Local vegetarian restaurants often give an impression of traditional Chinese styled cuisine, or a connection to certain religious beliefs. However, with increasing concerns on issues such as limited global natural resources and increasing food waste, the trend of vegetarian diet has become prevalent and attracted more young people. Ahimsa Buffet is a vegetarian buffet restaurant founded by a group of young entrepreneurs in 2015. In 4 years of time, it has developed from one restaurant to three branches now. It launched its fourth signature restaurant in the Graham neighbourhood and even injected new concepts and menu choices for Hong Kong community.
Less is More
Ahimsa Buffet adheres to the principles of less sugar, less oil, and less salt in food preparation. Co-founder James Yeung Ying-pong said that one of the reasons why the restaurant has gained market recognition rapidly is the unique features of self-service dining experiences. Customers experience all stages of their dining process, including food selection, food portion and cutlery returns, as well as the food waste and rubbish disposal by categories. Such model has effectively encouraged the customers to reduce food waste and treasure food, leading a good example for many similar restaurants to follow suit.
New Concept for Graham Branch
As Ahimsa Buffet enters its fifth year, James highlighted the new vegetarian catering model to be applied at Graham branch marking the milestone of Ahimsa’s development. Unlike other Ahimsa branches, the interior design of Graham branch is infused with a private club ambience. Apart from inviting young vegetarian chefs from hotels to create vegan fusion cuisines, it also provides more menu options with dim sum, desserts, and afternoon tea snacks. When evening comes, it will be serving omakase-styled vegetarian dinner, whereby chefs will create exclusive menus for customers. While introducing innovative concepts, the restaurant continues to promote vegetarianism and environmental protection and embrace community inclusiveness.
When Food Improves Your Body and Spirits
"In fact, promoting vegetarianism not only changes our dietary habits, going vegan also changes our life attitudes and the ways we handle things and interact with people. Take me for example, after following a vegetarian diet for more than a year, my gastrointestinal upset and eczema issues were improved, and I began to take things easy with a more peaceful mind. I complain less, and become more considerate, and do what I believe.”
Ahimsa Buffet has been staunchly promoting environmental protection, community care and social inclusion. It is reflected from their actions and ways of working: the upcycling items used for the restaurant’s décor, their activities such as food sharing, food waste collection, and the ARTour project. It collaborates with local farmers to source cooking ingredients, hires hearing-impaired people, and has nurtured young staff to be more embracing to the environment and the people around them.