Category Archives: Hong Kong

PB Travels… Hong Kong Pt 2

I’m back in Hong Kong, the start and end point of my Asia travels. The plan was to do some shopping, sight seeing, but the main focus was to explore the other side of HK. people rarely look past the sky scrapers and congestion and madness of this place, but there is another beautiful side – which I discovered.  I stayed in the same hotel, Lodgewood by L’hotel Monk Kok, and I would so recommend this place.  Really reasonable, the staff always happy to help, and the room was excellent with LOADS of storage space. Details in Part 1.

I’ve also got a separate post for food, so I’ll just focus on my highlights of HK.   I could have had a blog post for each of these – but for now you’ll have to do with just this one. 

Shopping

So over the years my shopping threshold has dropped drastically. I don’t have the time or patience for it, I’m usually a ‘I know what I want and I’m going to get it’ kind of gal. So where did I go in HK?

Citygate Outlet Mall

I was off to Tian Tan (the Big Buddha) and I had to get to the last stop on the MTR – location of a massive mall.  A whole load of sports shops, fashion stores and a massive supermarket stocking familiar goodies (hello Waitrose!) it was packed.  It had a mixture of normal and high end shops, all with really good discounts. Worth going to check out the bargains.

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Mong Kok

This place has always been manic, Ladies market especially. Street upon street of same same but different fake but original crap. 100% tourist focused, if you go here, you must bargain. The main reason I went here – to get these amazing durable reusable bags (yep – those ones Lil!). I got about half a dozen – starting off at HKD39 for one down to HKD10 for one. Don’t mess with me!

I also went to Sai Yeung Choi Street in the heart of Mong Kok – lots of high street clothes shops and electronic shops – where I did a bit of shopping – clothes for my niece (Giordano, Bossini), toiletries (Sasa, Bonjour), a couple of ipads, a cool camera and basically that is it.

The rest of the malls I visited were FULL of high end names (why spend money there? Save it for food and travelling!!), and I was merely passing through to my next destination.  So if you are a shopaholic, this is the place for you, but not for me.  I will say that the place that brought me joy was M&S – after months on the road, a packet of salt and vinegar crisps and a tub of hummus tasted utterly gorgeous!

Dragon Boat Festival

I was fortunate to be in HK when the Dragon Boat Festival was on, and I got to see two flavours of it!

Stanley 

So this was clearly a big deal for locals – the plan was to get a bus from Central, we got there but the bus terminal was PACKED but in true HK style, organised and efficient. We spent only 15 minutes queuing before hopping on a bus. Once again, the ride (which took about an hour) was pretty scenic. The atmosphere in Stanley was excellent. It was a beautiful day, perfect for chilling and watching the races – which is exactly what happened. While there, I also visited the Tin Hau temple – most enjoyable.

Central

The other place where I checked out the action was Central. Very crazy but without the chilled vibe of Stanley. There were loads of food stalls (nothing for me to eat), activity stalls and beer stalls.  A lot of fun again – but I preferred Stanley.

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Tian Tan Buddha 

The plan was to take the Ngong Ping cable car from Tung Chung MTR station to the peak, but unfortunately it was closed for maintenance. I ended up taking a terribly scenic bus ride up to the statue. I actually preferred it this way – so much more to see.

The Buddha was as majestic as I had remembered from last time.  Even the hoardes of tourists didn’t put me off.  You can easily take pics from the bottom of the statue and then go off exploring, but I wanted to go to the top. I did buy a ticket (entry to the museum at the top and a standard lunch), and I think it was definitely worth it.  The paid for museum has some of the best oriental watercolours I have ever come across. Sadly, we couldn’t take photos so you’ll have to take my word for it. The lower free ‘museum’ is also interesting, but not as impressive as the paid one. It was a seriously hot day, but there are so many souvenir shops before getting into the complex, there was no shortage of cold drinks.

Touristy stuff done, I went off the beaten track and walked around the trails – a beautiful one being the wisdom path – absolutely stunning and peaceful.  I loved this place and spent a whole day here. Quiet, peaceful, so much greenery, bugs galore – yep. This is HK nature. Whoo!

