Yes, it is still a thing. Kombucha, the fizzy drink that took the health food industry by storm a few years ago is here to stay. Since living up to its gut-healing hype, kombucha has proven to be more than a fad and is gaining more and more converts every day.
Booch – as millennial enthusiasts call it – is an ancient fermented tea that has been popular in Asian culture for many years, and for good reason. It is brewed using scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), which contains bacteria found in your intestines – aka 'the good stuff' – that breaks down food so it can be easily absorbed by our bodies. Many of the neurotransmitters that affect mood, digestion, sleep, and even libido are found in your gut. So, by incorporating fermented foods into your diet, especially pre and post-meal, it prepares the body for nutrient breakdown and absorption. Of course, it helps that they taste really good too! Next time you're at any of these restaurants below, consider swapping out the soda pop for some gut goodness by the glass.
RECOMMENDED: For more immune-boosting, vitamin-packed beverages, check out our list of the best cold-pressed juices in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's 'fast slow food' movement pioneer, Mana!, offers two flavours of kombucha: traditional or pineapple-lemongrass. The 'Organic Blissful Bom-Booch' is brewed in Macau by the Blissful Carrot, a vegetarian takeaway shop, and made just for Mana! ($80).
Head down to Mana! on Starstreet for its hippy hour – happy hour reimagined – from 6pm to 8pm daily, and sip on the G&K tipple made with organic gin and housemade kombucha.
A plant-based and chef-driven restaurant new to Central's H Code building, Treehouse is built on the premise that dining should be sustainable, ethical, modern, and fast. This fast-casual venue serves up bowls, wraps, burgers, and salads, that can be washed down with your choice of cold pressed juices, cold brew coffee, wine, craft beer, and of course, kombucha. They currently offer a refreshing pink lemonade booch made with a green tea base that is high in antioxidants. It is an exclusive flavour created just for Treehouse by local kombucha producer Taboocha.
This farm-to-table restaurant offers a healthier way to toast to the good times with the recent addition of their own housemade kombucha onto the menu. Kinship's kombucha mocktail ($78) begins with their specialty black tea and Japanese red grape kombucha, then shaken up with cranberry, lemongrass, ginger and kaffir lime.
Upper Lascar Row has become more than just a tourist trap of dubious antiques and tacky Mao memorabilia thanks to craft beer bar, Blue Supreme. The drinks menu is dedicated to beer, importing a unique selection of live beers from Belgium along with some from Australia. For some alternative live culture, they currently sell kombucha by the bottle and periodically sells it by draft as well.
With tea being an integral part of Chinese culture, guests can look forward to speciality teas and kombucha to enjoy with the Jiangnan-rooted menu. The housemade booch is served by the glass ($48) and comes in several flavours. Made with a mixture of different tea bases and fruits, the loose-leaf teas have been cold-brewed in order to extract the full spectrum of flavours from the leaves. Choose from ceylon and mandarin, jasmine and lychee, or earl grey and peach.
Wash down Duddell’s comforting Cantonese staples with one of the inventive drinks from the trendy 'Salon' bar. Not only does the beverage menu offer a range of Chinese-inspired cocktails, it also includes their housemade kombucha ($115). Clean, refreshing, and earthy, it is made using loose-leaf black tea infused with various spices.
Feather & Bone's Sai Ying Pun location offers contemporary European fare in a clean, bright, and open space. Part grocer, part bistro, diners are encouraged to peruse the retail area. Choose a premium cut from the butcher's counter to be cooked à la carte and grab a bottle of Remedy Organic Kombucha from the cold section while you're at it.
Chaiwala offers spice-infused, Indian-inspired cocktails to go with hearty servings of modern Indian fare. Their spiked version of the beloved booch – because #balance, right – is an Indian twist on a classic cocktail. The 'Wala Spritz' mixes Pomegranate Mancino Bianco vermouth with grapefruit and sage green tea kombucha ($100).