Cali-Mex are a force unto themselves; a quality casual Mexican restaurant that’s taken Hong Kong by storm. They’ve been here for 12 months and already have 12 restaurants with plans to open many more expanding further on Kowloon side.
Cali-Mex prides itself on providing healthy food with its core ingredients such as free-range chicken, Angus beef, and fresh veg flown in from Australia. They make everything fresh in house from scratch and they’ve even gone so far as to import equipment for tortilla making machines. However, their fish has been fairly generic, until now…
"They took another step in furthering their ambitions and switched suppliers permanently to those providing certified sustainable seafood"
The Kin Hong Seafood Festival is running this month and is dedicated to promoting awareness of sustainable seafood throughout Hong Kong. This is being run by Ocean Recovery Alliance and supported by ADM Capital Foundation and the Swire Trust. Cali-Mex were looking for a new fish supplier when they were approached about the festival, which fit with their sustainable approach to providing casual dining with quality food (most of their packaging is also bio-degradable). They took another step in furthering their ambitions and switched suppliers permanently to those providing certified sustainable seafood. Cali-Mex is incredibly excited about this step forward and is planning on making the most of it by introducing a new dish in January using sustainable prawns, which is sure to be a big success.
There is a common misconception that opting for sustainable seafood is much more expensive, but this is not what Cali-Mex have found. Going sustainable has cost them the same, if not less than before. They’ve also noted that the quality has vastly improved both in terms of taste and consistency, and being environmentally friendly, it also feels better to eat knowing you are helping conserve the planet.
CEO Jeff Moss said that Hong Kong is definitely ready for this change. The city is at the stage where consumers want to know more about the food on their plate, and as he put it “it’s not how it looks, but where it comes from”. In a world that is rapidly changing due to climate change, it is increasingly important to know where your food comes from and whether it was responsibly sourced, not just whether it looks good on a plate
"Ideally we want Hong Kong to start demanding sustainable seafood at all times"
Cali-Mex will be updating their menus next week to reflect their new sustainability status. Look out for the ASC logo that reflects certified sustainable seafood farmed according to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s (ASC) standards. This certification ensures that every link in the supply chain is sustainable from the farm to your plate. It is important to know what you are putting in your mouth and the updated menu will make sustainability more salient and help get people thinking about other seafood they consume. Ideally we want Hong Kong to start demanding sustainable seafood at all times. With the world’s fish stocks rapidly dwindling, now is the time to act to ensure our children and grandchildren can enjoy seafood as we do today.