Hong Kong Park 

This has always been one of my favourite spaces in HK. A beautiful and chilled out park, surrounded by sky scrapers. I also visited the Botanical centre in the park – loads of flowers – stunning stunning orchids, cacti, a tropical garden, definitely worth visiting, more so if you have kiddies. That, along with a waterfall, enough benches dotted around, makes for a lovely space. Loved it.

 

Victoria Peak 

Hong Kong island does have one of the best skylines in the world. I love seeing it from Kowloon side, and from the peak. So even though I had done this before, I wanted to go up again. So the last time I went in the Peak Tram. Guess what? Under maintenance.  So, the bus it was. And once again, SO much better. The views were truly excellent – I would so recommend this over the tram – and it is cheaper :). The other thing – don’t pay to go up to the observation deck.  The views lower down are just as beautiful.

What I LOVED doing was walking down all the way back to Central instead of taking the bus back. The walk is very safe, all paved, but you’re surrounded by trees and lots of foliage.  It did take about 30 minutes and it was a surreal experience.  I did think I was in the middle of a nature walk, until I’d get a glimpse of a tall apartment block or hear some traffic. You are literally going downhill the whole way, so if you have dodgy knees, be careful. Better than coming up though – some people were doing that, and they were panting like dogs.

HK Biological and Botanical Gardens 

This is another green space in the centre of the madness, and another pretty space.  Along with all the flora and fauna dotted around, there are loads of animals and birds. I’m not the biggest fan of zoos and caged animals, thankfully the largest animal was a lemur. But birds? No! Birds are meant to fly! This place was full of locals, very few tourists on the day I was there.  The highlight? A pond with musical amphibians. Very entertaining.  This is the perfect place to animal watch if you want to take a break from people watching (love HK for that – so many characters!)

Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Gardens 

So, as you can tell, I’m on a nature roll, and the next stop was mentioned to me by a friend – and that is where I met my newest friend in HK (Hi J!). I know I sound like a broken record, but I LOVED this place. A trek to get to – but very clear directions, and this place has it’s own bus stop so if you get lost, well.. you have a problem then.

There was the option of using the Farm shuttle to take me to the top of the farm and on the way, stop and check out certain attractions.  It was either that or walking uphill for a couple of hours. Alright then. Bus it is.

The Fern Walk and Orchid Haven were exactly that.  Lots of ferns of different shapes and sizes. The orchids – just a handful were flowering – but still worth it. The memorial pavillion was a very pretty space, with views of the mountains and trees. My favourite stop was Kwun Yum Shan, a space dedicated to the goddess of love and compassion. Beautifully manicured garden, a circular path surrounding the statue – and a beautiful energy to the place.  The butterfly park was excellent – lots and lots of butterflies and flowers, I spent almost an hour here just checking them out. That meant that I missed the shuttle bus so walked back down to the main farm – another hour – but more stops on the way – birds, pond life, places to sit and take it all in. You could walk around the farm, there were greenhouses with more beautiful orchids, a small organic garden, a pig sty with ginormous pigs – I would so recommend this place. The vegetarian cafe onsite was also great, but a tad expensive.

HK Wetland Park

The wetland park was another expansive space, it took a while to get to, using both the MTR and the LRT.  Now I assumed that they both use the Octopus card (they do) but I didn’t realise I had to tap out of the MTR and into the LRT. Result? I got a telling off! And a warning! I wasn’t fined as ‘I was a tourist’. Moving on (quickly), I picked a searingly hot day to explore the park. There is an entrance fee to pay (HKD30) that gives you access to all areas. There was a massive, modern exhibition centre with an education zone (full of cute kids), a souvenir shop (nothing worth buying) and a cafe (overpriced and not very good I was told). I didn’t spend too much time indoors, but we walked around where we could. Lots of shades areas, lots of nooks and crannies to cool down in when the sun got too hot. Lots of birds (there were even bird watching shelters), butterflies, flowers and crabs – among the mangroves.  I would love to come back to this place in the winter – or when it is colder – I think it would have a completely different feel to it. Another must see.

A Symphony of Lights – Victoria Harbour 

Yes yes, possibly cringingly touristy but I loved it. Walking along to the harbour on Kowloon side, we noticed it was pretty packed. Whoo! Light show! But first, I took lots of stunning photos of the harbour. So so pretty. All those colours.  The light show – also very colourful – was very kawaii to watch, with cheesy music too.. I did this on my last night, I think it was a perfect way to end my HK adventure. 

