Every time a healthy restaurant opens in this city, there are doubtless scores of sceptics who wonder when this fad will end. I think it’s safe to say that healthy eating is not just a phase, but a conscious decision that many Hongkongers are taking on board as part of their daily lifestyle. The newest restaurant to join the scene is The Elephas, a trendy coffee and health food bar that’s tied to the impressive new training facility Warrior Academy in Sai Wan.
As a keen gym goer, I couldn’t help but gawp at the stunning facility. The gym itself is over 6,000 square feet and encompasses areas for weightlifting, Muay Thai and general conditioning. There are classes to suit every interest, from yoga, to gymnastics, to wrestling, to Muay Thai, to Thai sword fighting (?!), to “Beast Mode” (AKA Strongman). I think I could have a lot of fun in this place.
The Elephas consists of two parts – an artisanal coffee bar, and a health food bar. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I can tell that this place takes its coffee very seriously, using a Victoria Arduino machine (basically the Ferrari of coffee machines) and coffee beans sourced from all over south Asia. This area is also used to make some pretty serious smoothies too. We tried the Chunky Monkey and the Coco Cabana, both of which I would order again and again.
The health food bar displays a colourful selection of daily salads as well as a la carte options, all of which are healthy, nutritious and inspired by Thai cuisine. I was impressed by the daily salad option, which allows you to choose one or two salad bases from options such as roasted pumpkin, quinoa, baby spinach or Greek salad, then add a protein, nuts and dressing, all for only $72 for a small, or $88 for a large.
From the daily salad bar, we tried the roasted pumpkin salad with sesame dressing and seared tuna. The pumpkin was fork tender, whilst the sesame-crusted tuna was wonderfully fresh and light.
Also from the salad bar, the quinoa salad with rocket, shitake mushrooms and pork cheek was pleasant and satisfying, although I thought it needed a touch more seasoning.
My two favourite salads were from the a la carte menu. The grain-fed beef salad with roasted beetroot and baby spinach had a surprisingly spicy zing to it that might have been too much for some, but I adored.
The clear winner for me was definitely the grilled mixed seafood quinoa salad with its tender chunks of garoupa, shrimp, squid and mussels and a divine curry flavour.
Looking at the beef kimbap, I thought they would be dry and a bit bland, but these little Korean bites were absolutely delicious, the beef lovely and tender and full of flavour.
The Vietnamese summer rolls are made vegetarian, and you can choose to add beef or prawns on top. The rolls themselves are lovely and fresh, made with chunks of sweet, juicy mango. We added prawns, which were perfectly bouncy and paired nicely with the chilli and orange dip.
It’s hard to turn down freshly-baked cakes and desserts, especially when they’re healthy ones! We sampled a selection, of which the vegan avocado brownie and the vegan banana cake were exceptional. Often, healthy desserts can be a bit hit or miss, but these were spot on.
The Elephas proves that healthy food can be cool too and needn’t be boring and tasteless. It has a fun, community vibe that will appeal to gym enthusiasts and foodies alike. I am a big fan of this place and am very excited that they will soon be delivering to my neighbourhood!
Shop 118, 1/F, Hong Kong Plaza
188 Connaught Road West
Tel: +852 2838 3979