MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – ORKA
ORKA’s mission is simple: to make sustainability a tasty, affordable and socially responsible affair. By celebrating wholesome foods that are good for both the body and our planet, ORKA provides an entryway into the world of healthy, mindful eating. Whether it be a stack of chocolate chip pancakes or an elegant beef wellington, ORKA’s sustainable rendition of fan-favourite classics shows diners in Hong Kong that sustainability, too, can be delicious. At the head of this movement is wellness enthusiast Nobin John, the co-founder of ORKA and a pioneer that is reimagining Hong Kong’s F&B scene.
Delicious sustainable food
Nobin’s approach to sustainability combines wellness and sustainability: two concepts Nobin believes are intrinsically connected. While sustainability refers to the preservation of our planet and the path to a better future, wellness is a journey of self-actualisation. Nobin believes that well-being must be prioritised for one to have ample residual energy to tackle sustainability. This principle has helped to form Nobin’s five fundamental pillars: exercise and movement, diet and nutrition, rest and relaxation, sleep, and relationships with both oneself and one’s surroundings.
As a medical and wellness professional, Nobin believes that focusing on wellness and sustainability can help us thrive, creating more energy, better immune systems and a whole host of benefits. This then prompts us to make more sustainable choices and ultimately create a mindful, positive impact at a much larger scale.
Nobin John, founder of ORKA
THE MEAT OF THE MATTER
Conversations around sustainable dining can often focus on the topic of veganism. Yet Nobin argues that restaurants don’t have to be vegan to be sustainable. Take the beef wellington, one of Nobin’s and his culinary team’s proudest creations at ORKA. While the dish is decadent and luxurious, it is also sustainable. Each component is considered carefully: whether it be using sustainable meat or locally sourced ingredients, much has been done to lower the dish’s ecological footprint as much as possible. “We want to create dishes that stand out and taste great,” says Nobin. ORKA is both a safe space for vegans and an inclusive dining experience: “it’s an all inclusive affair. At ORKA, we want to bring people together”.
For Nobin, sustainable and healthy living isn’t just about a plant-based diet. More importantly, sustainable living means being inclusive and encouraging everyone to make shifts: “we can make tiny lifestyle changes, one at a time, and enjoy the positive, solid impact that we have”.
Affordable, approachable, and socially responsible food
SUSTAINABILITY FOR EVERYONE
Sustainability has garnered more and more attention, yet Nobin argues that too much of the conversation around sustainability happens in international conferences and meeting rooms— in other words, in places not readily-accessible to ordinary people. “How can we make sustainability more approachable? When we start talking about it at schools, when smaller restaurants and cafes begin to operate sustainably… that’s how we integrate sustainability across different dimensions”.
By challenging and breaking norms in Hong Kong, Nobin hopes to promote sustainability as something that is healthy, fun, inclusive and affordable. In the future, ORKA hopes to become an option for more people in Hong Kong, becoming a solution that helps people embark on a wellness journey and become more sustainable. “We want to empower people,” says Nobin. “Sustainability should be ingrained within us, it has to be addressed from the root”.
Vibrant view from the cafe
If you are a foodservice provider please get in touch with us about Future Green and lets see what possibilities lie ahead in normalising sustainability!
Interested in more?
6 steps to turning messy ideas into concrete next steps with The British Chamber of Commerce3rd November
From Healthy Kids Menu to Asian-Inspired Delights: SpiceBox Organics Revamps Catering Services, Championing Sustainability and Clean Eating in Hong Kong12th October