Address: 92 Wellington Street, Central 中環威靈頓街92號
Telephone: 2851 1611
I have tried quite a few vegetarian restaurants in town recently, and I either don’t like the taste, find the food too oily, or don’t feel full at all (e.g. Life Cafe (Hong Kong) ). However, at Mana! Slow Fast Food, an eco-friendly restaurant which serves raw, veggie, organic food, I am able to find simple delights which are not only healthy to the body, but also taste divine!
Opened by Bobsy, the guy behind Life Cafe, and a veggie rower, Christian G. Mongendre, Mana seeks to promote a sustainable lifestyle and conscious consumption. Located on Wellington Street next to the Vietnamese restaurant Nha Trang, Mana is a hip and stylish place, with a dark, woody interior and a backyard with a seating area and a fountain providing free filtered drinking water; it could get very hot in the summer in the backyard, but with upbeat yoga music playing in the background, the experience is not all that bad! All containers and cutleries are biodegradable, the ingredients are locally sourced where possible to support Hong Kong farmers, and non-customers are encouraged to pop in to refill their water bottles – talk about being virtuous and doing nice things for our planet!
(1) Mana is proud of it’s “flats”, which are flatbreads that are freshly baked on the spot in their brick oven, using with a variety of organic flours, and then generously spread with “Zaatar”, which is a mixture of thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and sea salt. The Autumn flatbread ($70) is what got a lot of girls addicted to this place! This hearty, delicious flatbread was filled with roasted veggies, Haloumi & Rocket. The roasted veggies and rocket were wholesome and refreshing, and the haloumi (for those of you who don’t know, it is a cheese made from a mixture of goats’ and sheep milk, popular in Cyprus, Greece and the Middle East) had a beautiful aroma, a gorgeously firm and chewy texture, and was deliciously sliced into thin pieces. As I did not read the menu properly, for the first few times I had this flatbread, I thought I was eating Mozzarella cheese, only to realise that it was something else when my friends kept saying “oh the haloumi is amazing!”
(2) The Summer flatbread ($70) is very similar to the Autumn flatbread, except that it has tomatoes and mint as its filling instead of roasted veggies and rocket. As its name suggests, this flat had light, delectable summery flavours, but I personally preferred the Autumn flatbread which was more filling.
(3) As I love hummus and avocado, I also tried this Winter flatbread ($70), which had an inspiring combination of avocado, hummus, cucumber and salad mix in it. The avocado and hummus were creamy and full of delicious flavours, and I was over the moon when I thought about how healthy and full of vitamins this organic flatbread was!
(4) While the girls rave about the Autumn flatbread, the boys seem to prefer this Burger ($65) which was more substantial than the flatbread, and had a piece of marvellously grilled tofu, haloumi, and veggies sandwiched in a heartening wholemeal bun.
(5) Everyday, Mana will serve one of its 3 Raw Vegan Cakes – Berry, Chocolate or Coconut. On most days, we would go to Red Mango across the road for a frozen yogurt after lunch at Mana, but one day K and I decided to share a piece of Raw Berry Cake ($45), which was in an alluring purple colour. The cake was butter soft and was permeated with fresh berry flavours; it was not as heavy and buttery as a normal piece of cake, but not a bit less delicious!
(5) As Mana tries so hard to save the environment, packaging is absolutely minimal. When I ordered the Raw Chocolate Truffle ($25), I thought that the waitress had missed my order as it was wrapped up in a piece of tissue napkin! This ball of chocolatey, nutty goodness was absolutely awesome, with a smooth, alluring chocolate filling on the inside, and gorgeously chunky nuts on the outside! Perhaps a bit expensive for a little ball that I ate in 5 seconds, but the taste was terrific!
Conclusion: With the amount of oily, fatty food that I eat during the week, I am so glad that a place like Mana exists, and its proximity to my office means that I could always pop in for a mid-week detox! I always leave Mana feeling fantastic, and I would really recommend the Autumn flatbread to my friends who are not used to eating vegetarian foods. As I am writing this review, Mana’s mantra resonates in my head – “Eat it like it matters”!