i Vegetarian was checked out on Friday for a secret shopper visit. And the great news is it’s an all vegan hidden gem. This is the low down.
Thanks to an alert reader we’ve been aware of this place for a long time. We didn’t though have any feedback on i Vegetarian to merit pushing it up or down the priority list. How I now wish we’d tried this place sooner.
It was an unassuming visit on Friday knowing little other than it’s a vegetarian lunch spot of some sort. It’s in Kwun Tong on the second floor of a building that’s easy enough to find. Inside, the decor is interesting with some pro-animal compassion messages on the wall. There’s a shop section in the corner but the real attraction though is of course the restaurant food.
i Vegetarian is run by a Chinese lady aided by a helpful South East Asian assistant. My English seemed to be confidently understood by the later of the two. However I’ve been unduly relaxed into a false sense of vegan security too often in the past. I thus whipped out the vegan passport to help communicate my dietary needs. It’s always great when a very confident and insistent message comes back that there’s no animal products used. This message was re-enforced after I dialed up some Cantonese language support to get confirmation of what seemed like glorious news.
(All pics sourced from i Vegetarian facebook page)
The Chinese lady in charge is Ella Or. Ella told us (translated):
“Due to proliferation of online info such as horrible videos on social media, I realised what has been happening with products made involving animal cruelty. So I decided not to use those ingredients. I feel driven to promote vegan food. Animals have lives and all lives are equal. We should protect animals and the environment.” Rock on Ella.
First up I was given a small appetiser of seasoned black fungus accompanied with dragon fruit. I was also presented with a coconut based soup. I’d arrived just by closing time. Thus when my soup was down the hatch, a complimentary bowl of the same stuff appeared (there must have been a little extra left over, very tasty stuff it was too). The main was a large bowl of mixed vegetable goodies on rice that all tasted similarly fab. Very good indeed and defo a standard above the cheaper places that bash lunches out. My 80 hkd felt like money well spent. On a subsequent revisit I tried a house made fermented drink they had which had a marvelous flavour.
Ella further told us i Vegetarian:-
- opened in September 2014
- is her first and so far is the only restaurant she has
- is the only restaurant she has worked in. [This is very surprising. It’s good quality, professionally made food by someone who obviously has a gift for this kind of thing]
- adopts a vegan policy
- has no booze nor use of the five pungent vegetables [we spotted Buddhist decor in one corner that seems to explain this point]
i Vegetarian has been added to our guide to the all vegan restaurants in Hong Kong.
- i Vegetarian
- Room 24, 2/F, Shing Yip Industrial Building, 19-21 Shing Yip St
- Go out Kwun Tong MTR exit B1 then take 1st left on to Shing Yip Street. 19-21 is approx half way along
- +852 3565 5203
- Currently open Mon – Sat for walk-in lunch. Also open for advance private bookings in the evenings