You hear a lot of these terms – ‘organic’, ‘veganism’, ‘gluten free diet’ etc. – and these are not just mere marketing lingos. With so much focus on health & wellness around, the world is moving towards cruelty-free food alternatives. But what choice do we have when our taste buds are addicted to juiciness of meat? Welcome to the world of plant-based meats – they look exactly like one, will soothe your palate but are made out of plants!
Two brands – Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are transforming Hong Kong’s massive wave of vegetarian diet. The popular meatless burgers are now making its place in every restaurant where the creative options go far beyond the expected veggie burger. But what makes both the plant-based brands – Beyond meat and Impossible Foods different from each other?
Let’s delve in to them individually:
Beyond Meat: You would have tried or heard about meatless Beyond Burgers. It has been around for quite some time. Backed by who’s who of the west like Leonardo Di Carpio, Bill Gates, Richard Branson – Beyond Meat’s 100% plant-based patty is the vegetarian and eco-friendly alternative. You may want to try out the Beyond Burger at below locations before grabbing on to it to make-at-home.
- Butchers Club Burger offers “Beyond” Classic Burger that consists of Vegan Scotch Bap, Pickled Beetroot Crisps, Vegan Cheddar Cheese, Tomato Slice, Vegan Special Sauce & House made pickles for HKD 120
- Porterhouse offers “Beyond” Vegan Burger that consists of Smoked Beetroot, Avocado, Dairy Free Cheese, Lettuce and Brioche Bun for HKD 168
We tried ‘Grilled Beyond Burger’ at Confusion Plant Based Kitchen in Sheung Wan. The Beyond meat patty sat perfectly squeezed between the toasted Rye Sourdough Bun. Topped with Rucola (type of Argula leaves), Purple Onion, Heirloom Tomato, Dijon, Fermented Sauerkraut (finely cut cabbage) and Fermented Smoked Paprika ketchup. The burger was served with Tofu Fries and Vegan Mayo on the side. It would be easy for anyone sitting next on table to assume that one is eating beef. It is less filling as compared to real meat (less fattiness) and not as greasy.
Impossible Foods: While Impossible Foods has entered the Hong Kong market exclusively through restaurants, it plans to make its meat available at supermarkets soon. Their strategy is simply to follow the sampling method – to make consumers know the decadent taste of their plant-based meat through the culinary skills of professionals and then hit the retail space.
We tasted this meat at the launch of six new IMPOSSIBLE® dishes by Dining Concepts. These dishes are available at Alto Bar & Grill, BIZOU American Brasserie, Dear Lilly, and Mama San Restaurant & Bar. When asked how is IMPOSSIBLE® different from Beyond Meat, one of the executive said that the USP that makes their meat different is the presence of ingredient Heme. Heme is an iron-containing molecule that occurs naturally in every single plant and animal. Heme gives your blood its ability to carry oxygen. Watch full-video here for more info.
We tried the Beef-look alike meat with Spinach Picadillo; Bizou spinned in beef-looking-but-not-beef chili topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream; IMPOSSIBLE® Bites made out of curried quinoa, baby asparagus and beetroot puree and Dengdeng Balado – a caramelized plant-based meat, topped with Pounded Chili, Kaffir Lime and Lemon Basil.
Each recipe had its unique flavor. The dish was plated in a creative manner, giving everyone an idea on how this plant-based meat can be cooked, apart from just a burger patty.