Tasting menus often exclude vegetarians and vegans––and even those with other dietary requirements. And while these diners can easily opt for a dedicated vegetarian or vegan establishment, sometimes it’s nice to be able to turn up at a fancy restaurant and opt for a readily available, tried and tested vegetarian or vegan set menu, or to be catered for by chefs familiar with and ready to heed such requests. We scoured Asia’s finest restaurants to find our favourite tasting menus dedicated to the vegetarian and/or vegan diner.
Many of Hong Kong’s fine dining restaurants offer at least a vegetarian if not a vegan tasting menu on request. Amber’s Vegetarian Amber Experience and Full Vegetarian Amber Experience shine as standouts. Since culinary director Richard Ekkebus’ overhaul of Amber, where he shifted focus to lighter flavours and ingredients that are kinder to the planet, his vegetarian tasting menus––which can be tweaked for vegans––feature delights that incorporate carefully sourced fruits and vegetables and a host of intriguing ingredients.
Arcane is another excellent option. Firm favourites among the restaurant’s many fans include the sautéed potato gnocchi with shiitake ragout, spinach, pine nuts and black truffle, and the Japanese fruit tomato with burrata, black olive, salsa verde and focaccia crips, both of which come from the vegetarian à la carte but also feature on chef Shane Osborn’s five-course vegetarian tasting menu (a vegan version is also available) along with his classic yuzu and lemon posset––a dessert not to be missed.
For those in search of Asian flavours, traditional Cantonese restaurant Rùn at The St. Regis Hong Kong caters to vegetarians with a six-course vegetarian lunch and a seven-course dinner set, both of which change with the seasons and more often than not are also vegan given dairy’s infrequent appearance in Cantonese cuisine. Chef Hung Chi-Kwong’s refined flavours shine as much in his meat-free dishes as they do in his regular menus. Vegetarians keen to turn up the heat should seek out Indian fine dining hotspot Chaat at Rosewood Hong Kong where, with advance notice, chef Manav Tuli brings together plant-based highlights from his à la carte, including dal panchmel and palak paneer, in a punchy, spice-forward experience.