For a relatively small city, there are plenty of vegetarian restaurants and we ate at lots of different places but have decided to blog about our favourites.
When Toby and I used to live in Hong Kong, we used to a frequent this place called 佛有緣素菜館 (Fat Yau Yuen) which I referred to as the 23 place because that is how much their meal deal was, back in 2003, in HK dollars (roughly $3.30). Toby used to eat there twice every day and so when we returned to their new restaurant, the staff chatted with him excitedly.
It's a super cheap place and the new location (Level2, 10-12 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai) doesn't even have a sign. It's situated next door to a butcher, and there are no English menus. However, there is a picture menu so you can point at the pictures to order, or possibly get toby to write out some instructions for you.
To give you an idea of how much we loved it, we went 3 times in the one week we were there.
My favourite dish hands down was the "pork" or as toby translates is actually called "roast suckling pig", it consisted of crispy gluten with an amazing BBQ type sauce
I couldn't resist eating my all time fav chinese dish radish cake or turnip cake again and again. At most meals we shared a plate of some sort of asian greens such as gai lan or chinese broccoli. I like to think that it helped to balance all of that deep fried goodness:
Tofu with black bean capsicum sauce over thick rice noodles was absolutely delicious:
I can't even remember what this dish was but I remember it being tangy and kind of sweet and sour:
Roast "duck" with fermented tofu sauce.
Another place that we went to is Kung Tak Lam. They have branches in Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui (where you can see the "million dollar harbour view" perfectly). It's kind of the opposite of the $23 place, it's an upmarket vegetarian restaurant. We went there twice with Toby's family. The first time we went to the branch in Causeway Bay (where I once lived), and we had:
Fried rice with seaweed and pine nuts, it was a dish that we used to have all the time, I was really looking forward to it, and it was ok but not quite as great as the hype that Toby and I build up in our heads.
Deep Fried "Fish" or yam, I can never really get into mock fish but everyone else seemed to enjoy this.
For dessert we shared red bean pancakes, otherwise known as deep fried deliciousness. On the right crystal buns with contained chinese custard but weren't vegan.
The second time we went we had:Shanghainese cold noodles with various sauces, we actually had this both times. I loved this dish and the idea of being able to choose how much and what you wanted to go with your noodles. The options included: chilli sauce, chilli oil, sweet sauce, soya sauce, vinegar, sesame sauce, crushed cashews, pickled beetroot, and capsicum. I always added all of the possibilities except for the chilli options but kept playing with the variations.
We had spring rolls and pan fried dumplings. Toby's dad thankfully shares my love of unhealthy deep fried dishes. These were my fav spring rolls in HK.
We also had this pretty looking dessert called Eight Treasures rice which consisted of sticky rice, red rice, red bean paste, lotus seeds, lotus and syrup with some sort of edible flowers. It was like nothing I have had before, so yummy.
We went to this place in causeway bay called Harmony Village (shop 1, 7-11 Irving st, Causeway Bay) with Toby's sister. It's a small cafe that appeared to be constantly busy.
Toby swears that these were fried massive vegie dumplings but I remembered them being more like curry puffs. That's what happens you when you wait too long to blog, but whatever they were they were deep fried and yummy.
Roasted "Duck" with pineapple and preserved ginger which tasted similar to a sweet and sour sauce. This was our favourite dish there.
After we went to got dessert in a small desert place. I got red bean soup with walnuts and toby got red bean soup, I love chinese desserts especially since lots of them are accidentally vegan and I do have a red bean obsession.
Our all time favourite yum cha place is a place called Three Virtues Vegetarian Restaurant﹕1/F, 395 King's Rd , North Point, we went there 3 times. The last time though we had all of my favourites like turnip cake, spring rolls, BBQ "pork" buns, coriander "prawn" dumplings and lots more. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
Toby introduced me to this dish for the first time and i was kicking myself that I hadn't tried it before, it was AMAZING! Stir-fried rice rolls with soy sauce or chung fan. The rice rolls were soft and super tasty and it comes with amazing peanut sauce and sweet sauce.
I tried turnip cake or law Bok Gow at almost every restaurant we went to but this restaurant certainly had the best that I have ever had, it was just oily enough, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and was full of flavour.
Hong Kong is a crazy crowded place and it's a little too easy to get caught up in the world of non stop shopping and overwhelming crowds. I think the key to surviving it it going to fruit based places like Hui Lau Shan (They are called Creations in US):
There are generally have both english and chinese menus plus pictures.
The prettiest place that we visited and ate at was Nan Lian Garden (The extention of Chi Lin nunnery, 60 Fung Tak Rd, Diamond Hill.) The vegetarian restuarant Long Man Lau ( sits under a waterfall). There is a strict no photos rule but you can see the photos in the 32 reader reviews on Openrice.com. There is a minimum charge of HKD 85 per head (about AU$12) and you must book in advance. This is Toby's favourite and the most vegan-safe place. Some pics from the nunnery:
HK also have lots of vegan shoes, I got a custom made pair of non leather brogue shoes made from this shop:
Toby's mum made us desert (soup) almost every day. My favourite is the mixed bean sweet soup, we generally had it for breakfast. Thanks again Angela! Steph, what would you call it?
(Kudos to Toby who looked up English name/address/reviews of restauranst and correct names of obscure ingredients like Coco de Mar.)
I miss you gluteny Hong Kong, you do rock!