‘NECTAR’ takes root in Hollywood Road

The integrative dining concept from celebrated chef Peggy Chan advances plant-based cuisine with progressive tasting menus

108 Hollywood Road in Hong Kong is an address synonymous with culinary innovation, forward-thinking nutrition and healthy eating. For four years, it was home to the much-loved Grassroots Pantry, the pioneering restaurant founded by chef Peggy Chan that introduced local diners to the possibilities of plant-based cuisine. Advancing this legacy, the address is now occupied by Nectar, Peggy Chan’s next-generation restaurant.

Combining her formal training in the culinary arts and her mastery of raw, functional foods, Peggy Chan serves nutrient-dense, seasonal tasting menus using locally sourced organic ingredients. During each dinner, Nectar guests have the choice of a five, eight or 12-course tasting menu. Original Grassroots is the five-course option, while Integrative comprises eight courses and Edible Solutions includes 12 individual dishes.

Refined and inventive, the seasonal tasting menus are available for dinner daily, except Tuesdays. Celebrating the versatility of locally and regionally sourced organic products, the five-course Original Grassroots tasting menu (HK$680 per person) showcases Grassroots Pantry’s foundational dishes. Highlights include Young Coconut, Sweet Corn and Aji Amarillo Pepper, which introduces guests to the surprising ability of plant-based ingredients to mimic ocean textures and flavours. The Signature Mixed Mushroom Linguini is given extra love with freshly made in-house vegan pasta tossed with maitake mushroom and shavings of summer truffles.Accompanying the seasonal figs picked fresh from Zen Organic Farm, chef Peggy Chan has created a Raw Cashew, Medjool Date and Madagascan Vanilla Cream. Guests choosing the Original Grassroots menu also have the option of an additional Nectar Cheese Course comprising a selection of probiotic-rich, cultured and gently aged animal dairy alternatives.

For a more extensive dining experience, the eight-course Integrative Tasting Menu (HK$880 per person) reflects Peggy’s belief in the healing nature of plant-based cuisine. An amuse-bouche of Cashew Halloumi Sigara Borek leads the experience, followed by the very popular and refined Raw Tomato Tuna, Jicama and Nori Temaki. For the fourth course, Peggy’s rendition of Bak Kut Teh comprises truffle wontons in lieu of pork ribs, creating layers of flavours through the use of traditional healing Chinese ingredients. Following the Nectar Cheese Course, diners can experience Young Ginger Ice Cream, complemented with papaya and fermented ricotta, and an immune-boosting play of Moringa Cream, Banana Kefir Syrup, Zero-Waste Banana Flour Sponge and homemade vegan and gluten-free Kaitafi pastry.

The Edible Solutions 12-course Tasting Menu (HK$1,380 per person) draws inspiration from Project Drawdown, a global initiative to reduce carbon emissions and reverse global warming. Designed to encourage diners to rethink the impact their food choices have on the planet, the menu includes Food Waste, a version of the classic Thai snack Miang Kham featuring the oft-forgotten parts of a banana plant – the blossom and the skin –wrapped in betel leaves. Clean Energy is made up of black corn, ‘butter not butter’, and togarashi while Plastic, an exact replica of slow-cooked lobster bisque, uses roasted Shimeji mushroom, annatto seeds and saffron, served alongside a Bulb Eggplant sous vide and baked en papillotte. Each tasting menu comes with an option for an elixir pairing or wine pairing.

A three-course set menu is offered during weekday lunches, except Tuesdays. The weekly-rotated set lunch menu includes a starter and a choice of mains between the nutrient-dense Weekly Whole Bowl or the inventive Taiwanese Kelp Noodle with bak kut teh and burdock floss. Completing the experience with a sweet finale is the Mango Granita with coconut custard and crispy oats.

 

On weekends and public holidays, brunch extends to a free flow and rotational menu that showcases organic, locally — and sustainably – sourced ingredients in creative ways. The revolving menu focuses on brunch classics, reimagined with appetising and nutritious twists. Peggy’s interpretation of the quintessential Caesar salad, for example, boasts butterhead leaves immersed with dehydrated shiitake bacon, 14-day cultured parmesan, and raw cashew Caesar. Other dishes include the BBQ Popcorn with celery slaw and cashew sour cream, Tikka, comprising chutney, and queso bianco and Koji Carrot Crepe topped with pine nut custard. Wholesome desserts take centre stage at Nectar with a range that includes Waffles with chia jam and ice cream, Mango Chia Seed Pudding and Warm Zero Waste Banana Cake.