If you are up to date on our health & wellness trend predictions, then you may recall we named 2016 the year of the bowl. And of all the types of bowl foods out there, you only need to open up your Instagram account to see how huge the whose #acaibowl craze has become. Surprisingly, there are quite a few spots to get your fix in the 852 and we list out the best ones below.
But first things first: what IS an acai bowl? Simply put, an acai bowl is a specific type of smoothie bowl. Not sure what a smoothie bowl is? Honestly, where have you been. Slurping your smoothie from a mason jar is so last year. This year, it’s all about mindfully enjoying a breakfast bowl of blended fruits and superfoods with a spoon and loads of fun toppings like bee pollen and cacao nibs.
And by the way, the correct spelling for this South American purple super-berry fruit that hails from a type of palm tree is açaí and the correct pronunciation is ‘ah-sah-ee.’ Please, no hard Cs.
Most of the acai you are getting is either a freeze-dried powder or a frozen acai berry pulp- fresh acai berries are almost impossible to source in Asia. The acai pulp/powder is usually blended with other fruit (banana is a popular choice) and some form of milk (preferably non-dairy), as well as a healthier sweetener (think raw honey or dates), poured into a bowl, and served with your choice of toppings.
Why should you care? Because acai bowls are simply packed with nutrition, not to mention a boatload of antioxidants- the acai berry has one of the highest ORAC scores out there.
We will be sharing a fabulous acai berry recipe soon so you can make your own at home but in the meantime, grab one from these delicious options.
BE-JUICED Acai Bowls
The BE-JUICED acai bowl is made from a base of frozen acai pulp blended with fresh bananas and freshly-pressed apple juice. BE-JUICED lets you bedazzle your acai bowl with toppings (they have 16 to choose from) including granola, bee pollen, goji berries, blueberries, chia seeds, raw cacao nibs, dragon fruit, kiwi, mango, strawberries, almonds, cashew nuts, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, raw honey and three varieties of raw granola. Conveniently, they also have two sizes depending on how hangry you are, and the bowls are available from morning till night. It’s the perfect pre or post workout fuel.
HKD 65 for a small cup with up to 2 toppings, HKD 110 for the big bowl with up to 3 toppings; each extra topping at HKD 5. Available at their Be-Juiced + Bar at 45 Peel Street, Monday to Saturday 11am to 9pm, Sunday 10am to 8pm.
Grassroots Pantry’s Acai Berry Bowl
We have to give it to chef Peggy, she was ahead of the curve on this one- to the best of our knowledge, Grassroots Pantry and sister deli Prune were the first to have an acai bowl on a Hong Kong menu. Grassroots makes a special effort to source the very best frozen acai berry pulp, which it then blends with flaxseeds, coconut meat and medjool dates. The bowl is then topped with fresh, seasonal organic fruits and their house-made dehydrated raw buckwheat granola. Perfect for a healthy breakfast meeting or post-late-night brunch date.
HKD 98 for acai berry bowl. Available at Grassroots Pantry restaurant, 108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan. Served at breakfast, weekdays from 7.30-11am and during brunch on weekends, from 9am until 4pm.
nood food Acai Cups
Açaí cups at nood food come in 4 different flavour bases: classic, coconut, cacao and pineapple- the blends all contain an acai smoothie powder mix, almond milk and sweeteners like dates or raw honey. They also all contain bananas and irish moss paste (for thickness) except for the coconut option, which is really more like an acai-flavored coconut yoghurt.
You can choose from a variety of fresh fruit toppings like banana, mango, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and apples as well as dry ones like raw cacao nibs, chia seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, walnuts, raw granola, cranberries and coconut flakes. These cups, made from mostly organic ingredients, are the perfect on-the-go solution for busy folks looking for a healthy takeaway breakfast.
HKD 75 for acai cup with a choice of 2 toppings; HKD 15 per extra topping. Available at nood food locations throughout Hong Kong.
Pressed Juices Acai & Mango Bowl
Pressed Juices does a blended take on the acai bowl with their acai & mango bowl: a layer of mango puree is followed by an acai smoothie base that includes bananas, strawberries, almond milk, barberries, caramelized buckinis, dates and coconut milk. This is then topped with dried mulberries and fresh passion fruit. A total breakfast fruit bonanza!
HKD 70 for acai & mango bowl, available at Pressed locations throughout Hong Kong.
Metropolitain Le Fruite – The Superfruit Breakfast
For Sai Ying Pun residents, Metropolitain is a cosy haven amidst the hilly chaos, with its Parisian charm and French staples so it may come as a surprise that their breakfast menu includes an Acai Granola Bowl, made from fresh organic acai berry pulp in its true native form- theirs is wild-harvested along the riverbanks of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, and served with a sliced banana, strawberries, and sugar-free oat granola.
HKD 88 for Le Fruite, available at Metropolitain, 46 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, weekdays from 10am to 12pm and weekends from 10am to 3pm.
Wanna make your own #acaibowl? Check out our complete guide!
Lead photo: A Million Miless, other photos in order of appearance: BE-JUICED, Grassroots Pantry, nood food, Pressed Juices and Metropolitain.