Grassroots Pantry, G/F-1/F, 12 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Area:Sai Ying Pun
Nearest Train:Sheung Wan
Opening Hours:Tue-Sat noon-10pm; Sun 10am-4pm
Cuisine:Vegetarian or Organic
Open Since:June, 2012
On the night of our visit, the ground floor section of the resto was entirely populated by women (except our table), and the upper floor housed two monks dining alongside a local Chinese family. Interesting crowd, to say the least.
This cutesy vegetarian restaurant looks like somebody’s house; you walk straight into a living room decorated with flowers, there’s a kitchen at the back and a staircase on the left takes you up to a more private dining section. The menu is hand-drawn, and each dish comes with an accompanying pen-and-ink picture.
Beyond its vegetarian label, Grassroots Pantry serves a mishmash of dishes—you can get anything from Thai vegetable curry to pasta to Japanese soba noodles here. We started off with delectable potato and tofu croquettes, crispy on the outside and mushy within. Paired with homemade ketchup (which looks bright orange because of an unexpected ingredient: carrot), the croquettes really tickled our taste buds and whetted our appetites.
The Japanese soba noodles with miso dressing and topped with fresh tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts and tons of tofu were also delightfully flavorful—but we would probably still go for the traditional soba dipped in soy sauce if we had a choice. The spring risotto with fresh mint, corn, zucchini, peas and slabs of melting goat cheese was a very hearty interpretation despite the lack of meat; we were impressed by the rich yet balanced flavors, and are likely to stick to the pasta offerings on future visits.
Prices are a bit steep for a place that’s relatively out of the way and so homey in appearance—but that seems to be the trend for all new restaurants these days.