I’ve always liked HK, and discovering her green side made me love the place. Don’t let anyone tell you it is all skyscrapers and madness and crowds. It is all that – but there is a lot more, and all you need to do is scratch below the surface… looking forward to the next visit already!

And that is it for all my epic travels in 2017. I have loved every day of travelling – some more than others. The highlight? Culture and Nature goes without saying. But the people. I met so many people. Locals, fellow Brits, a whole load of Aussies – so many wonderful people who I am keeping in touch with and already planning dinners and visits – it has been an amazing experience.

So back to work soon – but it isn’t going to be just work – I’m planning 2 holidays for the rest of the year. That should keep me going. Until then? Keep your eyes open for my ongoing London food adventures.

Here is to a lifetime of good food and never ending travel! 😘

PB Eats… Vegan Hong Kong – Again

So following on from my previous post of HK vegan eats back in April, I was looking forward to exploring and enjoying more restaurants in Hong Kong.  I won’t talk about breakfasts – they were in the hotel, either avocado on oat cakes, or finishing the rest of my bars – primal pantry and my favourite ones.  I also got a stash of fresh fruit – dragon fruit, mangosteen, mango, whatever looked good and tempting. Look at this perfect avocado!!


And since HK was purely on my time and schedule, I used to have a leisurely breakfast in the hotel, go out shopping and sightseeing and then have a late lunch. No dinner because I’d be so full. This worked out perfectly as I could really pig out for lunch 🐷.

There are some restaurants I went back to, and there are some I avoided.   The main reason for this is Captain Hindsight and my gut.  There were some restaurants that my gut just didn’t like, so I stayed away.  I think it is down to the mock meat used in some of the meals, and I found out that some MAY contain dairy!! Argh!  I did explore quite a few restaurants, and there were still quite a few that I just didn’t have the time to check out.  Good thing there’s always a next time!

One thing I will is that the Happy Cow app was so useful and quite precise in terms of their direction, especially in HK. I used it virtually everyday to decide where and what to eat! Thank you Happy Cow!

Veggie Family 

I went here the first time around and really liked the food and concept so decided to go back again. I ordered off the menu last time, but this time was different – I went at lunch time and saw everyone eating what I assumed to be a set lunch – I was right. Using my very limited Cantonese and a lot of sign language, I found out I could get 3 veggie dishes, rice and soup for only HKD48. Result. I went for greens, mixed veggies and curry tofu. I asked for some extra chilli sauce and I was good to go.

This meal was really delicious. No nasties, low salt, but it was still full of flavour, and a very big portion! Sadly for the rest of the time I was in HK they were closed so I couldn’t go back.  But I definitely would have – so recommend this place and very very easy to find – slap bang on Nathan Road.

Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant 

So after a full morning and 1/2 an afternoon of exploring the Big Buddha (Tan Tian) and walking along the many paths surrounding the statue, I stopped at the vegetarian restaurant for lunch. I bought a ticket for HKD100 that included lunch and entry to the museum at the top. Pricey for what I got, but I wanted to try it out. You don’t have to go for this lunch, there is also a cafe that sells snack items that looked very popular too. The set menu included soup, three veggie dishes, rice and tea.

The soup was pretty dull and bland, with big chunks of boiled carrot. It tasted like hospital food. Not nice to be honest. The rest of the food was much better. Greens with mushrooms – excellent, and didn’t need any pimping as the shrooms added so much flavour to the dish. Mixed veggies included mock meat (left it alone) and cooked cucumber and celery (so yummy). It was. Very comforting dish, but to be honest I could have done with a chilli kick. Last dish? Crispy bean curd stuffed rolls. Yummy. Crunchy, jam packed with carrot and radish, these provided a different texture to the whole meal.  Overall, a pleasant meal.  I did meet some omnis who I had lunch with and they were pretty depressed and did not like any of the food. One of them outright refused to eat it. A bit extreme methinks!

Lock Cha Teahouse

This was one of my favourite places to eat in HK. Set inside Hong Kong Park, which is one of my favourite spaces in HK anyway, this restaurant specialises in dim sum, with a menu that has daily specials.  They do use dairy and eggs, but they speak English and were quick to point out what I could eat and what I couldn’t.

