A Hidden Gem

Restaurant Rating Delicious food. Great service. Comfortable, understated ambiance. Quality without being fussy. Green Rating Deep Green. Vegetarian. Organic. Local. The kitchen minimizes food waste in imaginative ways. For example, the pulp from making juices is used in the burgers. Short of installing some solar panels on the roof, dining doesn’t  get much more sustainable than this in Hong Kong. Price (per person) Dinner HK$200-300 … Continue reading A Hidden Gem

BYO Chopsticks to Reduce Deforestation

PRODUCT Portable chopsticks with case

PRODUCT RATING Very Good. These single-piece, portable chopsticks by muji require no assembly. The chopsticks and case are easy to clean. However, some may have difficulty adjusting to slightly shorter length. Like most of muji’s products, they are relatively high quality and well designed. Made of plastic.

GREEN RATING Light Green. Single-use, disposable chopsticks are a huge problem adding to the plague of regional deforestation. If you use disposable chopsticks while eating lunch at your desk or at sushi restaurants, try bringing a pair of your own. In addition to deforestation, there are also other health and environmental issues associated with using and disposing of single-use chopsticks.

AVAILABLE AT muji. You can also find other portable chopsticks in stores throughout Hong Kong.

Do you use disposable chopsticks to eat lunch at your desk? Or enjoy sushi at places that provide disposable chopsticks? You may want to consider bringing your own for the sake of the planet and your own health. According to the NY Times:

Each year, the equivalent of 3.8 million trees go into the manufacture of about 57 billion disposable pairs of chopsticks in China, according to statistics from that nation’s national forest bureau. About 45 percent of disposable chopsticks are made from trees like cotton wood, birch, and spruce, while the remainder are made from bamboo.

Due to lax enforcement of productions standards in China, disposable chopsticks also pose other risks for consumers and the environment:

Industrial-grade sulfur, paraffin, hydrogen peroxide and insect repellent are among the harmful chemicals that Chinese media investigations have exposed during production. Paraffin is a known carcinogen, and hydrogen peroxide can harm the digestive system. Chopsticks irresponsibly disposed of can contaminate water and soil quality. Continue reading “BYO Chopsticks to Reduce Deforestation”

The Shark Fin Free Banquet

Thanks to the efforts of tireless individuals from organizations such as Bloom and Sea Shepherd there are many more shark fin free banquet options in Hong Kong. Bloom has been instrumental in working behind the scenes to help hotels and restaurants understand this issue, while Gary Stokes of Sea Shepherd has been fearless in his own unique approach. Studies show that predator shark species have all … Continue reading The Shark Fin Free Banquet

No Longer Just for Hippies

PRICE HK$ 52 for a lunch set including soup and drink

FOOD RATING Good healthy lunch. The food is quite bland but nicely presented with a delightful array of colors and textures. The fare is very light, containing little salt or oil. If you’re used to eating meat for lunch, you’ll probably need a snack a few hours later. After eating a meal at Soland, I feel about 80% full rather than completely stuffed, which is recommended by many health experts as the correct way to eat. The food is served lightly warmed (rather than piping hot) which I don’t like.

GREEN RATING Deep Green even though it is not organic. A vegan diet excludes all animal products (no meat, dairy, eggs or fish). A completely plant-based diet eliminates the huge loss of calories that result from converting (feeding) grain to livestock, thereby reducing agriculture’s impact on the environment. According to a report published by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), livestock generates more greenhouse gas emissions  (18 percent) than transport! It is also a major source of land and water degradation.

LOCATION Between Sheung Wan and Central. Entrance is the first doorway in the alley to the left side of Capo’s Expresso – walk up 3 floors. See Open Rice for a map.

Note: Serves lunch only.

What do Bill Clinton, Natalie Portman and Mike Tyson have in common? They are all vegans. In the Businessweek’s The Rise of the Power Vegans, Joel Stein writes:

It used to be easy for moguls to flaunt their power. All they had to do was renovate the chalet in St. Moritz, buy the latest Gulfstream jet, lay off 5,000 employees, or marry a much younger Asian woman. By now, though, they’ve used up all the easy ways to distinguish themselves from the rest of us—which may be why a growing number of America’s most powerful bosses have become vegan. Steve Wynn, Mort Zuckerman, Russell Simmons, and Bill Clinton are now using tempeh to assert their superiority. As are Bill Ford, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, venture capitalist Joi Ito, Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey, and Mike Tyson. Yes, Mike Tyson, a man who once chewed on human ear, is now vegan. His dietary habit isn’t nearly as impressive as that of Alec Baldwin, though, who has found a way to be both vegan and fat at the same time.

Located on the 3rd floor of a walk up, Soland can take a bit of work to find. The decor is sparse and very low key. The furnishings look more at home in a country cottage, rather than in a restaurant in the heart of cosmopolitan Hong Kong. It is usually quiet, even when full, so makes a nice getaway from the crowds and noise. For some reason, vegetarians tend to speak in hushed voices, rather than shouting at people two feet away from them (as many patrons of local diners seem to do). The owner/waiter is mellow and relaxed, never trying to rush you out the door to accommodate the next patron.  Continue reading “No Longer Just for Hippies”

A Delicious Way to Go Green: World Peace Cafe

***WORLD PEACE CAFE CLOSED DEC 2011 DUE TO RENT INCREASE***

PRICE Set Menu: Lunch HK$100, Dinner HK$185

FOOD RATING Delicious. A highly satisfying experience at a reasonable price. A great way to eat green without sacrificing taste.

GREEN RATING Quite Green. Vegetarian. Organic. Recycling. Fair Trade.

GETTING THERE http://www.worldpeacecafe.hk/eng/location.php

World Peace Cafe (WPC) is an organic vegetarian restaurant and cafe run by dedicated volunteers. Its a tranquil spot for lunch (Mon-Sat) or dinner (Fri, Sat only) in the heart of busy Wanchai.

LUNCH
Like most non-vegetarians, you may be wondering can a meal without meat really be satisfying? The answer is a definite yes! The 4 course set menu that changes weekly (includes a soup, appetizer, main, desert and a choice of fair-trade coffee or herbal teas) will leave you feeling satisfied and energized. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a healthy, delicious lunch that doesn’t weigh you down. Continue reading “A Delicious Way to Go Green: World Peace Cafe”