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HK: how to approach (non-vegetarian) restaurants for a vegetarian option

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Hello everyone,

Thanks for all your sage advice on my previous thread and all your HK threads. I have my top 500 list ready to go!! :)

Now: my wife is a vegetarian (true vegetarian, no fish or animal products... but she's not frantic about it: if something has been cooked on a grill or in a pan next to a piece of meat that's probably fine).

I have read about the temples, the vegetarian joints etc, etc, and no doubt we will end up at some of them, but what I am hoping for is some advice on how to approach typical HK restaurants (i.e. where I want to be eating roast goose!!) in the quest for ANY vegetarian options. Are there ANY dishes (or common variations on dishes) that one might order in a typical HK restaurant that won't come back swimming in chicken stock??

It's not a health kick - she'll eat ANYTHING that's not cooked with meat... your thoughts?

Many thanks in advance!

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  1. Shanghainese restaurants seem to be the most veggie-friendly. Lots of tofu options (with names like fake goose), seasonal greens, lotus root, fungus, veggie rice/noodles etc.

    Cantonese restaurants are a bit trickier as pork is so rife. If dim sum, there are usually only veggie buns/dumplings, seasonal veg options (and then we usually start gorging on the desserts).

    Other than dim sum, Chinese restaurants in HK are very flexible about taking meat out of a dish. So if there's a tofu or vegetable-based dish which has bits of meat mixed in, just ask them to take out the meat. I'd recommend Bistro Manchu on Elgin Street - a particularly veggie-friend Manchurian restaurant. Yes, it's full of expats but the food is decent!

    1. Buddhists are usually strict vegetarians. Just tell the restaurant that your wife is Buddhist and don't eat meat.