Happy Veggies - Wanchai

Overall rating: 4.0 stars 10 Reviews
Hong Kong's first non-profit social enterprise vegetarian restaurant. Serves healthy Chinese-style dishes free of MSG and fake meats. Also sells a small selection of groceries. Cash only for orders under HK$300. Free Wi-Fi. Menu in Chinese and English. Kitchen closes before 10pm. Wan Chai MRT Exit A2. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Chinese
1/F, Bayfield Building, 99 Hennessy Rd, Wanchai
Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong

Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm, 6:30pm-10:00pm

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accepts credit cards


First Review by sglcklch
  • mostly-vegetarian

Friendly staff - good cause - so-so food

Posted on 10 / 10 / 2015

Had lunch at this place on a random weekday during peak hours. Very crowded but the set lunch was fine. It is quite greasy though....

Had dinner on another occasion. No set dinner offered so one has to order a-la-carte. Had the steamed mushroom rice but it was very plain. I guess it is not a dish to be order on its own. Fairly pricey for a pot of steamed rice at only slightly below a hundred.

In general it is a good place to go for lunch, but there will be a lot of other choices in the area for dinner. The restaurant runs on a good cause which does worth supporting though!

Pros: supporting a good cause
Cons: A bit pricey for dinner
  • vegetarian

reasonable weekday set lunch

Posted on 08 / 28 / 2015

on days when i don't pack lunch, i usually alternate between happy veggies and liza veggies (both in wanchai) for their reasonably priced set lunches at hkd45.

a plus point for happy veggies is that its weekly lunch menu is uploaded online (chinese only though, http://www.happyveggies.hk/樂農灣仔午市套餐.html), so i can plan accordingly. what's also helpful is that at its menu selection area are samples of what's on its daily menu. i have also seen the manager patiently explaining in english to non-cantonese-speakers what each dish is and how the ordering system works.

on the whole, lunch options are decent and there's a good range of veg/egg/soy choices. they use less salt/sugar/oil and no msg, which, while others may consider make the dishes somewhat bland, suits me just fine. although they do not use processed mock meats, some dishes contain "生根/根片“ (gluten). just avoid those if they're not to your taste.

as with most popular hong kong eateries, it's very noisy and crowded during lunch hour and you'll most likely have to share a table with others.

room for improvement:

- i recommend avoiding option 6 (時日鮮菜 or daily veg), as from my experience it's usually very limpid, unappetising lettuce with some bak choy thrown in occasionally.

- their soups are purely liquid, devoid of ingredients and taste the same almost every time i visit, despite having different daily descriptions

- wait staff are too efficient in clearing dishes, so much so that it can feel like they're rushing you off

- it's particularly grating when staff drag chairs while preparing for dinner seating arrangements. i understand they're hearing-impaired, but perhaps they could be advised to lift the chairs rather than drag them.

- window tables too high for eating comfortably

- as of august 2015, a non-smiley lunch time counter staff member who seems more intent to fiddle with her handphone than take orders (the other staff are very friendly though and communicating through smiles and sign language has not been a problem).

if it seems like i have a lot of complaints, it's because i support this social enterprise and go there often enough to make these collected observations. i'm especially encouraged to see groups of intellectually challenged individuals dining there as a field trip.

if these points can be improved, it would certainly bump up the experience a notch. in any event, i'd recommend this place if you're in wanchai during lunchtime on a weekday.

Pros: weekly lunch menus available online, social enterprise (hearing impaired), can pay by octopus card
Cons: limpid leafy vegetables (lunch), insipid soup, noisy and crowded during lunch hour, sulky counter staff during lunchtime
  • vegetarian

Social enterprise restaurants

Posted on 10 / 13 / 2014

This medium-sized restaurant is on the 1st floor and mainly employs hearing-impaired staff and also some retirees.

The extensive menu is in both Chinese and English and there are pictures as well so you know what you are ordering!

There was a member of staff on hand who could speak English in case of any difficulties.

There was so much to choose from and all the dishes we ordered were very tasty. The ma-po tofu could be chosen with your desired degree of spiciness, the fruity fried rice was good and the steamed dumplings were filled with veggie. The tofu balls were a little bland on the inside but the crispy salt and pepper breadcrumb exterior made up for it.

Including tea, the total cost was $290 for 4 dishes, very reasonable for Hong Kong.

Their mantra is less salt, sugar and oil, no MSG or processed vegetables.

We went on a Saturday evening at 8.30 pm and the restaurant was half full, though the kitchen closes at 9pm. They thrown in a free dessert as well.

It's taken me ages to come to Happy Veggies, will definitely be back again.

Pros: Social enterprise, Large menu, Tasty

  • vegan

Happy Veggies, Hong Kong

Posted on 06 / 28 / 2014

Firstly thanks to the reviewers below who advised about this place being a social enterprise employing staff with hearing impairment. This provided a decent idea of what to expect and on within one minute of being there, I completely get what this place is all about.

I was welcomed at the door by a gentlemen and then shown to a table by a waitress who offered me a menu. I then went to ask what was egg free / dairy free. The waitress then invited back the gentlemen from before who understood verbal English. I was suggested to have a tofu mushroom dish which I duly ordered. The waitress brought this over and I ploughed in. It was delicious.

