Struggling to find a healthy meal out that won’t break the budget? Say no more. Here are five lunch or dinner options that you and your wallet can feel good about.
1. Pho at BEP or Nha Trang
Since moving here three months ago, I’ve found you don’t get an abundance of cheap, good Thai food in HK. What you do get is a lot of Vietnamese and while it might not be cheap if you order a whole heap of dishes, it can be reasonable if you just stick to the 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, G/F, 88-90 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2581 9992
BEP SOHO, Lower Ground Floor, 9-11 Staunton Street, Soho, Central, Hong Kong 2522 7533
Nha Trang has branches in Harbour City, Mong Kok, Sha Tin, Tai Koo Shing, and Times Square, click here for all locations, www.nhatrang.com.hk
2. Salad at nood food
While the meat/fish options here are a bit heavy on your wallet, a small salad from nood food 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, Hong Kong, 3691 3692
nood food Kinwick Centre, 2/F, Kinwick Centre, 32 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, 8199 8189
nood food Quarry Bay, 1/F, Lincoln House Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong kong, 8129 1188
3. Happy Veggies Lunch Set
$48 for lunch from 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 turns out I’m not the only one who thinks so… this place is always 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, Hong Kong, 2529 3338, www.happyveggies.hk
4. Baap Bowl from TaKorea
In a basement on Wellington Street, it’s a shame this place is so easy to miss. 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
5. Burrito Bowl or Salad Bowl from Little Burro
This one’s for when you’re out with the boy – my boyfriend’s weeknight dinner of choice, a burrito bowl from here is $78 and HUGE, so he’s 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 Causeway Bay, 125 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2336 3909
Little Burro Sheung Wan, 1 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2547 8821
Little Burro SOHO, Mid-Levels Escalator, SOHO, UG/F, 30 Hollywood Road (enter via Shelley Street Escalator), 2336 0505