July 2017 Update: HOME has now closed down.
HOME – Eat To Live officially opened its doors just a few days ago and it’s already the most talked about restaurant in town. No surprises there: HOME – Eat To Live heralds a new era of plant-based eating in Asia’s World City. With its massive eco-chic space in the heart of Hong Kong’s business district (the eatery boasts 100 seats), the fast-casual veggie-centered restaurant firmly plants its sustainable roots and proudly puts our city on the global map of vegan-forward metropolises.
We’ve already given you the full lowdown on the philosophy behind HOME, but we hadn’t gotten a chance to fully review the menu. Below we take a closer look at the what’s on offer.
It goes without saying that HOME’s menu contains almost no animal by-products (the only exceptions are Halloumi cheese and soft-boiled eggs). Christian and his team go a step beyond forbidding meat: they actively campaign for endangered and extinct animal species. Every dish on the savory food menu is named after a beautiful creature we need to protect or remember from the Red Panda to the Polar Bear to the Mexican Grizzly to the Clouded Leopard to the Siberian Tiger. On the restaurant’s first floor, a large screen showcases National Geographic worthy videos of our beautiful planet and its diverse inhabitants. Might they be ushering in a new age of “awareness-raising-dining?” We think so.
We picked The Lemur Leap Frog salad bowl, a modern plant-based interpretation of the traditional Caesar with crunchy Little Gem lettuce, pickled red onions, umami-tastic almond parmesan, crackling croutons and the creamiest cashew nut dressing. Worth trying: the earthy Manta Ray salad with beets, broccoli, pumpkin, quinoa and a tahini dressing.
If there’s one thing Christian and his team know how to do, it’s flatbreads. HOME are oven-fired whole wheat affairs with herb bases (delightful mixes of spices, Zaatar and chillies). You can make your own custom flatbread (and even sub the whole wheat for a leafy green wrap) and they have raw and cooked toppings galore. Or you can opt for their pre-designed version. We tried the Blue Whale starring their house falafel, roasted garlic hummus, roasted bell peppers and mixed greens. We had only one complaint: more addictively-good garlic hummus please!
Burgers are no longer the purview of meat-eaters and HOME’s combos are particularly well-executed and include a burger on a whole wheat bun, lettuce, red onions and tomato alongside house cured pickles, a green salad, sweet potato fries and a choice of homemade condiments including chipotle sauce, herb aioli and fermented chili. Our Northern White Rhino set had a mixed-grain and pumpkin patty topped with a slice of Halloumi and pickled jalapenos. Crazy to say but it’s a heck of a meaty burger with a fantastic spicy kick. Make sure to give The Mediterranean-influenced Polar Bear burger a go too: the patty is made from beetroot, mushrooms and oats and comes with smoked eggplant caviar and roasted bell peppers.
Open-faced toast, aka tartines, are all the rage these days, especially thanks to the whole #avotoast craze. HOME’s vegan versions all feature a freshly baked sourdough base courtesy of local artisan bread-master Bread Elements and make for excellent breakfasts and snacks. We tried the decadent Mountain Gorilla, topped with nut butter, sliced bananas, toasted coconut, maple syrup and a sprinkling of cinnamon and orange zest. You can even ask for extra melted raw chocolate. So scrumptious!
Named after a genus of our small-bodied primate cousins species the lemur and part of HOME’s Earth Bowl offering, the Silky Sifaka is a Vietnamese pho-inspired dish of warming anise and clove spiced broth, smooth kelp noodles, sliced avocado and greens pepped up with lime, Thai basil, cilantro and jalapeño. Other Earth Bowls include the Siberian Tiger featuring purple rice, marinated tofu and fermented chili as well as the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, which we also tried and is a vibrant combination of different superfood salad staples like wilted kale, steamed quinoa, grated carrots and stewed adzuki beans. The fermented cabbage and the seaweed dressing took the bowl to the next level: definitely our favorite HOME bowl!
For all those of you out there with a sweet tooth: rejoice! HOME brings some serious deliciousness to Hong Kong’s raw vegan desert scene. Obviously, everything is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and raw. More importantly every single one was practically screaming ‘eat me’ and we couldn’t believe the number of people that were gobbling them down as we looked around. Why? Cuz they are so yum! Our favourite is the Chocolate Banana Cake, which tasted like when healthy met decadent for a first date. Others were obsessing over the Hazelnut Chocolate Cake, and the Coconut Strawberry Cheesecake is also a must-try. Lest we forget to mention: all the chocolate is from local organic purveyor (and our choice for world’s best chocolate maker) Raiz The Bar.
For a plant-powered start to the day, we recommend a breakfast of their superfood-packed nuts and date raw Granola Bar accompanied by a cup of their cold-brew almond latte! The granola works as an afternoon snack or post-workout refuel. Also on offer: crunch cookies, chocolate mousse, chia pudding and assorted fruit & nuts bites.
On the drinks front, they also feature 100% organic cold-pressed juices, whole fresh young coconuts, organic Pukka teas, more delicious fair trade coffee options, Taboocha kombucha, turmeric infused Golden Milk, wheatgrass shots, various energy shakes, homemade lemonade and a Throat Comfort drink that is going to be a lifesaver during cold and flu season.
We’re also pretty excited about HOME’s evening offerings: organic liquors, locally-brewed gluten-free beer from Kowloon Bay Brewery, cold-pressed-juice-based cocktails and organic wine. Yup, it’s the city’s first healthy bar! Bottoms up!
Home Eat to Live: Shop G01 & 101 Nexxus Building, 77 Des Veoux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong. Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00AM to 10:00PM for breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and drinks—as well as all day for hot and cold takeaway options. Walk-ins only. For more information, call +852 2777 4777, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.
All images courtesy of Green Queen.