Cali-Mex, the fast-casual Mexican chain concept has just started the new year off by showcasing a new, entirely separate vegan and vegetarian Menu Verde. The Californian-style Mexican eatery will now be dishing out plant-based offerings with meat analogues made by the Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods alongside their old classic veggie-loaded options.
Already amongst one of the first restaurants in Hong Kong to offer vegetarian and vegan-friendly choices on the menu, the beloved Californian-inspired Mexican restaurant chain Cali-Mex is now stepping it up to make plant-based even more accessible with their new Menu Verde.
The menu, which boasts more than 20 choices altogether, will introduce two new vegetarian offerings, which include the Impossible Queso Dip (HK$ 98), which is made from Impossible Meat and melted cheese to be served with fresh tortilla chips or lettuce cups, and breaded cheese-stuffed peppers dubbed the Jalapeno Poppers (HK$ 68).
Old classics will still be featured, such as their signature Venice Beach Vegan plant-based chicken, Mixed Veggie, Spinach, Mixed Bean and Impossible Beef fillings for their tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, salads and burritos – all of which can be made vegan upon request with dairy-free sour cream by Tofutti and Daiya’s vegan cheese.
To add more to the variety of vegan and vegetarian fare and embracing meal customisation, Cali-Mex will also be making all the burgers from the Harley’s Burger section upgradeable to Impossible Burger patties. The “bleeding” patty, which is made from Silicon Valley’s famous plant-based startup Impossible Foods, is made from soy and “heme” iron, which is extracted from genetically modified yeast and gives its meaty taste and texture.
This comes as more diners in Hong Kong are picking vegan and vegetarian meals, whether they are already seasoned herbivores or flexitarians. Amid challenging times for the F&B industry in Hong Kong, restaurants that deliver on making plant-centric items available on their menus seem to be winning out. Vegan and vegetarian eatery TREEHOUSE, for instance, which opened doors in September last year, is expanding their reach with Deliveroo Editions Wanchai. It showcases that Hong Kongers are not only demanding more convenience, but more veggie options, driven by heightened awareness about the health and environmental impact of meat and dairy consumption.
Speaking to Green Queen about the plant-based uptrend, Deliveroo Hong Kong’s general manager Brian Lo said that customers in Hong Kong are “more frequently opting for a part-time vegan diet,” adding that caterers that expand veggie menu options will have a “strong potential”.
According to a survey released last year, which was conducted by Hong Kong plant-based social enterprise Green Monday, nearly a quarter of the city’s population are actively engaged in practicing flexitarianism. It also disclosed that vegetarian consumption in the city has shot up almost 50% within 2 years, indicating that the plant-based market is clearly here to stay and set to grow.
All images courtesy of Impossible Foods.