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Hong Kong Restaurant, Flushing, NY

In a perfect world, all restaurants would serve only delicious plant based foods. Since that world doesn’t yet exist, vegans often have to frequent restaurants that have at best, one or two plant-based options, or nothing at all. Plant-based diners frequently have to deal with the dilemma of choosing between a meat, dairy and egg serving restaurant where they can perhaps use the opportunity to raise awareness, or not eat out at all for fear of giving money to a restaurant that they would rather not support. I typically opt for ordering one of the few vegan options on the menu, or asking if the chef would be open to being creative with all of his or her available plant based ingredients. More often than not, the special requests work out really well as nearby customers typically ask for the name of my distinctly colorful, and eye-catching veggie dish that can’t be found anywhere on the menu! Once in a while, the cook will even come out to our table and ask for our thoughts on her creation. These are not fancy establishments, and my guess is that our visits present a fun break in the chef’s daily routine. 🙂

Asian restaurants typically have the most vegan options, regardless of the number of animal based dishes they may serve. I recently had a wonderful plant-based meal at Hong Kong Restaurant (HKR), in Flushing, Queens. I started with the tasty Stir Fried Dry Tofu Curd with Black Mushrooms, and finished with the vegan Singapore Noodles (no eggs, minimal oil). Both dishes were excellent and reminded me of China. My dining partner had the Congee with scallion & ginger, and the Black Mushrooms with Yi Mein Noodles, and loved them both.

In addition to the alarming concerns with restaurants like HKR that serve meat, dairy and eggs, is Hong Kong Restaurant’s horrendous use of giant fish tanks filled with live animals near the entrance of its dining room. The water tanks are packed with imprisoned crabs, lobsters and various kinds of fish. It was especially disturbing to see one of the employees come out of the back with a big net and bucket to snatch another tortured victim for someone’s dinner. The process was crazy as a motionless, yet frightened fish tried to lessen her executioner’s advantage by somehow moving backwards to a narrow corner of her tank. Unfortunately, she was quickly outflanked and had no choice but to succumb. I tried to speak with someone about the trauma of the tanks, but nobody spoke English. I am hoping to follow up in a respectful manner to try and encourage them to add more vegan options. I am not sure if that is even possible, and they may laugh me out of their establishment, but at least I can try, and plant a few seeds.

The bottom line? The folks who run Hong Kong Restaurant are clearly hardworking, and don’t seem to be aware of the harm that they are causing (my guess is that most of their customers view the incarceration and real time killing of these intelligent aquatic beings as a positive thing). I also have extended family members who love this restaurant and are frequent customers (admittedly, the flavors of the plant-based offerings at HKR are special, and amongst the best in the area). All things considered, I highly recommend the vegan dishes at Hong Kong Restaurant, as the more people who show up and request their plant based options, the more likely we are to crowd out, and one day eliminate, the meat, dairy, and egg selections on their menu. 🙂

Click here for a link to Hong Kong Restaurant.
Click here to learn more about the intelligence of lobsters. 
Click here to learn more about how crabs and lobsters are sentient beings.
Click here to learn why crabs are cooler than you thought. 
Click here to learn more about why consuming fish is harmful to your health. 
Click here to learn more about how eating fish supports cruelty to animals. 
Click here for the trailer to the excellent documentary Seaspiracy. 

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