A few years ago, getting healthy AND delicious meals in Hong Kong was hard. Other than a few Buddhist vegetarian restaurants with fake meat, it was hard going. And healthy meals for delivery? Forget it. Greasy pizza, oily Asian and mushy burgers was the best you could hope for. Over the last year, the city’s dining scene has well and truly changed. We now have a fair few vegan eateries, any number of cold-pressed juiceries that serve lots of healthy takeaway fare and a panoply of farm to table restaurants. Our obsession with all things health shows no signs of abating. And the latest healthy business model to suddenly mushroom around town is clean meal delivery services. This guide goes out to all of you healthsters out there that are too busy, too lazy or too kitchen-challenged to prepare your own meals! Don’t worry, we did the research and there are countless options for you.
Healthy Meal Subscription Plans
For those looking to achieve specific fitness goals, like increasing your lean muscle mass or losing weight, there’s a bevy of new meal-prep players in town who can sort you out. These guys take care of everything, from macro-balancing, to protein content, to caloric profile, so you can focus on other things in your life. There is Nutrition Kitchen, whose prices can’t be beat (they come in at approx. HKD 200 a day), Eatology, who put the gourmet in healthy eating thanks to their team of chefs and dietitians, Lean By Design, who are all about bespoke nutrition, Mealthy, who take results extremely seriously and all but guarantee a leaner physique and Optmeal, where the meals are designed by a Cordon Bleu chef.
All of these companies provide cooked-fresh daily, macro-balanced, calorie counted meal plans that are delivered to your door- this is a subscription model, not a ‘come as you go’ situation. You commit for a period of time, say 2 weeks or a month, and then you don’t worry about what you are eating all week. Note: these plans are all Monday through Friday only: the weekend is yours to play with.
Update July 2016: Lean By Design is no longer operational.
All of the companies offer multiple calorie options (think an average of 300-400 or 500-600 calories per meal), sort you out for breakfast, lunch and dinner, change their menus every week (so you never get bored) and deliver daily (exceptions to this are Mealthy, as they provide sous vide meals frozen so you can steam/boil whenever you like). The meals come pre-cooked and delivery tends to be around breakfast time at your office or home, so all you need to do is refrigerate them and then re-heat them. No cooking, no meal planning, no dishes- no thinking!
One more thing that is Green Queen approved: a lot of the companies use recyclable and/or biodegradable containers. In fact, many will collect the used ones from you to ensure they get re-appropriated. All this delivery business means the packaging required per meal can be excessive so we LOVE that they have thought through this.
On the fitness meal delivery side there is also macro-precision focused Biorna Quantics and grain-, dairy- & gluten-free Paleo Taste. They have a slightly different approach. Rather than a meal subscription, you control your nutrition and your portion sizes. Simply choose the dishes you like from their respective websites and then they deliver your selections twice a week. Paleo Taste is a real gem: the food tastes truly like mama herself made it. Paleo Taste also offers sides and indulgent clean desserts (like their incredible paleo chocolate cake with chocolate coconut frosting. Seriously yum!)
For the gluten-free crowd: Nutrition Kitchen, Real Food, Lean By Design, Eatology and Paleo Taste can all accommodate your GF needs.
Healthy Office Lunchbox Delivery
If you cook your own breakfast and dinner, but want some healthy office lunchbox options and are not too bothered about things like calorie count, then you have some great choices. For a homemade Gallic feel, try Frensh, and get a 3 course meal that includes dessert, all made from organic ingredients. For a Japanese style lunchbox, try CiaoRui‘s weekday balanced bentos. You can also opt for Fresh To Go with its clean Canto fare. There’s also brand new Gymbox, with under-500-calorie, made to order protein-heavy meals including a veggie tofu option. Nosh is another new player: the upstart cousin of Secret Ingredient, it is focused on healthy, nutritious lunches catered to professionals. Think gourmet ingredients and chef made recipes and all meals below 550 calories. Supafood offers a curated selection of salad boxes and quinoa bowls for busy bees- all ingredients are organic and local where possible.
Update April 2017: CiaoRui is no longer operational and Frensh no longer operates a healthy meal service.
Vegan Grub: Plant-Based Delivery Options
If you are vegan or vegetarian and want a plant-based subscription meal plan, we strongly recommend Eatology: they have complete three-meal-a-day Monday to Friday macro-balanced eating plans tailored to your needs. Paleo Taste, Locofama, Frensh and Gymbox all have vegetarian options too, so be sure to check them out. Genie Juicery does raw organic food cleanses where you can get a mix of cold-pressed juices as well as raw vegan snacks and prepared foods. And get excited for about-to-launch vegan food delivery from the raw chef team behind POG Kitchen: collard wraps, rainbow veggie bowls and rice paper rolls are all coming soon to a desk/table near you.
Update December 2017: POG Kitchen is no longer operational.
Healthy Restaurant Delivery Services
Hong Kong’s delivery logistics scene has also seriously improved of late. If you are a last minute kind of person who abhors planning or commitment of any kind, then services like Deliveroo and Food Panda are for you. All three are world-class players offering prompt delivery from a selection of your neighborhood restaurants and depending on where you are, there are loads of healthy options like Grassroots Pantry, Pololi, MANA Fast Slow Food, KALE and The Herbivores among many others.
Images courtesy of: Nosh (lead photo), Nutrition Kitchen, Lean By Design, Paleo Taste, Locofama and Eatology.