Dining Out 3 minutes 18 May 2021

6 MICHELIN Restaurants For Vegetarian-Friendly Menus

Because going veg doesn't mean you'll be missing out on fine-dining experiences.

Hong Kong plant-based Vegetarian

Occurring annually on the eighth day of the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, Buddha’s Birthday falls on May 19 this year.

Traditionally, Chinese vegetarian cuisine refers to dishes that are made with soy-based ingredients and variations of mushrooms that appear to mimic the taste and appearance of meat. But nowadays, more restaurants are offering vegetarian-friendly menus to cater to health and environmentally-conscious customers, adding their own twists to plant-based cuisine with innovative interpretations of vegetables, fruits, and fungi.

From refined Shanghainese mock-meat fare to intricately plated homegrown microgreens, the vegetarian options at these MICHELIN restaurants are so delicious that you won’t miss the meat.

Arcane's Japanese tomato (Photo: Courtesy of Arcane)
Arcane's Japanese tomato (Photo: Courtesy of Arcane)

Arcane
One MICHELIN Star, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2021

Leading by example as the president of Food Made Good, a programme that encourages Hong Kong’s F&B industry to operate more sustainably, chef-owner Shane Osborn has been rolling out vegetarian and vegan menus at his restaurant Arcane, featuring plant-based culinary creations made solely from fresh herbs and vegetables (some are grown on the restaurant’s patio).

"At Arcane, we feel that vegetables should have the same spotlight as the protein-based dishes on our menu. We have always had vegetarian options on our menu and have been a plant-forward restaurant since Arcane opened about 7 years ago,” says Osborn.

The current vegetarian and vegan menus share common dishes including the chilled gazpacho with Japanese fruit tomato, and a warm salad of roasted cauliflower and imam bayildi with chickpeas and brassicas.

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Roganic
One MICHELIN Star, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2021

Staying true to Simon Rogan’s farm-to-fork philosophy, Roganic is committed to fresh, local and seasonal produce that bridges cooking with growing.

It’s no surprise that Roganic attracts a loyal following of vegetarian gourmets—even without specific vegetarian requests, Roganic is confident to showcase a myriad of vegetable-forward flavours on the tasting menu, including the marjoram brined cabbage, where the cabbage is the star of the show, served with soy and miso glazed shimeji with a kick of wasabi, and garnished with homegrown nasturtium.

A far cry from boring salads, even the pickiest of carnivores will be impressed by the creativity and flavourful combinations of Roganic’s vegetarian offerings.

RELEVANT: How MICHELIN Green Star Restaurants In Asia Are Doing Their Part With Sustainable Practices

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Kung Tak Lam (Causeway Bay)
MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2021

Serving traditional Shanghainese vegetarian food since 1990, Kung Tak Lam is the only vegetarian restaurant listed on MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2021, for good reason. 

With an emphasis on seasonality and authenticity, Kung Tak Lam specialises in mock-meat classics including braised vegetarian “meatball” in casserole, sweet and sour “pork”, and deep-fried vegetarian “fish” with pine nuts in sweet and sour sauce.

Over the past two decades, the restaurant has championed food consistency and introduced modern plant-based options to attract non-vegetarian and younger crowds.

Tate
Two MICHELIN Stars, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2021

Following the success of its “Ode to” menu series focusing on a single ingredient at a time, chef Vicky Lau and her kitchen team are pushing creative boundaries again with an “Ode to Earth” lunch menu.

This time, the six-course menu puts the spotlight on the humble vegetables sourced locally and overseas, elevating familiar Cantonese flavours with classic French techniques. Each chapter (or course) is dedicated to nature’s life cycle, namely Seeds, Leaves, Bulbs and Stems, to Fruits, Roots, and Flowers.

Taking inspiration from Zen Buddhist traditions, the seasonal tasting menu comes with five premium tea pairings highlighting the finest hand picked tea leaves from around the region.

RELEVANT: Green Monday's David Yeung Favourite MICHELIN Restaurants For A Great Plant-based Meal

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Ecriture
Two MICHELIN Stars, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2021

Gone are the days when vegetables are only there to complement meats and seafood, evident in Ecriture’s newly launched Vegetal Menu. Paying tribute to the region’s finest seasonal produce, each dish in the eight-course menu highlights a vegetable reimagined with innovative twists.

The humble onion, for instance, takes centre stage in the Onion Tart, made with three types of onions—red, roscoff, Cevennes—encased in a traditional whole tart served with cream and elderflower vinaigrette.

Beetroot, on the other hand, shines bright in “GMocchi”—a whimsical hybrid of gnocchi and Japanese mochi. Thoughtfully paired with hazelnut, 50 year-old balsamic, burnt grapefruit and white beetroot consommé, the result is a sophisticated, health-conscious pasta dish that is equally moreish.

Chaat's beetroot kulfi kebab (Photo: Courtesy of Chaat)
Chaat's beetroot kulfi kebab (Photo: Courtesy of Chaat)

Chaat
MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2021

Hailing from India, home to the world’s largest vegetarian population, chef Manav Tuli is bringing his country’s street food culture to Hong Kong with a bold and robust rendition.

Among the new seasonal dishes, the vegetarian options are just as finger-licking good (chaat means “ to lick” in Hindi) as the meat and seafood offerings. Indulge in savoury street snacks like the beetroot kulfi kebab, a deep-fried with spiced vegetables and served on a stick like the Indian ice cream kulfi; or irresistible mains like the Adraki Gobhi Aloo, a potato and cauliflower curry, and black truffle and chilli cheese naan.

Chaat has also incorporated Karana—Asia’s first whole plant-based meat brand—into their crowd-pleasing starter. The baked jackfruit samosa, a vegetarian alternative to the restaurant’s signature baked lamb samosa, is proof that vegetarian snacks can be satisfying, too. 

RELEVANT: What Does Food Look Like When Sustainability Is The Main Ingredient?


Hero image: Karana-based baked jackfruit samosa by Chaat (Photo: Courtesy of Chaat)

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