Healthy food isn't the first thing you think when you think of Hong Kong's dining scene. We're certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to decently priced dim sum, noodles and baked goods, but finding vegetables, any sort of vegetable, in a low-priced eatery is a real challenge. We sometimes find ourselves salivating over the odd choi sum served alongside mountains of meat in cha chaan tengs. Drenched in oyster sauce and so sad-looking, it's always an after-thought and never the main star so it's fair to say that healthy options are hard to come by in our fast-moving city.
The third edition of the Good Food Tour promised three healthy food spots from casual eateries in Central and the Foodie team met up with fellow food writers for a kale binge at Mana! Fast Slow Food, Be Juiced and Nosh by Secret Ingredient.
Starting off at Mana, we chatted with head chef Anthony as he explained their concept of being an eco-friendly alternative to fast food. All their offerings are vegetarian with fair trade, ethically sourced ingredients and packaged as convenient fast food. If you don't already know Mana, go for their wide selection of wraps filled with anything from halloumi to mixed roasted veg, all seasoned with their house za'atar spice. Not new to the Foodie team, we find ourselves at Mana most nights of the week picking up easy wraps on our way home from work.
Chef Anthony brought out their chickpea salad with kale and spinach and avocado wraps for the food tour, which we all inhaled before realising this was only the first stop. The kale was dressed in a zingy sauce and went well with the chickpeas for a filling meal and the avocado wrap was a hit with the group all round.
Go for Mana's wide selection of wraps filled with anything from halloumi to mixed roasted veg, all seasoned with their house za'atar spice
On to the next stop and acai bowls were the highlight at Be Juiced on Peel Street where we were treated to a bowl each as a mid-meal dessert. Frozen acai berries are whizzed into a delicious sorbet here and can be topped up with a choice of two or three toppings. We would choose this over a cheeky gelato any day of the week, precisely because it's anything but cheeky; it's the most virtuous dessert one could hope for. Their toppings range from cacao nibs, fresh fruit and bee pollen to elevate the virtuousness even further. What we were most surprised to find was that they also sell raw wraps on top of their juice selection for a great lunch option on the go. We recommend their dehydrated red pepper wraps filled with fresh veg and a miso dressing for that sweet and savoury contrast. Needless to say, choose any of their juices for an extra boost of vitamins also.
We'd go for this Be Juiced acai bowl over a cheeky gelato any day, precisely because it's anything but cheeky - it's the most virtuous dessert one could hope for
With anti-oxidants and all-round goodness coursing through our veins, we took the mid-levels escalators up to Nosh by Secret Ingredient on Mosque Street. Sharing the space with The Meatery, they serve ready-to-eat or heat meals for lunch and dinner. Conveniently located along the escalators, it's a great spot for people on their way home from work to pick up a healthy and wholesome meal. You'd find balanced meals of salmon and soba, chicken and black beans and even a light jambalaya here. Convenient, healthy and decently priced, this was a great find on the tour.
Fast food can be healthy, you'd just have to look a little harder in Hong Kong. All three locations of the Good Food Tour were a great way to explore Central and we'd choose this juice-bar hop over a pub crawl any day of the week. Foodpanda are planning another three Good Food Tours so keep your eyes peeled for the next ones.