We have been involved in dialogue with Kung Tak Lam trying to get them to resolve a couple of issues we noticed. One issue has been fixed. One issue is still rolling on. Here’s the detail.
Kung Tak Lam are part of the Four Seas food conglomerate. On the Four Seas website it states:-
- The Group has 20 production plants in Hong Kong and mainland China that produce different kinds of quality food products. Other than this, the Group is the distributor of over 5,000 food products sourced from over 30 countries.
- Four Seas Group has a wealth of experience in the food industry and has a broad collection of product offerings including… hams, sausages and meats, seafood and vegetables.”
Very clearly with all that extensive expertise in, “hams, sausages and meats, seafood,” they are not by any stretch of the imagination any sort of specialist vegetarian operation. Hence we have tried to encourage them in the right direction on a couple of things:-
a) Their menu was incorrectly indicating some dishes as being egg free that in reality contained egg. For anyone on an egg free diet this was potentially disastrous (e.g. allergy sufferers, vegans). Their General Manager for Business Development, Ada Choi, has responded with what seems to be a fix of that issue (thanks Ada and co).
b) They are unaware that many alcohol brands and especially many wines are non vegetarian. This is unresolved with no progress so far. Thus here is the latest email we have sent to Ada so anyone interested is aware. Further update to follow in future based on the response from Ada and co.
Thanks for taking the phone call that you did to discuss with our Cantonese speaker. I am led to believe the concern we have has not been sufficiently clarified for your understanding. Thus to try to remove any potential source of confusion:-
* the decision on whether or not to retail alcohol is for restaurant management to decide on. This is a principle in which we at HK veg have no concern
* our concern is that Kung Tak Lam is clearly marketed as a vegetarian restaurant yet some of the produce retailed by Kung Tak Lam is not verified as vegetarian
* specifically in this case we are referring to Kung Tak Lam and alcoholic beverages. Some alcohol brands are vegetarian. Some alcohol brands are not vegetarian. This weblink explains why many alcohol brands are not vegetarian:-
An example of a brand of vegetarian wine is Yalumba. This is from their website:-
“All Yalumba wines were announced vegetarian and vegan friendly as of 2011.”
Your previous response to correct the Kung Tak Lam menu from misleadingly stating certain dishes were egg free was very constructive. We are very grateful that you corrected the ‘egg-free’ mislabeling on the menu. If I may politely suggest the constructive way forward for Kung Tak Lam retailing alcohol is:-
a) withdraw any alcohol Kung Tak Lam currently has in stock from retail until it has been verified as vegetarian
b) The most thorough way to ascertain if a brand is vegetarian is from your suppliers
c) once you do have verification from your suppliers of the vegetarian suitability of each alcohol brand, the verified vegetarian brands are re-introduced for retail in Kung Tak Lam
d) any brands for which you are unable to verify the vegetarian suitability are removed from Kung Tak Lam indefinitely
e) replace the non vegetarian brands with vegetarian brands of alcohol (such as the Yalumba example)
Since your menu highlights which dishes do / don’t have eggs is it worth also sourcing wine that is egg free as well as being vegetarian? All vegan wines by definition will be vegetarian AND egg free.
Our conversation re non vegetarian alcohol brands has been enduring since July 4th without meaningful progress so far. I thus hope you don’t object that I publish this email on the web so the current situation is transparent for anyone interested. This also gives you an opportunity to impress vegetarians who read the article when I post it online. I say that since I will gladly publish online an update of your response.
We will follow this email up with another phone call to check your understanding.