Cover Photo: Courtesy of Ma

French chef Tina Barrat ups the ante on veganism with her new raw food restaurant

Thanks to organisations such as Green Monday and Grassroots Initiatives, restaurants like Treehouse and Kind Kitchen, and innovations such as Omnipork Luncheon, the demand for and popularity of vegetarian and vegan dining options are on the rise. The most recent addition to the ring is Ma by French chef Tina Barrat, a brand new raw vegan restaurant in Central.

French jewellery designer-turned chef, Barrat switched careers to embark on a journey to enrich vegan dining options in Hong Kong—starting with Maya Café in Sheung Wan in 2013, now closed. Since then, Barrat has worked as a private chef, teaching cooking classes and organising private dinners. For Ma, Barrat has collaborated with OBH F&B Group on the new 1,800 square-foot space at Graham Street’s H18 Conet. The restaurant adopts matte tones throughout, from grey stones to natural wood which creates a calm, muted palette.

See Also: Tatler's Ultimate Guide To Vegetarian And Vegan Dining In Hong Kong

Ma’s approach to ingredients ensures that ingredients are unaffected by heat—‘cooking’ indicates warming food above 45 degrees Celsius. Other common treatments of ingredients include soaking, dehydrating, and sprouting, all of which maintain the ingredients’ original nutrient density. Barrat commits to her meatless and no-dairy ethos for the offerings at Ma as well as a gluten-free approach to desserts.

Barrat showcases all-natural meat-alternative creations in her a la carte offerings such as beetroot carpaccio with almond ricotta and extra virgin walnut oil; orange and fennel soup; and grilled king oyster scallop (king oyster mushrooms medallions cooked at a low temperature); together with gluten-free desserts such as The Classic Tinamisu; and cheesecakes flavoured with passion fruits. Ma offers a wide selection of canapes daily which includes faux-gras and figs on almond toasts; and carrot hummus with white chiaviar and sun-dried tomato, where chia seeds replace caviar, best accompanied by organic and biodynamic wines available at the restaurant.

The new vegan restaurant is now open for lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. Reservations are strongly recommended. 

Ma, Shop 11, 1/F, H18 Conet, 23 Graham Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 3165 1717