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Nianhua Vegetarian
Open for lunch around noon, dinner around 5:30pm; closes by about 9pm
8-10 Middle Tongzilin Rd. (right across from Peter's by Carrefour)
139 8220 9006

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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)
We went to check out this newish vegetarian place to find they were only serving a hot pot based set menu, and though we'd been in the mood for a light lunch rather than a multi-course feast, we decided to see what they could do. The place is small, not really looking like a restaurant from outside; inside there are pine benches and tables set with lotus themed tableware, and the watercolours on the walls have food and natural subjects. The tables, which seat a max of four, were filled with families and groups of friends. The servers found a high chair for one party that had a baby along.

The dishes that were served were not exactly identical to the menu card, so as much as we were anticipating the listed first course of Organic Carrot Slices in Kewpie, we ended up with a scoop of potato salad, which was much improved by a couple of turns of the salt mill. The server said their menu changes two or three times a month. We had the choice of Soybean Soup (黄豆锅底) or Wild Mushroom Soup (野生菌类锅底). We opted for the former but would go mushroom all the way next time. The two sweet dishes were lychees topped with some flavourful crumbs and a mint leaf and some oatmeal and yogurt garnished with jam, banana chips and broken Oreo. The Fresh Greens and Mushrooms got cooked in the soup and took a dip through our zhandie dipping plates, which had a very nice spicy peanut sauce as the base. We asked the server what the vegetarian meatballs were made of, and he said mushroom root (蘑菇根部). There were also vegetarian sausage and tofu skin in the hot pot set.

The portion sizes appear calibrated for a Tongzilin area lady who lunches, so the menu is not heavy at all. For bigger appetites, the very good rice is bottomless and the hot pot vegetables and mushrooms can also be replenished gratis; extras of salad, tofu and other small plates come at a surcharge. Set menu including a very nice sour juice was 68RMB per head the day we visited. We were impressed with the majority of the dishes we were served, and are glad to know about another vegetarian option in the area. The set menu format makes it convenient for solo diners too.

Nianhua Vegetarian
Nianhua Vegetarian