Asaya Kitchen is situated on the same floor as the Spa and Wellness Centre of the Rosewood Hotel in Hong Kong. In keeping with the wellness theme of the rest of the floor, the restaurant serves a fusion of healthy Mediterranean and Japanese cuisines, both of which have numerous proven health benefits. The restaurant offers mostly plant-based and vegan options, with a small number of seafood dishes too.
Plant-based diets are certainly having their moment, but the science behind the diet does not indicate that this should be just another short-lived fad diet. Following a plant-based diet means eating mostly fruit, vegetables, grains and pulses, and limiting consumption of animal products and overly processed foods. Plant-based diets are thought to assist in weight loss, and may even reduce your risk of a number of serious health problems, such as heart disease and cancer. What’s more, a plant-based diet is good for the planet, as it reduces our greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption.
Executive Chef at Asaya Kitchen, Renaud Marin, explains that the focus of their menu is “nutrient rich, flavourful, natural food prepared with passion and delicate complexity, and a nod to Mediterranean influences. Health-conscious and sustainable dishes promote local food born out of cultivating the soil and responsibly sourcing from the sea. The goal? To create mindful balance in life and a sense of joy and community at the table”. Marin demonstrates his sustainable approach to eating by sourcing his ingredients as locally as possible. For example, he gets seasonal fruit and vegetables from local farms (organic where possible), and the fish is sourced from the Shun King Fishermen on the Sai Kung Peninsula. And with his combination of Michelin star training and his passion for sustainability, Marin has managed to create an enticing menu of clean, unprocessed foods to excite anyone’s tastebuds.
Rather than the standard ‘starter, main, dessert’, the menu at Asaya Kitchen is grouped based on being “nutrient rich”, from the “garden”, “to share” and “raw”. Their casual breakfast and lunch menus offer mouthwatering dishes such as the Grilled Kai Lan with ricotta, hazelnut and dukkah and the Beetroot Salad with shaved kohirabi, crumbled goats cheese and oregano. During the evening they turn things up a notch, and you are expected to dress more formally. Their dinner menu includes the popular Mushroom Tea, which comes with confit organic egg yolk, soba noodles, sweetcorn and peas, and the Mushroom Carpaccio with citrus dressing, argan oil, poppy seeds and dukkah. By offering a variety of plant-based, seafood and dairy dishes, Asaya Kitchen ensures there is something for everyone.
The restaurant is equally as health conscious when it comes to alcohol. While Asaya Kitchen does not serve spirits, it does have a variety of biodynamic wines, most of which are made on small, organic farms. The natural wines at Asaya Kitchen go through “spontaneous fermentation” which is similar to the fermentation process necessary to make kombucha and sourdough. They explain the benefits of this, “a bottle of natural wine – whether biodynamic or organic – contains a multitude of wild yeasts and gut-healthy bacteria as well as polyphenols – a group of antioxidants proven to improve the beneficial flora populations in our guts leading to health and longevity”.
The restaurant interior has a calm, comfortable feel to it, with a large open kitchen and lots of light. Customers can watch the chefs working with the fresh produce, which is displayed along the work surfaces for all to see. The restaurant offers a luxurious retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, while still offering fantastic views of Hong Kong’s skyline. Asaya Kitchen is the perfect place to sit back and relax, comfortable in the knowledge that what you are eating is both healthy and sustainable.