Meat made from soybean
What if there's a genuinely feasible alternative to eating meat that will satisfy even the biggest carnivores?
Many people are more conscious of leading a better life, and as a result, are choosing to add more vegetables to their diet. Surprisingly, the line between vegetables and meat is blurrier than ever.
Located in the heart of Causeway Bay, Harmony Village Vegetarian is a perfect example of the core values of vegetarianism: ending the suffering of animals, contributing towards the grand cause of solving environmental issues, and attaining a healthier lifestyle.
"I feel a lot more energised after switching to a vegetarian diet," said Gary Ching, the owner of the restaurant. He believes his digestive system has improved and his overall health is getting better every day.
But fear not, meat lovers! With vegetarianism, you can adopt a much healthier diet, and still enjoy your favourite meat-based dishes - with one little twist: meat substitutes.
Meat substitutes are made from vegetable-based products that are usually rich in proteins, such as soybeans.
The ingredients are used to increase the nutritional value of a meal, but the dishes are finished off by the expert hands of chefs who make them resemble both the texture and taste of actual meat.
Originality is everything
Using different veggie ingredients to make tasty dishes, Harmony Village Vegetarian has a lot of very impressive original offerings. For instance, deep-fried veggie pork, fried veggie beef and bean curd skin with black pepper, and deep-fried veggie fish in lemon sauce with pine nuts - these are some of the new creations from Gary Ching Chee-wing, the owner of the restaurant.
Of course, the "pork", "beef", and "fish" are not animal products - they're made entirely of veggie ingredients. To our surprise, these veggie dishes looked incredibly delicious. From the golden brown colour of the crispy veggie pork, to the mixed veg wrapped in bean curd sheet, all the dishes made our mouths water.
It is interesting to note that most of the regular customers of the restaurant aren't hippies - they are young office workers who love healthy eating.
And it's not just healthy, it's also environmentally friendly. So, why not give a veggie cuisine a try?
The service is great!
Like most meat lovers, I wouldn't normally choose to have dinner in a vegetarian restaurant. Many people are worried about the taste and the nutritional value of veggies. But, Gary Ching, the owner of Harmony Village Vegetarian, explained that we could meet all of our nutritional requirements by eating a wide variety of vegetables of different colours.
The dishes at this restaurant are the best proof of how vegetarian food can be just as tasty as meat-based dishes. My favourite was the deep-fried veggie "pork". It tasted (and looked!) exactly as sweet, crispy and chewy as the real Chinese barbecue pork. But the most creative dish was the vegetables in soya bean milk, as I've never heard of using soy milk in cooking.
The service and attitude of the staff were as impressive as the food. When I first walked in, a couple was complaining about a salty dish. The waitress calmly changed the dish for them, and took on their suggestion for improvement. She was also kind enough to reheat our dishes after one person in our group arrived late.
The food was tasty, but it was the great service that will make me come back.