Having lived in Mid-Levels since I moved back to Hong Kong almost four years ago, if ever there has been something new opening in the area, it has more often than not been some sort of estate agent. You can imagine my excitement therefore when first Eric Kayser came bearing his gifts of freshly baked treats, and now IPC Foodlab just opened next door.
Admittedly I hadn’t heard anything about IPC before, but obviously as soon as the sign went up, Google informed me that it is a well-established restaurant out in Fanling that specialises in farm-to-table dining and advocates eating locally grown produce. The excitement that it was coming to Caine Road inevitably grew even stronger.
IPC Foodlab works closely with local farmers, ensuring continuous freshness, quality and safety of its produce. It also has a ‘vertical farm’ in the Fanling venue where produce is grown on the rooftop, generating yield all year round and producing near-zero pollution.
The new Caine Road outlet, which serves food to eat in or takeaway, is beautiful. It is a bright, clean space with light wood and vibrant green plants that instantly instils a calming effect as soon as you enter.
Given that the new restaurant has only been open a week or so, it’s currently only offering its set menu (at least at lunch time), which changes every week. What stays consistent, however, is that IPC focuses on cooking methods that preserve the nutritional properties and natural taste of the food. There are always wholesome, veggie-centric, low-carb dishes that never use white sugar, MSG or red meat. And of course only seasonal produce is ever served. IPC uses the motto: “let food be thy medicine – get to know your food and eat consciously to nourish your body.” You can be sure, therefore, that what you’re eating at IPC will always be good for you.
On the day we visited, for $78 you could choose either penne pasta with squid, or roast chicken with mashed potato. For an additional $20 for each, you could add on a soup or salad of the day, a dessert and tea or coffee.
IPC’s pumpkin and tomato soup was exactly what we needed to warm us up, given the sudden drop in temperature. It was wonderfully fresh and delicious, packed full of fresh herbs, and I particularly liked how the croutons were served on the side, to give diners the choice.
The roast chicken was also the perfect option for a cold winter’s day. The chicken was delicately flavoured and not in the slightest bit dry. The accompanying mashed potato was a small, yet plentiful portion that was neither too rich nor heavy, and the wilted spinach gave it all a lovely earthy, comforting finish.
When we finished our meal (the daily dessert of fresh fruit salad seemed too summery a choice for an eight degree day), we noticed a lady on a neighbouring table standing against a block of coloured lights. We were told that these are energy lights, which will give you “more power”. Intrigued, we got up to try our luck too. I have no idea if the lights really did give me more power or not, but thought it added a fun, quirky touch to the restaurant.
Staff are friendly and prices are fair. The a la carte menu offers slightly higher prices, with mains at around $200, but then again I’m always happy to pay to be sure that I’m getting organic, high-quality produce that is filling my body with goodness. IPC Foodlab is a welcome addition to Caine Road and I am very excited to see it running in full swing before long.
38A Caine Road
Tel: +852 2810 6083
Also at: G/F, IPC Centre, 26 On Lok Mun Street, Fanling, New Territories +852 2676 6900