Hong Kong’s Vegan Delights
Visiting Hong Kong for only two days left me with some tough decisions regarding what I should and shouldn’t do with my limited time. One place I was very keen to visit was the Big Buddha, or the Tian Tan Buddha, on Lantau Island—but I knew I would need to take a whole day if I was going to go there and was concerned that I would have limited food options on the island. As it turns out, I shouldn’t have been worried.
Arriving at the statue, I purchased a pass, which included entry to the museum inside the Buddha (well worth a visit) and also a vegetarian “basic” lunch at the temple restaurant. After wandering around the many market stalls (they were quite inexpensive!) and Ngong Ping village shops (they weren’t so cheap), I made my way to the lunch hall. Expecting a very simple meal, I was surprised by the variety and quantity of dishes that my “basic” lunch consisted of.
First came a huge bowl of soup and a pot of tea. Thinking this was it, I hungrily set upon working my way through the soup, which was a simple but pleasant vegetable broth. As I watched the many dishes arriving at the tables around me, I began to regret my decision to buy only the “basic” lunch package. But it didn’t take long before three such dishes arrived at my table!
The dishes may vary day to day, but the three that I was lucky enough to try were delicious, fresh, and filling mixes of vegetables and bean curd with various sauces and marinades. The set lunch is well worth the price if you can eat as much as I can, but for those less greedy than myself, a café area behind the dining halls serves individual dishes and desserts. I still managed to find room for dessert despite my huge lunch, obviously, and happily munched on custard tarts and donuts after discovering that they were vegan.
My second day and my second dining experience in Hong Kong was at the Loving Hut at Wan Chai. Having visited Loving Huts in several countries, I am always keen to try things that I haven’t seen before. With this in mind, I ordered the vegan fried eggs and tiramisu for dessert.
Both were totally delicious, although perhaps I should have done what the lovely staff suggested and allowed the frozen tiramisu to thaw slightly before eating it! Having never tried tiramisu before, I can’t say how similar this was to the nonvegan option, but it was pretty impressive.
Visiting Hong Kong was a wonderful experience for me, and as someone who bases much of her enjoyment around food, both the Big Buddha and the Loving Hut served well to make my trip even more memorable. I hope to return one day soon to try some of the other delicious vegetarian dishes at the Loving Hut, for which even I, sadly, had no room left by the end of my visit!
Posted by Claire Fryer