Monday, 9 March 2015

Gourmet Vegetarian

An impressive start to a vegetarian feast at Art Veggies
Last night my relatives invited us to a vegetarian feast in Sheung Wan. The place is called Art Veggies and the food was nothing short of fantastic.

Winter melon beautifully presented and delicious too!
It's located in a non-descript building and inside it's a straight-forward place, bright and has a green theme.

There is a set menu for a nine-course dinner at HK$268 per person, which is quite reasonable considering what we ate, the staff are friendly and explain the dishes to customers. All the tables are for one seating and everyone gets served pretty much at the same time.

We enjoyed the tips of young sugarcane with asparagus
We started off with a number of appetizers, like cherry tomatoes that were marinated in preserved plum vinegar so they had a refreshing taste, braised eggplant slices, wai san, or a kind of white taro dressed with blueberry sauce, dried tofu slices, seaweed with cashews, and braised beans.

Next came a double-boiled soup of Chinese and monkey head mushrooms, cashews, chestnuts and ginger. It was amazing for this soup to have so much flavour, and by the time I finished this comfort soup I was already half full!

Deep-fried taro topped with mango sauce and nori
We were then presented with two plates of winter melon, the inside scooped out and filled with finely diced vegetables, the melon and topped with wolf berries and a tiny sprig of thyme. So delicious!

Then came the sweet and sour meatless pork. This was the only dish that tried to mimic meat which seems strange for vegetarians to do, but Chinese ones seem to think this is a fun challenge. Here it was done well, the inside having the texture of meat thanks to mushrooms inside.

One of our favourite dishes of the evening was the tips of sugarcane that are very tender, and marinated like bamboo shoots on a bed of asparagus and some lotus seeds. We'd never eaten those sugarcane tips before and they were so tender and had a slight crunch to them, tasting very similar to bamboo shoots.

Tofu slices layered with mashed potato and mushroom
By this point I was already getting full, but next up were deep-fried taro that weren't heavy and inside were bits of chopped vegetables to add some texture and decorated with mango sauce and nori julienne.

Another amazing dish was the layered tofu covered in an orange sauce. We were asked to guess what the main ingredient in the sauce was and at first we thought it was pumpkin because of the orange colour, but we were wrong. Turns out it was a combination of red, orange and yellow bell peppers. In between the soft tofu was mashed potato and bits of monkey head mushroom to make things interesting.

Rice cake here has a new meaning!
Our last savoury dish was presented like a square cake -- basmati and Japanese rice mixed together and presented like a cake with chopped green beans, pine nuts, bell peppers and raisins.

Finally dessert was roasted ground cashew nut soup that was so smooth and tasty, much like walnut soup, but the taste not as rich. It was definitely good to the last drop!

By then we were completely stuffed and our systems cleaned out. When the chef came out to ask us how the food was, we all clapped and said it was so good, that he was very pleased to hear we enjoyed it so much.

Smooth finish with roast cashew soup
We will definitely be back again!

Art Veggies
2/F, Fung Woo Building
279 Des Voeux Road Central
Sheung Wan
2205 0728
www.artveggies.com

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