Despite the overindulgent lifestyle that many of us are guilty of enjoying here in Hong Kong, there continues to be a growing demand for healthy restaurants to counterbalance this. To cater to this demand, HOME – Eat to Live, a brand new healthy vegetarian restaurant has just opened up on Des Voeux Road Central.
HOME – Eat to Live is brought to us by Christian Mongendre, who was one of the founders of MANA. He has now branched away from his previous restaurant group and opened HOME in conjunction with ZS Hospitality Group, who also look after Viet Kitchen just next door. It is a beautiful two-storey space that aims to not only serve healthy and nutritious food, but also make people aware of the choices they are making and the effect that these choices have on our environment. For this reason, dishes are named after endangered or extinct animals.
Enter downstairs to a bright and airy deli, where you can choose from a selection of daily salads to dine in or takeaway. Upstairs you’ll find burgers, open-faced toasts, flatbreads and earth bowls, as well as fresh juices and juice-based cocktails.
Despite going for lunch on my lonesome, I was determined to try as much of the menu as possible. Knowing it would take longer to make the flatbread, I began my meal upstairs, before making my way down to the salad counter. If you’ve ever been to MANA, you’ll be familiar with these sort of flatbreads. Christian has carried the idea over to his new venture, but this time offering more choices and, he claims, an even more nutritious recipe.
At HOME, there is no gluten-free bread option, although you can substitute the bread for a “leafy green wrap” (a bit of a downside in my opinion, as I always go GF at MANA). You have the choice of a green zaatar base, a red zaatar base with paprika and cumin, or a naked base. You can then select four toppings (or more if you pay), and then choose from a selection of sauces including aioli, chipotle and creamy cashew.
I decided to go for a half-size portion of one of the ready-made flatbreads, to see how their suggested combinations worked. I chose the “Clouded Leopard”, which consisted of a red base with omelette, kale, romaine lettuce, mixed mushrooms and roasted red onions, drizzled in classic aioli. It was utterly delicious and I particularly liked how it didn’t disintegrate as you reached the bottom of the wrap – something that always annoys me about MANA’s flats.
As I mentioned in a recent review about The Parish, I have a soft spot for sweet potato fries. When I first saw these at HOME, I must admit I was a little disappointed, as they looked rather sad and soggy. They were, however, absolutely delicious and far from sad or soggy. The accompanying classic aioli dip was seriously good, although rather potent and I could still taste it hours after my meal had ended.
Although the price of the salad boxes is a little higher than others around town ($78 for a small), it is incredibly filling and you do get a lot of choices. There are four bases to choose from, which on the day I went included mixed leaves, kelp noodles, chickpea salad and adzuki beans – you can have all four, or just choose the ones you like. Then you get a choice of three toppings such as roasted pumpkin, mixed nuts, avocado, beetroot or curried cauliflower. The options change daily, which is refreshing to see.
HOME also offers a range of healthy desserts, many of which are vegan and gluten-free. I got the hazelnut and chocolate pie to take away, which was both vegan and gluten-free. There is certainly a taste difference between healthy and non-healthy desserts, but once you’ve accepted that, you can learn to love the healthy versions. This one was rich, but in a guilt-free way and definitely hit that sweet spot.
HOME – Eat to Live has already made its way onto my list of healthy lunch spots – in fact I returned just three days after my first visit for another tasty flatbread and more of those moreish sweet potato fries, and then less than a week later for dinner! It’s a great spot for a quick takeaway lunch, or a good girlie catch up. Step aside, MANA, HOME is where it’s at now.
Home Eat to Live
G01 & 101 Nexxus Building
77 Des Voeux Road Central
Tel: +852 2777 4777