Shop Local at Fivelements’ Sustainable Plant-Based Market
By: Deena Robinson
ICYMI, Fivelements Habitats will be closing its doors for good at the end of this month (September 2021), so if you’ve been meaning to check it out one last time, here’s a very good reason to do so. On Thursday, 16 September, the Causeway Bay-based wellness sanctuary will be hosting several local, sustainable and plant-based businesses for a sustainable plant-based market.
Vendors include Farmhouse Productions, a collective group that promotes awareness of local sustainable organic farming, Cacao, artisanal chocolatiers, Tempehola, which creates tempeh and tempeh dips in Hong Kong, and Garden Hill, a plant-based dairy alternative products company.
Products available at the market will include organic and local fruits, organic tempeh, plant-based cheeses, butters and spread, chocolates, granola, gluten-free cakes and biscuits as well as herbal teas.
Bring your reusable shopping bags and get ready to enjoy the best wares that Hong Kong’s local, plant-based industry has to offer, all made with passion and care.
The Sustainable Plant-based Market takes place at Fivelements on Thursday, 16 September 2021 from 11AM to 5PM. Get more details here!
And just like that, our #8Shades8Weeks challenge has come to an end! We celebrated by hosting a finale last night (5 August 2021) at Kind Kitchen by Green Common in Sheung Wan, where guests were treated to a delicious three-course meal featuring OmniSeafood and free-flow sustainable wine.
OmniSeafood is Green Monday’s latest venture in the alternative meat world. For starters, guests could choose between an OmniTuna Tartare or O! Crab Toast and for mains, choices included a Spicy Storm OmniFillet, a “fish” fillet fried with crispy garlic and chili served with mixed riceberry rice, and the Lemon Light OmniFillet, a fillet in lemon sauce served with mixed riceberry rice. We hosted the challenge finale dinner on the final night of Kind Kitchen operating in its Sheung Wan venue.
For dessert, guests enjoyed either an apple pie with a vegan snowball or a muffin with fruits. Drinks for the evening were provided by sustainable wine company, La Joya.
Halfway through the evening, 8Shades’ founder Emily Lam-Ho presented the winner of the #8Shades8Weeks challenge with the grand prize, which was one of each week’s prize! Sam Sandiford (@sandifordsam) not only took part in each weekly challenge – he also wowed us with his creativity and efforts at becoming more sustainable in his everyday life.
We had the chance to catch up with Sam during the evening, where we asked him some questions about his sustainability journey and what inspired him to take part in the #8Shades8Weeks challenge:
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve been in Hong Kong for about two years now and I work in the cryptocurrency industry. I have a wife and a baby girl who is one year old.
Why did you decide to join the #8Shades8Weeks challenge?
I spoke to someone who made me aware of 8Shades’ weekly challenge and encouraged me to enter. It seemed like a really good way to be a bit more sustainable in my everyday life. After a few weeks, it became a habit for me to take part in each weekly challenge and most of them were super simple, like carrying a water bottle with me. Most of them were fun, like having to dress up something in my closet. Sometimes though, it took a nudge from my wife to keep me motivated!
What was your favourite week of the challenge?
Probably Week 3 with HULA, where you had to dress up something that you already have in your closet. I decided to wear a football shirt with one of my wife’s handbags. I originally had another outfit, which is when my wife got involved and we ended up taking around 25 pictures to get the perfect shot!
Have you always tried to live an eco-conscious lifestyle?
Only in parts. When I was about 11 or 12, I ran in a school election that had a green focus, so it’s something that’s always been relevant to me and that I’ve always been aware of. But that sort of changed the older I became. When I worked in Dubai – which is not the greenest place – I had to drive around a lot and I was flying a lot for work. Equally though, my parents have a farm in South Africa that has a nature reserve, where sustainability is extremely important. And now, having a little girl myself brings me back to when I was 11 and thinking that we need to preserve the planet.
So, I’m very aware of sustainability and that we need to live sensibly, but I do also have to occasionally go on an aeroplane, because some things, you can’t really avoid.
What have you taken away from this challenge?
This challenge has reinforced the feeling that I have to be committed to some sort of sustainability. It’s made me think a little bit more each day about what I do and how it impacts others and the planet, and it’s inspired me to lead a better life.
Thank you to all of our sponsors for providing prizes for the #8Shades8Weeks challenge, and thank you to all of our readers who participated in the challenge! We hope that you’ve been inspired to be more sustainable in your everyday life and to help make the world a shade greener.
