3 Vegan Eats in Hong Kong

20th August 2014

Going back a few months, we finally got around to visiting Hong Kong for the first time. In April we spent a week in Hong Kong, staying in Mong Kok (旺角), Kowloon – one of the busier, more densely populated and more Chinese districts of the city. Streets here are largely packed full of locals but head over towards Nathan Road and regardless which direction you are heading, you suddenly have this sense of swimming upstream against waves of tourists.

Vegan Hong Kong

View from our hotel room at Langham Place, Mongkok, Hong Kong

Away from Nathan Road you’ll find locals hanging around on the sidewalks, people passing by, diners sitting at small tables, kitchens in full view, street markets in full swing at all hours of the day and wet markets with live fish and whole animals on display accompanied by the sound of heavy cleavers getting stuck in – it’s not the faint of heart. By day the backdrop to all of this is fading, aging buildings, by night it’s a full array of neon lights – both with stories to tell. We spent most of our time in Kowloon but also made it over to Hong Kong Island.

In total we tried three restaurants that were all worth mentioning! Note: All photos are taken by iPhone4 & Canon G12.

Hong Kong Harbour Victoria Harbour


珍心素食 – 豆漿 & 豆腐花專門店 (Jane Heart Vegetarian – Soy Bean Milk & Bean Curd Shop)

油尖旺區 (Yau Tsim Mong District)

Jane Heart Vegetarian Hong Kong

Jane Heart Vegetarian is a small family-run vegetarian restaurant specializing in soybean milk, bean curd desserts known as ‘豆腐花’ (duo fu fa) in Cantonese, glutinous rice rolls, rice dishes and noodle soups. The menu is written in both Cantonese and English and about half of the staff spoke English. Those who spoke English were considerate and helpful in answering all of our questions about their establishment. At the time of our visit we confirmed that Jane Heart Vegetarian was 100% vegan and MSG-free. Since our visit, the menu has changed and the restaurant is no longer entirely vegan.

View the scanned menu here (as of April 2014; the current menu is no longer entirely vegan).

Jane Heart Vegetarian Hong Kong

This place was our go-to restaurant for our time in Hong Kong. Not only was it located around the corner from our hotel (Langham Place), but it was also open from 10am until 11pm. The early hours made it perfect for grabbing homemade soybean milk and glutinous rice rolls for breakfast and the late hours meant it was a convenient place for an evening snack.

Our favorite selections were the homemade/fresh soya bean milk, glutinous rice rolls (sticky rice stuffed with vegetarian floss, fried donuts and pickled mustard vegetables), steamed rice rolls (Chee Cheong Fun) with chili, peanut & sweet sauce, char siu buns (three small buns per order) and vegetable buns (1 large bun per order), and a wide variety of bean curd puddings. The glutinous rice rolls are a filling breakfast and an easy meal on the go. The bean curd puddings are served unsweetened or lightly sweetened depending on the variety, so you sweeten-to-taste using simple syrup and granulated sugar available on the tables. Our favorite bean curd pudding flavor was ginger.

Jane Heart Vegetarian Food

Clockwise from left: 梅菜蒸排骨皈 Rice with Preserved Vegetables and Spare Ribs (Vegan) HK$35; Sweet and Spicy Condiments; 鮮味頭抽炒鮮烏冬 Stir-Fried Udon with Vegetable and Meat (Vegan) HK$38

Vegan Glutinous Rolls

即製手包聚飯 Glutinous Rice Roll (Vegan) HK$17

Vegan Chee Cheong Fun

豬腸粉 ‘Chee Cheong Fun’ (Vegan) with chili, peanut & sweet sauce HK$13

Vegan Chee Cheong Fun and Duo Fu Fa

From left: 豬腸粉 ‘Chee Cheong Fun’ (Vegan) with chili, peanut & sweet sauce HK$13; 芝麻豆腐花(凍) Cold Bean Curd Pudding with Black Sesame (Vegan) HK$28

