Sohofama: Farm to table in Hong Kong

At Sohofama restaurant urban farming meets Chinese comfort cuisine with a menu inspired by Chinese doctors and farmers.

At Sohofama, a restaurant in central Hong Kong founded by Larry Tang, the goal is to raise awareness for healthier living through serving good, chemical-free food, including locally grown ingredients and organic ingredients to support the body. Locofama has played a role in changing the city’s perception of what it means to eat clean and the importance of knowing where your food comes from. They try to grow their own vegetables as much as possible and bring locally grown produce directly from farmers to keep costs under control. Sohofama’s soups are even inspired by Chinese doctors.

The menu is balanced to reflect both the old and the new with some dishes reflecting childhood favourites, while others celebrate the multiculturalism of today’s Hong Kong society without using monosodium glutamate or chicken powder. Instead, the restaurant uses freshly grown herbs for taste and slow cooked chicken broth to fully enhance the flavours.

Drawing on the Chinese tradition, Sohofama also created seasonal herbal soup selections, designed to suit the wellness needs of the urban dweller. These Chinese Medicinal Soups are elaborated by Chains, a Chinese herbalist. In "Immunity Booster" the key medicinal ingredients include Hericium Erinaceus and Arctium Root, which helps lower blood pressure and detoxifies the liver. This soup helps revitalise blood circulation and enhances immunity levels.

Lately, the term "farm to table" has become quite familiar. Sohofama have done the opposite: they brought the table to the farm. Their mini farm is the outdoor garden area of the restaurant, where they are currently starting to grow their own vegetables in pots, along walls and on trolleys. The hope is that this edible garden will help people think more about where their food comes from, and maybe inspire them to also start their own urban farm or garden.

Chef Shing has over 20 years of experience in Chinese cooking with a specialisation in Shanghainese cuisine. He started his trade at the age of 16 and has since been mentored by some of the best Chinese chefs in Hong Kong. For the past eight years, Chef Shing was the Head Chef of famous Liu Yuan Pavillion, well known for its rich history and widely considered as one of the best quintessential Shanghainese restaurants in Hong Kong.

Founder Larry Tang is speaking at Trend Tablet's Food Futures event on 21 July in Hong Kong. This article first appeared on Trend Tablet.