area with simple table and chairs, you realize quickly that Miss Lee’s focus is not interior decoration but the most important part of any meal- the food. Their latest winter menu consists of 7 courses, each dish harnessing locally attuned ingredients and prepared with eclectic Chinese cooking techniques. Some notable dishes include the silky, soy bean wonton soup which is a perfect dish for brisker weather, providing feelings of warm coziness. The claypot rice is a must try. It’s topped with pumpkin, taro, mushroom, turnip, and chilli, providing a delightful combination of earthy flavors and multi-tiered textures.
As the first raw vegan restaurant in Hong Kong, MA diversifies our green pool of eats in the city… with an upscale twist. Newly opened in H18 Conet and sitting in the heart of Soho, the kitchen is led by Chef Tina Barrat who’s a la carte menu consists of creative, luxurious dishes that everybody will enjoy. I loved the chiaviar with quinoa blinis. It’s paired super well with a smooth, sour cashew cream which makes it quite the luxurious starter dish. I couldn’t get enough of it. The cheese platter on the other hand is a must-order among a large group. It consists of three, cashew-based cheeses filled with some intense flavors paired with fresh baked keto bread and multi-seed crackers. The food is creative, and the menu has a broader, modern European focus. All the dishes are great for sharing!
Vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants are not always mod, hipster hangouts. The fine-dining scene in Hong Kong has also taken note of the movement. Cue Michelin star restaurant, Arcane, who is putting themselves on the map for their slick, vegetarian menu. Led by Aussie Chef Shane Osborn, the vegetarian menu harnesses simple ingredients, and takes guests on an artistic culinary experience. The dishes are refined and well-executed, and we highly recommend opting in for the well curated wine pairings!
With most of us unable to travel the holidays and now even stricter seating restrictions due to Covid-19, getting a table at the city’s popular restaurants this year may be a challenge. An interesting option to avoid the crowds and enjoy a high-quality dinner in the comfort of your own home, is to order a catering service. One catering company to consider is At the Table, who boasts a wonderful vegan menu. Recently, the WELL, Magazine Asia team had the chance to experience a middle eastern influenced vegan dinner designed for The Hub’s virtual gala. With 8 beautiful courses, some of the most memorable dishes included the muhammara, which was mind-blowingly smokey, and the Baharat spiced meatballs containing broad bean and lemon, topped with sweet pomegranate.
Written exclusively for WELL, Magazine Asia by Ashley Tang