Orka is the newest addition to Hong Kong’s thriving wellness restaurant concepts

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.

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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.

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Orka’s signature gut-healthy dishes from the all-day ala-carte menu include starters like Beet This Soup, a lush vegan dish made with beet, lime, coconut, pumpkin seed and galangal and Aqua Spark salad which has umami seaweed, organic chives and gochujang, finished with applewood smoked salmon or vegan herb-marinated jackfruit.

For the main dishes, their offering includes the Bibimbap Zen, a rice dish topped with assorted vegetables, kimchi and either a light beef tartare or soy-marinated jackfruit. Over at the desserts, the G.M.T Toffee Pudding made with banana, pandan, mango and coconut is the signature.

For those on the go, Orka also offers complete meals that were curated with wellness professionals to ensure both macro and micronutrient requirements are included in the meals—be it vegan or non-vegan—with the aim of providing you what you need throughout a busy day. The quick and affordable Quickie Menu is available from 12 pm and offers vegan dishes such as Hungry Jack’s sourdough sandwich, which is served with homemade pickles and perilla leaves and Yogi on Sands, which features spice-marinated banana blossom served with coleslaw and guacamole.

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Those looking for non-vegan dishes can enjoy the Mighty Bulgogi burger with Australian wagyu, homemade pickles and perilla leaves or the smokey linguine with fiddlehead, garlic, perilla seed, served with your choice of applewood smoked bacon or smoked shiitake mushroom as a vegan option. Diners with certain dietary restrictions also have add-on options so you can customise your meal accordingly.

For drinks, Orka is offering a variety of teas that feature single-origin organic teas blended by the founders themselves. Smoothies are also part of the menu, consisting of natural ingredients such as LowGI palmyra blossom sugar in blends. Coffee lovers will be spoiled for choice at their caffeine selection which includes Maca’Xp French Press, made with organic maca root, a caffeine-free offering that mimics a nutty roast.

Hoping to be more than just a restaurant, Orka’s flagship space also has an event and workshop area on the first floor for wellness classes, life event celebrations, seminars, pop-ups and other health and wellness-promoting activities.

Orka, 36 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3489 1217

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