The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) recently did some market research asking their students if they’d like a vego canteen on campus. The students of course said ‘Yes’. The people who won the tender went a step further. They made it all vegan. Here’s the low down.
Like any smart operation CUHK did some market research among their customer base. Being an educational establishment of course their customers are their students. They asked their students about the catering on campus. The students said they would like a vegetarian canteen on campus. CUHK put the contract out to tender.
Luen Wo are a relatively small business. But with a 4 year track record running Luen Wo Vegetarian restaurant in Fanling, the contract was won by the people there. This is to be commended by the decision makers at CUHK in selecting an established all vegetarian enterprise. The story doesn’t just stop there though.
A minor investor at Luen Wo is a young man named Ming Chu. Ming gave up omnivorism in June 2014. When asked why he initially gave two answers:-
- animal compassion
- the needless waste of resources from the economics of animal agriculture when so many millions of people starve
Then after a pause he gave a third answer:-
- “I can think of no reason to support the meat industry”
Ming’s spell as a lacto-ovo vegetarian lasted a few days. He then realised the meat and dairy industries are one and the same. With lacto ovo-vegetarianism satisfying none of Ming’s concerns it was time to change again. Ming upgraded his level of vegetarianism to become vegan. He hasn’t looked back since.
When Luen Wo won the contract for a vegetarian canteen at CUHK Ming was among those to advocate it is run as a vegan operation. He helped sell the case to his fellow investors. They opened Vegether at CUHK this week. Vegether has joined the list of restaurants leading the blossoming of veganism in HK.
Vegether isn’t the first vegetarian eatery in one of HK’s universities. Bijas has been running at Hong Kong University for a number of years managed by the people who run Harvester in Sheung Wan. Thomas, the Manager at Bijas, tells us their current chef only cooks vegan food. Where Vegether currently edges Bijas for veganistas is the Bijas counter staff use non-vegan ingredients like honey in some beverages. There’s also branded confectionery bars sold at Bijas that are non-vegan.
Let’s correctly manage some expectations here. No one is suggesting Vegether will be a Michelin starred restaurant. This is after all a counter service university canteen. It must though be great being a student at CUHK. I paid 22 hkd for a vegan green curry and rice. 22 bucks. With being camped here a few hours typing away on different stuff I’ve had two meals. Both were tasty, satisfying and great bang for the Hong Kong buck. Of wider note though is this is another marker of increasing vegan awareness in HK.
- LG 14, Benjamin Franklin Centre, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin
- Nearest rail station – University. From University station follow signs for bus 1a, 1b & 2
- +852 2386 4366
This merits Vegether being added to the 5 minute vegan Hong Kong guide.