Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… are probably the only vegan-friendly Christmas foods that come to mind.
Traditional Christmas spreads favour the carnivorous, whereas if you’re a veggie muncher, you must subsist on side dishes. To make things worse, Mom had to make her famous mashed potatoes dairy-free just for you and they don’t taste half as good anyway. Well, it’s about time you did a plant-based Christmas takeover. No more plates heaped with carefully sliced sheets of ham, roast beef and lamb, or jugs full of eggnog, or dessert tables crammed with hideously sweet confectionery. This year we’re spreading vegan joy to the world.
Going plant-based not only lightens your environmental footprint, but it’s also good for you. Here are some of the reasons why you should go plant-based. Here’s our guide for the best ever Plant-based Christmas dinners and vegan-friendly restaurants in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Take your folks to Christmas dinner at a Vegetarian restaurant
Grilled mushroom steak on hot stone.
#12-01 Orchard Central
Dining out on Christmas Day? Make it a treat and go for a casual fine dining experience at Joie by Dozo. Its six-course lunch and seven-course dinner menus, available on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, will mystify and delight both vegans and meat-eaters. Sure, the food at this Japanese-French fusion restaurant may not be the “traditional Christmas”, but the plant-based offerings would make even meat-lovers weak at the knees. For starters, the “sashimi” created from a blend of carrots and konnyaku is mind-bogglingly realistic. Then there’s the smokey monkey head mushroom “steak”, grilled on a hot stone slab. So tender that it falls apart at the fork, the mushroom flesh practically melts in your mouth like the forbidden fat of juicy cuts of beef. Each dish is prepared with extreme precision and artistic flair and served with a lot of love.
Private rooms are available for reservation, promising a lovely view from the 12th floor of Orchard Central. Make sure to specify that you’re vegan, as the restaurant is vegetarian but can remove dairy and egg products upon request.
Have a plant-based Christmas roast
Plant-based celeriac “ham”.
10 Scotts Road
What is a plant-based roast, you ask? The answer: A Celeriac “ham” ($38), seasoned with soy sauce, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf, and served with tarragon mustard. Or a “Meatloaf” ($58) made from veggies like pumpkin, spinach and carrots, quinoa and a mix of nuts (hazelnut, walnut, cashews, macadamia and sunflower seeds) and doused in mushroom gravy enriched with almond milk. Both of these mouthwatering items are now available on the Grand Hyatt Singapore’s festive take-home menu, meaning you won’t be limited to hummus and soup at your next Christmas party potluck.
Grand Hyatt Singapore has done a lot to go green. On top of the various delicious vegan dishes available at its restaurants, the hotel has introduced meat substitutes like Beyond Meat and Omnipork, as well as egg substitute JUST Egg, to its menus, and even started a plant-based lunch buffet, all while ramping up its food waste recycling by converting hundreds of kilos it into fertiliser. We’ve never been disappointed by its vegan offerings so we look forward to trying their Christmas treats too!
Get your fast food cravings sorted
The Trufflebello burger from Veganburg.
44 Jalan Eunos
If yours is more of a booze-and-fries kind of party, Veganburg and Nomvnom will be there for you come Christmas time. Both vegan burger chains will operate throughout Christmas, so even if your hosts bungled the veggie menu, rest assured that you have quick (and tasty) fixes on standby. By the way, Veganburg’s Trufflebello burger ($11.90), launched specially for the year-end festivities, is glorious. The size of that hand-cut, freshly breaded portobello patty is enough to give us heart palpitations. The perfectly crisp herb crusted mushroom patty is drenched in a creamy egg-free sriracha truffle aioli sauce under slaw and tart sun-dried tomatoes.
You might be the kind of person who just wants a very low-key vegan Christmas meal with a few friends. Then, head to Nomvnom Bistro, the brand’s latest cafe concept opening in Clarke Quay come December. Expect vegan pizzas, pastas and other Western classics that’ll definitely make for a no-frills, homely festive dinner.
28 Stanley Street
Hoping to find the perfect #eatclean Christmas burger? Look no further than Kitchen by Food Rebel. They’ve launched not one, not two but five new vegan burgers just in time for the season of plant-based festive feasting. It will add the following to its exciting rotation of daily specials: the Rendang Shroom burger, Mexicali Bean burger with guac, Walnutty pesto burger, BBQ Jack burger and Nasi Lemak burger. All lovingly made with organic vegan ingredients.
