173 Des Voeux Road, Central,
Tel: 2111 4553
Grub: 100% vegan restaurant whose dishes are based on classic Mediterranean food.
Vibe: Simple and cute. All the food is made on the spot, so it really feels like you’re enjoying a tasty home-made meal. The owner’s friendly attitude towards all her customers helps, making you feel right at home, which ensures a pleasant and comfortable dining experience.
Who to take: This place is probably not the best place for a big group outing; if you’re in a group of any more than five you’ll struggle to fit, as it isn’t as large as some of the other vegan restaurants in Hong Kong. It is, though, definitely an ideal place for a small family lunch.
What’s hot: What’s separates Maya Cafe from other similar vegan restaurants in the city is that it also offers a separate raw vegan menu, meaning that everything from the original menu is replaced with raw ingredients.
A highlight is pesto spaghetti in which the pasta is replaced with pesto zoodles (noodles made from zucchini). Try it if you’re feeling especially lethargic or if you’re on a real health kick –trust me, apart from the colour you won’t notice much of a difference in taste. It’s just as tasty as the real thing, with a strong cheesy flavour (despite containing no cheese, whaaat) and a refreshingly punchy basil undertone.
There is a wide selection of drinks available – with everything from freshly squeezed juices to chunkier “protein” smoothies, there’s bound to be something for everyone.
The “pick me up” apple, ginger, and carrot drink doesn’t sound particularly delicious (in fact, we were worried it might be awful), but the sweetness of the apple was perfectly balanced by the slight sharpness of the ginger.
The drinks menu also contains a variety of “wellness shots”, which act like a shot of espresso in that it gives you an energy boost – but without the unhealthy sugars and caffeine found in most coffees.
What’s not: The falafels turned out to be quite bland and slightly stale, suggesting that they were perhaps made quite a while before we ate. The portion size was also quite small compared to all the other options on the menu, and hardly seemed worth the HK$58 we paid for it.
Cost: Starters are HK$28-HK$58, soups are HK$48 for small, HK$68 for regular; pastas are HK$128, salads are HK$98-HK$115, and drinks are HK$48-HK$78.