So you’ve made the decision to cut back on meat and eat more plant-based food – that’s great, but where do you start? You could opt to buy new cookbooks or discover your new favourite plant-based restaurants, or you could simply follow some plant-based foodies on social media to get inspiration.
To help you along on your plant-based journey, be sure to enter the last week of our #8Shades8Weeks challenge to win a hamper from Green Common with their signature OmniPork products! All you need to do is show us your meatless/plant-based meal this week and sign up here.
Ready to go? Here are eight plant-based foodies that you need to follow on Instagram:
Hot For Food
Lauren Toyota’s Instagram account, @hotforfood, is a vegan dream. Her account and blog feature many vegan versions of comfort food, including vegan nacho cheese, made with potatoes and carrots, as well as vegan macaroni and cheese and cauliflower buffalo wings. We’ll take one of each!
Green Kitchen Stories
David Frenkiel, the creator of Green Kitchen Stories, shares healthy vegan and vegetarian food tips and recipes. Come for the food tips, stay for the pics of his gorgeous family!
Food blogger Sara Forte encourages readers to improvise in the kitchen with her simple recipes on her Instagram and blog. She’s a big fan of fresh ingredients and natural foods, so expect to find tons of seasonal plant-based recipes, like roasted zucchini, black bean and goat cheese enchiladas.
We Are Veganuary
@weareveganuary educates followers on a plant-based lifestyle, with sustainability news, tips and recipes. They also have a free kit containing 31 days of vegan recipes!
Thriving on Plants
Sydney-based Instagrammer, Cherie Tu, shares her vegan lifestyle with her followers, including delicious recipes. You’ll also find mouth-watering recipes for sweet treats, proving that plant-based diets don’t have to be boring!
The Plantd.Co team shares wellness and sustainability news, as well as healthy recipes and cooking tips.
The Colourful Kitchen
Did you know that different-coloured veggies each have their own array of nutrients? Health coach Ilene Godofsky’s Instagram encourages followers to “eat the rainbow,” sharing recipes and tips on how to do just that. From orange- kabocha squash to pink- sauerkraut, and everything in between, you’ll find the inspiration you need to eat a wider variety of veggies. Other standout recipes include tahini sweet potato stew or vegan berry breakfast pizza.
Sweet Potato Soul
Jenné Claiborne is a vegan chef, author, YouTuber and blogger who shares mouth-watering vegan recipes with her 380,000 followers. She’s released a vegan cookbook called Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul : A Cookbook.
8 Vegan Restaurants In Hong Kong For A Delicious Plant-based Meal
By: Deena Robinson
Consuming less meat and more plant-based foods has been steadily increasing over the past few years, and more and more vegan restaurants in Hong Kong have been opened to meet this demand. Vegan food definitely isn’t boring, as evidenced in the wide range of eateries serving flavourful, wholesome and healthy foods.
This week’s#8Shades8Weeks challenge is about cutting down on your meat consumption, so here are our picks of the best vegan restaurants in Hong Kong- there’s something for everyone!
Green Common is Green Monday’s (creator of OmniFoods) health food and eatery. Their menu offers fusion vegan foods, including noodles, soup, Omnipork dishes and sandwiches.
Green Common, various locations across Hong Kong, +852 3855 5100, greencommon.com
Veggie SF has been serving a meat-free menu since 2011. The 1950s inspired space serves an internationally-inspired menu, featuring everything from homemade burgers and pastas to Indonesian gado gado salad and more.
Veggie SF, 10/F, 11 Stanley Street, Hong Kong, Central, +852 3902 3902, veggiesf.com
With two locations in Sham Shui Po, Years and the more recent The Park by Years caters to both vegans and vegetarians, with The Park by Years being completely plant-based. Some of their top sellers include the Katsu Curry Risotto and the Sichuan Dan Dan Spaghetti. Sweet-toothed diners can enjoy lemon tart and chocolate banana rum tart.
The Park by Years, 132 Yu Chau Stree, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, +852 5336 4000, Yearshk.com
Located on Elgin Street in the Soho district, POP Vegan offers a variety of Western vegan dishes, including eggplant parmigiana and hedgehog mushroom pie. It’s also free from alliums, (a species of plant including onions, garlics and chives) making it suitable for Buddhists.