And don’t forget dessert!
Golly Vee from Oh My Goodness!
Not a fan of chocolate? Go for the equally scrumptious, moist and flavourful Golly Vee Lemon and Raspberry cake ($42 for 640g) from Oh My Goodness! For now, only the Golly Vee is vegan, but all of the online store’s other baked goods are gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. This Christmas, they’ve also teamed up with Superlative Foods to offer beautiful hampers (from $109) that include an Oh My Goodness loaf cake or bread, a bottle of Prosecco (or non-alcoholic PriSecco) and assorted treats from organic snack company Bruneus.
Rich, decadent, plant-based chocolate cake. It isn’t just a dream; This Christmas you’re in luck because two amazing online bakeries are offering special Christmas flavours. Sayang’s is a Muslim-owned vegan bakery that makes its cakes using fair trade cocoa, coffee, and sugar, with no palm oil. Head on over to Sayang’s for their Chocolate Orange Cake ($59 for 7in), made with orange syrup-soaked chocolate sponge and orange-infused dark chocolate ganache. Or tuck into their other luscious chocolate offerings, including the coconut walnut chocolate cake. For the whole of December, they are offering a 10% discount on all products!
That Vegan Cake is dressing up its classics, the Chocolate Vanilla Crumble cake and Chocolate Hazelnut cake ($65 for 5.5in; $75 for 8in) with a Christmas look, too. Dried orange circles and cinnamon sticks give it that rustic look that’ll make it a great centerpiece for your dessert table.
Turn Christmas into a luxury experience
The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
We love what the Ritz Carlton is doing to advocate sustainable food and more vegan options for its guests. It was even the first location in Hong Kong to introduce the Beyond Burger its menu! This two Michelin-star restaurant has it all: An incredible view of the city from the 102nd floor of International Commerce Centre, world-class service worthy of Lady Gaga (yep, she was spotted at the Ritz during her time in Hong Kong), and impressive plant-based dining offerings that will have your friends and family talking for months to come. Call ahead to inform the restaurant in advance that you’re looking for a fully vegan menu, and they’ll whip up a glorious meal transforming humble ingredients like beancurd skin and mushrooms into flavour-packed, wholesome yet entirely satisfying dishes.
Have a hearty meal with friends
118號9/F Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Many restaurants will be open for Christmas, and vegan haunts are no exception (thank goodness). One vegan favourite that’ll be open for the holiday is Mirror and Vegan Concept. Known for its selection of rich and creamy Italian staples (think Orrechiette Arrabbiata and Risotto with truffle asparagus), it delivers on authenticity sans the dairy. The restaurant is also great if you’re looking for a relaxed spot for dinner. Don’t worry, the wines here are all vegan, too.
1/F Potek House, 9 Tsing Fung St, Tin Hau, Hong Kong
If you’re a big eater, then the CS Vegan buffet is for you. Run by a Buddhist non-profit organisation, the cosy restaurant serves up a huge spread of home-cooked vegan Chinese dishes at the incredibly low price of HKD60. So if you’re budgeting for an expensive night of partying this holiday season, then this is the place for you.
Visit a vegan grocer for turkey, cheese and more!
Social enterprise Green Monday’s health food store carries a whole range of meat substitutes – including Gardein stuffed turkey, Omnipork all-purpose pork, and Beyond Meat patties. You’ll also find plant-based cheeses from Daiya, egg substitutes from JUST and plenty more ingredients that’ll make preparing a vegan Christmas dinner a piece of cake. You can also try these innovative foods at their cafe’s at a few of the Green Common outlets.
Speaking of cake…
Organic, gluten-, dairy- and egg-free. What’s not to love about the gorgeous sweet treats at The Cakery? Their Christmas collection includes stunning creations like Spice Apple cake (HKD500 for 4in cake), Nutty Rudy German chocolate cupcakes and Gingerbread Cuddles gingerbread cupcakes (HKD48 per regular sized cupcake). We’re already drooling.
And that’s our roundup that’ll serve you a mean green meal this holiday season. Have you checked out our other Conscious Christmas guides yet? You’ve gotta check out our selection of Conscious Gifts under $50, or how you can have a Zero Waste Christmas, a Vegan Christmas, Zero waste swaps for eco-friendlier presents, How to dress both fashionably AND sustainably this holiday season or even a how you can have a Conversation about Climate Change. Also, do you know which GREEN SPICE you are yet? Find out now!