my hong kong: healthy eating

I was surprised by the number of organic shops, juice bars and health food cafes when I arrived in Hong Kong. It's far more accessible and normalised here than in London. My current favourites, below.

Grassroots Pantry | 108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong | @grassrootspantry

I love brunch here - their juices and smoothies are generous and made with organic ingredients; their raw banana crepes are delicious. The lunch set ($158 for soup, starter, main and coffee or tea) is good value too - on a recent visit I had a simple vegetable soup, pan fried gyoza and a palak paneer with freshly made, wholemeal chapati. Grassroots selection of raw and sugar free sweets is great - coconut macarons, raw chocolate. The space is quite stark and 'high end' for a vegetarian restaurant, which is refreshing - while I haven't yet had dinner here, they offer a cocktail menu made up of 'healthy' mixers and craft spirits and plating is beautiful and elegant . It's worth perusing the menu, here.

Mana | 8 Tai On Terrace, 8 Tai On Terrace, Sheung Wan | @manafastslowfood

Very simple premise - vegan coffee and flatbreads. Plus, books. I love that this cafe strives to be zero waste. The coffee is beautiful, with options for added cacao butter or coconut oil blended in. The flatbreads are either spelt or buckwheat based and have a variety of sweet or savoury toppings. There are also acai and chia bowls for breakfast, soups, salads and vegan ice creams.

Spice Box | 137 Caine Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong (they also have a store in Sai Ying Pun)

An organic grocery with a few takeaway items and a focus on Indian and Ayurvedic spices and dry goods. This is a friendly and well-sized provider of a huge range of spices and herbs - it's where I'll pick up cardamom pods, coconut oil and coconut sugar, quinoa, teas and superfoods. The fresh selection is small but has all the essentials - free-range, organic eggs; freshly made coconut yoghurt; kale; garlic; lemons and so on. They also make coconut milk lattes, gluten free apple muffins and 'bulletproof' coffee. Spice Box are USDA organic certified, and also operate as a pickup point for the EatFresh weekly organic grocery box scheme. The service is super friendly and helpful too.

Pressed Juices | 81a Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong (there are also stores in Quarry Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui)

I've been a fan of Pressed Juices since I encountered their first stores in Sydney - I feel like they were one of the first companies to sell cold pressed juices and smoothies. So, I was happy to find their Hong Kong outpost in my neighbourhood. There's nothing groundbreaking here - simply bottles of fresh juices and smoothies in various hues. Favourites include the Greens 01, a verdant and savoury blend of cucumber, spinach, parsley, kale, lettuce and celery; and the Berry Glow 02, a bright and tangy apple, strawberry and coconut mixture. Their smoothies are good too - I prefer the nut mylk based ones - just steer clear of the one with peppermint oil in it, it's overwhelmingly flavoured to the point of being undrinkable.

Lock Cha Teahouse10 Cotton Tree Dr, KS Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, Admiralty

Set amongst pretty, tropical plants in Hong Kong Park, Lok Cha Teahouse is a sedate alternative to busy, crowded dim sum restaurants - and it's entirely vegetarian. There is an extensive tea menu and the dim sum menu changes daily - think fried turnip cake, steamed vegetable buns, panfried mushroom dumplings and sticky rice; as well as more inventive options like a wasabi green pea cake.  A nice thing to do for a weekend lunch.

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