One of the most popular and well-loved cuisines, nothing is quite as comforting as Italian food. With its silky and creamy pasta dishes and simple salade caprese done up to perfection, it can be hard to imagine worthy vegan substitutes for the traditional egg-laden, milk & cream heavy classics…But we’re not flinching and neither should you, because an idyllic Italian/Western refuge just popped up in the city that can satisfy all our vegan cravings without sacrificing taste or quality. Mirror & Vegan Concept, the newest plant-based restaurant from Arthur Au (founder of other favorite vegan haunts like Veggi Monster, The Veggie, and Veggie Family) opened its doors late last year to rave reviews from vegans and meat-eaters alike!
Tucked away on a small nondescript alley along Queen’s Road Central, an abundance of quirky, eclectic mirrors line the walls with three principles echoing throughout this cozy space: Nature, Life, Rejuvenate. But more on that later. If you’re looking for a gluten-, alcohol-, nut-, onion-, and garlic- free option, rest easy because they got you. Below, we highlight our favorites.
In lieu of the traditional beef stock this classic dish is known for, the kitchen uses flowering, perennial herb fennel as its secret ingredient to give it the rich, savory and aromatic taste. Without missing a beat, the crouton is covered in a bubbly, gooey dairy-free cheese alternative that not only looks good, but tastes incredible. As one of the most popular items on the menu, this Onion Soup is not one be missed.
Tomato Cheese Platter
Mirror & Vegan Concept’s take on the quintessential Caprese salad is ingenious and so minimal – really, the only way to prepare the ultimate tomato and cheese platter. Serving a variety of ripe, fragrant tomatoes bursting with flavor and seasoned with a little salt and olive oil, the cheese crumble from long-standing popular brand among dairy-free cheese lovers, Sheese, adds to the zest of this overall perfect plate.
Caesar Salad and Garlic Bread
With chopped romaine lettuce and garlicky croutons tossed in a yummy plant-based dressing sans eggs and cheese, this is a salad you can feel good about eating. The winning combination of savory, tangy and crunchy is the trifecta that makes this dish a definite crowd pleaser.
Four Cheese Penne
A marvelous blend of four different types of Sheese (including blue cheese and red onion – yum!), this penne plate could very well be the star of the show! Creating a rich, velvety blanket atop pasta cooked to perfection, this minimalist recipe lets the flavors speak for themselves: fresh, simple, and superb.
Bell Pepper Pumpkin Risotto
I don’t suppose it’s a shocking discovery to learn that most risotto is made using a rice cooker since Hong Kong is a city that prides itself on efficiency but that is not the case at Mirror & Vegan Concept. Made to order each and every time, this versatile northern Italian rice dish has a lush, feathery consistency, having us in disbelief that it is dairy- and egg- free. Savory, satisfying with just the teeniest hint of sweetness, the red bell peppers are the perfect compliment to this homely dish.
While we can rave all day about all the delicious dishes, we’d be remiss to note Mirror & Vegan’s ethos permeating through the premises; honoring Mother Nature with the absence of plastic in the establishment. Instead, metal straws are served. By giving life to everything and everyone, this philosophy extends to all aspects of the restaurant – including their extended list of vegan wines and cocktails. It’s worth noting a lot of their cocktails are more fruit-based (lemons, cucumbers, kiwis, etc) as opposed to liqueurs and artificial sweeteners. To explore their last ideology, rejuvenate, we spoke with Arthur who gave us the story behind the name, Mirror & Vegan Concept. “The plate is your mirror, and the food becomes a reflection of who you are,” explains the longtime vegetarian. “Finding balance in what you eat can refresh your mind and body.” There is an emphasis on wholesome and organic on the menu and their organic coffees (sourced from Columbia) with soy milk do not disappoint. Whatever you do – try and make a booking as their limited seating does fill up fast!
9/F, 118 Queen’s Road Central, Central, +852 2868 0810, firstname.lastname@example.org.
All images courtesy of Green Queen.