So I went a couple of times and mostly ordered the same stuff (if it ain’t broke why fix it) and a few specials. It is a beautiful space. What I loved is that each table comes with its own kettle – which meant I could drink hot tea until I popped, which is what I did. On one occasion I ordered the white tea, and the next an oolong – both of which were excellent and I truly enjoyed. Each tea was served differently with the aim of enhancing the drinking pleasure.  It worked.

My fav dishes? Bean curd stuff with veggies – this was really yummy.  I used to love turnip cake but never found a veg one, the normal ones always had bits of pork. This one had bits of carrot, and was melt in the mouth. Super good. The har gau looked very very omni like, but tasted nice, though I wouldn’t order them again as I found the filling very soft. One of my favourite dim sum dish is steamed glutinous rice, and this version was stuffed with mushrooms. Oh my word. Absolutley loved this – texture, taste, mouthfeel – everything. I could have ordered just this and made a meal of it :). Finally, shanghai dumplings stuffed with veggies and served with a vinegar dip. These were nice, but the wrapper was too fat.


Now these dishes were very mushroom heavy, not a problem for me, but if you’re vegan and can’t have/hate mushrooms, this might be the place for you. I loved this place – and would recommend it to everyone. The decor, the teas, the service and the food was all great. It was pretty expensive, I paid approx HKD220 for each meal, but I will caveat it by saying it does depend on how many dishes you order and the tea – which varied between HKD50 – HKD150!

Zero – Langham Place

So after a long day walking around Mong Kok, I decided to nip into Langham Place to see what foodie delights they might have. Lots, but all meat centric, until I walked across this place. Mmmm. Pizza.  And create your own too. Whoo! I ordered this orangey drink, very nice, and decided on my custom pizza. So this place isn’t cheap, HKD98 for a base with sauce, cheese and herbs (obvs sans cheese for me), and then HKD12 for every other topping. I went for a romanesco sauce with asparagus, peppers, pineapple (yes, it belongs on a pizza, esp a cheese free pizza), artichoke and chillies.

I was pleasantly surprised with what I got. The sauce and toppings, good. But the base – oh my word. Crusty, chewy, yielding – very very impressed.  I would go here again – but be prepared to pay!

Vegetarian Japanese – Fife Street

So I don’t know the English name of this restaurant, but I know it was ok Fife Street. For those who can read the lingo – the name is on the menu 😬.  So this place isn’t vegan, but they could veganise everything on request, and I realised that is just by laying off the mayonnaise. We ordered a handful of dishes, some more successful than others.

Mango and alfalfa sprouts hand roll – very nice once I got rid of the mayo and the bits of mock meat. The meaty stuff was like a marinated bean curd, it was a horrible dish. Dry and flavourless, not worth ordering. The veggie gyoza on the other hand were well made and well stuffed, very moreish and delicious! Final dish – sushi stuffed with crispy tofu topped with avocado. This was also very good. My favourite dish of the lot!

Another enjoyable meal, and pretty reasonable – HKD 180 for this meal, if I remember correctly, including endless tea, as is the norm in HK.

Green Common – Harbour City

For months I’ve been reading about the Beyond Meat burger. Dairy free, soy free, meat free obviously… and Green Common in Hong Kong sells it! So even though I’m not the biggest mock meat fan, I wanted to try this as it was made not of soy but pea – so what’s the worst that could happen? The space is small, clean and slick, and there is also a mini store where you can pick up a lot of vegan stuff.

So I went for the burger with extra avocado. You could add on fries and a cold pressed juice and make it a meal deal, which I did. Juice – mmmm. Green juice I love you. Fries – nice and crispy and hot. Burger? Oh. The burger. It looked meaty. It felt meaty (I’m an ex meat eater so I know!). It blooming tasted meaty. It was so weird eating this. The flavour was a bit one dimensional, but the texture and mouthfeel? Spot on. That has definitely been perfected.

Would I order it again? I don’t think so. I’ve tried it, and I’m satisfied with that. And without going into too much detail… You know what happens when you go to the loo after you’ve had too much beetroot or asparagus? I had the same with this burger 😆.  If I had more time I would have gone again – they had some cool salads and those fries were really good! Worth checking out.