Vegan Steamed Char Siu and Vegetables Buns

From left: 蒸叉燒飽 Steamed BBQ ‘Pork’ Bun (Vegan) HK$18; Steamed Bun with Vegetables (Vegan) HK$10

Jane Heart Vegetarian Food

From left: Udon Soup with ‘Beef’ in Satay Sauce (Vegan) HK$35; Baked Spring Rolls (Vegan) HK$25

Vegan Bean Curd Pudding with Ginger

From left: 薑汁豆腐花 (凍) Cold Bean Curd Pudding with Ginger and Sugar Syrup HK$15

珍心素食 – 豆漿 & 豆腐花專門店 (Jane Heart Vegetarian – Soy Bean Milk & Bean Curd Shop)

address: Shop B, 124-128 Portland Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong (旺角砵蘭街124-128號舖地下)
contact: janevegetarian@gmail.com; +852 2781 2987
connect: Openrice
hours: Monday – Sunday 10:00 am – 11:00 pm



樂茶軒茶藝館 (Lock Cha Tea House)

中環 (Central District)

Lock Cha Tea House

We took the MTR from Mong Kok to Admiralty and proceeded to exit C1 and from there followed the signs to Hong Kong Park. Here you will see a white two-story building just within this tranquil park, a welcome respite amongst the high rise buildings of Hong Kong Island. The white two-story building that houses Lok Cha Tea House on the ground floor is known as the K.S. Lo Gallery.

Lock Cha Tea House Seating

While they open at 10am, meal service does not begin until 11am. From 10-11am, Lok Cha only has tea service. A reservation is highly recommended for meal service. We were fortunate to arrive around 11am and get a table but on the condition that we finish within 90 minutes, since our table was reserved by another party from 12.30pm. The staff spoke English well and confirmed with us that their establishment is entirely/100% vegan.

Lock Cha Tea House tea

Pictured above, we each decided to start with a traditional tea service. I had the Four Season Spring Oolong (made in Taiwan, red teapot), a mildly sweet green tea, and Doni had a slightly bitter Pu’er tea with a faint plum flavor (brown teapot).

Using the English menu provided, we checked off the dim sum items we wanted to order. We chose a medley of their vegan dim sum: fried turnip cake, golden mushroom samosa (turnover), steamed vegetables dumpling, laver carrot dumpling, steamed sticky bun, steamed savory sticky rice in lotus leaf and Cordyceps mushroom dumplings.

We liked the Cordyceps mushroom dumplings and steamed sticky rice in lotus leaves the most, our least favorite item was the fried turnip cakes (too greasy and delicate for us). For dessert we had black sesame dumplings in a mildly sweet Jasmine tea. This was pretty unique and a nice mellow way to finish our service.

Our total came to HK$327/US$42 including 10% service charge. This is pretty expensive for Hong Kong, but it’s worth experiencing at least once – especially if you are fond of tea. Lock Cha is a relaxing escape from the buzz of Hong Kong, a place where you can take comfort knowing your dim sum is coming from an entirely vegan kitchen while enjoying a traditional tea service.

Lock Cha Tea House Vegan Dimsum

Top row, from left: Fried Turnip HK$22; Steamed Vegetables Dumpling HK$22, Laver Carrot dumpling HK$22

Bottom row, from left: Steamed Home-Land Sticky Bun HK$22; Steamed Savoury Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf HK$25; Golden Mushroom Samosa HK$22; Cordyceps Mushroom Dumpling HK$38

Lock Cha Tea House Receipt

Scanned menu/receipt. Click above image to view larger size.

