The new Ovo Cafe in Central carries the same mentality as it's older sister store in Wan Chai; a passion for sharing a green life with a dedication to healthiness and an eco-lifestyle. They serve fresh, tasty vegetarian cuisine at all times of the day, from soups and salads to more hearty options like vegan garlic bread and truffle risotto with a tomato concasse.
Open and airy, and mildly akin to a garden centre, the new Ovo Cafe in Central is attached to the Green Monday movement's mega-veg store Green Common. Between these two and Maya Cafe which sits on the floor below, three of Hong Kong's premier plant-based powerhouses have congregated in a central location for the herbivore to explore.
We like their coffee a lot, which can be made on any number of milks ranging from soy to skim. We were particularly taken with the quinoa latte, which showed off the skill of the barista who was able to perfectly demonstrate a rosette on top of our java (a feat nearly all of Hong Kong struggles to achieve). The quinoa milk is mild but sweet, even though there doesn't appear to be any sugar in the ingredients list (we inspected). If in doubt, the organic soy flat white is also hugely consumable.
The smoothies are less exciting so go for either a coffee or a freshly squeezed juice.
It is difficult to understand exactly the direction of the menu at first glance, as it seems to be comprised of both vegan and vegetarian meals. There is definitely no meat, however, so don't bring old mate ribeye to this restaurant without a thorough briefing.
The menu is 50% hit so go for these specific dishes and you'll walk out satisfied.
Garden comfort soup with garden taro, okra and mixed veggies tastes somewhat artificial, and though we were assured it was made on site, we feel hesitant to believe this. Best go on to the vegan garlic bread with a whole clove of roasted garlic and vegan aoili.
The 'crab' cakes are great, and we are convinced most meat eaters probably would not be able to tell the difference between these and the real thing. Vegan crab cakes with pumpkin puree, and cucumber served with beetroot sauce isn't the most appealing thing to sell to carnivores though, so best tell them it is the real thing and then wait until later to bestow the good news about all the plants they have just consumed.
The superbowl salad of beetroot and quinoa salad in feta cheese is not overly memorable, though the feta does resemble feta uncannily aside from a lack of brininess.
For the mains go the Spice Entice, which is vegetarian but not vegan (and we are happy for this compromise as the paratha is too deliciously flaky to be done without butter), with Indian curry and beef served with chick peas, potato and green beans. Other mains are uneventful.
A good place to come when you have vegans in your life who will actually be delighted by the 'meat alternatives' as found in the crab cakes and beef curry. For those who lean more on the side of plants but are happy to eat meat, they will definitely be able to tell the difference thus the novelty won't be as apparent to these types of friends. Best come for a killer vegan coffee and cake and then stock up on green groceries next door.
Ovo Cafe Shop
Website or Tel: 2527 6077
Open Hours: Mon to Sun & Public Holiday from 11:30am – 10:00pm