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Hong Kong's Best Healthy Restaurants: Flavor is King in Hong Kong



Healthy eating is a relatively new concept in Hong Kong. After all, the old saying has it that Cantonese eat anything with four legs that isn't a table and anything that flies that isn't an airplane. And frying and similar forms of cooking are staples of Hong Kong kitchens.

Many of the city's best hotels take healthy food seriously, whether it's serve up sky high in the dizzy heights of the Ritz-Carlton's Lounge & Bar or down by the water at Harbourside in the InterContinental or – most exclusively – in the kitchen at Gaddi's in The Peninsula where there is no menu: simply tell the chef exactly what you want to eat. Talk about service!

So, whether you are in search of a healthy option in Hong Kong at breakfast, lunch, teatime, dinner or somewhere in between, there's an option just waiting, be it Chinese, Indian, vegetarian or a bit of a mixture. A lot of food is flown in, and there are a growing number of organic farms in the New Territories supplying the city's restaurants.


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Wan Chai
22 Ships
Photo courtesy of 22 Ships


22 Ships – a project by Michelin star chef Jason Atherton – has a hip ambiance and comfortable neighborhood attitude. It is set to bring a unique flavor and vibe to Hong Kong, complementing Ship Street's casual and easy-going nature. The buzz focuses on Atherton's modern tapas menu, created especially for 22 Ships, representing the modern face of dining - outstanding food that is reasonably priced. The team at 22 Ships also provide a friendly experience, going the extra mile to suggest choices and explain dishes. The 1,500 square foot eatery adds a fresh and convivial atmosphere to the metropolitan culinary scene, intimately seating 35. Blending into the neighborhood with a balance of vintage touches and modern charm, the venue offers inside table and communal bar seating, as well as relaxed al fresco dining and drinking.


Bombay Dreams
Photo courtesy of Bombay Dreams


Indian food is quite popular in Hong Kong, given the city's substantial Indian population, so purveyors of the piquant cuisine are a dime a dozen. Bombay Dreams earns high marks, though, for its exceptional cooking. A wide variety of appetizers includes several soups not ordinarily found on Indian restaurant menus, such as Murg Shorba (chicken) and Tamatar Ka Shorba (tomato based). The selection of main courses is extensive as well, with numerous fish and seafood dishes along with tried and tested vegetable favorites. The buffet lunch is quite popular with local office workers, and really very reasonably priced. MTR: Central.


Jimmy's Kitchen


Jimmy's is, perhaps, Hong Kong's most famous restaurant. Located on Wyndham Street, this Continental-style restaurant has a definite Western atmosphere. Menu options span the globe – check out the soups, salads, pastas, fresh fish and other healthy options such as vegetable and herb cutlets. After more than 70 years, Jimmy's is still popular with Hong Kong's expatriate community, especially as a place to meet up for a good lunch. Reservations, therefore, are suggested. MTR: Central. Jimmy's popularity is based on its consistency – you know what you're going to get, and it's not overly dressed up. Of course, there is a strong retro appeal too.


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Cafe Causette
Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental


Beautifully designed with a relaxed, friendly ambience, Café Causette is the Mandarin's all-day dining venue. Situated on the Mezzanine level, it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is one of the hotel's most popular restaurants. Café Causette's lively show-kitchens serve a range of dishes from all over the world. Especially noteworthy for healthy eaters are its range of organic options. These include such tempting dishes as roasted organic cauliflower, with capers, free range egg, hazelnuts, and almonds; a warm salad of beetroot with hazelnuts and rocket leaf; and whole wheat pastry quiche with spinach, organic eggs, walnut halves, red chard leaves and walnut oil dressing.


