During this 1.5 years of working at a fine wine/dine magazine when I’ve also started this food blog, this period of time is essentially when I’ve been eating most lavishly — in terms of amounts! A thought struck my mind recently, telling me that the only way to keep on eating nice things is by maintaining a healthy body; and rather than just following a stricter workout routine, why not simultaneously look for places that offer healthy food?
So just in time, my pair of twin sister friends gave a suggestion: MANA! Fast Slow Food. It set foot in Central since mid-2012 and it’s a shame that I’d always walked past it without realizing it’s something special.
Mana is an ancient word that carries the meaning of life-giving force, chi, sacred food, and the connection of minds and soul. Calling itself Fast Slow Food suggests that it’s offering quick, easy meals that are instead made with healthy, local and traditionally grown ingredients. Upon entering, you can either sit at the wall-mounted tables or walk your way up to the second floor to the communal table, where there’s no ceiling above your head so you can look at the sky and enjoy the fresh air when you eat. Food matching with ambiance, quite inspiring.
I’ve been there several times these two months and below are a list of food that I’ve tried:
MANA! Joy (Full: HK$75 / Half: HK$45) – I’ve always returned to this because it has my favourite ingredients — avocado, garlicnaise, tomatoes and mint — in a package 🙂 I feel good after each bite that is clean and fresh, and I think it’s my body thanking me for eating well. Like all the other flatbread choices, it is organic oven-baked flatbread topped with Za’atar.
MANA! Prana (Full: HK$85 / Half: HK$50) – with portebello mushrooms, slow-dried tomatoes, cucumber, fresh sprouts and mint. Needless to say, it’s a great option too that is more pungent due to the ingredients used. Prana in Hindi means “life-giving force”, similar to the name Mana itself.
Fries (HK$30) – handcut potatoes tossed in sea salt, a simple, comforting and fingerlickingly delicious snack. Though is a relatively not-so-healthy option, I still always order it as my little “side dish”. And of course, I always pick garlicnaise (Mmmmmmmm) over the ordinary ketchup.
Babylon Shake (HK$55) – this is one of, if not the most frequently-ordered drinks that incorporates bananas, fig, tahini, soy milk and cinnamon. It has a super thick texture that pleases your empty stomach in no time, perfect for those (like myself) who’s often bothered by the urge of snacking even after a normal-sized meal.
The only thing that I dislike about Babylon is the crazy amounts of cinnamon because I really don’t like cinnamon… MANA!‘s staff commented on my post on Instagram though that I should order Inka Shake next time 🙂
Burger (no photo, sorry) (HK$70) – it is haloumi cheese, tofu, roasted veggies, portebello mushrooms, pickled cucumber in a wholewheat bun. Tasting as robust and delectable as normal burgers with meat, but absolutely guilt-free.
In short, this place proves that healthy (vegetarian) food are not necessarily dull and boring. Treat yourself well, notice a difference — physically and spiritually.
MANA! Fast Slow Food
92 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
tel. +852 28511611