Vegan egg tarts, Indian food, Japanese: Hong Kong restaurant picks of a vegetarian caterer
Bhawna Shetty has lived around the world, trained as a baker and has a weakness for desserts, all of which influence her favourite places for vegetarian food
Mother-of-two Bhawna Shetty switched from a career in technology to creating lavish bespoke catering platters of sustainable and artisan food at her new company, The Green Platters.
I was born in India and have lived in many places around the world, which has influenced my food taste. Being a vegetarian, I cook a lot at home. I trained as a baker, which was a hobby at one point, and I have a sweet tooth.
For a daytime meal or even for meetings, I like Grassroots Pantry (108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, tel: 2873 3353). The set-up and dishes are great. My favourite items there are the acai berry cacao bowl and caraway pate tart. It’s also a nice place to relax and focus.
Sometimes for a family meal we head to Loving Hut (various locations including 2/F, Luen Tai Building, 93-99 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2574 3248) which is close to our home. It sells an amazing range of quality vegan food. I love their vegan egg tarts, which are mandatory eating – after all, we are in Hong Kong!
On Kowloon side, for vegan/vegetarian food made from the freshest produce, Greenwoods Raw Cafe (13/F, 2 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 3428 2416) is lovely and affordable, and I like their smoothies.
For great Indian food, I have two places. I’m a potato lover and I love the aloo dhaniyawale at Bombay Dreams (4/F, Carfield Commercial Building, 77 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2971 0001). Then there’s the recently opened Chaiwala (Basement, 43-55 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2362 8988). The ambience, in fact the whole experience, is impressive and special. They don’t have extensive vegetarian fare, but the saag paneer is a must try. I keep this for special occasions.
I lived in Japan, and in Hong Kong Kyoto Joe (2/F, 1 Lan Kwai Fong, Lan Kwai Fong, tel: 2804 6800) is my go-to Japanese restaurant. The quality is high and it has a nice ambience. You have to try the vegetable gyoza and sweet and spicy mock prawn.
For something casual and easy, especially after sightseeing with visitors, we head to Din Tai Fung (various locations including 68 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 3160 8998). Their dumplings are a hit with our family. Kids as well as visitors are always amazed to see how they make the dumplings with precision.
Another place we take visitors is Cafe Gray Deluxe (L49, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, tel: 3968 1106) for the ambience. We also like The Pawn (2/F, 62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2866 3444) for drinks.
On weekends, we love going to DiVino Patio (Shop 11, Brim 28, 1/F, Causeway Centre, 28 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2877 3552). The staff are lovely and very accommodating. They sometimes have pizza-making sessions for kids. That keeps my older one happy while the younger one plays in the kids area.
Desserts are my weakness. I love the milk pudding at Yee Shun Dairy Company (three locations including 506 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2591 1837) and the black glutinous rice soup with coconut sago at Yuen Kee Dessert (32 Centre Street, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2548 8687).
Lastly, Chi Lin Vegetarian (Long Men Lou, Nan Lian Garden, 60 Fung Tak Road, Diamond Hill, tel: 3658 9388) gives a nice break from fast-paced city life. Walking in the gardens is soothing and there is a cascading waterfall right outside the restaurant.