Two years into the pandemic, a lot of us have put health on the top of the list—and rightfully so. Hongkongers have become a lot more health-conscious, not only in our routines—whether it’s hitting the gym more frequently, doing daily exercise or yoga—but also in the food that we eat. It’s not surprising that a lot more restaurants with a wellness slant like Grain of Salt and Carbon are popping up, not to mention hotels like Ovolo going completely green.
New on the wellness and food scene is Orka which is opening its doors in the heart of Central. Orka, which means energy in Swedish, aims to bring what they call a ‘WOW’ factor—wellness on Wyndham—by offering sustainable and health-focused menus. The wellness concept will tap into the visual, aroma and flavour to provide diners vegan and non-vegan options for an all-inclusive dining experience.
Helming Orka’s kitchen is head chef and culinary director, Ching Tso who has worked under well-known chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Shane Osborn in London. He relocated to Hong Kong to continue training and eventually rejoined Osborn in Arcane as the sous chef. At Orka, Ching is combining his knowledge of fine dining with his enthusiasm for sustainability and using clean ingredients. His menu aims to showcase the marriage of health and well-being with culinary influences from Asia and Europe.
Meanwhile, the mind behind this new wellness concept is Nobin John, a socially-responsible food and coffee lover on top of being a board-certified functional medicine health coach. He decided to bring this wellness concept to Hong Kong after seeing the gaps in the healthy offerings in the city.
“Positivity is the need of the hour and the key ingredients to that are a balanced living approach and elevating food ingredients that power a positive mindset. Food has historically united people, but today, because of our varied dietary preferences, we find ourselves making sacrifices too often to facilitate the needs of others” he says.
“The way forward will be to challenge culinary boundaries and have venues that offer at-par offerings for both vegans and non-vegans equally. Going plant-based is a solution, but plant-based need not be an all-or-nothing approach. Even if a non-vegan shifts his or her plate towards a 75 per cent plant-based diet, that itself will contribute hugely to making this world a better place and reducing carbon footprint.” he adds.