4 Mins Read
The city’s first ever Vegan Block Party over the weekend was a huge success. It promised a fun night of mouth-watering food, free-flow booze and live beats from DJs – and it more than delivered. The neighbourhood event, presented and organized by Big Dill, in collaboration with Mayse Artisan Bakery, Tuckshop by Social Club, SocialVegan and Taboocha, won the hearts of vegans and non-vegans alike.
The party, hosted at Tuck Shop by Social Club (part of Hong Kong-born co-working space Garage Society) transformed into a vibing weekend scene Saturday night, with people spilling out onto the street and huge queues for drinks and food- at one point pizza lovers had to wait over an hour for their orders.
The much-anticipated party was completely sold out, and keen ticket-holders were lining up to enter as soon as the doors opened. We even spotted an excited golden retriever who was ecstatic to be joining the lively scene at the woof-friendly venue.
Among the many attendees in the jam-packed venue was Katharina Müller, a German native who recently moved to Hong Kong and who has been a vegan for three years. She told Green Queen she was mainly motivated to adopt this lifestyle for ethical reasons, as well as environmental and health-related concerns. Commenting on Hong Kong’s vegan scene, Müller said that while options are still less available in supermarkets, more plant-based dishes are propping up around town.
Long-time vegetarian and recently transitioned vegan Alfred Wong, decided to get tickets for himself and his friend April Leung, after seeing the event circulated on social media sites. Wong shared with Green Queen that while more plant-based food and drink events have popped up in recent months, he had yet to see an all-vegan booze-and-music party and was intrigued. What was special about the event, for Wong, was the way it normalised veganism in the social sphere.
When asked why he made the transition to a fully plant-based lifestyle, Wong explained that he became motivated to cut out animal by-products after learning more about the environmental impact and animal cruelty involved in the industry. Although Leung herself does not practice a plant-based diet, she also decided to adopt a more “flexitarian” approach in recent years due to animal welfare considerations and concerns about the carbon footprint of meat consumption.
Hong Konger Roseanne Lau, who works in media, enjoyed the tasty plant fare, while preferring to stay away from specific labels: “I am not a vegan myself, no. But I do like eating vegan meals. We are too stuck on labels nowadays – vegan is just one type of food, and I enjoy eating it because I don’t need meat in every single meal I eat. If we stop thinking so much about labels, eating [plant-based] can be pretty simple.” said Lau.
Every dish served during the event was vegan, with the Mayse Artisan Bakery sourdough pizzas stealing the show. Latvian father-daughter duo (including Big Dill’s Elīna Strelita-Strēle) founded the bakery in Tai Po to showcase their authentic sourdough rye bread made with a wild yeast starter that’s been in the family for decades. Also on the menu were Omnipork meatball subs, flavour-packed Jackfruit “Chick’n nuggets” and churros for dessert.
In addition to the free-flow wine spritz and beers, the event also provided locally-brewed and bottled kombucha by Taboocha available on the menu. Available in a range of unique flavours, each blend is fermented and handcrafted in small batches and made using organic Chinese tea and raw sugar. The Hong Kong-based company is also sustainability minded – it collects returned bottles from their distributing outlets to sanitise and reuse them. The initiative also gives back to the community with a HK$1 donation made to a dog charity for every bottle returned.
The sold-out event was a big hit, to say the least. While organisers capped the party at 200, we counted almost 400 throughout the night, a testament to the city’s burgeoning plant-based scene. As co-organiser Strelita-Strēle exclaimed, “We were so excited with the response! It was such an amazing vibe. People looked happy and relaxed. It felt like the beginning of a new chapter for plant-based living in Hong Kong.”
Lead image courtesy of Green Queen.