Pure Veggie House 

This was one of the food highlights in Hong Kong. Pure Veggie House in Admiralty.  Organic, fresh vegetables and not a mock meat in sight. This menu was very extensive but I decided to go for the dim sum options, as the a la carte options looked too large. I went for a pot of Puerh tea – very very good. I ordered three dishes – the most I think I could eat, and I was right. A schezhwan noodle soup with sesame and peanut – and a good hit of of chilli. OMG. what a sensational bowl of soup. All the flavours, perfectly balanced and every mouthful was pure pleasure. YUM! The mushroom spring rolls were also stunning – crispy, well filled, so tasty – see people, you can cook tasty food without MSG! And those veggie dumplings – or rather, steamed herb dumplings. Amazing and full of flavour. I loved all those dishes.

I so recommend this place to everyone, including omnis, it was so so delicious and it will be the first place on my list when I do come back to HK. LOVED IT!

Mana! Fast Slow Food 

Central on Hong Kong island seems to be the place with a lot more vegan and veggie places, and everyone was raving about this place – online, vegan blogs, instagram, everywhere.  On Wellington Street, a 7 minute walk from Central (exit D2), this place is so tiny I walked past it the first time.  There are few places to sit and eat, there is a ledge with bar stools but I wouldn’t want to perch on there. Saying that, there was a shared table at the back, but with no AC and a big fan, takeaway was the way to go.

A green juice to kick off – spinach, green pepper and a few other things – you can’t go wrong with this, I’ve never met a green juice I don’t like. There are salads to order and wraps I chose the falafel wrap, with humus, pickled vegetables, salad and obviously falafel. The wrap was a bit to thick for me, and the falafel seriously dry!  I also thought they were way too big. Not good. Saying that, the pickled veggies were really tasty and sour and they were generous with the humus and salad.  What was good was the raw chocolate cake – nutty, chocolatey and not very sweet. Delicious!!

I thought Mana! was reasonable, a half wrap was HKD50 and quite filling.  I did go back and have the tofu wrap, which was a lot more successful and juicy.  Definitely a good place for a filling snack on the go – choose wisely!

Sun Garden Cafe, Kadoorie Farms

I spent one day outside the madness of HK in the new territories on Kadoorie Farm. So much to see and do and so much walking – by the time I had seen everything and got back down I was famished! Thankfully there was a vegetarian cafe onsite, with a decent menu and a specials board too.  The country salad looked tempting but unneeded something more substantial and picked the rice and pumpkin. Yummy! Well cooked, hearty, full of vegetably flavour – definitely a good choice.  I also had a iced soy coffee. This was a great meal, and a really brilliant cafe. I really enjoyed this place and the food.

Veggies SF

Veggies SF is a fully vegan restaurant in the heart of central, on the 10th floor of a building packed with other restaurants.  A proper themed restaurant, modelled on 50s Americana. It looks very cluttered but in a good way – it added to the character of the place.

Virtually everyone was having these epic looking burgers – and that is exactly what I wanted. So much choice! I am Fabulous (thank you) was picked. The burger was HKD168, but at lunch time they do a deal that for the same price, a drink and soup are included. Whoo! I chose a typical HK iced lemon tea drink – perfect accompaniment to the burger. The soup was tomato and lemongrass. It was tomatoey in a home made way, but I couldn’t taste anythinf else. Pleasant. The burger was epic. Look at it! I had to deconstruct it to eat it. The patty was very soft but very tasty. And those pickled onions were so delicious – great addition to the burger. It was definitely a fork and knife job. The salad was also good, but I could have done without the wedges – they were too chunky and slightly undercooked. Didn’t finish them.

I liked this burger, I liked the restaurant and it is on the list of ‘I’ll be back’ places in HK. K

Saravananaa Bhavan

I’m saving my North Indian feasts for when I’m back home, but after all the Chinese and western food, I was craving some Indian flavours. Cue Saravanaa Bhavan or SB.  This is a chain of restaurants around the world. I’ve been to the ones in India, Kenya, England and I wanted to check this place out. The menu here was a lot more extensive than back home, but my favourites were also there.  I was very excited and ordered two dishes. The first one – my all time favourite, an idli and medhu vada with sambhar and all the chutneys. Lush. Steaming hot idli, crispy vada, and all the chutneys were sensational.  Loved it. The Mysore masala dosa, my second dish, was also great – gigantic, slathered with a spicy chilli chutney and yummy potatoes.


