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Why more and more Hong Kong restaurants are serving vegetarian food

It’s the menu choice of the hip and health-conscious, with Hong Kong diners increasingly looking to eat clean and green, due to the benefits of a vegetarian diet. And the city’s restaurants are responding to this rising demand, increasing their vegetarian menu offerings.

This means not only is there a far wider range of restos for ‘veggos’ to choose from, but the days of the only meat-free menu items being a bland vegetable pasta or an insipid salad are long over. The trend also makes it easier for large groups of carnivores and vegetarians to dine together.

Here are some suggestions of local restaurants that are offering extensive vegetarian menus to their diners.

One Minden Tapas Kitchen 

Tapas can usually be a bit limited for vegetarian diners, but not at One Minden Tapas Kitchen. The Tsim Sha Tsui venue boasts a menu that’s 40 percent meat-free! The restaurant opened its doors in 2015 with dishes masterminded by Spanish executive chef Antonio Moran who has worked in a number of Michelin-starred kitchens in Spain.

Antonio brought his expertise to Hong Kong to recreate the blend of Mediterranean and Arabic elements required for traditional Andalusian cuisine, to which he then adds local inspiration. The result is dishes such as the ever-popular Iberico pork cheek bao to prawn rebozados.

And when it comes to meat-free dishes, the choices are impressive and innovative – think raw beet ravioli, vegetable paella, a stir-fried vegetable ‘fettuccine’, various styles of montadito (tapa-style bread dishes), and “wrinkled” potatoes served with mojo sauces. 

One Minden Tapas Kitchen

G/F, 1 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon | 2722 1707

oneminden.com.hk

Fresh and filling Eggs Florentine is a popular vegetarian menu item
Fresh and filling Eggs Florentine is a popular menu item

BRICK LANE

British gastro pub BRICK LANE has been operating since 2011 with a branch in Admiralty and the art-filled BRICK LANE Gallery in Tsim Sha Tsui. It’s known for its classics from the Old Dart, such as a full English breakfast, fish and chips, and Guinness pie.

Last year, however, the restaurant team took note of the fact that its clientele was about 20 percent vegetarian, and they decided to increase their meat-free options to comprise about one-third of their menu. The result was a smashing success and they now find 35 percent of their diners are vegetarian.

The restaurant brings the ambience of London’s Brick Lane to Hong Kong, and it’s now a go-to for veggie foodies who enjoy the non-meaty interpretations of English comfort food and other tasty options – from steaks made of tofu or cauliflower, to pasta with truffle mushroom angel-hair pasta. The veggie breakfast selections include eggs Florentine and California eggs Benedict, and many of their other menu items can be converted to meat-free versions. There’s also a vegetarian version of their popular picnic baskets.

BRICK LANE

4/F, CITIC Tower, 1 Tim Mei Avenue, Admiralty | 2363 2500

BRICK LANE Gallery

G/F, 17-23 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui | 2721 0628

bricklane.com.hk 

Bread Street Kitchen & Bar's vegetarian semolina pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella
Bread Street Kitchen & Bar’s vegetarian semolina pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella

Bread Street Kitchen & Bar

The Hong Kong branch of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar opened its doors in 2014. Head chef Gareth Packham leads the team, after joining the resto last year.

The Central restaurant serves a British European menu, featuring dishes from its London counterpart. It’s become a fixture on Hong Kong’s brunch circuit with its much-loved weekend roast lunch and classic full English breakfast with free-flow drinks.

But like so many other restos, the Bread Street team have also noted diners’ demand for vegetarian dishes. As a result, they’ve ramped up the vegetarian offerings, with highlights including semolina pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella, and quinoa salad with roasted apple, avocado, fennel and cranberries. 

Bread Street Kitchen & Bar

M/F, LKF Hotel, 33 Wyndham Street, Central | 2230 1800

diningconcepts.com

Mama San's fusion dishes include vegetarian offerings
Mama San’s fusion dishes include vegetarian offerings

Mama San by Will Meyrick

 It’s no surprise that dining at Mama San is an experience, given its creative direction came from celebrity chef Will Meyrick. With Scottish heritage, an Australian accent and an Indonesian home, Will’s Southeast Asian menu is a sophisticated fusion of flavours.

Mama San opened in Hong Kong following the success of Will’s Balinese resto, Sarong. Head chef Gede Budiyana executes the HK outlet’s menu with finesse and flair, and dishes cover the spectrum of cuisines from Chinese, Indonesian, Malay, Thai and Singaporean to Cambodian and Vietnamese.

Mama San has responded to the vegetarian vogue with dishes such as red curry of pumpkin with baby corn, long beans and Thai basil, and vegetarian rice paper rolls with peanuts and nam jim dressing.

Mama San by Will Meyrick

1/F, 46 Wyndham Street, Central | 2881 8901

mamasanhongkong.com

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