This article originally appeared in the October 2015 Issue: Craving Comfort. Read it here!
Where to start? There is so much goodness packed into Peggy Chan’s new location, it’s hard to know where to begin. Whether it’s with her philosophy – to make food do good, her comfortable but cool restaurant design, or her delicious vegetarian dishes, it seems to us that she is a true role model on the culinary catwalk.
The place: Charmingly mismatched chairs, wooden tables and floors and romantic lighting works well with the stark concrete and makes it feel both current and homey at the same time. Expanding from their sweet Sai Ying Pun location into this large space could easily have fallen flat but instead Grassroots looks like it belongs in its new home. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this all comes with a team that’s as sweet and knowledgable about the menu as the boss lady herself.
The menu: For some, raw vegan (which much of the menu is) is offputting. Peggy sees this as a challenge - to get the meat-eaters to enjoy her cuisine, which she does, frequently. We hearty meat-eaters savoured her creamy and spicy “tuna” handrolls with their tangy homemade seven-day fermented sriracha, moreish almond butter, cucumber, avocado, jicama cauliflower rice and scallions. They were scrumptious. We devoured her made on-site sourdough bread and gorgeous cashew butter and wolfed down the healthful chickpea and quinoa falafel. A real surprise was her kelp noodles that look and taste like a pasta but are really kelp. Yes, really. A succulent and tender hedgehog mushroom has such a meat-like similarity in texture and flavour that any carniverous cravings are satisfied with this simply delicious fungi. The brown rice risotto comes topped with a “parm cheese” that made from sunflower seeds and lemon juice and is quite the feat of engineering. It has a light, nutty flavour that emulates parm quite effectively.
A flight of cold pressed juices feels a bit medicinal, and it is, really. The Liveraid is a combination of green apple, spinach, cucumber, burdock, lemongrass, pineapple and lemon, The Glow contains carrots, beetroot, ginger, lemon and tumeric and the A.M. Elixir is fresh coconut water, chia seeds and pink Himalayan salt. A shot of each of these will get everything working and powering up for the days ahead. And you can go ahead and dig in to that affogato as its guilt-free! Made from Happy Cow coffee ice cream, espresso and a biscotti crumble or there is the blueberry cheesecake made from coconut cheese. Peggy Chan really makes one wonder at the marvel of vegetables when they are contorted and transposed into such unique, appetising and all round marvelous creations. Her unprocessed, organic, sustainable ingredients read like a playlist of what every restaurant should be aspiring towards. She’s a game changer this one, and makes one feel like they could change their own game too.
To sum up: We weren’t overstuffed at the end of our plentiful and luscious meal and felt positively pious about what we had put into our bodies without sacrificing one iota on flavour. With all the best ingredients and skillful preparation swimming around in our stomachs, we certainly weren’t thinking about meat. We were thinking about our next visit to the GRP.
108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
Tel. 2873 3353