|Xinxiang Vegetarian Circles
|10 am (tea) - 11:30am(food) til late|
|2/F, China Merchants Bank Building, 1 Sect. 3rd, South Renmin Rd. |
|028 6733 3363|
|Comments (Add Comment)|
Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
We were pleased to see a new vegetarian restaurant in Chengdu, very near downtown on the south side of the river. MORE was invited to try a few dishes and on arriving found a very local-style vegetarian restaurant that doubles as a teahouse. There are half a dozen tables in the main room with the rest of the space taken up by private rooms. Marble floors and wooden furniture make a calm and elegant setting. A few figurines and lotus blossoms carved in the furniture are subtle evidence of the Buddhist culture that often influences local vegetarian food.
The menu lists the ingredients and flavour of each dish in Chinese, but is very well illustrated and should be easy to navigate even for the character challenged. No eggs or dairy are used in any of the dishes. There is a good selection of spicy local style dishes, some tonic style soups, and vegetarian hot pot. There is lots of tofu and mushrooms on the menu as well as dishes that usually contain meat redone using vegetarian components.
The cold dish was hand shredded jizhong, a kind of mushroom, mixed with bright and fresh cilantro in a spicy dressing with characteristic mala flavour. The plate was garnished with chocolate drops. The next dish was su xiang ji ding, crunchy and spicy mushrooms that had been batttered, fried, and tossed with hot peppers and chili candy. We were served a ceramic crock filled with a stew made from taro and a water plant called ‘ling jiao,’ one of those plain and nourishing dishes that feel good for the body even as you are eating it. The broth, for a meatless broth, had plenty of character. We also got a salad-like dish called ‘hezheng sushi,’ an assortment of mostly cooked vegetables with a starchy sauce and a spicy, oily dip that was one of the most unusual vegetable dishes we’ve come across. The servers were friendly and professional though had to be waved down at times. Cost per person is around RMB50-100 per person.