Contemporary Korean vegetarian restaurant Soil to Soul is welcoming the Year of the Ox 2021 with a unique ‘temple food’ twist on Hong Kong’s traditional festive ‘Poon Choi’ (big bowl feast).
Two healthier and lighter versions of the auspicious Chinese New Year specialty, Korean Soy Bean and Korean Sweet & Spicy, are styled for family gatherings of 6 to 8 and available for takeaway pick-up from now through Chinese New Year until 28 February 2021, priced HK$1,988.
Just like traditional Hong Kong poon choi, auspicious ingredients pack the festive celebration. Soil to Soul’s variation of the theme is inspired by the iconic sharing pot with a classic Korean twist and is not only vegetarian, but also adheres to enlightened ancient ‘temple food’ philosophy.
Respectful of nature, all natural characteristics and flavour of ingredients are retained, similar to the ‘Farm to Table’ process. Temple cuisine also strictly avoids five pungent ingredients believed to distract minds with impure thoughts – garlic, green onion, leek, chive and onion.
Soil to Soul’s poon choi comes with two sauces, Korean Soy Bean made from signature soy sauce marinated for over ten years and Korean Sweet & Spicy. The feast of refreshing new flavours showcases some of the restaurant’s signature specialties such as Tofu Skin Pocket and Radish Dumplings.
Image: Soil to Soul Sweet & Spicy Mushroom with Assorted Vegetables
Image: Soil to Soul Blessed Tofu Skin Pocket Stuffed with Sweet Potato Noodle
Especially auspicious are Blessed Tofu Skin Pockets Stuffed with Sweet Potato Noodle & Napa Cabbage, referencing prosperity by resembling old-fashioned coin purses. Elongated Zucchini Noodles are a metaphor for happiness and longevity, while the Cantonese name for Korean Rice Cake, ‘leen goh’, offers the promise of reaching greater heights.
Korean Radish Dumplings are commonly enjoyed with family and friends during Chinese New Year, during the winter when radishes are best in season. Fresh seasonal specialties also include Shiitake, Oyster Mushroom, King Oyster Mushroom, Enoki Mushroom and Monkey Head Mushroom, Pan-fried Korean Tofu, Braised Korean Radish, Sweet Potato Noodles, Beansprouts, Lotus Root Layer-stuffed with Mushroom, Cabbage Kimchi, Ginkgo Nut and Red, Green & Yellow Paprika.
Image: Soul to Soul Chinese New Year Poon Choi
“Poon choi represents unity, which is much needed after such a year for all of us in 2020,” said Executive Chef Gu Jin Kwang, a ‘World Master Chef’ and certified specialist in the eco-friendly, vegan food philosophy. “With our uniquely vegetarian poon choi, Soil to Soul now sends blessings to everyone, wishing Hong Kong a great new year of good health and fortune.”
Mindful that just as the body and mind, humans and nature are one, Soil to Soul’s philosophy additionally abides by a righteous natural order with a ‘humble, grateful heart’, eating only as much as needed for minimal waste without polluting the environment or harming nature. Even air-freighted emissions are minimised by sourcing all vegetarian ingredients locally, with the exception of unique Korean and premium international specialties.
Soil to Soul’s poon chois are available only for takeaway pick-up, for orders at least 5 days in advance from the restaurant at K11 MUSEA in Tsim Sha Tsui East.
For stay-at-home celebrations this year, a special offer of 40% discount is also on popular dishes on the a la carte menu for takeaway from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – including Korean Fried Rice, Kimchi Pancake, Sweet & Spicy Mushroom with Assorted Vegetables, Jap Chae Roll, and Pan-fried Burdock & Tofu with Seasonal Vegetables, along with desserts of Plant-based Pancake with Ginseng Syrup, and Traditional Korean Rice Cake & Caramelised Chestnut.
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.