NOBU InterContinental Hong Kong


Internationally known chef Nobu Matsuhisa has acclaimed restaurants in world-class cities such as New York City, London, Las Vegas, Miami, Dallas, Milan and Tokyo. Add Hong Kong to the list! Opened at the end of 2006, this outpost is every bit as elegant, sleek and wonderful as its brothers and sisters, and the food is just as fabulous. Sushi and sashimi make up most of the menu, but there are several additional options as well, including steaks, tempura and a host of cooked Japanese dishes. Not to be missed! The restaurant's location overlooking the harbor must make it one of the most amazing Nobus around the world.


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Central
Isola
Photo courtesy of Isola


Hong Kong is not lacking when it comes to restaurants with a view, so a venue needs to be truly exceptional in some other way to distinguish itself from the pack. Isola's floor-to-ceiling windows and huge outdoor terrace do indeed offer stunning panoramas, and its tastefully monochromatic decor is stylish and clean. But the food is stellar from appetizer to dessert. Start with baked mozzarella in walnut bread with sweet cherry tomatoes, a layering of flavors and textures that is simply brilliant. Main course dishes are just as impressive – grilled sirloin with red onion and anchovy sauce, and salt-crusted sea bass, in particular, stand out. The clientele here tends to be trendy and well-coiffed; reservations are strongly encouraged.


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Tsim Sha Tsui
Harbourside
Photo courtesy of InterContinental Hong Kong


Literally located at the harbor edge, Harbourside offers all day dining in a casual and enjoyable setting, with an extensive and innovative menu. Most popular for its extensive international buffets with Asian and Western specialties, Harbourside showcases elaborate breakfast and lunch buffets and a seafood and sushi Dinner. More importantly for healthy eaters, Harbourside's IHealth menu is a unique collaboration between the hotel and Hong Kong's Adventist Hospital, and comprises a five-star selection of preventive healthy dishes for all-day dining. It's not simply healthy food, it's food with great taste, presentation and quality ingredients, plus the hotel's truly legendary service.


Gaddi's
Photo courtesy of Gaddis


Since its inception in January 2000, guests have been able to experience the hustle, bustle and non-stop kitchen action at The Peninsula's newest and most exclusive dining spot – the Gaddi's Chefs' Table, located right inside the kitchen itself. Guests go behind the scenes into The Peninsula's kitchens (winner of the Hong Kong's Cleanest Hotel & Restaurant Kitchens award for five years in a row) to eat and watch the Gaddi's chefs weave their culinary magic as they select, prepare and cook a meal in front of the guests - the Chefs' Table is located directly in front of the Gaddi's kitchen, so diners get a front-row view of the action. There's no à la carte or set menu for this table – the Gaddi's chefs devise a personalized menu for each group of guests, following a discussion of their likes and dislikes, and utilizing the only freshest products.


The Lounge & Bar
Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong


The Ritz-Carlton's organic salad bar is a great place to eat healthy. More than ten different organic vegetables and greens including butter head lettuce, baby spinach, Italian lettuce, Romaine and watercress are on offer, in addition to 18 types of diverse condiments such as roasted beetroot, artichokes, fennel, asparagus and balsamco onion. These vegetables have high nutrition values, from vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium to iron, copper and zinc. To offer guests a well-balanced lunch, approximately 15 well-liked toppings, namely sunflower seed, walnuts, macadamia nut and cashew nut which are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber are available for their enjoyment, complemented with eight types of dressing.


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Tsim Sha Tsui
Branto
Photo courtesy of Branto


Branto is one of the oldest pure Indian Vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong, serving thousands of vegetarian loving clients from around the world since 1994. The earliest records of vegetarianism as a concept come from ancient India. Hence Indian vegetarian food has its own importance any time in the culinary lexicon. Vegetarianism is considered a healthy, viable diet and an aid in keeping body weight under control. Branto serves classical, contemporary and homely style vegetarian dishes which aim to nourish the body and soul and are always harmony with seasons. Together with pure Indian vegetarian food Branto serves freshly blended seasonal fruit drinks.


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Meet Ed Peters

Ed Peters has been based in Asia for much of his life.

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