Vegan Jasmine Dumpling with Black Sesame

Black sesame dumplings in a mildly sweet Jasmine tea HK$28

樂茶軒茶藝館 (Lock Cha Tea House)

address: Ground Floor, The K.S. Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, Admiralty, Hong Kong (香港金鐘香港公園羅桂祥茶藝館)
contact: teahouse@lockcha.com; +852 2081 7177
connect: Website
hours: Weekdays 10:00 am – 8:00 pm (Meal service start at 11) & Weekend 10:00 am – 9:00 pm (Meal service start at 11) (Closed every 2nd Tuesday of the month)
reservation: recommended



愛家素食 (灣仔店) Loving Hut (Wan Chai)

灣仔區 (Wan Chai District)

Loving Hut Wan Chai Entrance

Loving Hut is an international franchise of vegan restaurants originating in Taiwan. There are two locations in Hong Kong and we went to the Wan Chai branch, located fairly centrally on Hong Kong Island and not far from the Wan Chai MTR station. The main entrance is next to the ‘sushi express shop’ but there is another entrance on the other side of the building and depending on the entrance you use and the time of day you might need to buzz to get the downstairs door unlocked. This location is a self-service restaurant where you order and pay upfront before waiting for your number to be called and your food to be delivered at the kitchen counter.

Loving Hut Wan Chai Entrance

Loving Hut Wan Chai Entrance

Loving Hut Wan Chai Entrance

Loving Hut Wan Chai Entrance

The menu here is massive, bordering on overwhelming with the number of options but we decided to go with the popular (and recommended) set lunch menu. The set lunch menu is your choice of three main courses (from a selection of about six options) to be served with the soup of the day and a portion of rice. This is the same for set ‘dinner’ menu. The options for the set lunch menu change regularly but some options can occasionally be sold out.

Loving Hut Wan Chai Vegan Meal Set

Our set lunch menu (HK$58) included toon bean curd, char siu ‘pork’ with cabbage and popcorn ‘chicken’ in sweet and sour sauce. The rice was a red yeast rice.

Loving Hut Wan Chai Vegan Food

The soup of the day (see left image) from our set lunch menu was a light broth with some potatoes and beans. We also ordered Fried Flat Noodles with Soya Slices HK$55, which was sort of greasy and lacking vegetables, but pretty good with the chili sauce they had available at their condiment station. You can use their condiments which are placed near the kitchen – they have chili sauce, black vinegar, soya sauce, etc.

Unlike some other locations of Loving Hut that do not use any garlic or onion, some dishes and condiments here do use garlic or onion but these are labeled to reflect which ones contain garlic and/or onion.

Loving Hut Wan Chai Vegan Dimsum

From left: Steamed Siew Mai Dumplings (6 pcs) HK$26; Steamed Dumpling with Veggie Fillings (5 pcs) HK$30; Vegan ‘Egg Tarts’ (2 pscs) HK$16

Along with our lunch, we tried a bit of their dim sum. The dim sum was disappointing, except for the vegan ‘egg’ tarts. The egg-custard-like filling is cradled inside a nice, somewhat salty and flaky pastry. Overall, the tart had a slight coconut flavor that we really enjoyed.

Loving Hut Wan Chai Street

愛家素食 (灣仔店) Loving Hut (Wan Chai)

address: 2/F, 93-99 Wanchai Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong (香港灣仔灣仔道93-99號聯泰大廈二樓)
contact: lovinghut_wanchai@hotmail.com.hk; +852 2574 3248
connect: Website + Online Menu
hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:00 am – 9:30 pm (Last Order @ 9:15 pm)

We checked out a few other vegetarian places not really worth mentioning, most were too heavily reliant on egg and dairy though. We had sufficient options at 100% vegan restaurants that we opted not to dine at any of the lacto-ovo vegetarian restaurants. I’m sure there are some vegetarian restaurants with lovely vegan options in Hong Kong, but given how exhausting the city can be, it was nice to be able to sit down, relax and not have to worry one bit while we enjoyed some tasty Cantonese vegan delights.

 

We would love to hear what your experience was with vegan food in Hong Kong. Have you been to Hong Kong? What was your experience like with the vegan options?

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