This meal was lush – this chain prides themselves on food consistency worldwide (like McDonald’s haha), and in this case – thank you very much. Loved this meal – spicy, hot, deliciousness. Thank you SB.

Jade Vegetarian 

This restaurant is in the heart of Mong Kok, On the same road as Langham Place. A tiny vegetarian restaurant, packed with people – takeaway was the order of the day. The staff were so lovely, spoke perfect English and confirmed they don’t use MSG. There were so many options, quite a bit of mock meat too. I wanted something simple and delicious so I just chose the noodles with vegetables, and and and – cheung fun. One of my favourite street food dishes. The noodles tasted home cooked and oh so comforting. Loved them. The cheung fun was doused with hoisin sauce, chilli sauce and sesame seeds and oh my word. You need to try this if you haven’t. And if you have – you know how SUPER TASTY this is. YUM.

I loved this meal – simple, tasty, flavourful. All boxes ticked. Yay!

Fresca 

Final meal in HK – Fresca in Central. Essentially a juice and salad bar. A cute little space, I think I went for a large salad book that comes with a base of leaves and then you can choose 4 salad toppings. I wanted to try the tofu – and there was very little left so I was told I can have another topping. Whoo! I also had beetroot and walnut, creamy vegan coleslaw, chickpea and sweet corn salad and this cucumber and radish salad. Each salad on its own was excellent. And together – even better. Oh my word. Best salads I have EVER had. I cannot tell you how tasty this food was. If I lived in HK I would be here everyday – but I would go for the small salad box – they are very generous with their portions here.

This was my last meal in Hong Kong – I was so full and so happy – a perfect end to a perfect break.

I will mention the meal I had on the plane. The Plaza Premium Lounge at HKIA was well stocked with booze and food, but my only options were spring rolls, a roasted veggie sandwich and crisps. So I didn’t have  much there. On the plane? I need to write to Virgin Atlantic and tell them to stop using aubergine in their vegan meals. And to be more creative with their desserts. Cold or hot, aubergine does not taste good – and I’ve hadit in  every meal, whether I fly to America or Asia. Starter – vegetable terrine, or rather cold eggplant, onion and tomato topped with cherry tomatoes and thee cubes of sweet potato. Pi$$take. Mains were better but over heated to an inch of it’s life. The tomato carrot lasagne was quite yummy. But the broccoli was overbooked and the potato wedges tasted like cardboard. Epic fail. Dessert – fruit. :(. Thankfully that giant salad from Fresca kept me going. Sort it out VA.

And that completes my epic food fest in Hong Kong. So as you can see, I had so many options and I ate A LOT of food, thankfully all of it MSG free and tasty. So if anyone says you can’t eat well as a vegan in HK – LIES! All lies! I ate like a queen!

PB Eats… Vegan Hong Kong 

So Hong Kong’s vegan and veggie scene is booming.. and yes, Hong Kong is a meat eaters paradise and will always be, but the past few days were nothing short of heavenly for me. I am so impressed with all the options! 

Breakfasts were in the hotel – and by that I mean in my room. I had brought two avocados with me from London.  With some fresh bakery bread and a bottle of Tabasco, avo sandwiches were the perfect breakfast.  

So I tried a number of places, and there are so many more I want to try when I come back. So in no particular order..

Loving Hut, Wan Chai

Ok. I lied. No particular order after this one – Loving Hut was my favourite. 5 minutes walk from Exit A3 at Wan Chai MTR and you’re there. 


There is a VAST menu, but I was drawn to the set meals for $58 that include 3 veggie dishes, rice and a drink. 


The first time I went for pumpkin with black bean (so frigging delicious), radish with veggies (cooked radish is a revelation!) and marinated vegan shank (really really tasty). I also went for a cold malt tea.  They also have hot lemon water that you can help yourself to. 


I think the vegan shank was made of seitan, which made it really chewy – not bad at all to be honest, it was full of flavour! 

The next day I went back (and yes, I will go back quite a few more times), and went for the tofu with pickled veggies (delicious), vegan ‘steak’ (still undecided) and braised cabbage (yum). They also have this killer chilli sauce that hit the spot.  This time I went for the hot malt tea, which I preferred over the cold. 


