I arrived... after a day of sightseeing and eating in Hong Kong's Kowloon. I'd gone on a food tour around Sham Shui Po and was absolutely stuffed from all the delicious street food I'd sampled, so I was simultaneously looking forward to sitting down for a more high-end meal experience, while wondering how many extra kilograms I would have packed on by the end of the day.
I chose here because... It has a central location, and I love vegetarian food. Veda is part of the Ovolo Central hotel where I was staying and I was there with a group of other travel writers. I'd eaten breakfast a couple of times at Veda but was yet to check out the dinner menu.
My first impression was… it was a reasonably small and intimate setting, but the decor was a mix of elegance, art and greenery. The bartender and wait staff were quick to welcome me and the place felt warm, yet fresh.
The menu... for my three-course dinner with dessert was already on the table when I sat down and I was excited to taste some new foods. I started with ricotta and spinach momos (a Nepalese dumpling), pani puri, which is a hollow fried crisp filled with spicy tangy water, and pariyaram, a small baked dumpling. The mains consisted of a soba noodle salad, brown rice and quinoa mushroom congee and roasted carrot, kale and quinoa salad.
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The highlight was... the rice and quinoa congee with shiitake mushrooms, and the kale salad. Congee is typically made with fish, and can be a bit gluggy, but this vegetarian version was more fluffy and full of flavour. Since coming home, I've managed to track down the recipe. It's created by Australian chef Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen and the recipe is on their website.
Dessert was... a dark sponge cake with passionfruit mousse and a fig cheesecake with caramel sauce. The cheesecake won me over, while one of my fellow writers couldn't get enough of the cake so we ended up ordering a second round of each dessert. The desserts were sweet but not overpowering or sickly. I would have expected to have felt heavy after so much food, but the menu is designed to make you feel good about yourself, rather than leave with regrets about overeating. Meatless can be magic.
Come here if... you want to feast on healthy, gourmet vegetarian flavours with Eastern and Western influences.