In Hong Kong, restaurants that are truly vegetarian are rare.
More so if the eatery strictly adheres to the principles of eco-friendliness, taking the origin and carbon footprint of the ingredients into consideration.
HOME — Eat to Live is such a restaurant.
There the ingredients are free of man-made elements such as preservatives, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, color additives, soy protein isolate or anything else that is not natural.
Founded and run by Christian Gerard Mongendre, the eatery on Des Voeux Road Central is committed to creating a space and dishes that will make the customers feel at home.
To reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible, HOME buys fresh, organic vegetables from local farms.
Mongendre, who was deeply influenced by his mother’s fight against cancer, believes in the healing power of food and hopes his handpicked, natural vegan ingredients will benefit every diner.
He avoids gluten, to which a growing number of people are allergic.
Gluten, a mixture of proteins, occurs naturally in wheat, barley, rye and all their varieties and hybrids.
It remains in bread if the dough is not given enough time to get rid of it through full fermentation.
At HOME, all the baked goods are homemade with dough that is takes it own time to reach full fermentation.
Bread, cookies, chocolate pies are free of gluten.
The dishes HOME offers are interesting, and not just because of their ingredients.
Many of them are named after endangered or extinct species, which serves as an enduring reminder that we should always be more earth-friendly.
Here are some of them:
Ivory-billed Woodpecker is a salad in a bowl with a rich combination of steamed quinoa, wilted kale, fermented cabbage, grated carrots and stewed adzuki beans.
Manta Ray is a refreshing salad with beets, broccoli, pumpkin, quinoa and a tahini dressing.
Blue Whale is made with falafel, roasted garlic hummus, roasted bell peppers and mixed greens in an organic whole-wheat flatbread wrap.
Polar Bear is a burger made from beetroot, mushrooms and oats and comes with smoked eggplant caviar and roasted bell peppers, along with house-cured pickles, a green salad and sweet-potato fries.
Hazelnut Chocolate Cake is a tempting vegan pastry with chocolate from local organic chocolate maker Raiz the Bar.
Chris Crunch Cookies are named after the founder. Unlike ordinary cookies, they are made with tapioca, hazelnut and organic chocolate, without white sugar, eggs or flour.
To round off a meal, HOME offers diners 100 percent organic cold-pressed juice with flavor blends designed by Mongendre and a dietitian.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 27.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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