A Local Guide to Vegan Dim Sum in Hong Kong
Pure Veggie House
The perfect place for a family gathering, a hangout with friends, or anything, really - Pure Veggie House is a peaceful restaurant located in Mid-Levels. The location is not super accessible, but you can either make your way there from the admiralty or central MTR station. They offer vegan renditions of all the classic dim sum dishes - including barbecue pork buns, shao mai, sweet and sour ‘pork,’ and dumplings. Unlike many vegetarian alternatives, Pure Veggie House doesn’t only use tofu and mushrooms to emulate the texture and flavour of meat, but they also use konjac (pictured in the rightmost image above) to create their sweet and sour ‘pork’ and other dishes alike - which actually taste even more realistic. Although their food is quite pricey - a sharing dish ranges from about $70-$100 - the portions are relatively large and perfect for when you and your friends/family want to give everything a try. Most items are served in threes or fours, so the optimum gathering size would be 12. ;)
Recommended dishes at Pure Veggie House:
Shao Mai: Unlike most shao mai, the one served at Pure Veggie House is green. It is made of spinach, green onions, and a couple other vegetables. It doesn’t look or sound incredible, but once you bite into it, you’ll be amazed by how chewy and flavourful it is, then you’ll be grabbing the menu and asking for more.
Mapo Tofu: Usually paired with minced pork, Pure Veggie House imitates this by incorporating bits of ‘meat’ into their dish. The sauce that accompanies the dish is not numbingly spicy, and it is a perfect addition to any rice or noodle that you might also have ordered.
Barbecue Pork buns: Probably the best imitation pork buns I’ve had, I love how they’re particularly sweet and that the filling uniquely thick. The buns are also really fluffy and taste perfect when freshly made.
2. Kung Tak Lam Vegetarian
Kung Tak Lam was one of the first Chinese restaurants I visited as a vegan, and I made the mistake of going with a small number of people as we could hardly tap into the abundance of options that were available. This place sells buns, noodles, and side dishes such as sweet and sour ‘pork’ (pictured above) and is more traditional than most other vegan restaurants in Hong Kong. Their dishes aren’t anything too unique, but they still taste delicious and accurately mimic the various flavours of Hong Kong cuisine. I particularly enjoy their dan dan noodles (which only happens to appear on the menu occasionally) and their vegetable buns. The location of this restaurant also makes it super accessible and convenient for larger groups of people - which is necessary if you want to taste a bit of everything.
3. LokCha Tea House
Situated in the tourist-filled park in Admiralty, LokCha Tea House is beautifully furnished but leans towards the pricier side of the spectrum. There is a minimum spending of $40 on tea, which - as someone who doesn’t usual drink tea - I personally object to, but as a tea house, I supposed that’s what their specialty is and what many non-vegans visit the restaurant for.
As for the dim sum, I recall the turnip cake not quite resembling the usual ones and that many of their dishes being infused with mushrooms and coriander, but they do offer a vast range of dumplings and other Chinese delicacies that cater to different preferences and palettes. Not one of my favorite vegan restaurants in Hong Kong, but a perfect way to kill two birds with one stone if you’re a tourist or if you’re leading your vegan tourist friends and family around the city.
4. Loving Hut
Loving Hut is not so much a dim sum restaurant like the previous three are, but it boasts an array of dim-sum-type dishes including - but not limited to - barbecue ‘pork’ buns, ‘egg’ tarts, shao mai and dumplings. The most affordable of the five, their dishes often come in sizes that can be devoured by individual customers, and the prices for the small appetizers never exceed $30. My all time favorite is undeniably the egg tarts (pictured left) - there’s nothing else that’s quite like them in Hong Kong, and their ‘custard’ filling pairs perfectly with the biscuit-like exterior.
Speaking of which, Vegelink is another restaurant in Hong Kong that does meatless dim sum. I can’t speak from experience as I’v never visited this restaurant myself, but they seem to have everything you would expect to find at a dim sum restaurant but veggie-fied. Keep in mind, though, that not every dish on the menu is vegan - but this is clearly indicated by the dairy and egg labels.
If you’re not looking for the full dim sum experience but just want a taste of a dumpling or two, there are also many other places in Hong Kong where you can find veggie dumplings - including BaFang (super delicious and super affordable), Gaia Veggie (conveniently located in the heart of Causeway Bay), and King of Sheng Jian (also in Causeway and made with the futuristic Omnipork). You can find some that are solely vegetables but also those that are filled with imitation meat. These restaurants are scattered all over Hong Kong, so you can be sure to discover a vegan option anywhere you go. As for now, these are the five main dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong that I would recommend, but as the number of restaurants (hopefully) increases, you can expect the list to go on.