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Contemporary Korean Vegetarian Restaurant ‘Soil to Soul’ Launches “Beyond Vegan” Afternoon Tea Experience Perfectly In-Time for the Festive Season

December 7, 2020 Dining No Comments Email Email

Contemporary Korean vegetarian restaurant ‘Soil to Soul’ has launched an elegant ‘Beyond Vegan’ afternoon tea experience perfectly in-time for the festive season at K11 MUSEA.

Though ‘Soil to Soul’ is inspired by ancient ‘temple food’ cuisine, the ‘Beyond Vegan’ set is no mere humble nourishment for monks – but a delicate assembly of charming, bite-sized savoury and sweet offerings curated by Executive Chef Gu Jin Kwang.

Launching on 5 December 2020 for dine-in or takeaway, ‘Beyond Vegan’ is so exclusive that only ten highly sought-after afternoon tea sets are available a day, and only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays through December, extending to daily in January.

Four delicate savoury and six sweet treats with Korean herbal tea are on the unique temple-style set menu, unlike any other afternoon tea in Hong Kong, served from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at HK$498 for two (plus 10% service charge).

Eminently photogenic in a monastic-style, two-layered wooden box tray, petite savoury snacks present Soil to Soul’s new specialties ‘Kimbap’ Korean Seaweed Rice RollChilli Paste Pancake Roll with Fresh SaladDeep-fried Veggies, and a showcase of Chef Gu’s specialty home-made pickles that he has fermented in soy sauce for 10 years at a Korean temple, Rice Ball with Assorted Jangajji.

An array of traditional sweet, Korean-style vegan treats features crunchy and chewy Korean Traditional Donut; deliciously rich and decadent French-inspired pastry Soy Bean Paste Madeleine; dainty ‘got-gam hodu mari’ Walnut & Dried Persimmon Roll, once served to ancient royalty; Assorted Korean Mochi traditional sweets; crunchy ‘popping’ puffed rice Korean Rice Biscuit and crisp, nutty, sweet & salty Sesame Crackers.

In addition to herbal tea, additional drink-pairing options include Korea’s renowned Baekmidang coffee (HK$38) and a discount on plant-based mocktails at HK$48 for Duyu (strawberry, pear, soy milk), Sinsunhan (fresh berries, lemon juice, soda), Guaba (guava juice, apple, lime, soda water) and O-yee (fresh cucumber, apple juice, mint).

For stay-home celebrations, a special offer is also on pick-up takeaways, with a discount of 40% on the a la carte menu.

As a certified specialist in the eco-friendly, vegan food philosophy using naturally cultivated ingredients, internationally-experienced ‘World Master Chef’ Gu Jin Kwang introduces a contemporary interpretation of temple-style cuisine to Hong Kong at the helm of Soil to Soul.

Since recently opening in August, the enlightened restaurant presents a contemporary and more liberal interpretation of strictest ‘temple food’ cuisine, yet still adheres to fundamental environmentally-friendly principles.

Similar to the ‘Farm to Table’ process, from growing and gathering to preparation of dishes, all or most ingredients are either naturally farmed or foraged from nature, with natural characteristics and flavour retained.

“Following great response and feedback from guests, we now extend our menu to a delightful afternoon tea of Korean vegan sweet and savoury treats in this unique, exquisite venue overlooking Victoria Harbour,” said Master Chef Gu.

In accordance with temple food philosophy, a minimalistic diet is encouraged, eating only as much as needed for minimal waste and environmental pollution. Even vegetarian ingredients, with the exception of unique Korean specialties, are sourced locally, to avoid air-freighted emissions.

 Soil to Soul strictly avoids five pungent ingredients believed to distract minds with impure thoughts – garlic, green onion, leek, chive and onion – adhering to a righteous natural order with a ‘humble, grateful heart,’ without polluting or harming nature, mindful that just as the body and mind, humans and nature are one.

Purified essential ingredients are also incorporated into Chef Gu’s specialty of fermenting and preserving seasonal vegetables and fruits from local Hong Kong organic farms – for pickles, traditional Korean staple kimchi and his own handcrafted Korean-style sauces.

In line with the healthy vegetarian trend, Soil to Soul features a modern twist on contemporary Korean vegetarian recipes using natural and plant-based ingredients with a wide variety of a la carte specialties, lunch sets and 6 to 8 course dinner tasting menus, alongside contemporary bar snacks and specialty drinks including biodynamic and organic wines, traditional soju and soju-inspired cocktails.

Drink specialties include biodynamic and organic wines, traditional soju and soju-inspired cocktails (HK$98-108) such as Apple Sojutini and Jang-ajji.  A wide range of by-the-glass options are also available on premium Champagne, New and Old World wines and exclusive Korean Makgeolli rice wine rarely found in Hong Kong.

Seating 106, the refined 3,380 sq. ft. restaurant and bar incorporates elements of wood and earth inspired by the Chinese philosophy of “Wuxing” – the five phases of fire, water, wood, metal and earth.  Using wood flooring and seating as foundation, a spacious interior stimulates air circulation and glass enhances space, encouraging interaction between light and air, and an overall ‘soul to roots’ concept bringing peace of mind.

An oblong-shaped bar with spectacular harbour view is the key focus, styled as a contemporary Korean oasis blending traditional and modern with a touch of theatrical intimacy.  Three VIP rooms, including one with harbour view, offer ultimate privacy and exclusivity.

Soil to Soul is located next to the Avenue of Stars at 704, 7/F, K11 MUSEA, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Hong Kong – operates daily from 12noon – 11pm with car parking at K11 MUSEA car park.

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