Grassroots Pantry

Grassroots Pantry

5 October, 2015
Our New Local
The all-veggie restaurant is wowing guests at its new Hollywood Road digs

There is currently a growing buzz of health food spots in Hong Kong, and we're thrilled to see the new venue of the deliciously homespun Grassroots Pantry, on Hollywood Road.
Imaginative chef and owner Peggy Chan is a strong believer in supporting eco-conscious practices and catering to special individual dietary needs. Her aim is to educate the community with sustainable, plant-based cuisine that is sourced responsibly - and do it deliciously.
Entering from Hollywood Road, you enter a large spacious restaurant with high ceilings and simplistic Scandinavian minimalistic décor. Once seated, we were greeted by our server Mark with a simple yet detailed lunch menu accompanied with a drink menu. The menu caters to E-V-E-R-Y dietary restriction and offers an easy letter-coded key: R (Raw), V (Vegan), GF (Gluten-Free), BF (Buddhist-Friendly), and NF (Nut-Free)!
Tables are topped with adorable succulent plants and the lights hanging from the ceiling resemble charming upcycled crystal decanters, complementing the loads of natural light shining in from the double-high windows. The space gives off a simple yet rustic feel that takes you out of the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. The only thing that felt out of place was the black plastic straws in the drinks; fortunately the staff were happy to accommodate (without questioning us) when we asked for 'no straws please'!
We started our meal off with the 'Enricher' with banana, mango, pineapple, spinach, Italian basil and flax seed all mixed in with organic soy milk, and the 'Immune Booster' , a mix juice with kiwi, grapefruit, orange, lemon, and kale. The smoothie was a creamy delight while the juice was both refreshing and beautifully presented with a thin green layer of kale on top of the fruit juice - which was not only pretty, but allowed the first sip to go down feeling healthy, and the end be filled with fruity sweetness. Both drink were mouth-wateringly delicious, guilt-free drinks and a nice beginning to the meal.
For the starters, we chose the Pan-Fried Gyoza that are vegan and Buddhist-friendly, and the Southeast Asian Platter (vegan, gluten-free). The gyoza were fried to a perfect crispy finish that contrasted beautifully wih the tender filling, and was paired with a delicious sweet almond sauce, almost like a nut butter, which matched the flavours *perfectly*. The Southeast Asian Platter had a good mix of fresh cucumber rolls, soft Vietnamese Banh Cuon which were a little on the softer side, and the most juicy and tender Pandan Hedgehog mushrooms. Both starters were presented impeccably.
Having polished off the generous starters, we tucked into our shared main: the Signature Mixed Mushroom Linguine  again Buddhist-friendly and nut-free. The al dente linguine came with a generous portion of wild and earthy mushrooms, and had just the right amount of creamy texture without being too rich.
Though full to the brim, we couldn't resist ending the meal with a “Guilt-Free” Affogato - a light but heady combo of Biscotti Crumble, ‘Happy Cow’ coffee ice cream, Ethiopian Koke Espresso, and Raiz-the-Bar chocolate shavings. This delightful light dessert offered just the right amount of sweetness and had an adorable presentation.
How much did we enjoy our lunch? So much that we went back for dinner the next day! We were again treated to top-quality food and interaction with Peggy herself, who shared a little about each dish and even about the servingware - for instance the one-of-a-kind serving platters fashioned out of wood from an old tree in her father's garden!
Peggy's contagious enthusiasm for the food and her business bring extra charm to the dining experience, and highlight her genuine passion for healthy, sustainable cuisine. We can't wait to see more from this forward-thinking eatery.
Grassroots Pantry is located on 107 Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.

By: Melissa Yu


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