From vegetarian dumplings to the perfect caprese, Chatteris’ own Yasmin Mahal talks us through her favourite spots for a meat-free munch.
When I first arrived in Hong Kong, I was blown away by all the FOOD: there is truly so much choice available and I mentally began noting down all the new things I wanted to try. Hong Kong is definitely a foodie’s idea of heaven, but meat does feature heavily in the majority of dishes, which is less than ideal for the vegetarian community. There have been a few mishaps during my time as a Chatteris Tutor: going to a vegetarian restaurant and being served chicken, realising that ‘vegetable dumplings’ actually means ‘vegetable and pork dumplings’, and searching through a menu to find the only veggie option is a bowl of broccoli!
Luckily there are a wealth of restaurants around with vegetarian options and the meat-free movement is gaining momentum in Hong Kong (McDonald’s recently introduced their OmniPork toastie, need I say more). Here is a list of some of my favourite vegetarian and plant based spots in the city:
OVOCAFE, Wan Chai
In the heart of the historical district of Wan Chai, OVOCAFE is situated on the ground floor of the OVO flagship store. It’s hard not to feel relaxed as you flick through the menu, surrounded by lush plants and listening to a carefully curated chill playlist. Even if you’re not hungry it’s worth going just for the extensive drinks menu: coffees, teas, juices, smoothies, sodas and cocktails… just saying.
Must try: Definitely go for the lunch set. A soup, salad and main course for HKD $80-85?! Yes please. Also, their beetroot risotto (‘la heartbeet’) is absolutely delicious.
Woodlands, Tsim Sha Tsui
In my opinion, Tsim Sha Tsui is home to some of the best Indian food available in the city, so it seems only right to include Woodlands, the first all vegetarian Indian restaurant in Hong Kong, in this list. Serving up flavourful and authentic Indian cuisine, it’s clear when you come here for a meal that every single dish is prepared with thought and care.
Must try: The menu here is huge, there is definitely something for everyone. I would recommend trying one of their thali sets- a selection of curries, dahls and vegetables served with rice, yoghurt and naan.
Green Common, Multiple Locations
My absolute favourite place in HK for some comfort veggie food – Green Common uses a lot of OmniPork and Impossible Meat substitutes in their menu, making it the perfect place to take your meat eating friends and watch their reactions as they realise their burger is 100% meat free. Many of their restaurants also have a small grocery section too, meaning you can pick up (hard to find elsewhere) ingredients to try and recreate their plant based meals at home. They also stock vegan skincare, cleaning products and snacks.
Must try: The ‘chicken’ nuggets here can’t be beaten! Try them with the vegan BBQ sauce, and don’t forget to snap a pic of the cute packaging!
Bafang Dumplings, Multiple Locations
With multiple branches dotted around Hong Kong, Bafang is a very underrated lunch spot! Although they do not offer an entirely vegetarian menu, they do have several lunch sets where you choose the type of dumplings you would like. Opting for the veggie ones (steamed or fried) allows you to create a perfect meat free meal at a very reasonable price- approximately HKD $50-60 for a lunch set of dumplings, soup or noodles, and a drink.
Must try: Obviously the veggie dumplings are the shining attraction here, but the sesame noodles are also delicious. Add some chilli from the pots on the table for an extra kick!
Years, Sham Shui Po
This was one of the first restaurants I visited in Hong Kong, and I was amazed by the food, atmosphere and service! 100% plant based, Years is a cosy gem tucked away in Sham Shui Po. You can tell that careful planning has gone into every dish they offer, and even though they have a small menu, they have BIG portions! If you are ordering the sweet potato fries, make sure to bring a friend.
Must try: If, like me, you enjoy trying a bit of everything then I would recommend the Japanese family style meal (HKD $88). This comes as a tray laden with lots of snacks, as well as a bowl of noodle soup and even a little dessert.
With 2 locations in Central, Treehouse is the perfect place to stop for dinner after a long day of exploring. Serving up delicious and nutritious veggie food, Treehouse also goes one step further and pledges to plant a tree for every combo meal purchased! Their ethical values combined with their fantastic food (think wraps, burgers, veggie bowls and pizza) makes Treehouse a firm favourite amongst those in Hong Kong who are trying to be more conscious about the impact of their food choices.
Must try: The flatbread wraps here are truly amazing, and with 40 different toppings the combinations are endless! My personal favourites are the corn fritters, eggplant caviar and grilled tempeh (make sure to ask for the Korean chilli sauce too).
Eager to explore Hong Kong through its diverse culinary offerings like Yasmin? Apply now to become a Chatteris Tutor.