Yuan Vegetarian Fine-Dining Restaurant Review | Delish Eats
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Delish Eats: Yuan, Reimagining Vegetarian Fine Dining in Hong Kong

Yuan Restaurant Review Delish Eats

Restaurant story: Debuting in Central last September, Lubuds Group’s Yuan takes the brave route of introducing Chinese cuisine-focused, vegetarian fine dining in Hong Kong. The restaurant not only subscribes to the geometric translation of its name—“circle”—but also the laws of Mother Nature, reflecting the nature’s regenerative processes evident in the cyclical changes of seasons.

Chef story: Lubuds Group’s Chef Ronald Shao helms Yuan, bringing with him a deep passion for culinary excellence that marries traditional flavours with modern techniques. Also the lead of Mian at The Murray, Chef Ronald possesses a comprehensive knowledge of Chinese cuisine that has taken him around the globe. He works alongside new-generation head chef Law Chak Kei to bring forward a solid menu that focuses on seasonal ingredients and an avant-garde, nature-centric vegetarian dining experience.

Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant Review

How much does it cost: A 12-course all-day tasting menu at the Yuan costs HK$1,280 (excluding 10% service charge).

What is the menu about: Yuan’s menu is a bold attempt to elevate the vegetarian dining concept in Hong Kong. Notably, the dishes are allium-free, doing away with scallions, garlic, chives, leeks, and onions, while focusing instead on the five flavours of sour, bitter, sweet, spicy and salty. It is a modern interpretation of traditional Chinese cuisine through a nature-centric, plant-based menu that makes use of seasonal ingredients.

What did we order: Matsutake Soup with Chrysanthemum Tofu, Stuffed Portbello Mushroom, Emerald Pate, Braised Winter Melon with Preserved Vegetables, Mock Abalone with Inaniwa Cold Noodles, 9-Sweet Grid, Lychee, 

Matsutake Soup with Chrysanthemum Tofu: Arguably one of the most visually arresting dishes among the spread, Matsutake Soup with Chrysanthemum Tofu mirrors the chef’s skills in working the knife. The soft tofu is carved intricately into fine strands that look like a blooming chrysanthemum flower floating in water. It felt like a sin to eat this beauty. But it didn’t disappoint either on the taste front. The matsutake mushrooms lend a rich and nourishing broth that delivers a depth of flavours.

Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant Review

Stuffed Portbello Mushroom: A large portbello mushroom is filled with finely sliced king oyster mushrooms, jicama, and morel mushrooms and topped off with cheese in this reimagined version of the traditional stuffed conch. The mushroom is baked to perfection minus the sponge-y texture, warming the stuffed ingredients and adding interesting layers of textures.

Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant Review

Emerald Pate: Adding a twist to the traditional Sichuan cold dish, Yuan’s Emerald Pate is made of sautéed bean purée, Chaozhou pickled mustard greens and rose pickled kohlrabi. The purée possesses a silky and tofu-like texture that slides on your tongue, a perfect contrast to the tangy and crisp pickled greens and crunchy kohlrabi to keep your taste buds intrigued.

Braised Winter Melon with Preserved Vegetables: At first look, this dish can easily pass off as the real version of Dongpo Pork. The winter melon acts as the “protein,” pan-fried and slow-cooked to achieve that meaty visual presentation. The preserved vegetables act as the main meat, drenched in flavourful sauce to give that rich and thick umami taste.

Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant Review

Mock Abalone, Carrot, Cucumber, Sprouts, Spicy, Inaniwa Cold Noodles: Yuan’s Inaniwa cold noodles provide a smooth and silky base, while the mock abalone mimics the chewy and salty traits of its seafood counterpart. Accompanied by crisp and refreshing carrot and cucumber, the dish offers a refreshing crunch that balances the richness of the mock abalone. The addition of sprouts brings a fresh and earthy element, providing textural contrast to the dish.

Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant Review

9-Sweet Grid: An assortment of nine different sweets, this playful dessert reflects the chef’s creativity that went into this creation. It features three marinated fresh fruits, three Chinese pastries, and three Western desserts, with each row taking your tongue on a spectrum of sweet notes.

Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant Review

Lychee: Resembling a lychee fruit, this dessert is made of lychee puree and a delicate Yunnan rose-infused lychee mousse, encased within a crispy shell made from white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed almonds. Crack it open to reveal the velvety puree that makes for an indulgent treat, punctuated by fruity sweetness with floral notes.

Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant Review
Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant Review

What we liked: Yuan finally addresses the need for an elevated vegetarian dining experience in Hong Kong, offering a sophisticated and refined menu that celebrates the diversity and richness of vegetarian cuisine. The dishes are inventive and flavourful and will warm to the palate of even meaty eaters. Service is attentive, with the staff graciously offering knowledgeable recommendations and insightful background behind each dish.

What we didn’t like: While the overall ambiance is relaxed and sophisticated, the view through the windows means you may occasionally catch glimpses of people passing by, their occasional glares adding a slight element of distraction to the experience.

What you should order: Matsutake Soup with Chrysanthemum Tofu, Stuffed Portbello Mushroom, Braised Winter Melon with Preserved Vegetables, 9-Sweet Grid, Lychee, Sparkling Yuzu Genmaicha

Location: Yuan, Shop 2, G/F, Chinachem Hollywood Centre, 1-13 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

Contact details: +852 2728 7278

This food review is based on a complimentary media tasting provided byYuan in exchange for a truthful review and no compensation. The opinions expressed within represent the views of the author.   

Enjoyed this article? Check out our previous Delish Eats reviews here.

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