Shanghai: Healthy Eats at Hunter Gatherer

Meal at Hunter Gatherer

Meal at Hunter Gatherer

One of my friends recently asked me if I knew of any gluten-free restaurants in Shanghai. I had zero clue, but I suggested Hunter Gatherer (308 Anfu Rd; 安福路308号) as it had been on my radar as a healthy option. It didn’t feel right recommending a restaurant that I had never tried before so I decided to check it off my list.

Grocery Concept Store

Grocery Concept Store

Hunter Gatherer is a two-story hybrid grocery store/fast casual eatery. Throughout the store, you’ll find fresh organic veggies, artisanal sauces, healthy snacks and even a DIY peanut butter and almond butter machines. It’s really quite impressive and reminded me of Green & Safe in the French Concession. Besides the myriad of groceries, you can also sit down for a quick meal.

Pre-made Meals

Pre-made Meals

For 62 RMB, you can have a Chipotle-style, nourishing bowl. My understanding is that the menu rotates based on a seasonal produce, but you start with a base, add a protein and then pick two veggie sides. My plate had a quinoa and spinach base, oven-roasted chicken, brussels spouts and an apple & kale salad. For 20 RMB more, you can add a bowl of soup.

Meal Options at Hunter Gatherer

Meal Options at Hunter Gatherer

It’s not a huge portion so if you tend to eat more, I’d recommend getting a bowl of soup or saving room for one of their baked goods. The food is a solid meal for a fresh and healthy option. The chicken was very tender and actually moist and I ended up like the brussels sprouts best out of my assortment plate. It’s not terribly flavorful food, but they have a wide variety of different homemade sauces that you can use to liven up your bowl (their hot sauce definitely had some heat).

Hunter Gatherer Seating Area

Hunter Gatherer Seating Area

I like that there are more healthy options in Shanghai and hope the trend continues. While I was sitting there, I felt like I was in a hip grocery store in New York or San Francisco. I would definitely go back and happily recommend it to any friends who had dietary restrictions (or just plain wanted to eat healthy).

Shang-Hello: Greetings from Shanghai

Shanghai Painting

I call this: “West Meets East.” Cake Pop Meet Shanghai.

I’ve officially been in Shanghai for three weeks now and I’ve been extremely busy. Between starting a new job and adjusting to a new social/professional environment, I’ve barely had a minute to myself to just decompress. However, I am absolutely loving Shanghai. There is an energy here that is practically palpable and the expats I’ve met are extremely friendly. I feel like everyone is in the same boat where we are all outside of our comfort zone and willing to help each other out. It is an unspoken bond among the expat community. I’ve been introduced to friends of friends and everyone has been welcoming and full of advice.

Rather than write separate blog posts, I’m just going to write one giant recap about the blur that has been the past three weeks!

Shanghai Brewery

Shanghai Brewery

I was introduced to Lana by an old co-worker and I was so touched by her generosity. The first time we met at a café, she gave me a card, welcoming me to Shanghai, and a map, outlining her favorite spots in the city. It is a handy guide that I have kept safe in a special drawer (Truthfully, I feel like a little kid who is guarding her special treasure box full of knick-knacks and mementos).

Shanghai Brewery Brunch

Shanghai Brewery Brunch

We met later in the week to have brunch at Shanghai Brewery (15 Dongping Road). Every time I’ve walked by Shanghai Brewery at night, it has been packed with people. It was a pleasant change of pace to find it empty for brunch at 11am. Brunch is really reasonable and for roughly 75 RMB, you can order a full meal (eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, beans, grilled tomatoes, French toast AND a microbrew). Normally, brunch runs for about 150 RMB in Shanghai. I ordered the omelette and it was so tasty that I gobbled it up in about 5 minutes flat.

Stitch & Bitch Shanghai event at Sip 'n Paint

Stitch & Bitch Shanghai event at Sip ‘n Paint

Photo taken from: Stitch & Bitch

Photo taken from: Stitch & Bitch

On top of being an overall nice person, Lana also helps run the Stitch & Bitch club in Shanghai. Every month, she arranges fun DIY events and invites other creative ladies to craft while imbibing in delicious drinks like sparkling wine. I was honored she invited me to her pumpkin painting party and I had a blast meeting new people and discovering my inner artist (said artist is still under development).

Sip 'n Paint Studio and Cake Pops!

Sip ‘n Paint Studio and Cake Pops!

Continue reading

Recipe: Tofu and Avocado Appetizer

Tofu and Avocado Cold Appetizer

Tofu and Avocado Cold Appetizer

Do you ever have those points in the day when you feel like you’re about to die from starvation? You don’t have time to make anything; you need food! You open your fridge and can’t find anything readily available to eat. Then you end up snacking on a bunch of random things and feel even less satisfied than before. This happens to me relatively often and I’ve found the perfect “snack” for satiating my hunger pangs. Best of all, it takes 5 minutes to make.

I love silken tofu. I never really know how to cook with it (other than soup) since it breaks so easily. This recipe was inspired by two small events. I was eating at a Japanese fusion tapas restaurant in San Francisco and they served a caprese salad with avocado and fresh mozzarella cheese. It was a unique combination that I had never had before, but it was absolutely delicious.

The other event was when I was living in the dorms last year. My married friends were nice enough to make me dinner when I was feeling under the weather. The wife is Japanese and whipped up a simple chopped avocado appetizer, which was mixed in a sauce comprised of soy sauce, wasabi and dashi broth. This appetizer is a marriage of both of those events.

The tofu is bland enough to not overpower the taste of the sauce. Its custard consistency pairs well with the creaminess of the avocado. With this continuing hot weather in Hong Kong, it is incredibly refreshing to eat this as a cold snack. While I eat it as a snack, I can see doubling the recipe and making it as an appetizer for a dinner party. Hopefully, you can cut the avocado in a more presentable way than I can.

It is key to mix the wasabi with a little bit of soy sauce to get rid of the clumps (top right) before adding more soy sauce and water.

It is key to mix the wasabi with a little bit of soy sauce to get rid of the clumps (top right) before adding more soy sauce and water.

Continue reading

Recipe: Vegan Mushroom and Cauliflower Soup

Vegan Mushroom & Cauliflower Soup

Vegan Mushroom & Cauliflower Soup

I already wrote about how obsessed I am with the food at MANA!. After scouring their website, I stumbled upon a recipe for their vegan mushroom soup. I had high expectations, but this soup really blew me away. I was shocked how much flavor could come out of vegetables, especially because I didn’t even use vegetable broth for the base– just plain water.

I changed up the recipe because I can’t deal with the metric system so I made up my own measurements. The original recipe calls for shitake mushrooms, but I used portobollo mushrooms because I wanted a “meatier” texture. The recipe is really simple and just requires some mincing/chopping and 30-45 minutes to cook.

Vegan Mushroom Soup

Continue reading

Recipe: Watermelon and Feta Summer Salad

Watermelon and Feta Summer Salad

Watermelon and Feta Summer Salad

I don’t know what the weather is like where you’re living, but it’s always hot in Hong Kong. Hot and HUMID! It doesn’t even matter if there is a thunderstorm outside– it will be over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of weather makes me crave something cool and refreshing like watermelon. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather eat on a hot summer day.

Watermelon Feta

I wanted to dress up my watermelon so I decided to make an easy salad with watermelon, mint and feta cheese. Since watermelons are huge and I’m only feeding myself, I’ve already made this salad multiple times. The first time, I used cut-up feta and the second time, I crumbled the feta. I definitely prefer the crumbled feta cheese.  I hope you can enjoy this salad during the last few days of summer!

Continue reading