Happy New Year to all Green Hong Kongers! May your 2013 be filled with joy, good health and as a green as possible!
Just a quick update on some fantastic new additions to the locavore, raw and organic Hong Kong foodie scene.
If you haven’t been to Grassroots Pantry, it’s time to pencil it in. They serve delicious vegetarian fare with a focus on vegan options and even a couple of raw dessert choices like the blueberry cheesecake.
Another brand new options for veggies is The Herbivores, an innovative scene-setter on Hong Kong’s green dining scene brought to you by a chef team previously a Roka, so expect a Japanese twist to the menu.
Pushing boundaries in the wild food movement is Wild Grass. Their whole raison d’etre is organic, sustainable fresh ingredients done perfectly. Even the furniture is recycled. This is fine dining with a conscience. Perfect for a an eco-date, get booking now!
Want more raw and superfood ingredient options? Try Culture Organics, a brand new online store with some very interesting prices for speciality ingredients like cacao butter and coconut palm sugar. They also have the usual selection raw kitchen equipment, supplements, nuts & seeds, beans, grains, superfoods and much more.
On the raw front, another exciting discovery: Anything but Salads. Imagine, Hong Kong’s very own first raw vegan prepared food service. They have raw breads, crackers, dips, cheeses, milks, granola…Green Queen’s mouth is watering as she writes this! Plus they offer catering services (from raw vegan to intelligent vegetarian) and host a private kitchen. Absolutely raw-tastic!
Green Queen also came by Spicebox Organics, a fairly recent addition to Sai Ying Pun’s funky neighourhood. They stock some great organic brands from India, choose from Tulsi tea, speciality oils, raw energy bars and granola and cute gifts like thali sets and diyas. For those of you who want to cook Indian at home, finally here is your one-stop shop for organic Indian ingredients!
For those of us who want to detox this January, check out The Genie Concept. They provide hand-delivered, freshly made raw, organic fruit and vegetable juices in special packs and with detailed instructions so you don’t have to think! Plus, the staff is so lovely you can’t help but have a crush on the whole team!
With all this thrilling innovation and experimentation, there is absolutely NO reason not to green your eating!
Hong Kong haze getting you down? Sick of breathing recycled air? Looking for some beautiful panoramas? Want to get chased by monkeys and watch cattle grazing? If so, plan a visit to Shing Mun Reservoir and Country Park.
Just a short ride from Tsuen Wan MTR, enjoy one of Hong Kong’s most beautiful hikes. Circling the entire reservoir will take around 3 hours. It is fairly flat though there are some steep bends; overall it’s a good balance of proper-hike and serene-nature-walk. A great family excursion for kids and grownups alike though we did it entre amoureux and it is plenty romantic for a unique date.
The country park is overwhelmingly lush and immediately transports you far away from Hong Kong’s urban sprawl. The vistas are truly spectacular and on this particularly perfect summer day, we kept forgetting which continent we were on.
At the beginning of the trail, there is an old fashioned refreshment stands but the offerings are mostly junk food and ice cream so bring your own supplies. The park boasts a wild butterfly garden as well as an Arboretum with over 270 plant species- both of which are popular with the kiddies. The park also offers shaded table and bench sitting areas and barbeque pits at various points for those looking to grill Canto-style. We were there on a sunny Sunday and it was extremely pleasant crowd-wise: there weren’t that many people to fight through and at many points during our hike, we felt like we had the park to ourselves.
The park is inhabited by wild macaque monkeys. They are curious and sometimes vicious: they will approach you if you are holding any kind of foodstuff in your hands. We were actually chased down by a family of them!
We came upon grass pastures where buffalo herds were grazing quietly. Unlike their Symian friends, they were extremely docile and we were able to walk across the field without a second thought.
The park has an unusually large number of tree species- over 70- and we found gorgeous tree-lined walkways that simply took our breath away.
We discovered a lovely clearing that would have been the perfect picnic spot had we been better prepared.
Though we didn’t spot any clear signs, Hong Kong reservoirs do not allow swimming. A bit of a drawback on a hot summer’s day, although most of the hike around the reservoir is shaded and the trees offer some breeze; the effect is cooling and pleasant.
It’s very easy to get to the Reservoir: from Central MTR station, the red line goes straight to Tsuen Wan which only takes about 25 minutes. We then exited at the Bus Terminus and grabbed a cab- the ride to the reservoir was only 10-15 minutes. You can opt to take the no 82 Green Minibus, it will take you straight to the entrance but it is hard to find the bus stop as it’s a few blocks away from the MTR station.On our way back, we saw the queues for the minibus and decided against waiting- preferring to walk down from the Visitor’s Centre/Shing Mun Reservoir Entrance to the main road. Luckily, we found a free taxi fairly quickly.
Don’t forget to pack lots of water, sunscreen and some bug spray just in case- we didn’t get bitten for the most part but there were a couple of mozzies zooming around.
Today’s word is: energy vampire /ˈɛnədʒɪ ˈvæmpaɪə/
- This term is used to describe electrical and electronic appliances that continue to use up electricity and/or remain in standby mode even after they have been switched off and are no longer performing their primary function. Ususally they tend to be appliances that have a) remote controls, b) continuous digital displays and c) rechargeable batteries and/or external power supplies. read more
Millions of human beings still don’t have enough to eat and famines continue to be a serious risk in many parts of the world. And yet, the wastage of food is a massive problem in developed countries. Buying too many groceries, forgetting what’s in the pantry and buying the same ingredients twice, going out to eat or ordering takeout at the last minute instead of cooking with what’s in the refrigerator, cooking too much and not finishing what we serve on our own plate, purchasing an ingredient that a special recipe calls for and using it only once, leaving it to waste until its expiration date—the scenarios are endless, the problem is always the same: we waste food constantly. On a daily basis. Without thinking about it.
Most of us are too young to have lived through the big wars when food was scarce all across the globe and rationing was a daily concern. Our supermarkets of plenty, our instant-gratification society, our ever-increasing portion sizes, our fast food nation—all of these phenomena have made us forget that access to food is not a given for everyone on the planet. read more