Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of vegetarian Peggy Chan, Grassroots Pantry founder
Sustainable vegetarian food pioneer has a fancy go-to place, an everyday go-to place, a breakfast destination whose poached eggs give her cravings, and a local chain for her ‘filthiest junk food’
I’m a huge fan of non-fussy food, and 121 BC (44 Peel Street, Central, tel: 2395 0200) does it just right. The atmosphere is very familiar in the sense that it runs as a family-style restaurant with an Aussie flair which is rather rare in Hong Kong. I love that the menu is unpredictable, and it also caters well for vegetarians like myself. Simple, delicious food, and they also have an interesting wine menu which I have fun exploring.
Café Gray Deluxe (Level 49, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, tel: 3968 1106) has been my fancy go-to offsite office for many years, and I’m impressed that even with all these years of staff changes, they can still remember my personal preferences when it comes to breakfast options and the lemon water that I always start off with.
I became a fan of chef Gray Kunz’s food philosophy when I first started paving my culinary path as a young adult. The dinner I had at Cafe Gray in New York eight years ago (now closed) was one of my most memorable dining experiences, and I’m so glad they still serve the same flax sourdough recipe served, which is absolutely addictive served beside some Greek yogurt, cumin spices and olive oil.
My regular go-to for the past five years is Posto Pubblico (28 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2577 7160) - it never fails to deliver the best arrabiata in town. The Posto and Homegrown Foods gang have become second family to us, and coming here for a quiet solo meal is nothing less than special, especially when chef Tofiq gifts you flowers on V-day and serenades you with their chocolate cake on your birthday.
It’s possible that the only foods I eat are breakfast, Italian, my mother’s or our own home cooking at Grassroots Pantry. Cafe Deadend (72 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan, tel: 6716 7005) hits the spot when it comes to breakfast. I wake up with cravings for their poached eggs and sourdough, as well as their pruneaux au porto brioche bun.
Noodles from Nam Kee Spring Roll Noodle (various locations) are possibly the filthiest form of junk food I reach for once a month. Hot and medium spicy noodle soup with lots of beancurd, seaweed, pickled veg and lettuce is my personal preference when it comes to the art of noodle building.