Both meals were so tasty – very filling and nourishing, and for that price, you can’t go wrong. 

I also got a takeaway for one evening – noodles with veggies and ‘soya slices’. Mock meat – this time I didn’t like them, but the rest of the dish was tasty.  

Now. HK is known for their egg tarts and the last time I was here I was literally living on them. Flaky pastry, custardy filling, and when they are freshly baked, oh my. Addictive for sure. 

Loving Hut do a vegan version that is extremely popular. So I ordered a portion to take away one day. I’m always sceptical of veganising these things but I was very pleasantly surprised. How they did I don’t know and I don’t want to. Crumbly pastry, creamy filling, really nice mouthfeel. Success! 

My other dessert from there was Laughing Cow ice cream (nothing to do with the website). There were a whole load of flavours but if there is a dessert with sesame, especially black, it’s mine. The ice cream was rock hard and took a while to defrost. But once it thawed – super success. Creamy, distinct flavours of both white and black seeds without any hint of bitterness… wowza. 

So Loving Hut is excellent, and I look forward to returning! 

Happy Veggies 

This restaurant is slap bang in the middle of Nathan Road, in a building devoted to restaurants. 


They don’t speak much English, but thankfully the menu is in English. I absolutely loved this page… super handy, and helpful for both customers and staff 

You have an option of the tea you can have – I chose Pu’er. I wanted something relatively light so went for the braised/cooked lettuce (my love for which is almost the same as avocados) with ginger. Slightly flavourless to be honest – I had to pimp it up with salt. They do make it clear though that they use less salt; so I can’t really blame them. I also ordered dumplings stuffed with carrot, cabbage and mushrooms. They came with a vinegar did. Slightly chewy, bursting to the brim with lots of veggies, and a proper HOT chilli sauce. The combination of dumping, vinegar and chilli was excellent! 

Really polite and sweet staff (some of whom are deaf too). I liked it here and I’ll go back. 

Veggie Family 

Another highly recommended place in Happy Cow. A small restaurant, I went relatively early so got a table – even though it was pretty packed. 

 

So what I didn’t realise is how mock meat heavy the menu is. I wanted to try their dumplings – so went for the Shanghai style dumpling. What arrived was a dish swimming in a supposedly chilli oil and peanut sauce. Peanut – yes, and yummy. Chilli – not a trace. The dumplings were stuffed with some kind of mock meat. It was ok but my gut didn’t appreciate it the next day. I also went for their sour and spicy shark fin soup. This was much better, the shark fin was some kind of agar agar/konjac thingi – will have to google this. Tasty, and it did what it said on the tin. It was hot, spicy, sour and very filling.  

Maybe it is just me and what I ordered, but I’m in two minds whether I’ll come back. Tongue was happy at the time, gut wasn’t (too much info? I have more 😆), so maybe not.  There are more places I can try out. 

Hui Lau Shan

Not a restaurant but a chain specialising in mango and coconut based drinks. I used to love these and have them all the time, so when I saw one outside the TST ferry pier, I went in to order my regular – mango and coconut with sago. 

Past memories – this used to be sweet and refreshing, the perfect balance of the fruits. But this time? Just didn’t taste the same. I found it tooth numbingly sweet, waaay to much mango for the coconut and a ginormous amount of sago. Some memories are best left in the past. 

Last but not least, need to mention Pacific Coffee for a killer soya latte, good soy milk, good coffee, this cup was massive – and it was only a medium. 


So that is all (sheesh. No. That was a lot of food) I had in Hong Kong – there are a few places I will visit on my return – LN Fortunate Coffee, Greenwoods, LockCha tea house.. Arrgh. So many restaurants, so little time! 

PB Travels… Hong Kong – Pt 1

The travels have begun (again 😁😁). I’m kicking off with Hong Kong 🇭🇰. The main reason for starting with HK is purely down to the fact that I could redeem my airmiles on Virgin Atlantic – my favourite airline. I’ve never had a bad experience with them, a few dodgy meals but that is it really!  Seats, service, people, and that clubhouse!  So for 120,000 airmiles and taxes, I managed to bag myself an upper class return.

