HOME Eat to Live has now closed down.
If the words "healthy" and "vegetarian" conjure up images of dull, bland rabbit food, think again.
HOME Eat to Live is a casual healthy restaurant in Central serving up a dynamic range of flavourful plant-based food. Options are plentiful and you can choose to eat light (soups, salads, open-faced toast) or not (go for wraps, burgers or earth bowls for something more filling). You'll also find a range of wholesome smoothies, shakes, freshly pressed juices and even kombucha (probiotic fermented tea).
Earth bowls contain a healthy mix of grains, colourful vegetables or tofu. I personally love the Siberian Tiger Earth Bowl, which has purple rice, mixed mushrooms, marinated tofu, garden greens, beetroot, pickled cucumber, raw teriyaki and their delicious fermented chili hot sauce.
HOME offers a number of burgers, with patties made from beetroot and mushroom, pumpkin and mixed grains, or avocado. They pair perfectly with sweet potato fries. I have a huge soft-spot for sweet potato fries and HOME definitely makes some of the best I've had in Hong Kong. The fries are baked, so you don't have to feel too guilty about eating a massive plate of them. They're large and chunky, well-seasoned, crispy on the outside with a melt-in-your-mouth interior. Simply divine.
My favourite dish of all from HOME is probably their Clouded Leopard Wrap, which contains a red sauce base, omelette, mixed mushrooms, roasted red onions, olives, kale, romaine and green herb sauce wrapped in an oven-fired whole wheat flatbread. You can swap the whole wheat wrap for a leafy green wrap (literally green vegetable leaves), or one made of teff flour (teff is the new trending super food, a grain high in protein, calcium and iron).
There are three other wrap options with falafel, roasted vegetables and halloumi, or roasted cauliflower to choose from but if none of them appeal to you, custom-make your own.
A "short" size is filling enough for someone with a small appetite like myself, but otherwise go for a large size. If you're a fan of wraps, another good Central-based healthy restaurant you can try is Mana! Fast Slow Food.
I like the kale and romaine "quagga" salad, which is topped with chickpeas and quinoa for protein, seasoned walnuts and herb seasoning for added savouriness, and cranberries and goji berries for some sweetness to balance everything out. It goes very well with the herb mint dressing.
...and only add however much you need. There are a lot of hidden calories and sugars in dressings, so this is a good tip for people watching their weight!
Acai bowls & drink recommendations
HOME has one of the best acai bowls in Hong Kong (I've got a review on the city's best acai bowls coming out soon - stay tuned!) Here, you can pick up to four toppings, ranging from fresh berries, papaya, pineapple and dragon fruit to granola and even cookie crumbs. I've previously had acai bowls that tasted very diluted but HOME's aren't like that at all - they're packed with fruity flavour. Hallelujah!
The balance shake is incredible if you like coconut. A blend of coconut meat, coconut water, red dates and cold-pressed vanilla, this drink is absolutely delicious and tastes like a dessert. It's quite filling, so it works well as a breakfast too.
As seen in the top photo, HOME also offers fresh coconut water and homemade lemonade, which are light and refreshing, perfect for hot summery days. The cold brew with almond milk is also nice.
Personally I do find HOME's food is a bit pricey, but I'm happy spending here because I know the food I'm getting is healthy and delicious. I eat here so often it might as well be my home.
On a final note, you may have noticed that as a purveyor of healthy eating and environmental-friendliness, much of HOME's menu is named after endangered or extinct animals to raise awareness of the consequences of our resource-intensive lifestyles. Research from Oxford University shows adopting a plant-based diet would significantly reduce greenhouse emissions that contribute to global warming. While I'm not here to preach about becoming a vegetarian or leading a 100% eco-friendly lifestyle, I do think we can actively make choices that are less harmful for the environment. All the choices you make count!
Tips and recommendations
- Suitable for: healthy eating, casual meals, working (only outside weekday lunch hours)
- Order: Clouded Leopard wrap, baked sweet potato fries, acai bowl, coconut balance shake.
- Tips: the place is packed (and also very noisy) during weekday lunch hours (12:30-1:30pm) so avoid this time slot if you don't want to wait ages for seats. I often order online and pick up my food from the store. Ask for a VIP card to get a 5% discount on all purchases - it works like an octopus card that you can top-up with money.
- Website: http://www.homerestauranthk.com/
- Location: Shop G01&101, 77 Des Voeux Rd, Central, Hong Kong
- Opening hours:
- Weekdays: breakfast 9am - 11am, lunch and dinner 11am - 10pm
- Weekends: Saturday 9am - 10pm, Sunday 12pm - 9pm
- Menu: https://home.getcilantro.com/#/
- Reservations: +85228858688
- Wifi: yes but a bit slow (but they prohibit working on laptops during busy lunch hours)