2016-05-07 7154 瀏覽
間中茹素一下，讓腸胃休息一下，未嘗不可；茹素不等於要像牛般、味同嚼蠟的吃著菜葉，其實還有變奏。想吃西式素菜，付上近百元，但真的能吃飽的沒多少。這家素食餐廳，到目前為止是我吃過最抵食、飽足和佔地最大的一間。***********Just happened to be randomly browsing the Facebook page of Green Monday, I spotted this newly opened, plant-based eatery in Central. Located adjacent to the Central Oasis (ie. the Central Market), HOME Eat to Live ("HOME") is highly accessible and surprisingly large - a rare gem in the vicinity given the low spending-to-floor-space ratio. This 2-floor space was previously occupied by
*********** Just happened to be randomly browsing the Facebook page of Green Monday, I spotted this newly opened, plant-based eatery in Central. Located adjacent to the Central Oasis (ie. the Central Market), HOME Eat to Live ("HOME") is highly accessible and surprisingly large - a rare gem in the vicinity given the low spending-to-floor-space ratio. This 2-floor space was previously occupied by Burger King, but is now renovated in a green way which seems to be an absolute opposite to meaty and junk burgers. The "word cloud" banner on the exterior well hinted its health-conscious positioning. HOME is founded by Christian CGM who was previously a partner of "Mana! Fast Slow Food" (if you happened to be in its cafe for health-conscious food) and operated by ZS Hospitality Group Limited who also runs a Vietnam restaurant at the same mall, the "Viet. Kitchen". Seeming foreign for the branding and the founder, it however sources farm produce locally in the New Territories - HOME by Kau Kee. How its symbol is generated comes raw as well, like the 5 elements in Chinese (金木水火土) but without 金. (If it does great business, I bet 金 will flow in..)
"Hi! Welcome HOME", the server greeted me in a friendly grin. Although cashiers are seen on both floors, the two floors, basically with similar decor, serve in different modes - the ground floor is for grabbing takeaways (though there are casual seating) and the upper floor is for dine-in. Food to be served is similar for the two floors, but with cheaper, lighter and easier-to-eat-out options available only on the first floor, such as salad box ($68-108), pastries ($30-60), bottled drinks ($45-68). For most items in the restaurant, short forms such as "V","DF","GF","R" are listed next to the names of dishes, meaning vegan, dairy free, gluten free and raw respectively. It truly caters for customers with particular food allergies and makes them well-informed of the specialty of each item other than the most intriguing factor - flavour. Although these assorted bites taste good (thanks to the petit samples), it may be quite pricey if each of these costs $30... Slices of cheesecake are reasonably priced at $60 which is fair enough. For drinks, bottles of Taboocha fermented tea ($50) filled up one of the refrigerated shelves. For a health-conscious eatery, it seems that one cannot go without cold-pressed juice ($68) these days, having 6 different kinds of them at $68 - not marked up in the category as Pressed Juices sells a bottle at $50-80. Although it serves customers who come for grab-n-go, there are still seats at wooden, communal tables and sofas around the floor-to-ceiling window. Undoubtedly, if you reach upstairs, decor here sems so standard and if you are here to kill time, dine-in is a must-go option. It comes to the true discovery of what HOME offers when you reach upstairs by the wooden staircase. It is not at all exaggerating to opine that this is the true "central oasis" instead of the one nearby which is still left undeveloped. With potted plants around the edge and dim string lights hanging low, the ambience resembles a mysterious garden. It should be imitating a greenhouse (not the eatery named "Greenhouse" in Causeway Bay) - the interior is awash in natural light let in by windows with greenery inside. There are same big wooden tables like the ground floor, but the seating is much more gathering-friendly. One of the rare things to be spotted among nearby restaurants is that there are as many as 100 seats available but it is just a restaurant with items not costing higher than $128 each (as far as I spotted). Having free wifi and even sockets (electricity is crucial if one would need to work), it is a good place to chill or just have a quick meal as one may not need to wait too long to get a seat. Seats facing the sunlight are the best ones to grab if you are paying a solo visit, watching over the hustle and bustle along Des Voeux Road Central. As it doesn't charge for service (ie. no 10% service charge), it is very reasonable to queue for orders and takes your own food when your alarm gadget rings. Part of the kitchen is in fact visible as it is just next to the cashier. It is a difficult task to summarise its menu without getting you bored. If salad is what comes to your mind for vegan food, you may be amazed by how little this category occupies the menu - just the tiny left bottom corner with 3 combinations ($78-118). What occupies most of the page is bread in various forms - "flatbread" ($50-90+), "toast" ($60-90) and "burger" ($88-128). Flatbread is not commonly found in western cafe in town, a soft and thinner one of which that resembles its appearance and usage will be Mexican Tortilla. One can choose to have oven-fired one with preset fillings, or customised ones for your own choice of toppings, herb base and sauce.
Most items are available in two sizes. It may be a bit difficult to guess and put your bet if there are no photos to give you an idea on the portion. Lack of photos on the menu (or anywhere around the cashier) is probably a drawback for locals like me, who is not an insider to vegan food nor to English names of the ingredients. The other page of the menu shows mainly drinks and desserts, which are all available downstairs. What customers ordered as dine-in are mainly those on the first page. Instead of going for a burger, me the curious cat was fascinated by the stranger "oven-fired flatbread". As I can enjoy 15% discount at its soft opening period, I went for the combo option at $118 (discounted to be $100.30), including a short flatbread (a la carte: $50), a side dish (a la carte: $45) and a lemonade (a la carte: $45). Not feeling to swallow bubbling drinks down my throat, I asked for alternative to lemonade - a fresh whole coconut. Just seated for around 5 minutes, the alarm gadget lit up and I dashed to pick my food at the counter. My coconut wasn't here yet, which was only served later on. I picked "Baked & Loaded Sweet Potato" as my side dish but how it looks was out of my expectation! As for the wrap, it is the short flatbread. Green Turtle Combo ($118)
Short Flatbread + Side + Coconut/lemonade
Food is of high quality with variations, despite the fact that being vegan, plant-based in nature turns omnivores off most of the time. It is moderately priced in the vicinity, if I were to compare it with Ovocafe or similar eateries in Sheung Wan. I intended to have a light lunch but at the end so full that $100 can make me a lunch + teatime snack, so I must be coming back even if it isn't discounted like this - $118 still makes it a worthy go!
題外話/補充資料： Soft opening until 7 May 2016 (Saturday) and offers 15% discount.(以上食評乃用戶個人意見 , 並不代表OpenRice之觀點。)