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January 2018 Update: Jar Jar Beam has closed down.
Jar Jar Beam, the newest plant-based cafe to hit the +852’s healthy eating scene, is shining its healthful light in lively Sheung Wan. No relation to the bumbling Gungan from Naboo (!), Jar Jar Beam offers colourful salads and fresh, healthy cold-press juices that are made to order, all served in glass mason jars for that added touch of stylish healthster.
Pops of bright blues accentuate the immaculate white walls at Jar Jar Beam’s four-seater café counter, which allows patrons to sit and enjoy their meal while watching owner Lewis Lee deftly blend together an array of fruits and vegetables with nimble fingers as he effortlessly flows through his open kitchen.
“I want people to see that I’m not hiding or adding anything,” says Lee of the recipes. “It’s just salad and juice and if they want the recipe, no problem, I’ll tell you everything. But if they’re too busy to make it, that’s what I’m here for.”
Noting the explosion of the juice craze that’s taken over the city in the past couple of years, as well as Hong Kong’s growing knowledge and understanding of eating healthier, the former consultant decided salad and juice made for the ideal pairing and embarked on a business to serve the two together. After many months of market research and taste tests, Lee has curated a seasonal menu of juice, salads and soups that will evolve as the weather does.
We sampled their two most popular juices: Cool Kale and Queen Beet. The delightful hint of ginger in Cool Kale was a most welcome treat in the refreshing mix and beet lovers will thoroughly enjoy the slow-pressed earthy taste paired with the fresh sweetness from the apples. Our favourite Salad in a Jar has to be the Rocket Rocks, a blend of rocket lettuce, tofu, radish, avocado, cucumber, and walnuts. The light, zesty homemade Japanese soy sauce salad dressing was insanely delicious- we inhaled the entire thing!
Avocado aficionados will fawn over the Avocado Bomb. Made with a whole avocado, diced tomatoes, egg, and cashew nuts over creamy homemade yogurt and dill salad dressing, this scrumptious salad (in a jar) is packed with flavour. It’s worth underlining again that all of Jar Jar Beam’s dressings are homemade with made-fresh bases like the dairy-free cashew milk-in fact, everything is prepared each morning by Lee himself.
When asked about sourcing ingredients, Lee explains that while he does purchase organic as often as possible, he refrains from advertising the term outright as it overshadows what he feels is the more important message of eating healthier in general.
“We make sure to get our ingredients as fresh as possible,” he said. “That’s number one, but we don’t want to bother our customers with labels. Our concept from day one has been to get people to eat healthier food because that’s what we believe in.” Lee has a lot more up his (glass) sleeve: be on the lookout for new menu items like oatmeal and smoothie bowls, as well as more soup flavours.
Lee definitely won us over and we especially love the fact that everything is served in glass jars- it’s always a positive to get a reprieve from plastic. Lee explains that the jars help to seal in freshness, and enhance the juice/food’s flavor. We’re all for it!
Visit Jar Jar Beam at 195 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, +852 9615 9245. Open Mon-Fri 8AM to 6PM and Sat-Sun 8AM-2PM. Click here for more information.
All images from Green Queen.