The waitresses all seem to communicate with each other in sign language so things work slickly when they talk among themselves. With the guy who can understand English (and no doubt verbal Cantonese) to bridge communication over to the waitresses, the system works well. In its no different from having a team of waitresses with perfect hearing and having the guy who spoke English to bridge the comms gap for speaking English.

This place is the fruits of a fabulous idea that is clearly being inclusive and providing experience and skills to people. Its a terrific place as far as I am concerned and one I am more than happy to support. I'd also suggest to others to give it a try.

There's an assortment of different awards on the wall ranging from the Time Out good eating guide to a family friendliness award to an award re social enterprise, and others.
Updated from previous review on Saturday March 15, 2014

Pros: Vegan friendly, A superb enterprise for social inclusion
  • herbivore

Happy People - canteen style food - low prices

Posted on 08 / 10 / 2013

Be patient!

Expect Happy Veggies to be packed with people at lunchtime.

The staff & volunteers are continuously being trained.

I have helped a little with table clearing when they have been crazily busy.

Some English spoken - specify if you are vegan & stress 'no milk whatsoever' - the menu is not to be relied on 100%.

This is a social enterprise.

Very reasonable prices.

Tasty simple dishes.

  • vegan

Uncomfortably busy

Posted on 07 / 04 / 2013

I went there during lunch and the place was super busy as their set menu is very cheap. There is no signage in english and after looking a bit lost, one of their staff members pointed out that the place is run cafeteria style and one can create his set menu from 6 tiny numbered dishes with no english labels. All the seats were taken up, people were in a haste and it generally didn't feel very inviting. I didn't feel like waiting, so I went elsewhere. I can't comment on the food as I didn't eat there in the end, but don't expect a relaxed lunch during office lunchtime hours.

Pros: Vegetarian, Cheap
Cons: Super busy, No english menu, Small portions
  • vegetarian

Nothing special

Posted on 01 / 07 / 2013

Good food but nothing very special. Some interesting menu choices. There are too many vegetarian restaurants in HK for this one to really make your heart race. Depressing stripper area close by.

Cons: Price
  • vegan

Nice staff, decent enough food

Posted on 09 / 24 / 2012

Near Wang Chai subway. Went their twice. Want to support the place as they are employing deaf people and others with disabilities, but food is just little better than average--more what I would expect in Shanghai than HK. Menu uses plenty of mushrooms. Portions at least are decent value. Wait staff is friendly and helpful& speak English. They brought out special birthday cakes and moonpies for us as a special treat, but sorry to say, that were not all that good.

Pros: helpful waitstaff, social enterprise
Cons: deserts are not strong suit
  • vegetarian

Go there!

Posted on 06 / 23 / 2011

We went to Happy Veggies in lunch time. You chose 3 meals for lunch for 40 HK-dollars and the waitor was very helpful in translating the alternatives for us. The food was very good and it was a nice experience to go there.

Pros: cheap, friendly staff, nice food
  • vegan

Great food and for a good cause too

Posted on 02 / 22 / 2011

First things first, kudos to the owners as they hire people with hearing impairment to help them with self-reliance. What's more, they promote fair trade so they also have a small selection of those groceries for sale.

The big heart aside, food was delicious and healthy at the same time. I was very pleased with the fact that they only use natural foods to prepare their dishes, no fake meat, none, nada, which is a breath of fresh air compared to most other Chinese vegetarian restaurants in town.

As we were here for the first time, we were recommended four of their most popular items on the menu. First was the taro fish: a classic dish made with mashed taro, shaped in a fish mold, pan- or deep fried, and usually served with a sweet and sour sauce. Theirs was pan-fried and was very yummy, slightly crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, went well with their homemade tomato sauce. Second dish we had was steamed dumplings with dry pickled Chinese greens and water chestnuts. The filling combination itself was pretty creative, was mildly sweet and had a little crunch to it because of the water chestnuts. Then we moved on to another classic: braised vegetables in a red fermented bean curd sauce served in a clay pot. For those who are not familiar, it usually contains assorted vegetables (napa cabbage, carrots, celery, just to name a few), tofu products, cellophane noodles, and some kind of mushrooms. I have always loved this sauce and enjoyed this one as well.

The last dish was the baked rice with pumpkins and taro, which was also the one that caused some confusion. Obviously eggs were marked on the menu, but not dairy. I told them to leave out the eggs and asked if they also used dairy in the preparation, they said no. When it came it was covered in cheese, so I explained to one of the staff again and he kindly exchanged it for me. Vegans, make sure to inquire about dairy ingredients because they are not indicated on the menu. Back to the dish, it was sooooo good, the hint of ginger really spiced it up, but then again I love everything ginger! Dessert was sweet osmanthus jelly and was freebies.

The setting was clean and, like most Chinese restaurants, on the bright side, not much for ambiance. But who goes for Chinese for that anyway? Serving size was generous, which left us stuffed till the next day (I must admit though we might have ordered a tad too much); still we felt great knowing that we helped others and society as a whole.

Pros: yummy healthy food, amiable staff, the idea behind
Cons: dairy not marked


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Last updated: 2015/03/09


Added: 2011/02/13


Added by: sglcklch