Creative Vegetarian and Vegan food
**HOME Eat To Live has now permanently closed**
We’d been longing to try out HOME Eat To Live since we first glimpsed the site being renovated on Des Voeux Road. Opened by the Christian Mongendre, formerly of Mana, with help from Celina Jade, one of Hong Kong’s most talented actresses, HOME Eat To Live is a reflection of their values and provides a range of healthy, delicious meals that use plant-based ingredients. We couldn’t wait to check it out and grab a bit of goodness!
HOME is bang in the heart of Central on 77 Des Voeux Road and spans two floors, seating up to 100 people. So it’s safe to say there’s plenty of space and you won’t feel crowded! Entering from the ground floor, you’re greeted by a fresh salad bar and beautiful desserts. This is the place to grab and go; choose from a selection of changing daily salads and freshly pressed juices from the fridge. Head upstairs and there’s a wide, varied menu to choose from that includes wraps, rice bowls, soups, burgers and more, all named after endangered species (cute!).
The space itself is not only large, but also beautifully designed by Charlie and Rose, with the ethos of sustainability in mind. Think re-purposed light fittings, lush plants adorning the walls, reclaimed wood and sustainable materials. It’s a truly gorgeous space, designed with love and care to further reinforce the values of HOME. There are cute little nooks with readily available plugs where you can take your laptop and work away while sipping on a juice or coffee, and the wooden canopy is the ideal place for a private party or intimate celebration. HOME lives up to its name with a welcoming, warm environment that aims to appeal to everyone. Inclusion is the name of the game here, and you can even see this in the team culture of the staff.
While we were impressed with the space, we couldn’t wait to see if the actual food could deliver on taste. We were treated to a range of different dishes from the menu, which is extensive. It can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to deciding, as there are so many different options available and so many quirky names for the dishes, but luckily we had Christian and Celina on hand to help us choose!
We began with a ‘Polar Bear’ burger, a beetroot, mushroom and oat patty with roasted bell peppers, smoked eggplant caviar and classic aioli between a wholewheat bun. Usually skeptical of dry, tasteless veggie burgers, we were pleasantly surprised by how moist and meaty the patty was from the beetroot. The hand cut chunky chips on the side were oh-so moreish, especially when dipped in the divine garlicnaise, which you can’t quite believe is vegan! This substantial, filling meal definitely proves that veggie food far more than just limp little salad leaves…
Another example of a hearty meal at HOME was the ‘Blue Whale’ oven-fired flatbread. The wrap itself is organic and whole wheat, but if you’re off wheat you can choose the substitute leafy green wrap which is made using wild thyme, sumac, coriander, oregano, sesame seed and sea salt. Filled with homemade falafel, cucumber, lettuce, roasted garlic hummus and roasted bell peppers, this was also surprisingly filling and flavourful, the falafel really giving the wrap a wholesome texture. Apart from the set flatbreads, you can also make your own – choose from four different toppings and a ‘Green’, ‘Red’, or ‘Naked’ flatbread (I’m hoping to try the red one next time which uses wild thyme, sumac, paprika, cumin, sesame seed, cayenne and sea salt).
And the filling, nutritious meals continued with the ‘Siberian Tiger’ Earth Bowl. This reminded me of my favourite Korean dish, bibimbap, with the colourful sections of veggies and the layer of rice underneath. Of course, this bowl was full of super healthy ingredients like mixed mushrooms, beetroot, pickled cucumber, marinated tofu, seasoned garden greens and purple rice, but the fermented chilli and raw teriyaki gave the bowl a distinctly Asian flavour. I wouldn’t have even noticed that this was a vegan dish because the flavours were so exciting and the ingredients so plentiful. Delish.
For some added greens, we had the Manta Ray Salad Bowl, which was not only gorgeous to photograph, but delicious, filling and packed with antioxidants and iron. The spinach, beets, broccoli, quinoa, pumpkin, sprouts and sunflower seeds were evenly coated in their creamy and rich tahini dressing. Definitely a big hit!
Next came the soul warming, Silky Sifaka Earth Bowl, HOME’s answer to the nourishing and comforting “pho” minus the meat! I was taken aback at how flavourful the broth was. It had so much depth and richness that usually accompanies a beef broth, but was made with anise and cloves instead. The clear noodles, seasoned garden greens, avocado, bean sprouts, onion, cilantro, thai basil worked lovely together. A lovely balance of saltiness, tang and spice made this dish delightful. Our favourite part? Squeezing the fresh lime over the noddles and biting into pockets of heat with the sliced jalapeños.
What’s a properly balanced meal if you don’t end it on a sweet note? Thankfully, HOME agrees as they have a wide array of vegan desserts to choose from. And thankfully for us, we got to try a few!
Enter the Mountain Gorilla Open-Faced Toast, which will be a guarantee hit with your littles! This vegan and dairy free option has it’s base on toasted organic sourdough bread with nut butter, sliced bananas, toasted coconut flakes, maple syrup, orange zest and cinnamon. Perfect for a breakfast or afternoon snack, this is not only delicious but will supply you with energy for the day.
If you’re looking for something light, sweet and creamy, look no further to end (or start!) your meal with the Coconut Strawberry Cake. This dessert definitely tastes indulgent but is guilt free as all the ingredients are all natural and good for you too! The smooth coconut cream and nectar mixed with the creaminess from the cashews, sweet strawberries and a date, cashew and almond crust… your tastebuds are in for a treat!
The highlight definitely had to be the Hazelnut Chocolate Slice. Oh my word. We’re talking raw chocolate, coconut oil, cashews and coconut nectar mixed together until smooth and firm sitting atop a date, hazelnut and almond crust… Not only was this reminiscent of a Nutella-Ferrero Rocher lovechild, it’s also vegan, dairy free and gluten free. Yes, please!
Overall, our experience at HOME Eat to Live was not only delicious and satisfying, it was also educational. Their philosophy, vision and goal to encourage customers to live a more sustainable life and reduce our carbon footprint is admirable and a welcome addition to the Hong Kong dining scene. Three cheers to HOME for incredible eats at decent prices and all set in an eye opening environment!
HOME Eat To Live, 71-, 77 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/homeeattolive