TREEHOUSE is the ‘accidentally vegetarian and vegan’ hotspot that just landed in Soho, just off Pottinger Street in the new H Code Building. Like everyone else in the health crowd, we were super bummed when Christian Mongendre’s HOME Eat To Live closed in 2017, so we could not wait to check out his new digs and spoiler alert, we heart-emoticon-loved it.
A much needed addition to Soho’s dining scene, the new all-day fast casual menu featuring modern and whole foods based creations left us wanting more. The menu is uniquely awesome and we’ve made a list of reasons why so here goes, 10 reasons why TREEHOUSE will become your new favourite veggie eatery.
1. Sourdough Flatbreads & Buns FTW
All of the flatbreads and burger buns are made from TREEHOUSE’s own vegan whole wheat sourdough recipe. Sourdough isn’t just hype: the long 24-hour fermentation process involved in making these probiotic-containing flatbreads and burger buns makes them easier to digest than conventional breads, which are fermented with brewer’s yeast. Not only are these more gut-friendly, they are absolutely delicious and lathered withTREEHOUSE’s unique blend of either Red (paprika, cayenne, cumin) or Green (coriander, oregano) herbal spices.
2. Absolutely Everything at TREEHOUSE Is Made IN HOUSE
Not only is every ingredient served fresh, sourced from local and sustainable agricultural farms, and organic whenever possible, TREEHOUSE’s menu is a plethora of Whole Food Plant-Based goodness – everything, down to the sauces (hello garlic sauce!), are made in house and assembled on-site except for the halloumi cheese and bread production (which is made fresh daily with a local trusted partner, according to TREEHOUSE’s own quality standards). We can’t stress enough how rare this is in Hong Kong, where over-processed foods can be found at every corner and many restaurants cut corners by sub-contracting food prep.
From whole grains like millet, purple rice and quinoa, to the colourful veggie toppings, to the in-house fermented sourdough, to a shake that includes choi sum, a popular local Asian supergreen that tends to be passed over for curly kale, this place is truly healthy heaven- it’s almost like eating at home…or better, depending on your cooking abilities!
3. Many Of the Dishes Are Inspired By Founder Christian’s Personal Travels
We loved that many dishes on the menu were inspired by Christian’s personal travels around the world. The Banyan flatbread and the Savanna burger, for example, were creations borne out of his food explorations in Tel Aviv, the Israeli city also known as vegan eating heaven (it regularly tops Best Vegan Destination travel lists). And the Murray, a fresh cold-pressed juice made from coconut water, pineapple, Thai basil and chia seeds, is his own take on a healthy detox elixir he tasted in Thailand. He is currently working on another travel-inspired dish, based on a veggie ramen he had in Japan, which was so delicious he insists one of his “life missions” to recreate it!
4. You Can Have It YOUR Way: They Have ALL Of The Toppings
33 plant-based toppings, to be exact. At TREEHOUSE, you can personalise your meal, exactly the way you want it, by creating your own bowl or flatbread and adding whichever and as many toppings as you want, from crisped onions to slow roasted cherry tomatoes to roasted eggplant discs. Pick your base, your spice topping, your blend of grains, or even salad leaves, no matter what you like or how like it, you can have it YOUR way. Even the pickiest eaters you know won’t complain.
5. And 10 Kinds Of Homemade Sauces
Who doesn’t love sauces? I mean let’s face it, we sometimes order something JUST for the sauce. At TREEHOUSE, you are spoilt for choice with a whopping 10 sauces available, all 100% vegan. While some are earmarked on the menu for DIY flatbreads, and others for grain/salad bowls, all 10 can be chosen anytime. Obviously, we are already addicted to the Garlic sauce. We also loved the Miso and another must-try is the tangy sweet Amba sauce, a sort-of Middle Eastern take on a an Indian mango chutney.
6. We’re Kinda Obssessed With The ‘Nutritious Kicks’
To top it off, healthy style, you can even add a “nutritious kick” to your meal. There are three to choose from: the Cheesy Blend made with nutritional yeast (vegans will recognize this!), the shiitake-mushroom based Umami Blend, and the Toasty Blend derived from nuts and seeds. It’s all about the flavour sprinkling at TREEHUOUSE, cuz you’ve got to personalise your meal to the very end, right?
7. Did We Mention It’s Super Vegan-Friendly?
Vegans rejoice! Aside from two toppings (egg and animal-rennet-free halloumi), the entire menu is totally plant-based. Not only can you build your own meal to make any bowl or wrap 100% plant-based, you can also swap out any egg or halloumi on the ingredient list to make everything vegan-friendly. True to their non-processed ethos, TREEHOUSE even makes their own in-house vegan cheese, a rare occurrence on the dining scene. Said vegan cheese can be added to any dish (say, one of their burgers) or serve as a halloumi/egg replacement. Bonus, the vegan cheese also features on their vegan Nachos. Yes, we said nachos. Worth nothing: all desserts (think raw cakes, energy balls, choc chip cookies, muffins!) and all beer/wine are vegan too!
8. You Can Skip The Queue By Scanning To Order & Paying With Your Octopus Card
In a first for the plant-based scene in Hong Kong, TREEHOUSE makes ordering a cinch thanks to tech-forward touches. You can 1) order on the in-restaurant kiosks (and pay by Octopus or CC), 2) scan the QR code on the paper menu to order on your phone or 3) order on their web menu from your home/office and pick up from their takeaway window, all without having to wait even one second in line. Herbivores can now enjoy their slow-living healthy food in fast food-like city-rush style.
9. Everything Is Named After Nature
As the name suggests, TREEHOUSE is all about nature, and hopes to reorient our lifestyles back to the beauty of our planet. Fittingly, items on the menu are named after Earth’s natural wonders. Spot the juices bearing the names of famous rivers from around the world, like Yukon, Nile and Mekong and the waterfall-inspired Victoria and Iguazu shakes, the flatbreads christened after trees (Banyan is a must order), the bowls dubbed after flowers (try the Ember) and the burgers after habitats (we love the Tundra).
10. It’s Very Gluten-Free Friendly
On top of everything else, those avoiding gluten will be thrilled to discover that the menu is incredibly GF friendly. All the desserts, from the Raw Balls (cookie dough and bounty-like coconut chocolate) to the Hazelnut Chocolate and Fruit Cheesecake are gluten-free, with lots of raw options available too. They also do gluten-free flatbreads or leafy wraps and buns, and lots of grain-based bowl options. Remember, if you’re unsure about the gluten content of any ingredient, the staff are always happy to help out.
TREEHOUSE: Shop 1, Ground Floor, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 3791 2277. Open Monday to Saturdays 10AM to 10PM.
All images courtesy of Green Queen.