Healthy Meals Out

Eat right (but still have fun) with our suggestions for healthy meals in Hong Kong.

7 Jan 2014 — By Mawgan Batt / Diet
Mana Hong Kong

Good Food That’s Good For You

Striving for a healthier diet doesn’t have to leave you stuck at home eating salads seven nights a week.  We’ve sussed out the scene and are eager to share our top restaurants offering good food that’s also good for you. Some are strictly vegetarian or vegan, but they cook up dishes yummy enough that even dedicated carnivores shouldn’t miss the meat. Many also offer food suited to gluten and soy free diets.

Mana –  Fast Slow Food is the name of the game at this vegetarian/vegan restaurant, where the focus is on food that is natural, healthy, local, and sustainable, but still quick enough for a workday lunch. Mana’s most popular offering is probably their flats – flatbread seasoned with zesty zatar, baked in-house, and filled with tasty ingredients like roasted veggies, avocado, hummus, haloumi cheese, and more.  Salads, soups, desserts, and fresh juices/smoothies are also available.  Extra points: Mana uses eco-friendly packaging and cutlery, made from corn, making a visit not just good for your body but also good for the environment.  Counter service only, with small areas of indoor/outdoor seating.

Eat Right – Believing that the pleasure of eating out should not compromise the nutrition of eating well, the chefs at Eat Right have devised hearty, energising menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and tapas, with plenty to please both vegetarians and carnivores alike (Eat Right is not exclusively vegetarian). Calorie counts are provided with many meal options, and dishes are designed with diners waistlines in mind. Children are welcome, and even have their own special menu featuring dishes like blueberry pancakes and whole wheat spaghetti and meatballs.

Life Cafe – The extensive, globally-inspired menu offers tons of tasty options for brunch, lunch, tea and dinner to keep you fuelled throughout the day, and clearly notes which options are vegan and/or gluten free. A sampling of creative dishes includes a tea-smoked eggplant dip, sesame tofu skewers, organic daal, black bean quesadillas, an African sweet potato stew, and a spicy vegetarian burger. In keeping with the theme of sustainability, tables in the flagship central location are made of reclaimed teak wood, and world music is playing throughout the day on all three levels. Even the beers, wines, and sangria are organic – the perfect compliment to a meal if you’re not on an all out detox (or need a little cheat day!).  On a nice day, enjoy the outdoor dining terrace upstairs, or grab a bite from the deli and eat on the front steps while you people-watch along the escalators.

Nood Food – Healthy meets delicious at this juice bar and cafe in the form of cold pressed juices, superfood smoothies, and raw food snacks. Raw food treats on offer include soups, organic coffee (topped with raw vegan chocolate syrup), and lemon macaroons sweetened with coconut flour rather than sugar. Yum! Looking to do a complete detox or deep cleanse? Nood Food can help you by providing everything you need for a full three or six day juice program.

Secret Ingredient – Want to do something a bit different? Instead of going out, invite friends around for a healthy, home cooked meal…and get a little help doing it.  Secret Ingredient provides the pre-chopped food items and simple instructions for cooking, all you need is a pan – just choose a recipe and the desired number of portions, and you’re good to go. Their helpful website includes icons to mark meals that are low-calorie, dairy free, or family friendly. Delivery to most areas is free for orders over $400. Top Tip: Sign up for their newsletter to receive 30% off your first purchase.

Grassroots Pantry – Tucked away down a little alley in Sai Ying Pun, the menu at Grassroots Pantry changes daily to ensure the freshest, most flavourful ingredients available are used in their soups, salads, curries, stir fries, and desserts. In addition to great food, Grassroots also offers workshops on everything from growing a micro-garden on your balcony to cooking the perfect mushroom risotto.  The dining area is small and can get busy at lunch time, so if a seat isn’t available, head next door to Prune Organic Deli & Workshop, a takeaway shop operated by the Grassroots team.

The Herbivores – The focus at this hip vegetarian hangout is on vegetarian food that is so filling and flavourful, it will draw back even non-vegetarian customers.   The Herbivores team draws on various ethnic recipes to create dishes that are layered with a variety of flavours and textures, like a roasted pumpkin “steak” served over a rich bean stew, quinoa, spinach, and sour cream, or a mango crumble made with frozen yogurt and oatmeal.

Green Cottage Vegetarian – Next time you’re hiking on Lamma Island, skip the seafood joints and head to this cozy veggie cafe, located right on Main Street near the Yung Shue Wan ferry pier.  Serving sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, curries, and desserts, the cafe is kid-friendly. Note that Green Cottage is cash only.

Gaia Veggie Shop – Gaia is also a great place to take vegetarian visitors wanting to enjoy Chinese food or sushi without worrying whether their request for a  meal free of meat/fish based sauces or broths will be accepted.

Maya Café Mediterranean Lifestyle – This relaxed Mediterranean restaurant on Wan Chai’s Moon Street offers vegetarian, raw and gluten free food including beautiful zucchini pastas, hearty lentil soups, and delicious raw chocolate puddings. The restaurant is a popular lunch and dinner choice so it’s worth booking.

Organic 21 – This Soho cafe is owned and operated by a local NGO and sources many of ingredients from its own organic farm in Yuen Long.  In addition to the expected salads and pastas, the menu includes all-day healthy breakfast options.

O Green – Gluten free, sugar free, detox, and low fat dishes are the highlights of this Sheung Wan cafe’s offerings.  Options include breakfast, tea sets,  heartier rice and pasta dishes, and even pizzas.

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