Last updated: 8 April 2019
Address: 18/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wanchai
Phone number: (852) 2387-7168
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM; 6:00 PM - 10:30 PM; closed on Sundays
Stepping out from the elevator, you are immediately greeted by the dark wood wine cellar type setting, classy yet cozy, and most importantly, the smile from the team behind Emporio Antico. They are here to bring you the nicest hearty dining experience in town.
The menu is very well designed and thought through by Chef Mike Boyle to bring out the best in each and every ingredient that he has handpicked for his dishes. They are not just there to present you with delicious gourmet food. They also did all the heavy lifting for you to make sure that having a lovely night out does not mean taking a toll on your body or the planet. They focus on healthy, ethically sourced and sustainable ingredients and offer plenty of vegan/vegetarian, sugar free and gluten free options to suit the tastes of even the most health conscious diners. They also make pretty much everything in-house even for the vegan options! So no more fake meat or processed food. Just freshly made healthy yet luscious dishes.
Having a conversation with Chef Mike on the sources of ingredients, the seasonality of fresh produce and the gastronomical as well as nutritional values behind his deliberate choice and combination of ingredients can actually be one of the highlights of your experience. I did learn a lot about different types of produce and their specificities during my conversation with Chef Mike at the dinner!
Three hours passed very quickly for us as we kept filling ourselves with hearty fresh food but no guilt for us at all as we had just been filling ourselves with the gifts from nature! Starting with Market Green Salad with freshly picked greens and the freshest dressing imaginable. “Fondue” with roasted garlic and rosemary that completely blew our mind away as it was so creamy and rich. Roasted Vegetable Salad with grilled squash and baby carrots with generous shaved black truffles on top was another highlight as each ingredient complements one another perfectly.
Then we had Mushroom Soup with Black Truffles - a pure burst of flavours and smoothness without the need for any dairy. Just many different types of mushrooms all blended together, each giving their unique aroma and taste profile.
Then came the Portobello Bourguignon that deserved a moment of silence just to savour that juice bursting out from each bite. You could just taste the heart and passion that went into each little piece of mushroom. It took a very long time to slowly bring out and enhance the taste profile of the mushroom. The Roasted Celery Root was another highlight of the evening. Having never tried that before, I was very surprised at how versatile it was and how everything just fit so well together - the beetroot “spaghetti”, the salsa verde, the roasted garlic crema, all fit together to showcase the flavours in each plant personage without overpowering the others. We also made sure that we gave their truffle fries a go and that certainly did not disappoint!
A nice date night wouldn’t be complete without satisfying the sweet tooth. The Dark Chocolate Brownie made with sweet potatoes, as well as the homemade chocolate “ice-cream” was just the perfect finish for the meal.
Having tried my very best to describe the insane experience I had with this vegan dinner menu, I am still so certain that I have not done justice to these amazing dishes created by Chef Mike. You really do have to go and try every dish yourself to understand the amusement we experienced.
Their vegan dinner menu changes every month and is available everyday (and even lunch) as long as you call in advance to book. They also have an a la carte menu, changing every two months, with plenty of vegan options to satisfy any SocialVegan foodie.
Before we all dash to try out all these lovely dishes, let’s take a moment to dive into the story behind Emporio Antico!
Tell us about Emporio Antico
"If I were to sum up Emporio Antico as easily as I could, I would describe it as “non-pretentious, delicious food in an upscale yet warm environment.” Oh, and the music is fantastic, “Motown” is the best.”, said Mike Boyle, Executive Chef and Partner.
Emporio Antico re-launched their brand in September 2018, giving diners a way to live healthier, eat better and enjoy a night out….all in a lush setting.
The new cuisine at Emporio Antico will focus on healthy, ethically sourced and sustainable products. There are very vegetarian friendly menu items as well as sugar free and gluten free desserts. Diners can expect great tasting, affordable food, set in a comfortable yet high-end environment. The menu will reflect the type of food that is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle while the environment will make you forget about life’s little worries.
The idea behind the relaunch of Emporio Antico is pretty straightforward, build the foundation of health with fresh products, accentuate the natural flavours of the ingredients and provide excellent service in a beautiful setting.
We hope diners will come in looking for a really nice experience, a satisfying meal, vegetarian or not, and have a really nice dessert that happens to be free of refined sugars. At the end of the meal, we want our guests to realise that everything they’ve eaten has been healthy. The starters were fresh and light, the mains a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats, the vegetables were cleaned with ozonated water (HINT: it’s a secret of high-end Japanese sushi restaurants) and nothing was pre-packaged, it was all made in-house.
Our aim is for Emporio Antico to be one of Hong Kong’s first “upscale” healthy dining restaurants – “upscale” in design, not in price. I genuinely believe that restaurant owners have a responsibility to their guests to provide the best products possible with the best service possible at an affordable price. We hope that guests dine at Emporio Antico because they love the food, appreciate the service and enjoy the environment.
Located in Wan Chai, Emporio Antico presents an upscale country villa design. Emphasis was placed on the roots of the company; as a fresh produce supplier and importer to Hong Kong, installing used farming equipment and black and white photo’s as show pieces for display. Emporio Antico wants the diner to enjoy the dark woods, brass and white table clothes in the foreground while noting the subtle nods to the rustic origins of the company. By using a backdrop of the well-used farm tools and fresh vegetables that line the window, the diners can stay connected to their food experience. Emporio Antico is a unique restaurant that has something for everyone, from strict vegetarians to meat lovers to the caviar and truffle connoisseurs. Emporio Antico is a place to get a great tasting meal, which just happens to be good for your health.
Emporio Antico’s lunch features a semi-buffet starting from a low HKD 138 with options such as gluten free pasta, whole grain risotto or a black truffle burger on a gluten free bun as add on’s.
The average price for dinner, not including wine, comes in at around the HKD 400 per person mark. Tailor-made menus can also be arranged for private events and parties.
Why did you choose to become a SocialVegan Eatery Partner
The outstanding reason to partner with SocialVegan for us is the genuine nature of the page. What I mean is, you aren’t looking for freebies or handouts just because you have a successful blog, you genuinely care about your followers and want to give them the best information that you can. We were fortunate enough for you to dine with us and I am pleased that you enjoyed the food. As a chef, I struggle with the acceptance of compliments most of the time. Most of the time it feels like lip service from the guests, “oh, it’s great, really good.” It is something that I have done myself when I’ve been dining out, just say “it’s fine, all is good with the meal” and then never go back because the food was shit. So when I stray a bit from our normal format and venture into a field like the vegan forum, it is a challenge for me. Not necessarily because of the canvas (vegetables), but more so for the guests. As vegans your options are quite limited in Hong Kong, so when you dine out, it had better be worth your money. Not just the value to dollar aspect of the dinner but also the flavor and satisfaction of the overall experience. I recognize and understand that, and as the chef/partner of Emporio Antico, it is very important to me to exceed your expectations on both the food and the overall experience. Vegans and the Vegan community deserve to have a plant-based date night in an upscale environment and we want to be the restaurant that the vegan community turns to when they want to have a nice night out.