If you’re on a gluten-free diet, the newly reopened Picada restaurant is something of a godsend – the ENTIRE menu is composed of mouth-watering, gluten-free Colombian tapas. Chefs at Picada use sweet corn, maize flour, quinoa and other indigenous root plants like plantain, yuca and cassava to fire up an authentic Colombian menu. Try the sharing platter of Arepas Rellenas ($85) and you’ll be convinced that the world doesn’t need wheat flour to make great dough. You’ll also like their Yuca Fritas ($58) or the Frijolada bean stew main ($128), a Colombian household favourite.
2/F, LKF 29, 29 Wyndham St., Central, 2526-7538, www.picada-hk.com.
Did you know that the freshest, most authentic Italian food in town can be found in Lai Chi Kok? Si Simply Italian Restaurant has made its debut, opening at D2 Place Two, just a stone’s throw from Lai Chi Kok MTR. Restaurant owner Paolo Sala and executive chef Massimo Santovito are both believers of “Minimalistic Italian” – a no-frills cooking approach that accentuates the quality of their produce, most of which is imported directly from Italian farms. Picky about your greens? Si has a seasonal organic menu on offer, or else go for the Testaoli (fresh pasta) tossed in homemade basil pesto and 24-month Parmigiano ($148).
Shop G03, G/F, D2 Place Two, 15 Cheung Shun St., Lai Chi Kok, 2370-9022, www.sirestaurant.hk.
Could a real vegan replacement for meat finally be here? After seven years of research and reformulation, LA-based food tech company Beyond Meat has brought the ultimate vegan burger patty to Hong Kong. Backed by the likes of Bill Gates and Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams, the Beyond Burger patty has an uncanny similarity in taste and texture to the real thing. Even the wafts of aroma as it sizzles on the grill makes you believe you’ll soon be tucking into a beef patty, rather than a meal made entirely from nutrient-rich ingredients such as pea protein isolate, coconut oil and beet. In fact, you’ll be amazed to learn that the Beyond Burger patty is even richer in protein and iron than beef! It’s a big stride towards a plant-based future for all, and we can’t wait for Hong Kong to sink its teeth into it.
The Beyond Burger is now available at Green Common Alexandra House, Central, and Ocean Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui. Ask for the Beyond Burger ($78) or the Beyond Burger Plus ($108).