Eating cheap on-the-go!
Still struggling to find a healthy lunch spot that won’t break the bank? Say no more. Here are five lunch or dinner options that you and your wallet can feel good about.
Since moving here three months ago, I’ve found that there are a lot of cheap, Vietnamese restaurants in Hong Kong. While it might not be cheap if you order loads of dishes, it can be reasonable if you just stick to the pho (pronounced ‘fur’ – trying to stop myself from pronouncing it ‘pho’!).
In my efforts to eat more meat (I’m feeling much better since reintroducing it into my diet six months ago), I’ve tried the beef Pho Tai at both BEP ($70) and Nha Trang ($60). BEP’s version tastes like legit bone broth; they use beef, chicken and pork bone – where all the good stuff lies – and brisket for the slowly simmered broth base. Nha Trang’s bone broth tastes a little less meaty but is still full of flavour.
With fragrant fruit peel and spices like licorice-y star anise and sweet and spicy cinnamon, both broths feel so nourishing and it’s nice to have some rice noodles (a lot of the local cuisine is wheat-heavy). Topped off with bean sprouts and Thai basil and cilantro, pho makes a fresh, wholesome and easy-to-digest meal.
BEP Central, Ground Floor 88 – 90 Wellington St, Central, 2581-9992
BEP SOHO, Lower Ground Floor, 9 – 11 Staunton St, SOHO, 2522 7533
Nha Trang Central, 88-90 Wellington Street, Central, 2581 9922
Nha Trang Wan Chai, Shop 2, 2/F, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, 2891 1177
While the meat/fish options here are a bit heavy on your wallet, a small salad from nood costs just $62. You can choose up to four salad options, and the small – depending on how hungry you are – can be big enough to share (although I usually eat the whole thing post-gym/walking all day in HK).
The paleo Caesar salad with cashew ‘mayo’ and the avocado-kale with hemp are two of my favourites. They also let you choose veggie options from the hot bar – try the Brussels sprouts and multi-coloured roasted sweet potato to warm you up in the colder months.
Nood Food Admiralty, 3/F Hutchison House, 10 Harcourt Road, Admiralty, 3691 3692
Nood Food Kinwick Centre, 2/f Kinwick Centre, 32 Hollywood Road, Central, 8199 8189
Nood Food Quarry Bay, 1/F Lincoln House Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, 8129 1188
You can spend just $48 on lunch at this hidden gem in Wan Chai. Everything is vegan and MSG free, and the employees are deaf or hearing impaired. What an incredible initiative and it turns out I’m not the only one who thinks so… this place is usually packed! Here you choose three hot veggie dishes from the six options available, a generous serving which comes with wild rice and soup. A clean take on Chinese food that goes towards a great cause.
Happy Veggies, 1/F Bayfield Building , 99 Hennessey Road, Wan Chai, 25293338; www.happyveggies.hk
TaKorea is tucked away in a basement on Wellington Street, but keep your eyes peeled for the sign because this place is definitely worth a visit. My go-to is the Eggplant Baap Bowl ($75) – a rice bowl topped with heaps of filling, fresh veggies (think shredded zucchini, carrot and wilted spinach) and melt-in-your mouth eggplant with ginger sauce. When you feel like you need to get some veggies into you, this is your place. Pay an extra $5 for brown rice, house-made kimchi, or a fried egg if you want to up the protein.
TaKorea, 55 Wellington Street, Central, 2362 1999; www.facebook.com/TaKoreaHK
This one is perfect for a fun night out, and is my boyfriend’s weeknight dinner of choice. A burrito bowl from here is $78 and HUGE, so he’s always happy. If you’re looking for a lighter, healthier option, choose the tofu with guac as your filling and skip the sour cream. You can also go for the black beans instead of the borracho beans with bacon and swap the cilantro lime rice for brown rice. Or, skip the rice altogether and get the salad bowl (also $78) instead. Little Burro is always a good idea.
Little Burro Causeway Bay, 125 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2336 3909
Little Burro Sheung Wan, 1 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan, 2547 8821
Little Burro SOHO, Mid-Levels Escalator, SOHO, UGF 30 Hollywood Road (enter via Shelley Street Escalator), 2336 0505