The Great Vegan Debate: Beyond VS. Impossible Burger
Mock meats: the best way to convince an omnivore that vegan food is anything but boring. They have the ability to fool even the most adamant meat-eaters and fulfil the occasional cravings of plant-based foodies. Two of the most popular variations in Hong Kong are the Beyond and Impossible meat: both entirely plant-based, they have the frightening ability to 'bleed' - making them freakishly realistic and intriguing. More importantly, they both share the same objective of reducing people's carbon footprints by providing a more eco-friendly yet delicious alternative to the usual burger. I am always thrilled by the sight of a plant-based burger on a restaurant's menu, so this article will attempt to give a rundown of the main places in Hong Kong where you can give them a try, which one the majority of Instagrammers (who answered my poll) prefer, and which one I prefer!
Here are some basic facts about the Beyond Burger (the rest you can find on their website):
- 20G of pea protein in each patty
- Beets are the secret behind the bleeding
WHERE TO FIND THE BEYOND BURGER:
1. Confusion Plant-Based Kitchen
The Beyond Burger from Confusion is extra 'cheese'y, and it comes with a side of either tofu fries or purple yam fries. Absolutely delicious - this burger is one of the few permanent items on their menu and is extremely popular and loved by all! Costs $145 HKD and is very filling.
2. Kind Kitchen
The Apple Puree Beyond Burger from Kind Kitchen tastes great, but it is probably on the blander side of the spectrum (due to the lack of 'cheese'). However, it is layered with a smokey vegan mustard sauce which adds a spicy and fresh taste to it. This burger costs $108 HKD and pairs perfectly with the crispy, fresh, and salty fries on the side.
I don't have a photo of the Beyond Burger from Hemingway's, but I had a bite of it, and - just like all other Beyond Burgers - it tasted delicious! It had a strong smokey flavour, making it seem as if it was barbecued. It costs $138, and it is served with either sweet potato fries or fat chips.
4. The Butcher's Club
Despite the off-putting restaurant name, The Beyond Wu Tang style burger is hands down the best Beyond Burger I have ever eaten. It is a plant-based version of their popular Wu Tang burger, and it does a perfect job of imitating the succulent taste of a regular burger. Part of what makes it so delicious is its combination of vegan mayonnaise, kimchi, and vegan cheese (look how beautiful...). It is also fried in Sriracha, which adds an extra dimension of spice to it. Priced at $120, and it's no doubt the most reasonable ones to have!
Recently introduced to the vegan scene in Hong Kong, the Impossible burger can be found in restaurants such as Little Bao, Beef & Liberty, and Cali-Mex (in beef bits as opposed to a burger).
- 20G of wheat protein in each patty
- Heme is their magical bleeding ingredient
- Hong Kong is the first city out of the US to have the Impossible burger!
WHERE TO FIND THE IMPOSSIBLE BURGER:
1. Beef & Liberty
This Impossible burger does an excellent job of looking like a real, beef burger. However, I'm not sure if I was just unlucky, but I thought it tasted very plain and dry - nothing extraordinary. There were a bunch of greens that gave it a minty flavour and I liked how the 'meat' was cooked so that it was slightly crispy and had a smokey taste, but I think it would have been better with a layer of vegan cheese or some other sauce, as is the case with any other burger! I also found out after eating this that their bun wasn't even vegan, but now they are implementing a vegan bun at all branches. Costs $135 and is currently available at @beefandliberty 's Stanley, LKF, and airport chains!
2. Little Bao
This was the first Impossible meat I tried, and I was amazed by how REAL it looked and tasted! This little restaurant on Staunton street is a popular eatery that adds a creative twist to the usual Chinese dining style. Famous for it's white bread Baos, the Impossible addition to their menu is a brilliant way to attract more customers! The patty was so juicy, and it was cooked with caramelised onions and other vegetables which gave it a nice smokey and salty flavour - which paired perfectly with the soft, sweet, white buns. It was on the more expensive side, $148 HKD, but definitely worth a try!
Not a burger, but I thought it would be worthwhile to mention that you can also try the Impossible meat at Cali-Mex in Sai Ying Pun (not sure if it is available at all branches yet)! A nice addition to the burrito or burrito bowl, the Impossible meat adds some extra protein and flavour to your meal. I personally couldn't really taste it, but I was still amazed by how real it looked and it was fun to eat it nevertheless!
I created a Google Maps collection for all the locations (that I know of) where you can eat Beyond or Impossible meat in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, I don't have the premium feature to embed it into my blog, so you can access it here.
Beyond VS. Impossible
Before writing this post, I would have confidently said that I prefer Beyond meat over Impossible meat. Although it doesn't look as realistic, it has more inherent flavour, the patty is juicier, and I love the smokey flavour and aftertaste that it has. After refreshing my mind about the Impossible Bao, I do think my opinion may be slightly skewed due to the disparity between the number of times I have tasted the Beyond burger compared to the Impossible burger, but I still believe that the Beyond burger is more to my liking. If I had to recommend two of my favorite burgers mentioned in this post, it would no doubt be the Beyond Wu Tang Style Burger from The Butcher's Club and The Impossible Bao from Little Bao!