From Shanghainese to classic American deli, we select the best vegetarian restaurants in town

To many people, going vegetarian can be a nightmare as it does not only mean giving up all those delicious steaks and bacon sandwiches but eating out also becomes problematic, as not many restaurants cater to vegetarians, especially high-end ones. Therefore, Asia Tatler Dining has selected some of the best vegetarian restaurants in town so that finding a bite to eat, whether you are a full-time vegetarian or just partaking in Meatless Mondays, becomes just that much easier.

Amy’s Vegetarian

After working in the beauty industry for 30 years, beautician Amy Chan wanted to find another way to help people look beautiful and be healthy at the same time, and so Amy’s Vegetarian was opened around 10 years ago. Serving Guangdong cuisine, Amy uses Chinese proverbs and idioms to name her dishes and her mouth-watering dishes also challenge diners’ ability to distinguish what ingredients are used.  For example, burdock prepared to taste like abalone and konjac are used as conch. What we particularly like about this private kitchen is that while a lot of Chinese vegetarian restaurants use both mock meat, MSG and plenty of oil, we can say that this is resolutely not the case here. Those who would like to try these unique dishes from Amy’s Vegetarian needs to book fast, as it usually takes six months to book a table.

13/F Overseas Building, No. 417 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai. Tel: +852 2893-8760.

Veggie SF

Paying tribute to 1950s San Francisco with its colourful and homely decor, Veggie SF on Stanley Street in Central gives diners a delightful American vegetarian selection. Sourcing its ingredients from the local wet market, Veggie SF is prized for its creative and innovative dishes and all-time favourites include the beetroot burger and Union Square – an organic lasagna with assorted veggies, textured vegetable protein and cheese. Veggie SF also serves some Asian dishes such as Sashimi 101 – assorted vegetables in rainbow colours, konjac, tempura and avocado over organic sushi rice; and Oakland Breeze – Vietnamese-style cold vermicelli with fried tofu and skewers.

10/F No.11 Stanley Street, Central. Tel: +852 3902-3902.

Long Men Lou (Chi Lin Vegetarian)

Located inside the Nan Lian Garden in Diamond Hill, Long Men Lou (Chi Lin Vegetarian) is one of the most popular Chinese vegetarian restaurants.  Against the picturesque backdrop of the Chinese historical gardens and sounds of chanting from the monasteries, Long Men Lou provides an elegant, relaxing and soothing environment for diners to relax and enjoy its traditional Chinese vegetarian cuisine.  Traditional Chinese vegetarian cuisine emphasises the freshness of its ingredients and dishes are prepared with  little salt or oil, as well as no MSG. Long Men Lou serves both a la carte and banquet set meals for 10-12 guests starting from HK$2,400 per table and at least two weeks advanced booking is required. Its signature dishes includes five-fortune appetiser platter and braised eggplant with yan nim.

Nan Lian Garden, 60 Fung Tak Road, Diamond Hill. Tel: +852 3658 9388.

Woodlands

Tucked away on Mody Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, Woodlands is a small Indian restaurant that features South Indian cuisine.  Opened in 1981, Woodlands is famed for its authentic thali (a platter of various curries on a round metal plate used in India for both formal and informal meals), which are served with poppadoms, pickles, raita yoghurt and is a great choice for first-timers or just the indecisive. Three different thalis are available, including a south Indian option, a north Indian option and a house special thali which can be refilled upon request.  Woodlands also specialises in paper dosas, stiff rice flour crepes that are filled with curried potatoes.

UG 16-17, Wing On Plaza, 62 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: +852 2369-3718.

Kung Tak Lam

With outlets in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories, Kung Tak Lam is the biggest restaurant group in Hong Kong to provide Shanghainese vegetarian cuisine. With a strict compliance to provide vegetarian dishes which are free from MSG and artificial colouring and using less salt and oil in its cooking methods, the restaurant has won many awards. Its menus include a great selection of Chinese soups and we  also recommend its award-winning dish, a braised vegetarian meatball in casserole, which is a vegetarian version of the iconic Shanghainese dish shizi tao (lion’s head) – a dish that is traditionally prepared with fatty pork to make a giant meatball and served with rich and savoury sauce.

7/F, 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: +852 2312-7800.
10/F, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: +852 2890-3127.
Shop 701, 7/F, New Town Plaza Phase 1, 18 Sha Tin Centre Street, Sha Tin. Tel: +852 2362-1911.