Vegetarians in Hong Kong will likely have heard of Maya Café, a small vegetarian shop nestled in between Central and Sheung Wan. What you may not know is that Chef Tina Barrat hosts monthly themed dinners all over the city that are incredibly unique, lively and delicious. I recently had the chance to attend her intimate seven-course raw/vegan dinner at art gallery LOT88 in Central and had no idea what to expect. Each course represented one of the seven chakras and its corresponding colour and also used essential oils. Sounds strange, but I promise that the experience and food were both amazing.
Crown Chakra (Purple)
We began with a raw beetroot soup made with frankincense essential oil. The cold soup was thick and incredibly flavorful, with just a hint of frankincense.
Third Eye Chakra (Violet)
The next dish used rosemary essential oil and was comprised of red cabbage slaw and beetroot carpaccio. Though I could have done without the cabbage, I loved the thinly sliced beetroot that had a beautiful hint of rosemary throughout.
Throat Chakra (Blue)
The spirulina pâté was infused with lavender essential oil and had a very strong taste (something you may need to get used to if you're a spirulina newbie). Up until this point I had never had raw spirulina and was surprised at how 'fishy' it tasted. Needless to say, it was not quite my thing, but there are tonnes of health benefits to eating spirulina, so I made sure to lick the bowl clean.
Heart Chakra (Green)
Everyone at the table loved the dense and satisfying pistachio cake. The avocado flan was infused with lime and basil essential oils and was a nice contrast in texture to the cake. Overall, this was probably one of my favourite dishes of the evening.
Solar Chakra (Yellow)
There was a very interesting mix of ingredients in this next course: ginger and black pepper essential oil 'cheeses' with rice cracker. I loved the textures throughout this dish and the strong black pepper flavour was great.
Sacral Chakra (Orange)
Not your typical Western version, this raw cheesecake was made using carrot, ginger, lemon, orange and vegan cream. The two essential oils used were orange and bergamot. Even though I'm a massive New York cheesecake fan, I found this dessert surprisingly delicious (especially the bergamot-infused top layer).
Root Chakra (Red)
We finished off our meal with a strawberry jelly cup with berry 'cream' and homemade jam on the side. The jam was to die for and the cream had a lovely, subtle flavour.
The seven-course dinner was priced at $820 per person and included bubbles throughout the evening. The event space, LOT88, was beautiful and everyone who attended the dinner was incredibly interesting.
Young Living essential oils can be purchased online in Hong Kong.
To join Tina's essential oil community and to stay up to date on all the events Maya Café puts on, check out their Facebook page and contact Tina here.