This Sai Kung staple is renowned for its Asian-inspired tapas, including its papaya-infused Tikiya Kebab, crispy peking taco and more. If this doesn’t strike your fancy, try one of their burgers or curries. Their happy hour deal is amazing as well – you can get two drinks for HK$55 across the restaurant’s Italian house wines and Bavarian lager.
With their zero-waste, plant-based and whole-food ethos, MANA! has been a staple for non-meat eaters in Hong Kong since 2012, serving flavourful and nutritious whole foods. They’re renowned for their Za’atar flatbread wraps, but their house-made burgers and salad bowls are also great. Wash it down with one of their house-made range of vegan coffees.
TREEHOUSE is a great grab-and-go plant-based option when you’re out in Central. The iconic restaurant’s offerings include sourdough flatbreads to grain bowls and burgers. The in-house vegan sourdough is well worth the trip. Overall, the menu is completely unprocessed, serving only whole foods free from preservatives, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, food dyes, trans-fats, soy-isolates and bleached flour.
TREEHOUSE (BaseHall), BaseHall, LG9 Jardine House (Basement Level), 1 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3643 0865, basehall.hk
TREEHOUSE (H Code), Shop 1, G/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong. +852 3791 2277, treehouse.eco
Stop by Hemingway’s on your next day trip to Discovery Bay. The beach-front bar and restaurant specialises in plant-based foods. The menu has a wide variety of foods, including nachos, burgers and pizzas, ensuring something for everyone, as well as a full bar and live music on weekends.
Hemingway’s DB, Shop G09, G/F, D’Deck, DB Plaza, Discovery Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2987 8804, hemingways.hk
Whether you’re looking to cut back on your meat consumption or just curious about plant-based food, our list of vegan restaurants in Hong Kong will help (and delight you)!
We all scream for ice cream! Or do we? On a sweltering summer day, nothing beats a heat busting ice cream, but did you know that around 70% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant? In Asia, this jumps to around 90%! Thankfully, brands are starting to catch on by ditching traditional dairy ice creams and opting for plant-based alternatives. This is a win for all those dairy-avoiders and better for the environment too because producing a glass of milk results in almost three times more greenhouse gas emissions than any plant-based milk!
In the spirit of being mindful of our bodies and our planet, here are 4 yummy plant-based brands of ice creams available in Hong Kong.
Since being founded in 2013, Cocoparadise’s mission is to make its products using simple but healthy ingredients (check out their ingredient lists which contains nothing unpronounceable). Made with a coconut milk base, their new vegan ice creams are free of synthetic preservatives and fillers, but have the taste and texture of “normal” ice creams; after all, healthy eating shouldn’t be boring!
Available in charcoal coconut, original coconut and Thai milk tea, Cocoparadise’s vegan ice creams take the guilt out of guilty pleasures. You can find them at selected City’Super outlets, and at popups around the city. Follow them here.
Green Monday, the home of Omnipork, recently launched its first vegan ice cream range. Created with coconut milk and cashew milk and available in two flavours, Matcha Purity and Chocolate Hearty, the ice creams are free from cholesterol and trans fat, as well as artificial colouring and refined sugar.
You can find them at selected Green Common stores and at over 500 7-Eleven stores across the city. Until June 30th, you can try both flavours for HKD$50.
One of Hong Kong’s first plant-based ice creams, Happy Cow, uses coconut milk as a base and serves up a variety of delicious flavours, including dragon berry, salted caramel swirl and pineapple coconut in cup or waffle cone. Prices start at HKD$38 for a single scoop.
Find them at the Hong Kong Observation Wheel, as well as selected Fusion and ParknShop outlets. They also offer catering services for parties and events, so you can indulge in your very own Happy Cow cart at your next party!
Made with almond or cashew milk, these yummy, GMO and additive-free vegan ice creams are freshly made in small batches in Hong Kong. Harmony’s unique flavour offerings include durian, mint and lemon poppy seed. Prices range between HKD$38 and $48 for a 100ml cup, and $118 and $158 for a 450ml tub. You can find them at selected CitySuper outlets and Great Food Hall, among others.
Making healthy, environmentally-friendly food decisions doesn’t mean your diet has to be bland- it’s so important to enjoy the foods we put into our bodies, and not pick them based on guilt or how we think health should look. These sweet treats prove that you can make ethical, healthy food decisions and still indulge every once in a while!