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Respond to Review of Soland
by sfvoyage

Review: Private dining is popular in Hong Kong, and I have to say Soland belongs to a new group of "hidden dining"! It's not easy to find. When you turn onto Gilman's Bazaar off Queen's Road Central, look for the immediate small alley to the left. There is absolutely no signage, on the street, the corner, the building itself. You'll see an old walk-up building, still with no signage. Once you start walking up the stairs, you'll see a small "Soland" sign on the mail boxes. Continue walking up 4 levels to 3/F, and you'll find Soland. It's in a converted tiny apartment. All the customers at lunch today were HK women. Later, a couple of men came. The food is really boring and bland. There is no choice: just one plate of rice, a little lettuce and mixed veggie. They advertise that everything is vegan and healthy, no deep frying, no stir frying even! Supposedly they use coarse salt, but I couldn't taste any evidence of that. I can cook much better at home. The menu lists a choice of Set A & B, the difference being that set A comes with soup or drink (HK$50), and set B comes with both soup and drink (HK$55). Of course, set B is a better deal, but you don't get a choice. You'll be served soup before ordering, and later you'll be asked for your choice of drink, which is included. The only other decision you'll make is either tomato or curry sauce with the main plate (for today, anyway). The waitress was pushing their dessert big time afterwards for an additional HK$35, I think. I think this type of restaurants serves a purpose in HK, where there is limited vegetarian, let alone vegan, options, and most local Chinese veggie restaurants serve greasy MSG-laden Cantonese food with a lot of mock meats. Still, the food here is so bland and uninspired that, were I not on vacation, there'd have been no reason to eat here. I can cook much better and equally healthy vegan food at home in a matter of minutes. By the way, the soup today was tomato soup, bland and thin. The drink we chose was the fruit smoothie, also bland and thin. Reservation is preferred; they can't always accommodate walk-ins. Only lunch is served from 12:00-15:00; closed Sat, Sun and holidays.

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