A collaboration between healthy Sai Ying Pun restaurant Locofama and quirky Hong Kong lifestyle brand Goods of Desire (G.O.D), Sohofama in Hong Kong’s vibrant central district is launching its new vegetarian menu. The dishes’ bold and distinct flavours are sure to satiate vegetarians, vegans, and those looking to cut back on their meat intake. For those gourmands embracing green eating, Sohofama aims to offer natural premium organic ingredients and herbs in an artsy and historically significant location.
Why go meat free?
The human population has hit an all-time high—almost 7.6 billion as of October 2017—which has led to concerns over climate change. This has also led to an increased interest in health, wellness and the environment, steering the way for conscious consumerism in the future. While the massive agricultural increase in livestock rearing for food production is often overshadowed by the energy, transport and construction industries, livestock farming is, in fact, responsible for nearly half of greenhouse gas emissions.
Studies show that a global widespread switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet could reduce greenhouse emissions by nearly two-thirds. It’s great to see businesses like Sohofama in Hong Kong offering more meat-free menus.
Sohofama concept and history
Sohofama is located in the historical Police Married Headquarters (PMQ) building in Central, Hong Kong. In 1889, the PMQ began life as the first school in Hong Kong to provide an upper primary and secondary Western education to middle-class Chinese students. Where once it used to house hundreds of local police and their families, it now serves as a creative and design hub for around 100 shops such as G.O.D. and Sohofama.
The restaurant’s space is now cozy and comfortable and cluttered with plants and edibles hanging from the walls. A hydroponic cocktail bar serves thirsty customers, who sit at natural wood tables on benches. It’s a far cry from the 1950s police dorms!
Sohofama considers its cuisine “modern Chinese comfort” food. Seasonal soups are selected based on the Chinese tradition of cooking with ingredients that are good for the body. The restaurant’s indoor mini farm provides the vegetables for dishes and encourages people to think more about where their food comes from. Locally grown ingredients are used when possible, and MSG is never used.
The new vegetarian menu is delicious and vibrant in colour and flavour. Each dish is presented nicely and portions are a good size. With a bit of head’s up, Sohofama can create a vegan menu as well, and there are gluten-free options to choose from.
We created it originally for vegans. I think they are heroes, but it is so difficult for them to be vegan in Hong Kong. We want to make it easier.
—Larry Tang, Sohofama founder
Expect dishes such as Pan-Fried Asparagus, Dry Tofu, Vegetarian Ham & Spinach Buns; Cauliflower Quinoa Rice; Fried Rice Noodle with Eggplant, Potato, Green Bean, Pumpkin & Chinese Mushroom; and Grandma’s Organic Ma Po Tofu.
Grandma’s Tofu—you can’t get more comfort food than that!
Meet the chef
Chef Shing has over 20 years’ experience in Chinese cooking with a specialisation in Shanghainese cuisine. He started cooking at the age of 16 and has since been mentored by some of the best Chinese chefs in Hong Kong.
Shing’s experience boasts an impressive list of reputable Shanghainese restaurants. For the past eight years, Chef Shing was the Head Chef of famous Liu Yuan Pavillion, well known for its rich history and widely considered as one of the best quintessential Shanghainese restaurants in Hong Kong. The restaurant is regularly listed in Hong Kong food guides and has also been featured previously on the best regional cuisine list in Time Out magazine.
Address: Unit SG09-SG14, G/F, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: +852-2858 8238
Hours: Monday–Sunday, 12–11pm
The PMQ has gone through quite a few transformations over the years, but it’s now a cool centre for foodies and design entrepreneurs.
Written By: Talia Sanchez