I played it safe and got to the airport 4 hours before my flight. In your face, all you scaremongers! In their defence though, the roads are so busy during a holiday, this time, they were empty. Private check in, private security channel and straight into the clubhouse. PERFECT START. Loads of space, comfy seating and enough food and drink that you could possibly want.

First things first, off to the spa to book in some complimentary treatments. I booked myself in for back to back hair wash/massage/blow dry followed by a facial. Lovely and the girls were so professional and friendly!

Suitably refreshed, onto some stomach related treatments. I decided to have an early meal, basing it on the experience of vegan food in upper class last time – slightly sub par mains.

I went for a Bramble cocktail, with fresh blackberries and lemon. A tad to sweet and icy for me.

Lots and lots of options, with a few veggie/veganisable options too.


I wasn’t feeling the salad or soup, or even the small plates, so I went for the burger, sans Brie and mayo.  I had forgotten how GOOD the chips were. Hot, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Super tasty. The burger was nice, bread a bit too soft for me and I could have done with a few more mushrooms.  No desserts that I could have..

The flight itself was a night flight, so I was planning to sleep (supine 😬) for most of it. Why wouldn’t you when the seats are like this?

I wanted dinner not because I was hungry – But too see what the food was like. Starter – carrot and coriander soup, nicked from the clubhouse menu me thinks. Pleasant but not exciting. Mains? Exactly the same as I had in September last year!!!! Well, not exactly. This time it came with edamame (good), but the rest was the same. Ratatouille with acidic tomato sauce and aubergine. Yes. Aubergine. 🍆. NOT GOOD. Need to let Virgin Atlantic know that they need to jazz up their vegan options!!  I ate the spinach and edamame and left the rest. No dessert again – I think it was fruit but I was ready for bed.

3/4 of a movie later and I got my bed made and I literally slept for about 6 hours. I woke up, finished watching my movie and has breakfast. Green tea and a plate of veggies. Yummy.

I landed and got through immigration and baggage without a problem. I’ve always loved Hong Kong airport – it is gigantic but so well run and organised.  So my options to get into the city (I’m staying in Kowloon) were many – MTR, taxi (HKD 250) or the A21 bus (HKD 33). I opted for the bus, and would recommend it to anyone. Efficient, quick and cheap and everything is marked in English so you won’t get lost. You can get an octopus card at the station – another recommendation. It can be used on all forms of public transport and even in shops.  So convenient and that is exactly what I’ve been doing.  Loading it up and using the card in the MTR, buses, trams (HK’s public transport is excellent) and in shops like 7 eleven.. one on each corner!

Where am I staying?

Hong Kong can be as expensive or as cheap as you want. Yes yes, I know you can say that about most places, but I really feel it here.  I didn’t want to stay in some luxury hotel for £400 a night, nor did I want to stay in a dodgy hostel in Chungking mansions for £20. In the end I chose Lodgewood by L’hotel Mongkok (thanks Lil for pointing me in this direction! 😁).

Lovely bright lobby with complimentary tea, coffee and fruit. They even have macs to use. 

Reasonably priced, and the room, may be small, is perfect for me.  It is on the 20th floor, so the views are pretty nice.   Loads of storage space, a draw full of crockery and cutlery, a microwave, a safe, a kettle – everything I need. No iron, but hey, I’m on holiday, and I’m sure if I asked I’d get one.



One thing though, don’t book this room if you’re travelling with other halves, friends or family you’re not fully comfortable with. Check out the view from the loo! And yes. The shower curtain is OUTSIDE the shower. So no privacy and if you have any in the shower, you can’t control it. Haha.. I love it though!!!

Ratings will continue..

  • Grubbiness factor: non existent, the only problem is inconsistency with housekeeping 
  • Bed = 9/10, nice bed, nice pillows, the only problem was my jet lag!
  • Shower = 10/10. Perfect pressure, size, hot water – everything. 

What did I do?

I’ll be coming back to Hong Kong after my travels for some retail therapy and more touristy stuff, so for now I’ve been checking out my old haunts (I was a frequent visitor many years ago). Some things haven’t changed – my favourite shops, cafes are still there, Mongkok is as manic as ever, full on interesting stuff and excitement.  I also went on the Star Ferry – loved it. 


As for food, that is one thing that has changed for me, thankfully I am very pleased to say there are so so so many options for me. Whooo! Separate post for that.