Finding delicious and creative meat-free food in Hong Kong is every vegetarian’s quest. Pure Veggie House – one of Hong Kong’s most celebrated vegetarian and vegan restaurants – in continuing to pioneer green dining with a menu boasting over 150 dishes, including dim sum and spicy Sichuan-style cuisine (and none of these dishes contain any trace of meat or dairy products).
Back with another new offering comes the seasonal matsutake menu, showcasing this rare and expensive pine mushroom. The menu features six new matsutake-themed dishes, which are also available for group ordering (2 days’ advance notice at $498/person). It’s mushroom madness!
Of the dishes we sampled, there were a few that stole the show. First up was the kale and porcini mushroom griddle cake ($78). This bright green, pancake-like dish immediately caught my attention, and I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. The lightness of the griddle cake was perfectly complemented by the rich flavour and chewy texture of the accompanying mushrooms. Perfect for sharing (or not, in my case), this dish is a must-have.
A staple in Chinese dining, you can’t go wrong with a classic soup. Served up in an individual teapot, this made the delicately flavoured matsutake and golden jelly mushroom soup ($198) feel almost like a prized liquid, with a price tag to match.
Being a dumpling fanatic, my eyes lit up when I saw these porcini mushroom dumplings ($38 for 3) up for grabs. Unfortunately, the sticky wrappers distracted from the mushroom filling, which was a bit bland. That being said, these dumplings do make a nice change from the standard dumpling template.
The clay-pot matsutake steamed rice ($488) feeds the eyes as well as the stomach, providing a balance between art and food. Aromatic rice is topped with meaty matsutake mushrooms and mock-meat prawns. This hefty portion is recommended for sharing, although the price seemed a little steep for what was plated up.
The star of the show was the chef’s own recommendation of baked monkey head mushrooms and Chinese yam with herbs ($148). This dish seemed simple, yet it was easily the most flavoursome of the whole menu. I couldn’t let this one go to waste and took the rest home for devouring later.
To end things on a sweet note, we tried the strawberry pudding ($43). The restaurant has rustled up a “secret recipe” here to bring guests a 100% vegan dessert. Not being a big fan of sickly sweet desserts, this one ticked all the right boxes for me. The slightly gelatinous pudding was complemented by naturally sweet, luscious strawberries.
This seasonal matsutake menu is a delight for all mushroom lovers, with dishes making creative use out of the valued fungi.
3/F, Coda Plaza, 51 Garden Road, Mid-Levels, 2525 0552
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
For more reviews like this, like Foodie on Facebook