Review: Plant-Based Eatery Confusion Gets Vegan Dining Right
With the increasing popularity on eating ‘clean’, plant-based diets and advice on healthy dining are currently all the rage. But it is important to remember to eat well for all the right reasons, whether it’s for the benefit of one’s well-being or for the good of the environment, and making such changes to your lifestyle requires taking initiative. To that end, one may as well do it after serious consideration rather than for the sake of riding on a fad.
Confusion, a new vegan eatery, is a timely opening in Sheung Wan serving plant-based options. The petite restaurant covers everything from burgers and wraps to snack platters and desserts, served in a small, square room on Jervois Street where white walls and brick-red tiles set a casual ambiance. While simple, the eatery generously seats 25, from small tables for four to high chairs. The restaurant can be tight at full capacity at peak hours but turnover ia high and guests should be able fit in rather comfortably.
The one-page menu at Confusion features a simple collection of plant-based options, with additional daily-specials on a board beside the seating area. Soups change by variety every day. We began our meal with 1000 layer tofu with Sichuan sauce, where a piece of deep-fried firm tofu is sliced and served alongside a handful of chopped scallions and spicy chilli condiment, which gives a mild level of heat.
The Confusion Sampler Platter is a unique selection of snacks, including tofu fries, hedgehog mushroom karaage and lotus root crisps. It is worth noting that although all three snacks were deep-fried, each were prepared differently. The tofu fries were simply deep-fried, the hedgehog mushrooms were roasted in the oven to draw out its moisture before deep-frying, and lotus root crisps were battered with spiced gram flour batter, yielding a slightly chewy texture similar to an Indian pakora. The platter was served alongside a homemade chipotle egg-free mayonnaise, purple cabbage sauerkraut and a tangy carrot slaw, both adding tartness and acting as a palate cleanser to counter the richness of the snacks.
Confusion’s mains are mostly carb-based but well executed. The Mexican tofu tacos are well made. Crisp blue corn chips are topped with stewed red kidney beans, a turmeric-laced tofu scramble and garnished with a generous portion of guacamole and tomato salsa. The scrumptious treat was every bit refreshing and filling as a main course, but we prefer to share with a friend or two to make room for other treats on offer.
Read also: 6 Vegan Spots To Try In Hong Kong
The Cruciferous Vegetables wrap is generous in its portioning. The wrap was packed with green sprouts, grilled tofu and paprika hummus as well as a blend of cauliflower and broccoli florets. The melange of fillings add texture and complex flavours to the wrap, thanks to a healthy pinch of paprika in the hummus.
Confusion does not have a wine list, but it offers a number of healthy drink options, from brewed organic teas to bottled kombucha from the US. The restaurant welcomes guests to bring their own bottles should they decide to enjoy wine with their meal. Service is keen and attentive at Confusion, although guests order and pay upfront and pick up their own eating utensils as well as refilling their own infused water throughout the meal. The service team is friendly and is engaging in offering suggestions and explanations on menu items and portion controls.
It is worth noting that Confusion excels when it comes to restaurants of its kind, not just because it is independently run, but because of its approach to plant-based dining. Guests, no matter vegans, omnivorous or otherwise, are welcomed equally. The establishment makes a statement promoting the lifestyle with its food, not by imposing beliefs or guilt-tripping its guests. Confusion is an excellent testing ground for entry-level plant-based diet practitioners, as the food is well-executed, and most of all, makes guests feel welcome to try something different, and feel comfortable in doing so.
Confusion, G/F, 103 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Kong; +852 2563 3699
A dinner for two including beverage and service amounts to HK$350.
How we rate
Each of our reviewers score restaurants based on four main criteria: setting, food, service, and drinks, taking into account more than 35 different points of reference including manners of staff, usefulness of the wine list, and whether or not the restaurant makes an effort to be environmentally aware. 5/5 indicates an exceptional experience; 4-4.5/5 is excellent; 3-3.5/5 is good to very good; and 2.5/5 or lower is average to below average. Before visiting a restaurant, the reviewers will book using a pseudonym and do not make themselves known to restaurant staff, in order to experience the venue as a regular guest—if this is not possible, or if we are recognised, we will indicate this in the review.