Confusion Plant Based Kitchen: Just Opened Vegan Cafe in Sheung Wan Offers Delicious, Globally Inspired Food
Down Jervois Street along old-school mom and pop storefronts and traditional tonic shops, Confusion Plant Based Kitchen stands out as a stark white jewel amongst the busy Sheung Wan streets. Inside, the clean space and minimalist interiors food that will nourish your mind, body and soul. The newest vegan addition in the city, Confusion is food for life. The brainchild of passionate plant-based Hong Kong native, Lisa Terauchi-D’Rozario, Confusion’s menu is 100% plant-based and teaming with global influences, from Japanese to Gujrati to Middle Eastern. Below we share the highlights of our tasting session.
The mom of three switched to a vegan diet after a health scare a few years ago. She enrolled eCornell’s Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate Program from Dr. T. Colin Campbell (author of The China Study) to gain a better understanding of optimal nutrition after a lifetime of eating animals. More than anything, Terauchi is fueled by ikigai – the Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being,” in this case, to open up a restaurant of her own and share a future that would be cruelty-free, ecologically sustainable, and health conscious. Building on Lisa’s cultural roots (Terauchi is half Japanese and half Indian), Confusion’s food is a fusion exploration of everything from healthy cafe food to Asian and western cuisine. From breakfast to dinner, everything is vegan-based and with a homemade touch.
First up, we try the Indian Sampler celebrating Gujrati vegan cuisine: a trio of dhokla (made from fermented rice and chickpea batter), sev puri (a type of snack chaat), and kothambir vadi (a sort of coriander fritter) served with tamarind sauce and mint chutney. Crunchy, spongy, crispy, sweet, tangy and oh so good, our first bite sets the bar quite high! It’s homey desi food at its finest. We are also pleased to see regional Indian food making an appearance on a cafe menu – India has the most vegetarian citizens in the world and the largest heritage of vegetarian cuisine on the planet.
Next, we opted to try someting off the vegan wrap menu. Confusion has six different options and it was hard to pick one- they all sounded mouthwateringly good (definitely going back for the Grilled Portabello Mushroom Wrap with vegan mozzarella, chipotle mayo and rocket). We tasted the Shiitake Mushroom Wrap: with sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, colorful slices of bell peppers and slathered in homemade hummus in a wholewheat flatbreat, this was seriously moreish. We predict lines out the door for the wraps- sure to be a it among Central and Sheung Wan’s healthy lunch crowd.
Our final foray was their version of the Beyond Meat Burger: the patty is grilled and topped with a host of homemade goodness including house fermented sauerkraut (which was bomb, by the way), smoked paprika ketchup, heirloom tomato dijon, vegan garlic mayo, vegan cheddar cheese, purple onion and rocket atop a vegan handcrafted rye sourdough bun made from local Latvian family bakers Mayse Artisan Bakery The result? A damn fine burger! So tasty and juicy, we seriously contemplated ordering another straight away. We can’t forget to mention the crispy, tofu fries which belied a creamy, soft center. A fun take on the usual French fries and with a soy protein boost to boot!
The menu offers daily specials as well as a couple of breakfast winners: a platter featured scrambled tofu, or avocado toast if it suits your fancy. Pair that with coffee drinks made with Vitasoy’s organic barista blend and a premium tea line from the Isle of Man, Oteas, with unique flavors such as black tea with turmeric, nettle tea, black tea with apricot pieces, and licorice herbal tea.
Except for the Beyond Burger (HKD 145), the standard lunch menu is a wallet-friendly HKD 80 and includes a daily Soup or Salad – we tasted the Spicy Carrot Slaw, a refreshing blend of rocket leaves, grated carrots and a maple lemon vinagrette). Confusion also offers complimentary Wifi and herb infused filtered water (we had the Rose Mint Lemon ) so it’s fair to say it’s one of the best plant-based lunch deals in town.
Terauchi is committed to ethical sourcing: the proteins are crafted with non-GMO soy, produce is sourced locally and from organic farms whenever possible and grains and nuts are organic. Terauchi also expressed her strong conviction to care for her staff: fair wages, reasonable working hours, delicious (vegan) staff meals, safe working conditions- she wants Confusions to have a family feel. These standards are reflected in the environment and the food. The atmosphere is hospitable and warm, the greetings are genuine, the smiles are real, and the dishes are on point. So welcome to the block, Confusion. We need more of you in our lives.
G/F, 103 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan; send them a message on Facebook for more information. Open Monday – Saturday from 9:00AM to 9:00PM (or subject to reservation for larger parties for dinner).
All photos courtesy of Green Queen